I have so many topics I want to talk about that are very very dear to my heart, but I don’t have time how!! In fact, I have TWO papers due on Monday but I have this incredibly strong urge to talk about this today. So, let’s talk about my education. Perhaps many of you who just finished SPM may find this relevant and useful?
So I’ve always been a straight As student. Straight As UPSR, PMR, SPM, and I was in all the clubs in school. I was a super athlete as well so I basically did EVERYthing in high school. So I’m blowing my horn, but you’ll see why this is a necessary part of the story.
After SPM, fully equipped with my excellent results and co-curricular activities, I thought my future was set. The headmistress and teachers in my school told me that I would definitely get a scholarship for sure. I too, was so sure. Then, I applied for every single scholarship out there. JPA, Petronas, Bank Negara, UWC, SC, Sime Darby, you name it, my application was there.
I got called back for most of them, which made me even more confident. I went to all the interviews, and did fairly mediocre I would say. I wasn’t amazing, but I wasn’t bad either that’s for sure. If I have one advice for all you scholarship applicants out there, it’s to JUST TALK. Say whatever seriously, don’t ever stay quiet. There are lots of group discussion and it’s easy to get swallowed by all the other aggressive applicants so remember to just talk although you may not sound as good as them!!
Anyway, then the rejection letters came. JPA, sorry no. Petronas, sorry record number of applicants, no. Bank Negara, sorry not good enough. And they just kept coming.
Never in my life had I ever thought my life would end up that way. I strived so hard in high school with JUST one goal: to get a scholarship. All those memorizing, all those running around being president of this and that, all those hours practicing for my 400m, 800m, basketball, all boiled down to those rejection letters.
It shattered my world. I had no backup plans cause I thought I would be good enough to get ONE scholarship for sure. But alas, I wasn’t. For a while, I was so angry, so full of hatred for the system. I know I was more deserving than a lot others who got it and I was so consumed by my indignation that it took me a while to get back on my feet.
But hopefully if you ever had the misfortune to be in the same place I was, you would learn to not waste so much time being angry. But maybe being angry did fuel me to try harder for other things. Then, I took a few months to find out about studying in America, took my SAT, spent months applying and now I’m here.
True, I have to work so much harder now so I can pay back my parents and pay all the loan I owe this school. True, I don’t have a job waiting for me back home. But hey, I’m in a place that is teaching me much more than just how to excel in exams (some day I HAVE to tell you the beauty of the liberal arts education). I can’t complain much can I?
There is a lesson of the day here, and it’s to not put too much hopes into just one plan. (Bak kata pepatah, don’t put all your eggs into one basket wtf). If they say you’re not good enough, say fuck you and move on to prove them why you are. If I had a chance to redo everything again, I would go down this very same depressing path because it really made me who I am today. Without falling once in a while, I would never feel the need to buck up and to show how strong I can be.
Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not condemning the system (maybe a little..) nor am I saying that people who got it were undeserving. Heck, I know so many people who are scholars who are the most inspiring and intelligent people ever. I’m just saying if you don’t get anything and you know you’re good enough, it’s not the end of the road.
P.S: I applied for an internship with PEMANDU, a unit directly under the Prime Minister’s Department working with the Government Transformation Programme. AND I GOT IT! hooray Basically, I will be working with the government and I really can’t wait to do so because :
1. I’m sick and tired of cynics thinking that our country is hopeless and is going to fail. Someone has to be proactive and make a change. I’ll tell you later if working with the government will change my views later. For now, i’m as optimistic and naive as ever.
2. I applied for the education sector, mainly because I want to take my frustrations and anger with the system for not letting me be part of it to another level. I don’t want another great candidate (che wah so perasan) to be turned down by the country anymore. But I can’t deny that making a change will take a long time, not to mention extremely difficult. We’ll see.
Well, it’s been a long entry but this is such an important issue to me and I hope it’s been enlightening somewhat. Now, I shall bid farewell to civilization as I retreat into a 48-hour NO SLEEP REDBULL KAO KAO routine cause I have two papers to finish this weekend FML.