I’m finally in college!! I wanted to write a longer post, but the wifi connection is really not that strong here. I miss writing!!! Will write more when I’m at home. XX
With faith, I trust in fate.
[Sincerely hoping my parents will never read this post]
I still remember the night I wrote my previous post. After a long crying session in the shower, I poured my heart’s contents into my blog and proceeded to book bus tickets and hotel rooms to escape from reality, without waiting for my parents’ consent.
The day before, I received an offer to go to an interview at UTP, Perak (About 3-4 hours away from home). I was having mixed feelings about it, since I wanted to pursue a career in Science, but the only courses they offered were Arts. It was quite odd actually, as the program is only offered to 20 people from the top 100 students in Malaysia, yet they only offer Arts subjects. I actually decided not to go, and told my mum it would be a waste of time and energy as it was too far and had nothing to do with my ambition. A hasty decision and a mind clouded with emotions was all it took to change that.
In my previous post, I told everyone that I wanted to run, I needed to run. I actually did that. I don’t even know how, but I managed to convince my parents to let me travel there with my friends instead of them sending me with their car. I did not necessarily lie..but let’s just say I bent the truth a little bit. With my parents thinking I was going with 2 or 3 friends, I rode on the express bus… alone.
I do not know where I got the courage from. I was crying for the first few minutes, but when I looked out the window and realised that I am actually travelling alone for the first time in my 18 years of existence (even though it was just to another state) , I felt brave and independent. I felt like I could take on the world. Well… until I was stranded at a bus stop by the road for 20 minutes. Would you believe how hard it was to find an Uber driver in the middle of that small city in Perak? In the end I just called the hotel and they gave me a number for the taxi. After arriving and checking in safely in the hotel, I laid on the queen sized bed and smiled to myself. Travelling all the way here was not such a bad idea after all.
3 days and 2 nights all alone in Perak made me a changed person. I enjoyed the sceneries, the graffiti on the walls of old buildings. had meals on my own, discovered the small shopping complex about 10 minutes walk from the hotel and even watched a movie alone! I have to admit that I felt lonely at times, but in general, it felt great to just spend time with myself and not worry about how others think of me, not worry about things that were happening at home and just do the things I wanted to do without having to consider other people’s preferences or opinions. It was liberating, to say the least.
The next day, I went for the interview. Even though I was not that excited for the interview, I did felt some sort of drive to do my best as this was probably my last chance for a scholarship anyways, and it was not easy to get in the top 100 in the country. I did the cot until the last minutes, checked my answers twice and tried to show the best side of myself during the interview. I met some awesome people as well, who were also more interested to take up Science than Arts but came just for the sake of it.
Today, I do not know how to feel when I received this;
Felt bizarre to think that I almost decided not to even go to the interview, but because of a small twist in fate, and the urge to run away from my problems, now I am among the 20 people in the whole Malaysia to receive this offer to study in any top universities in UK or US.
My parents are overjoyed, I was happy and grateful too but now when the feeling has sank in, all these questions arose. What if they won’t allow me to take veterinary medicine? Would I be forced to reject this offer? Would I be stupid if I did just to pursue the course I wanted?
Hmmm. Fate, do your job. I have utmost faith in you.
So… this happened.
I can’t believe it has already been 6 days since this happened. Please excuse my procrastination habits, but here’s my update on what happened last week.
For those who are not living in Malaysia, you might not know what SPM is. To summarise, SPM is a national exam that is sat by Form 5 students nationwide that is said to determine one’s future. For Malaysians, SPM is like the highlight of the senior year as it happens right at the end of the year. Needless to say, our Asian parents go to extreme lengths to ensure that we get outstanding results.
We had to wait 3 months for the actual results to be announced, which was on the 3rd March 2016. After long weeks of boring and idle days, the date has finally arrived.
A day before the results were announced, I was a nervous wreck. Those who are following me on Instagram and Snapchat would have witnessed my anxiety outbreak and excessive selfies due to nervousness. To be honest, the moment I completed answering my Biology paper (which was the last paper) I have already left everything in the hands of God. The questions were definitely challenging, especially with the High Order Thinking Skills (HOTS or KBAT in Malay) questions which wrecked my brain.
I kept telling myself that I would accept and be grateful for whatever result I will get but on the day before, you just can’t help but imagine the worst-case scenarios. About a week before result day, my dad had a dream and he told me I was going to get something REALLY good which scared me even more because now everyone has their hopes up and what if I messed up and disappointed everyone. I can handle self-disappointment but I really cannot face with the disappointments of other people. In short, I was a bundle of nerves, so I tried calming myself down by listening to recitations of Al-Quran (which was very hypocritical of me but it was the only thing that worked). Honestly, when things get rough the only person I truly believe I can turn to is nobody else but Allah. Every single time. So I did, lost in my nervousness I started to think of all my sins and how undeserving of me to get excellent results. Fortunately, by night time I was already too worn out to be even more nervous.
