The O-Levels results for those who sat for the examinations in 2021 are coming out tomorrow. After months of nail biting and anxiety, the results will undoubtedly bring much relief to those who just want to get the waiting over with.
For many, it’ll be a joyful occasion. The fruits of their long and hard labour. The culmination of 10 years of schooling.
For a few, it’s going to be one of the worst days of their lives.
These will be the students who’ve done poorly, or with results that are under their expectations. As somebody who did badly in their O-Levels (only 4 passes!), I can relate to them very well.
It’s for these kids that I write this post so I hope that it’ll help so listen up.
There’s going to be a lot of conflict in your future. More than likely, your parents are gonna blow up. Mine did. They’re going to be disappointed in you, they’re going to be really angry.
Worse, you’re going to be disappointed in yourself. You’re going to think it’s all been for nothing. Hell, you might even have suicidal thoughts.
I’m here to tell you that it gets better.
It’s going to take a lot of willpower to get through the next few days, weeks and months but you can make it through. Your parents will cool down. Your world isn’t ending.
If you think you’re going to need help to get through this difficult period, don’t be afraid to reach out. If you’re too embarrassed to do it with your friends and family, reach out to these organizations.
It’s weird but sometimes talking to strangers is much easier than to people who know you. What’s important is that you reach out for help if you need it. Don’t bottle up and try to shoulder everything on your own.
Once you’re thinking straight again, it’s time to pick a course of action.
There are a ton of options for you, no matter if you have crappy results.
You can apply for ITE, study hard and then hop on over to a Polytechnic.
Alternatively, you could retake the O-Levels, and redoing them later this year for failed subjects. You’re allowed to combine results from two sittings of the examinations, so you can use the extra time to really buck up on what got you the first go.
This is what I did.
I failed my Maths and Combined Sciences (Physics and Chemistry) so I got a private tutor for those subjects and studied nothing but them throughout the year, right up until I retook the examinations again.
You can also work to support yourself during this time, though I really don’t advise it if you can. It’s much better to devote your time to your studies, there’ll be more than enough time for work later on.
Or, for the guys at least, you can enlist earlier for National Service. As long as you’re 16 and a half, you can volunteer to do your National Service early. That’s actually a good thing, especially if you’re lacking funds.
Do your NS, save your cash and then retake your O-levels once you’ve finished your duty to the nation. There’s no immediate need to retake your O-levels and the break from studying could do you good.
There are even other options if you have the cash. You could always study overseas or take a private diploma! The fact of the matter is, your institute of education doesn’t define you. Infamous racist Beow Tan was from Hwa Chong…yet still turned out screwed up.
Moral of the story is this…failing the O-Levels isn’t the end of the world, even if it initially feels like it. Everybody stumbles now and again, it builds character.
What matters is that you learn the lesson for the fall, pick yourself back up and move on wiser.