Thursday, August 18, 2011

Edexcel results day

As a Malaysian college student, a product of our country's constantly-changing education system, I've been for my fair share of results days. My first was at age twelve to collect my UPSR results, and that was pretty nerve-wracking. Next came PMR results day at age fifteen, during which I was a complete and utter mess. In March this year, I collected my SPM results; there was far less drama than usual, even though I hadn't gotten the results I'd wanted/expected. Nevertheless, I was happy and occupied with college, and moved on fairly quickly.

Photo credit: Dhama

I'm accustomed to having years-long intervals between results days, but things were different this year -- today was the Edexcel June/July papers results day...a mere five months after that of SPM's. (Today was also Slap Someone Shorter Than You Day, but everyone at college was too preoccupied with their results to slap me black and blue.)

All rumours that the results would be out by 2.00 p.m. were smothered by Ms. Betsy: "We will only entertain you at nine." (Thanks for the heads up, Yaggy!) Unfortunately, we had a two-hour Math class from 8.00 to 10.00 a.m. Now, I know 'math is a wonderful thing' and all that, but I'd much rather skip it to get my results...which we did when Ms. Er gave us a, uh, 'five-minute break' at 9.00 a.m. (Sorry, Ms. Er!)

Math is a wonderful thing:

Waiting in line is never fun, but it borders on agonising when you're waiting for something important. Everyone's collective nerves made the air shiver and vibrate, turning the tips of my fingers cold; it was a while before I realised that it was I who was shivering and vibrating, not the air. One by one, college mates exited the office, some with tentative smiles, some on the verge of tears, some with unreadable expressions.

I started to think back on how awful the Chem paper was, how I messed up one whole question in C2, how I should've studied harder for pretty much everything... Horrible thoughts plague you when you're anxious like that.

Fret fret fret fret fret.
(From this blog.)

Collecting results itself was a relatively quick and painless process, once my part of the long queue reached the glass doors of the office. I located my name on the list, signed, and took my results slip from this lady who was giving me this major stinkeye. The way she was staring at me, I was so sure I'd done super badly and she was displeased with me for bringing shame to the college name or something. With growing dread in my stomach, I took my slip and hightailed it out of there.

Stupid lady. I'd gotten all As.

What was that for, lady?!

I felt nothing but relief and gratitude. There was no pride, no sense of satisfaction at all. I don't remember what happened directly after it hit me that I hadn't done super badly and hadn't brought shame to the college name after all, but I do remember slumping against the wall and whispering a prayer of thanks. (God is good.) I also remember saying something to Shean Yen and talking to Dom, but I can't for the life of me recall what I said. I was just pretty dazed, I guess. Relieved.

That wasn't the case for one of my friends, though. He'd gotten straight As as well, but really wasn't happy with the marks of one of his papers. The way he looked when we asked him how he did, you'd have thought he'd gotten straight Bs. I guess it's just a reminder about how everything's relative. A 103/120 might make him want to retake the paper, but it could be another candidate's dream mark. Good, bad, okay, straight As, straight Bs -- it's all relative.

It's all in a bell curve.
(From this blog.)

A college mate posted this on Facebook:
Our results might stop us from where WE WANT to go, BUT, it can never stop where GOD WANTS us to go

Just something to keep in mind, I guess.

To everyone who got the results they wanted: Congratulations! Keep doing your thing for the next round(s) of exams!

To everyone who didn't: Things happen for a reason. Pick yourself up and do better next time, because you can. You can do this sheet.

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