I never really talked about how much I wanted to enter a local University, and by local I meant NUS, NTU or SMU. This post will not be a follow up from the previous UJ post, but will instead, be something I will look back upon and think, thank goodness I wrote down how I felt.
The context is, in such a small city-state like Singapore, it is imperative that one gets a university degree from a local university, which are already mentioned above. It is so conceited of Singaporeans, I’m aware, but it’s the reality here. Private institutions like SIM and Kaplan just aren’t as recognised as the three universities, now six when we include SUSS, SIT and SUTD because they have also become autonomous universities. Okay, calm down for a moment if you are from a Private Education Institution (PEI) and you think I’m saying this to belittle you, because no, I’m not doing that. A year ago, before I matriculated here in NTU, I enrolled in a PEI (SIM-UB) and I still think that’s a decision I will never, ever regret. I did that so that I could have a university to study in like everybody else but what I got out of it was beyond amazing – great friends, a quality education and most of all, any negative notion that I had about PEIs were thoroughly and sincerely obliterated. But this is not what this post is about; I’m writing about my feelings when I received my results. Here goes.
This particular post was written the day I received my results, 4th March. Then I wrote this, and this. As you can see, I was trying to avoid feeling anything. In all honesty I expected myself to get into SMU, my dream school. When I received their rejection email (it was the last rejection email I received), I archived it and tried to pretend that it didn’t happen and I could wait for something that I wanted to see in my inbox. For three whole days, I went out with my friends, ate, talked and laughed like nothing was fazing me and avoided checking my email so I could deny whatever was happening: I had no university offers.
When I settled down to face reality, I did not know what to do. I was at a complete loss. You would not believe the number of times I went to the different universities’ websites to check if I could apply again. I was living in total denial until I realised that it was already June and I had to do something before I had to take a gap year (which I considered, but realised that with expectations and my discipline, must not happen). This feeling is definitely horrible and I told myself countless times that I would not want to feel this way ever again in my life, albeit knowing deep down that someday I might crash harder than this.
I tried not to feel anything. Fear, sadness, anger, I did not want to feel anything at all. After speaking to a friend, I plucked up an enormous amount of courage to apply for SIM-UB and got in, thank goodness. I told myself again and again that it’s alright, it will be alright, and everything will be just fine. But I was fooling no one. At this point, I had to face everyone’s gaze on my reaction to finding out that I was to enter a PEI.
The higher the expectation, the bigger the disappointment.
What a quote to describe me and what I was at that point in time. My ego was crushed beyond belief and I tried to drown myself in dramas and series that I could watch; it was the only way for me to deal with my emotions.
As I told my friends and relatives that I was heading to SIM, I resented myself for not feeling pride in me when I spoke to them. I resented the fact that I was heading there instead of SMU, or NTU. Nothing seemed like it could diminish this feeling so I tried to work and shop alone more so I needed to see less of people I knew who would ask about school-related stuff. Again, using avoidance to deal with problems.
The gist of this post, basically what I wanted to say was, if you are reading this because you are googling “what to do if I have bad results”, “which university courses accept low rank points”, or “do gap years help with university application”, and somehow came across this post on the Internet, don’t be daunted by the very limited options you seem to have. You are probably feeling shitty and maybe you feel like a wreck. You’ve gone through many, many websites, you’re frustrated that they don’t tell you what to do and that makes you mad because you just want a straight up answer, you just want to see one that’s written, to feel acknowledged because you can’t believe you’re the only who feels/have felt this way. But let me tell you this, you will eventually be alright. The only way to handle this situation is calmly. You can tide through anything as long as you believe in yourself. Look at me, I survived this. It took me more than a year to do so, but I’m here now and I’m more contented. Like I said, I would never regret enrolling in SIM, I was so much happier there in comparison to being here in NTU. It’s so difficult to put into words but until now, I have no regrets in choosing NTU over SIM (find out how here).
Ultimately, truths can be so wounding, even more so when trying to handle them with care. I wanted to write this so that I will always remember how painful it was when I received my results, and when I faced rejection after rejection. It was tough but I got through it, chin up. As time passed from the time I received my results, my heart became numb. And writing these UJ posts unfroze my apathetic heart. The next UJ post will take awhile. I don’t think I’m ready to share and neither can I. But nevertheless, let’s face it, regardless of what happens, writing will always be my solace.