Its been a long time since im posting here about personal thoughts and feelings.
I'm not one who is good with words or expressing myself coherently but still i'll try, because i know cooping everything inside isn't the way to go.
It'll only be a matter of time before it builds up to the extent where your mind, body, everything, just can't take it anymore.
This year, has been undoubtedly the most tumultuous year in my life so far, and i know im still young and there will be even tougher things to face in the future, but lets just take it one at a time yes?
The place my life has been revolving around lately, as much as i try not to let it engulf me.
With less than a hundred days to As, so many things have changed.
People have changed.
Everyone is so driven and working so very hard towards getting their straight As.
The fear of failure and pressure is undoubtedly kicking in, overwhelming some more than the others.
In a short span of a few months, i have seen some of my closest friends buckle under the stress.
Depression, mental breakdowns, choosing studies over health, these are just the tip of the iceberg.
And i feel so helpless because i really don't know how to help them, or what really will.
Encouraging messages on social media, the insanely rare meetup(s) in an attempt to let them know that we're here for them, letting them confide via whatsapp (simply cos no one has the time to meet up now..) or asking them "are you okay now?" when we brush past each other in a flurry as we go for another lesson.
Its superficial i know, but what else can i do when time is not on my side? I really really do not know.
Every country, first world or third world has their own problems, and i'm not going to attempt to compare the severity of each simply because i'm not in the position to do so and the complexities are beyond me.
While the children in Gaza are fearing for their lives everyday with the constant war, here i am, seeing my good friend go in and out of the hospital to battle her psychological turmoils, and sending another into the ambulance halfway through lesson, for a reason i shall not disclose but shall simply say is stress/school/studies related, indirectly or not.
I am extremely exasperated, worried, and pissed off with all that is happening, but at the end of it when i try to find a scapegoat to blame all of this on, i find none.
Whose fault is this?
The school and teachers? For piling revision packages the height of a mountain? They're just doing their job no? It is a fact that they will be accountable too if our results don't make the cut.
The government? For implementing the education system in such a way that academic rigour and success is more or less essential to survive in our country? Yet does this not reflect many other countries as well? And the fact that we must stay highly competitive in our world today, for our own sake.
Society? For the social stigma and less than sufficient acceptance of failure? Such mindsets, were crafted by you and me, contributed and slowly built up by the other members of society till it eventually cemented, is it not?
Or the victims? For not being like the others who are still coping well, for not being able to take the stress, for not being able to control their inner anxieties? Obviously not.
So at the end of it, while i know some of the above points are debatable, i still had no answer.
While school has been so enjoyable the first few months as my class was a rare one who clicked so well together, im beginning to wonder if this has changed, or is it just me.
These few weeks as we're really counting down to the last lap before prelims, people started disappearing from lectures they deem as inefficient and useless, and started skipping lessons like PE where there is no academic value.
I was seriously seriously heartbroken and disheartened, disappointed in some close friends more than the others.
I can't help feeling this way, but i know i can't blame them for it in a society like ours driven by pragmatism.
I'd only say i will not regret my choice of going for such "useless" lessons after we graduate and As finally come to an end.
Its basic respect for the lecturer to turn up, and some teachers have already said if the content they're covering is not something thats best suited for you at the moment, then by all means do your own things, after all you're the only who knows what is most beneficial to yourself at this point, fair enough no?
And years down the road when i look back at the last PE lesson in JC life, i know i'll only have a huge smile on my face. Tennis may be one of my most hated sports and i got hit in the eye by a tennis ball just a few weeks ago but hey, im not giving up on the chance to spend my last PE lesson in the past 12 years with my dearest classmates i hold so dearly to my heart.
School aside, the last weekend i went back to malaysia to visit my relatives (my dad is malaysian).
I was just flipping through my passport casually and saw the last date of entry was in April.
It was a sudden realization that as i was so caught up in studies and whatnot, i have neglected my family, and for that i am extremely regretful and disappointed with myself.
Back in the primary school days i used to go back to malaysia every one or two weeks to spend time with my grandparents.
In secondary school it was 3 weeks to a month, and now? 3 whole months.
I can count the number of times i visit them now using my fingers, when in the past it was countless.
These few years our visits have been restricted to entering in the late afternoon, having dinner with them and coming back to singapore, where in the past it was spending quality time as we stayed overnight.
This visit, i was expecting it to be a quick one in and out as well, as i had my revision schedule planned out and things to complete. But when my dad said it was going to be an overnight stay instead, i was upset for awhile knowing that my plans weren't going to be fulfilled.
But i felt so bad after that. What have i become, what has education done to me that i had prioritized studies over my family, even just for that instant?
I hated myself at that instant, it was unforgivable.
I'm very close to my grandaunt and granduncle and we have a very special relationship as they're the ones who actually raised me till i was about 2. I stayed the night with them this time, and as they dropped me off at my grandma's hse so i could head back to s'pore, my grandaunt said sadly "It has been so long since you last came back, 3 months i remember clearly, will it be another 3 months before we get to see you again?"
And at that moment, i broke down and cried. I felt so so bad that as they're getting older and older, i can only spend lesser and lesser time with them and that made me so sad, angry and helpless because i felt like this was beyond my control.
I just can't wait for this hell of As to end so that i can spend more time with them properly.
Its a relief i managed to pen down all these cos i do feel much better now.
I only hope everyone finds the strength within them to carry on till the end, myself included.
Always remember that there's so much more to life than getting your straight As.
And never lose that value that carries you through life, its the only thing that will truly hold you together in times of need.
Till the next.