The morning of results day, I woke up feeling positive and calm. I keep telling everyone “aku redha je weh, apa apa yang aku dapat pun”. So I walked with Jun to school (which was just across the road) at about 8.30 am. Poor Jun, she was visibly more nervous than me. We went to the Surau and recited Yassin together, it was lovely to meet everyone after 3 months. Then, we headed to the hall. The day before, there were so many rumours about the TV3 coming and etc and it was true. There were reporters and photographers outside the hall, which did NOT help calm our nerves at all. In the hall, some of my friends have already checked their results through SMS and were celebrating among themselves, which made me feel like there are grasshoppers jumping around in my stomach.
*wow this post took me a long time to finish :’)*
So, we were all waiting for the ceremony to start, when a junior called me and said that Ibu wanted to meet me at the back of the hall. When I came to meet her, there was Ms.Zai, Ibu, Cikgu Halimatus and a reporter from TV3. They told me that I was going to get interviewed and I was soo confused as I have not even gotten my results yet. Then, Ms.Zai sent me out to call Zati and Diba as well, which sort of raised my hopes up as we were told earlier that only 5 people got 9A+ (which just made me even more convinced that I was not going to get it).
Izzatul was interviewed as well, so I just decided to go ahead and ask Cikgu Halimatus if I got 9A+ and when she said yes, I was just, speechless. I did not know how to feel, it all happened so fast. So when I got interviewed by TV3, they told me to pretend I already got my results and to “look happy” (lol) and asked me a few questions about my plans for the future and etc. To be honest, I really hate when people ask me my plans for the future. I don’t know, I just feel like it’s a very personal thing and it was the last thing that I would want to announce to the whole country -_- , but I had to because, OMG TV3 KOTT lol.
After finishing the interview, I went back to my seat where Amani asked me what was it about ( we were looking at the photos from her Europe tour when Ibu called me) and I just shrugged. Then, the ceremony has started where the straight As’ achievers will be announced and presented their result slip on stage. My name was the second last to be announced for the 9A+ category and although I already knew my results, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed as my mum was looking at me with a shocked plus surprised plus proud expression and I could not help tearing up when she hugged me before we went onstage.
There were seriously so many reporters at the hall and I felt that they took forever to take our pictures. It was kind of awkward as well as our batchmates were still sitting down there waiting for their results to be announced. As soon as we got off the stage, we were practically stripped away from our parents and dragged to the side of the hall for more interviews and photos. It took forever, and we had to pose in so many angles (only for one small picture to come out in the newspaper *rolls eyes*). By the time we have finished our “photoshoot session” they have already finished announcing the straight As’ achievers, which made me quite sad as I didn’t get the chance to clap and cheer along for my friends. 😦 I was so sweaty and dizzy by then and my smile was already looking visibly forced for the group photo session,haha.
My mum got her few seconds of fame as well, when she was interviewed by the TV3 afterwards- which she totally deserved after raising me up for 18 years. When it all ended, I met the teachers at the Staff Room to thank them and headed straight home. I prayed Zuhur prayer, replied to some people on Whatsapp and Twitter and slept for 3 hours straight. I guess that was the aftermath of baking Cinnamon Rolls until 3am the night before, and being nervous and jittery was exhausting as well, no lie.
We didn’t throw a bombastic party to celebrate, my mum just bought some satay for all of us to eat together, and it felt nice and warm to know that all my family members are proud of me 🙂
One thing that surely stunned me was when my father kissed me on the forehead, which he NEVER did before okay. My father is a man who rarely shows his affection- I don’t even remember when was the last time he hugged me- so when he did that I know that I have truly made him proud and nothing can describe how happy I was.
A lot of people asked for my tips on how I managed to get 9A+. My answer is, I honestly do not know. I believe that a lot of my friends deserved this too, they worked really hard and they were very disciplined and focused, way, way more than me. If I were to give you some advice, it would be to get to know yourself. Understand which style of learning suits you best, because not everyone can study the way I did. I opted for the more relaxed way of studying, where I would focus on a subject for about an hour or two and then indulge myself by watching Youtube videos or playing games before continuing with the next subject.
One more thing would be to please, please do not study last minute for SPM. You should start focusing when you are learning the Form 4 syllabus, and I do not mean you just have to spend all year studying, never. I myself was frequently going out of school for competitions, events and more during Form 4 and Form 5. The most important thing is to understand each lesson and identify the topics that you are weak in. You should have stable grades by the beginning of Form 5 and constantly consult the teachers for questions that you and your friends have never encountered before, especially with the KBAT questions, it really takes your effort to either read a lot or ask the teachers a lot.
