Saturday, 21 January 2012

The Smallest of Variables

Recently, I received the results my national examinations (O LEVELS, JYEAHHH). Interestingly enough, days, hours and even minutes before the moment my certificate was passed to me, I was completely relaxed. "What's done is done, no use crying over spilt milk" these were the words I kept telling myself over and over again. But when D-Moment arrived, that mantra was put to the test. As I saw my classmates cheering in ecstasy due to their good results, the fear began to creep over silently. When I walked up to my form teacher to receive my certificate, he looked right in the eyes and asked me "What were you aiming for exactly?"
At that point in time I was ready to snatch that certificate from him but I managed a weak reply, "Under 10, Sir." His face darkened immediately and that's when I knew, that was not what I achieved. When he passed me that fated piece of paper and I looked at my results, my world came crashing down. I won't mention my results here, but let's just say there were some extreme results on opposite poles and overall, my performance was below my school's average by 0.2 points. I quickly thanked my teacher and, while evading all forms of questions from parents, teachers and students alike, escaped to my old classroom to reflect on my results. Now, though not meaning to show off, I have always been touted by many people in the school as "the all-rounded guy". Be it sports, academics, student leadership and the arts I would always give it my all and stand out amongst my peers. I had many friends in my school and was allegedly "looked up to as a role model" by many. But my results simply didn't reflect that. As I sat in the empty classroom, I called my mother to seek solace. When I told her about my results, she proceeded to identify my faults. Here they are:

1. In my final year, I willingly involved myself in multiple major school events despite O Levels looming around the corner. A normal Secondary 4 student (Year 10 in Indo) would have settled down and began their O Levels(which began on October 24 2011) preparations by April. I on the other hand, due to my multiple commitments, only began preparations in August, round 2 months before my exams to cram in 4 years of education. Impossible? No. But very, very, very difficult. This also left me less settled/"in da zone" than most to face O Levels.

2. I, admittedly, underestimated O Levels. My school's standard is higher than the national average and this "comfort zone" so to speak rubs off on the students (myself included) such that we think O Levels isn't as hard as the adults tell us. This kind of mentality stunts our performance and can cause us to panic when we come across difficult questions in the papers (fortunately, this didn't happen to me but it did to many of my friends). This also caused me to scoff at the moderation system of O Levels (those interested to know more ‘bout this, contact me or Google it) and caused me to think I'm safe, always.

3. A few days before O Levels, I had a really bad argument with my father. We never had a spectacular relationship and I tend to defy or argue with him more than I do with my mother. This argument lasted throughout the exams and the emotional "baggage" that came with it subconsciously took a toll on my mind, heart and soul. This in turn made me unfocused from the main objective.

So, after this looong lecture, the guilt and sadness silently poured out from me. Hahahaha, it was also the first time I cried since August 2010 (AYC secret is out D:) Because of these minor things, I failed to achieve my main goal. The important thing from this long-ass fable that I wish for any reader to take away is that you must not ignore the small things in your great gigantic plan.  A variable, no matter how small, is still a variable. Screw one too many, the others will not be as strong (THEY WILL NOT COME TUMBLING DOWN INSTANTLY, SO IT'S OKAY TO MAKE ONE OR TWO). It's also vital that you enjoy the small things in life so as to value it thoroughly, a similar (but not congruent :D) concept to the one above. And all in all, when shit happens in life, take a step back to analyze what went wrong so as to learn and move on without guilt :)
What happened afterwards... I'll tell you guys another time. Before February, promise! But until then, farewell! J

-Ezra Taliv Mo [Singapore]

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