“..challenges give meaning to a life full of pursuit. ” — somewhere online
The week leading up to SPM is going to be the worst in your life, they said. You’ll be so unimaginably busy, SO very much stressed, they said.
Well, whoever said that can start eating their words with a fat helping of sauce, because I just finished lining up what will be the busiest week of my life–or at least one would hope it should be, for the sake of sparing everyone the terrible fate of losing their heads upon seeing it due to sheer incredulity.
Let’s take a look at my most recent schedule for the upcoming week, shall we?
…starting from today, Saturday…
Saturday, 13th April : My twin‘s Petronas Youngstar’s Day 2013 scholarship interview. Notice it’s my twin’s interview day, not mine, per se — since obviously, it would be too hard to interview a pair of twins on the same day to save the time and cost it would take their parents to attend the interview. Right, Petronas Sponsorship Unit?Right?
If it’s my twin’s interview, why is it in my calendar, then, you ask? Elementary, my dear snarkees, the right answers would be either a) I wanted some experience
and possibly tips, or b) I wanted to ask some questions anyway or ..
…oh, who am I kidding? The answer is of course, c): If I stayed behind I’d start climbing walls in a first-class exhibition of crumbling control and (not) staved-off anxiety.
Sunday, 14th April : My interview day with Petronas for its 2013 pre-u and undergraduate scholarship. Nothing said, you can read all about my experience here. That means you aspiring Petronas scholars from the future, too, you little tip-scroungers. I’m winking, don’t worry — once (as in right now) I’m in your position, I know how you feel — I was(am?) desperate for hints too. So long as we’re all trying our best in the right way and for the right reasons…and yes, I did just call you desperate.
Monday, 15th April : Give a speech at my old high school about how I achieved excellent results in SPM. After taking ten subjects and receiving 9A+ 1A , I suppose I should have expected the call from my school’s deputy that requested I do this. And I was perfectly willing, perfectly ready to do it, till everything else came rolling around. Read on.
An interesting aside, though — last year my seniors, those who were the best students of their time, came and gave a series of talks not unlike the speech I’m supposed to be giving on this day. It truly inspired me, not because they were good speakers (they were, by the way, but this is a little taster of what it takes to truly impress on me what an exceptional orator you are) but because they were real, living proof that with enough hard work — or apparently, just plain luck, which some seeming layabout never fails to claim was how they achieved success — you could reach what seemed impossible to me at the time.
Well, note to my past self, and all of you readers (HI MY DEAR SNARKEES) out there who was like lil’ old me, especially to those students aspiring for strings of A’s: it IS possible to achieve your dreams — possible, but not promised, and I guess therein lies the problem — so believe in it. Try your best, and NO this does not necessarily mean your hardest, go out there and do it, then after all is done sit back and pray, take a step away and hope. If you’re successful, be happy. Celebrate! Then look forward to the next great part of life. If you’re not, remember this: Dreams are never everything. Especially not when they’re in the past. Because yes, they are in the past now that you know whether you achieved them or not, and right now you’re free to find a new dream and chase it, discover a new meaning for you to make your life out of it. And if you think “Easy for Dreaming to talk, she got what she wanted” and “She doesn’t know what she’s talking about,” I DO happen to know what I’m talking about, and NO, I happen to not have gotten what I wanted. I wanted a perfect 10A+, now I have only 9 of them, and one A.
And yes, I know what you’re thinking (“It’s just one measly A+ off the mark!” and “That dream is insignificant”) and YES, I purposely utilized my sharp wit in a manner different from my usual snarks just to make this point clear to you, ESPECIALLY you readers with broken dreams who completely understandably aren’t moving on so well from your disappointment. I understand, I really do, because that dream meant a lot to me too, and it was broken, not completely, but still broken. And to even the best, most empathetic of you, I know that you’ll be feeling that in the end it’s irrelevant, in the end I’m still the same as I would be even if I had fulfilled my dreams properly, I’m still chasing after scholarships and thinking about how I want to contribute myself and the rest of my life to the world.
In the end, life still goes on. Life, and what you choose to make of it.