It is also very important to strengthen your bond with Allah. Honestly, my form 5 year was the year that I felt really close to Allah. I was able to wake up for Qiamullail, read the Quran after Maghrib prayers, become the Imamah for Isyak prayers, become the Naqibah for my usrah and refresh my Hafazan especially during Ramadhan. Last year, I had the best Ramadhan ever. I wish to have a better one this year. I am not boasting in any way, and if you think that being close to Allah for the sake of SPM is hypocritical, change your mindset. To me, it is SPM and everything that happened in 2015 (family problems, etc) that brought me back to Him and I am forever grateful for that. Take the opportunity when your heart feels sad and you feel worthless, that is the best time for you to talk to Allah about all your problems, and cry as much as you want on the prayer mat, because that was what I did and believe me, it made me feel so much better and so peaceful I could not even begin to describe it.
Many people have been asking me, “so what did you ask your parents for the SPM present, since you got excellent grades?”- and all I could reply was- nothing. How could I possibly demand a present when they were the reason I achieved this success in the first place? How could I bear to ask for a gift when this success alone was not enough to repay everything that they have done for me? I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. If they want to give me a present, that’s fine- but to ask for one? It would just make me feel bad.
Also, a lot of people have been saying that “lucky you, it must be easy for you to get scholarships now”,”confirm lah ni pergi overseas”. Not at all my dears. Getting 9A+ did not make me feel secure AT ALL. There are thousands of excellent and intelligent students out there that I have to compete against and it is not easy to do so. I will have to step up my game, as my grades promise nothing other than wider opportunites but there is nothing to be over confident about, and there is a long way to go. Nevertheless, I will do my best and see where my future takes me.
Veterinary Medicine is not something that people look highly upon in Malaysia, and I will be having a hard time explaining to the scholarship board why they need to sponsor a veterinary student, but I love challenges, and I am willing to take the risk, rather than to choose a safe route but end up studying something that I have absolutely no interest in. Some teachers and friends have questioned me on why I would want to choose a course that is not common in Malaysia, but I don’t see the problem. In fact, it is even better as I would be able to acquire a job with less competition in Malaysia. If I fail to get scholarships, it will be fine, there is always another way and I have absolutely no problem with studying locally. When you think that you have exhausted all possibilites, remember this; you haven’t.
The first step to success is understanding and believing in yourself. There is a long way to
go before I become that successful person I dream to be- but I will enjoy myself along the journey till I die, and live with no regrets.
Lastly, just be grateful with everything you are given, and say Alhamdulillah always, as He is the greatest planner.
ps// I always wanted to be it the news and the newspaper!! Dream come true indeed!!
pss// I never could have done this without Arista, love you guys ❤
I have been procrastinating again. My birthday was like a week ago and I just could not bring myself to type about it even though I have always reminded myself somewhere in the back of my mind to update this blog. I swear, if this goes on this blog will end up deserted just like my previous blogs.
However, I will try to resuscitate this dying blog with my musings on everyday life as frequently as possible to fulfill my dreams of documenting my life events, however impossible that might sound. So here we go.
My 18th birthday was amazing. Well, compared to my previous birthdays. To be honest, I never thought of birthdays as anything important or worth remembering. Sure, it was the anniversary of our first day on planet Earth but what else? I have always wondered why would people go out of their way to throw a grand party and receive tons of presents on their birthday. What did we actually do to deserve it? I know for one thing all I did for the past 18 years was lived. Survived. Moved forward from anything that has happened in the past and embraced the unknown future with a stone face and mixed emotions.
Maybe that was why I had trouble remembering other people’s birthdays. Well actually I had trouble remembering a few other important dates as well, but that’s another story.
Sure I was excited as a little kid to get warm wishes and presents but as I grew up I just felt, meh. My birthdays were never special anyways. In fact, my birthdays were some of the days that I would feel really lonely and hopeless as I tend to compare how others celebrate their birthdays and how my “special” day pales in comparison to theirs.
I used to get jealous when other people would get surprises, parties thrown and receive awesome gifts from both parents and friends. I got annoyed to the point that I told myself, that I wouldn’t want it anyways, and somehow I managed to convince myself not to expect anything extra special on that day.
This year, after a bit of thinking I concluded that birthdays are not supposed to be about us. All we did was live, and living is not exactly a difficult task to do you know? I traced back the years that has flown by and realized that I have so many things to be thankful of.
