Dealing with the Unknown

Promotional exams results will be released this coming Monday. Last year I wrote about Rubics Cube as an analogy of how some of you might have to take detours (meaning retain in JC1) to get to where you want to go ultimately (admission into university). This year again some would be promoted, some would have to take supplementary exams (if any), some superannuated (technical term for not being able to continue JC education) and some asked to withdraw.  Whichever the case, there’s often a fair amount of anxiety right before receiving the results and if you’re promoted then great. Heave a sigh of relief. But what if you’re not promoted? What if you have to retain? Or what if you are asked to leave? Then what do you do?

I’ve found in life that there is nothing too catastrophic that our resilient spirits cannot take. At any one time when we get very bad news we might think that we could not deal with it and that it’s the end of the road for us. But ask any JC1 senior and a large number of them would tell you that the extra year was necessary and helpful to them in getting the grades they want for A’levels. And students who are asked to leave would eventually find something that they can excel and succeed in. JC is not the end all for future happiness in life.

The way we deal with the unknown and unforseeable future, the way we deal with life adversities shape our character and fortitude. And I think if you looked back in your own past, you would find times when you thought the pain and disappointment was unbearable but you pulled through anyway. Habituating ourselves to think positively about ourselves, the people around us, the unknown situations we face help us to keep our sanity. And it’s not about being pollyanna either but really more about explaining bad situations in a non self-destructive way. Check out HPB’s cute little video (above). Be the elephant! =)

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Feng says:

    Joan ah~ Don’t forget those in A levels leh. hahahah

    1. Ms Joan says:

      Haha…didn’t think A’levels people will be checking out the blog but yah…will keep in mind to write something when A’levels results are released next year!!

  2. JY says:

    Hi Joan,

    Happened to click on the link in your sign-off and stumbled upon this post.
    I really wana post a comment even though this post was dated almost a year back. Probably u would ask me WHY??
    Well, reasons being,
    1) I was a YJCian, from 1998-2000,
    2) I failed my “A” Levels and repeated in Yr 2000 and made it to Uni eventually! =)
    3) I tot i wana share this with my fellow YJCian juniors who may be reading this too.

    In fact, I almost failed my promo in Yr 1 but managed to scrape through and went to Yr 2. However, i continued to be lazy, distracted and playful that I ended up getting 2 Fs and 1 E for my “A” Levels in Yr 2000. Man it was like the end of the world then! i cried buckets, my friends (whom I can’t join in Uni) consoled me, and i was actually okay after 30mins of crying~ Haha.. (Which i now call “crying therapy”).
    And I knew I had to bounce back fast, register for my repeat in YJC and buck up for the upcoming “A” levels at the end of the year!!

    Well it was really tough back then, cynical remarks abt “repeats”, insults like “you should know what~ u studied this before” when we can’t answer a chemistry question, and dealing with the feeling of being “2nd-class citizens”.

    We (the repeat-students) therefore form our own peer-support group, to help each other during self-study in the library. We sat in individual cubicles, mugged and ONLY talked when we need help on solving the OMG-so-difficult ten-year series questions! The only break times were water-refilling, toilet-break and lunch break~ (wow i missed the daily dose of Malay food where the auntie would give big chunks of mutton curry, resulting in some bad sore throat the week after! haha.)

    Despite these adversities, we saw positivity and marched on, wanting to achieve our goal to pass the “A” levels. We had a couple of dedicated and supportive teachers who did not gave up on us. I still remember Mr Wong (Yih Chong) who taught Physics and Mrs Lim (Sze Cheng) the Chemistry teacher who were so patient coaching us, and encouraged us as well even when they were not our subject teachers-in-charge. Tears welled up as I am typing, as I remember how i relate my incident of being humiliated, to Mrs Lim and she was there listening and taught me everything i need to learn. I was really touched.
    As Carl W. Buecher once said:
    “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

    I am glad that I’ve made in it 2001, with average results for me to go into NTU, Materials Engineering. The 4 years were tough, but I pulled through and became a Product Engineer for Medical Devices for the past 5.5 years.
    And now…

    I am a School Counsellor trainee in a neighborhood school.
    That was what I wanted to do, alongside the children in their path of seeking knowledge and identity. Guiding them on the values in life, teaching them about resilience and most importantly, letting them know that there is HOPE in life.

    No matter what we do, as long as there is hope and we do not give up on ourselves, we will be good. Whether you become an engineer, an accountant, a lawyer, an actor, a teacher or a counsellor, life can be great if you want it to be.

    I do have classmates from YJC, who failed their A-levels but having their own businesses now. Some who repeated but failed a 2nd time, and pursued a diploma in Polytechnic thereafter. What I saw in them is the perseverance and strength, the “NEVER SAY DIE” attitude that helped them pull through.
    And back then, we had no counsellors to support us! How fortunate are the students nowadays! =)

    Hence, I would like to end off this post with this quote:

    “The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun.” –Napoleon Hill

    1. Joan says:

      Hi there!

      Thanks so much for leaving this comment. I just talked to the teachers this morning on resilience and your comment is so apt as it reminds me of the importance to stay resilience in the face of difficulties. I’m so happy to hear that you’re now a school counsellor in training! Would it be okay if I forward your comments to all my teachers and students?

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