Readers with no broken dreams or at least no bitter feelings of failure, bear with me a paragraph longer; readers with, keep reading this properly, because damn I did not type this just so that you can simply skim through and not let it help you in some way to feel better about yourself and happier about your life. If you think my basically telling you that even though your dreams were relevant once, before they weren’t broken, they aren’t anymore and is insignificant now, realize that I told myself this. Realize that you would have been telling me this if my blog entry had been about my one missed A+ and how much I failed to reach it. Reread the above most recent paragraphs and note exactly where you’d be telling me hey, cool down, it doesn’t matter any more, you still did a great job, now move on, don’t fixate on this, don’t let it ruin your life for you, it’s not worth being miserable about life for.
Now be strong and do the brave thing; do what I did, and tell this to yourself. Tell this to yourself in regards to your broken dreams. And I’m not going to ask if you can do it, because that wasn’t the purpose of this wildly off-topic venture — I wasn’t trying to get back at you for belittling (yes: ‘belittling’, because I know that’s what you fell I’m doing towards your hurt feelings and your broken dreams, and I’m trying to show you NO AND I UNDERSTAND.) my dreams, as you no doubt did when I revealed the above. I’m truly, seriously asking you to not be so hard on yourself, to view yourself the way you did me, to allow yourself to admit you aren’t a failure and move..on. You’ll soon see it does not matter now, even when it mattered before and again I repeat, you’re free to chase another dream, free to get another “great” in a different, better way than you thought. Don’t you feel liberated? I did.
And hey, later I realized that even if I failed to achieve my goals, I’m not a failure. There’s something I won, no wait, not won, something that I taught myself — and if you did as I asked above, you taught it to yourself too, which you never could have before. It’s resilience, what you taught yourself, that’s what it is.
And as I mentioned above, I’m still the same as I would have been if my dreams were fully fulfilled, still just as good. Still chasing after scholarships, still living my holidays and trying to sort out packed schedules, still chasing after an even greater dream..you get the idea. And this thing I taught myself, this resilience, will help me through it all.
That makes it more valuable, doesn’t it? Come on, say it doesn’t and my inner snarker’s leveling a sword of made of sharp words in your direction for lying.It doesn’t make up for my broken dreams. Merely.. replaces it, shall we say? And I hope, for your sake, for your happiness, for all the great things you’ll ever be, it’ll be the same for you.
…wow. What great block of self-help text did I unwittingly conjure? I guess I know at least half of what I’ll talk about in my speech scheduled for Monday. What on earth am I talking about, you ask? Well, snarkees (there’s no need for distinctions between you readers now, as that bit of motivational text is now firmly wrapped up), if you’ll recall, I was talking about (re)scheduling the busiest week of my life. Yeah, I got carried away too. And all I wrote isn’t even going to help with that Monday speech, because in lieu of scheduling the next few days, I decided to be a cunning old snake and eliminate the word ” Monday” from “speech”, or “speech” from “Monday” now, it would seem. What I meant was that I decided to not give the speech on Monday, for fear of screwing up and/or overloading myself with all the other events I have to prepare for.
This is also the day I have to reclaim my Niexter Young Writer’s Award for Best Poem, but you can read about how I dealt with the insane strain it would have put on my schedule by getting the services of a courier here.
Tuesday, 16th April 2013 : my MARA 2013 scholarship interview day. An event I had considered as one of the more important ones in my life, except that it wasn’t an interview, and who knows, it might end up as less important than I thought, whichever way you looked at it. I explain more in my entry concerning MARA stage 1 interview experience.
Wednesday, 17th April 2013 : go through one last driving lesson before the driving test. The last bit of preparation I’ll ever have before the JPJ test. In case you’re a cross-boundary reader, or are ignorant of the Malaysian driving education system, the JPJ test is the final test for you take, the passing of which gives you the right to your driver’s license. As retaking it means forking out another RM150, I’d much prefer to pass, thanks.
Thursday, 18th April 2013 : do the JPJ test. If you’ve forgotten what this is, reread the above. If you haven’t, let’s all pop the big question to me later, since I know you’re all wondering it: did I pass the test and get the driver’s license, or did I fail abysmally, cry, fork out another RM150 and do it all over again?