First of, my mother. 18 years ago, on this exact same date, my mother has battled with life and death to bring me to this world. She carried me with her everywhere she went for 9 months and kept on doing so for God knows how long until I found my own feet. Truly, that is something worth remembering and should be appreciated for as long as she lives. Not to mention the tantrums she had to go through when I was a whiny little toddler, the headaches she had to endure to answer my bizarre questions when I was in kindergarten, the years she spent going back and forth to school to pick me up, and the patience she had in facing a hormonal teenager who would not even move a limb to help around at home with excuses of being “too tired” of her activities at boarding school. Yep, my mother definitely deserves an award for actually putting up with me for 18 whole years, longer that anyone in my life.Honestly, I am quite relieved as I will be less dependent on her now that I am starting to turn into an adult, I hope she gets the rest she well deserves.
My family. I would not describe myself as a family person, but I truly cherish all the times that we spent together. When I first entered boarding school, my family was the one thing that I always thought I had lost due to not seeing them for a long while. This year however, I realized that no matter how far, or how long we are apart from each other, when we get together we are still a family and nothing can ever change that. My father, my brothers, nephews, and niece are all that I could not bear to lose. Even though I rarely get to see their faces, knowing they are healthy and happy is more than enough for me. Moreover, my brother is flying abroad to japan this year, thus, there will be less people to go home to. 😦
My friends. They truly know how to make one feel special on their birthday. I received warm wishes from many, prayers for a sweet life, and thoughtful gifts and birthday cards from them. I even got a surprise visit on my birthday (which failed miserably because I was not home! :p) Honestly, I felt really guilty as I almost never buy presents for my friends as there are too many of them and if I were to buy them all gifts, I am too broke and if I was to buy one of them a gift the others would be jealous, and so I ended up buying none in the end. I have always been a paranoid person. I always worry that my friends do not actually like to be friends with me, and they are just nice to me cause I look pathetic or something? This is when birthdays become a real eye opener. When I see friends who genuinely care and bought me presents and whatnot, I feel really warm and for once, I actually believed that I am not alone to face this challenging world. It is truly a great feeling.
Lastly, my favourite thing about this year’s birthday was that, I experienced a lot of new things. On my birthday, I went ice skating for the second time in my life. I got so many bruises and cuts all over my knee and legs for falling down numerous times, but I felt very accomplished and proud of myself for not giving up until I am finally able to skate properly. The next day, I went to play at the amusement park with my batchmates which was an amazing memory as well, not to mention having to take the bus, and the train for almost 2 hours to reach home. Chalengging, but I definitely learnt something useful. The consequent day, me and my friends went to volunteer at the national Zoo., which was an eye-opening and valuable experience as well. All in all, this year’s 3 -day-birthday-celebration definitely gave me a lifetime worth of memories.
To sum it all up, I was really happy this week, not because it waas my birthday. I was just content to be able to spend my special day with people I love and cherish.Now I truly believe that birthdays are the time to be grateful, thankful and appreiate every single person that has been, still in, and will be in my life until forever as each and every one of them shaped me to be who I am today.
Attached below are some short videos of our outings 🙂
I remember back then when I was still a child, my mum and dad used to pay me to give them a massage. Two pairs of legs, for RM 1 and an extra RM 1 for me to climb on my dad’s back and give him a back massage using my little feet. I used to anticipate the weekend nights as I would receive my income, which I will put straight in my piggy bank.
Time has passed and a lot has changed. When I entered a boarding school, I barely spend the weekend nights with my family, not to mention being a teenager, hanging out with my parents on a weekend night was not exactly on the top of my to-do list. The last time I gave my parents a massage was probably 6 to 7 years ago, during my pre-teens and I just lost the purpose to do it anymore since I got my monthly income anyway.
My mother is turning 55 this year, and she has been experiencing pains all over her body. It struck me tonight how tired she must be, driving around running errands, managing the household and cooking meals for us ungrateful children. Hence, I offered to give her a massage. There was a lot of things that I reflected on while I was massaging my mother. Her nightgown had holes around the collars and I realised that she has been wearing the same old nightgown for as long as I could remember!
She is not a stingy person, she would buy me clothes once in a while when I said that I needed new clothes but she barely buys things for herself. Every year during Hari Raya, everyone would buy new clothes to wear but she has absolutely no problems wearing the same ones that she did last year. She only buys handbags when she is absolutely sure that her old handbag cannot be used anymore and as far as I know, she only has 2 handbags currently, which is way less than most women I know of own nowadays!
Then, I reflected on what I have been doing lately. On a long break while waiting for my SPM results, I barely did anything to help. I feel very sorry as I tried to put myself in her shoes and imagine how tired she must be. Even myself, a healthy 18-year-old can get worn out easily doing the simplest of tasks, then how must my 55-year-old mother must have felt all this while? Needless to say, I am very guilty.
I will take a mental note to try and help around more in the house, for even the simplest things can make her day a whole lot better.
I should give her more massages too! 🙂