Nice to see you all have so much confidence in my driving skills. It’s fair, I suppose, I myself never did anyway. Regardless, you can read how my JPJ driver’s test went.
Friday, 19th April 2013: my UEM scholarship interview day. Holy — three interviews for three different scholarships in one week??? And all of them spread out at “convenient” venues that means it’s too near for me to book a hotel room to stay over the night before, but is too far to contemplate getting up at any time after the crack of dawn? That’s getting to be a little too much, even for the workaholic that I’m just suspecting I might possibly be. Sadly, beggars can’t be choosers, so I’ll have to bear with the interview days, and try to reschedule the other things planned for this week– which led to the Monday speech being shifted, as I’d mentioned.
I then thought, as I penned this latest appointment in my journal the day before my twin’s interview on Saturday (re: see above), that this was surely it…
..NOT. Really, I fancied myself genre-savvy enough to know that when you think something’s settled, it rarely ever is.
Saturday, 20th April 2013 : attend the Hari Anugerah Cemerlang at school and receive trophy and ovation. Translated literally, ‘hari anugerah cemerlang’ is Day of Awards for Excellence. It’s like the Cambridge Excellence Awards Day, I guess, where they give students of all forms prizes in the form of trophies and certificates (as well as honor. Never forget the honor) for being first, second, third in their year, for getting the highest mark in a subject, and for getting straight A’s, but since last year the number of award recipients at school has swelled so much that the HAC is for everything purely academic. My high school has a different ovation day for those excellent in extra-curricular fields now. SMKBJ deserves a tip of the hat, I say!
Actually, the trophies I’d gotten from attending these HACs over the years have been gathering dust in a black plastic bag, as I didn’t know what to do with them. I remember last year pondering whether the time it took to attend it last year should have been used on studying for my then-upcoming mid-years…but I’m a permanent holiday from high school this year, now that I’ve finished form 5, and besides, this awards ceremony is different for the mere fact that it recognizes me and my peers as ex-students who have all achieved excellent results and are now returning as the glorious faces of the school’s past success, ready to inspire the rest of our juniors — or something like that. You get the sentiment; it’s not everyday you graduate high school and get hailed for that — employers these days are asking for at least a degree, I hear. Note that no offense is meant to any party out there who might be offended, I’m just stating the news.
Update: this might also be the day I go ice-skating with some hopefully lifelong friends (some attending the same ceremony!) at Sunway Pyramid. No promises made, but plans are being construed. If it happens, there Will Be An Entry, but if not, you’ll hear about it.
And that’s it, for now. (breathes a sigh of relief) I’m sure you all must be tired just hearing about my week. Now imagine living it. Ah well, it’s my life, I’ll live it. Can’t very well go and live yours, can I. So long as there’s no other plans, I’ll surv—
–wait, wait. I am more genre savvy than that, I am not going to fall for that same fate-authored gun on the wall again.
Why do I get the bad feeling that I’m going to end up updating this with a new appointment scheduled in somewhere?
Update: ‘cos I did. See above.
So what do my dear snarkees think about the week that’s been inadvertently planned for me? Thoughts about the distinct benefits an awards ceremony that might be held to encourage other students to imitate their high-achieving peers? Or how about the little bit of self-help inserted in between Monday and Tuesday, in a manner of speaking — how it made you feel, any experiences of broken dreams you’d like (or should I say be willing) to share, or simply telling this dreamer whether it helped you in any way? It takes a lot of work to shut the inner snarker up, so obviously the topic means a lot to me; don’t fear ridicule.Do say something, even if it’s just to say that Dreaming you dolt, shut up, I’ve moved on already. As for those aspiring high achievers who want to know the latest study tips, interview experiences, etc, look around this blog and especially this entry for the rest of the helpful (blog-promoting?) links or failing that, you can contact me through the various social media and/or email links I’ve left lying around.
Uh-oh, my phone is ringing.. I only ever get important appointments scheduled that way, or through email. Excuse me — and don’t forget to comment!–while I see what’s cropped up now…