I am obscenely excited about the new plugin I got for my website.
And if you’ve ever seen a little pink chat box at the corner of this page,
YES that’s the exciting little thing I’m talking about!
For those who haven’t seen it before, don’t worry because that thing only pops up when I’m online.
I have always wanted to talk to people who read my blog.
Afterall, this place is somewhat like a virtual home to me and I’d wanna know the visitors to my home better.
And what the hell! I actually met one of my best friends Rossie through my blog couple years ago!
And also because I know how most people are a little reluctant to leave comments,
I thought a chat box would be a great idea!
I tried it out and spoke to a few of the readers and I’m loving the chat box more and more. 🙂
Well, the conversations somewhat sparked off an urge to share a little more about my days in NTU.
Quite a number of the readers I spoke to are currently doing their final years in their respective schools.
Some are loving what they are doing, a lot are dreading coming out to the society to work,
and quite a handful told me they are worried about being retained in school because they didn’t perform up to standard.
It was really painful to hear such things coming from these girls because they reminded me of my school days.
So this post, is for all of you out there feeling lost, helpless and jaded about school.
Warning: This post might be a little boring for some of you.
I was not the best student around.
I was always late for lectures, always seated at the back in tutorial classes,
always scribbling away in class trying to copy tutorial solutions because I don’t do my work.
Despite dating a First Class Honours, Dean’s List, A-grade student back during my school days,
I refused to sit down and study.
If I don’t remember wrongly, I didn’t even bothered to try.
University life was colourful and fanciful for me.
It wasn’t the school activities that kept me busy though.
I was very engaged in outside-school stuff like modelling and what not.
Partying on Fridays, Saturdays and sometimes Wednesdays, I was always half asleep in class
(if I even went to school) on Thursdays.
School was all the way in Boon Lay and I stayed in Yishun so the distance to school put me off.
So most of the time, people won’t even see me appearing in campus.
Time flies when you least noticed.
And with a blink of an eye, I was at my 4th year in school, struggling with school work.
Back then, I wasn’t really close to the people in school.
There were friends in my course but we weren’t really study mates
because I was already failing and the classes we took were all different.
They were all taking Year 4 subjects and I was still taking Year 1, 2, 3 subjects.
And as a result, I failed the final exams and was made to stay back in school to finish up the rest of the modules.
It was such a painful experience seeing all my friends graduate without me.
If I could turn back time, I would definitely study harder than I did before.
The problem about me not having friends in school became more evident.
The travelling distance from home to school felt further and further.
And because of all the media exposure at that period of time,
I sometimes invite weird stares in school.
And because of that, I would always subconsciously feel that everyone is laughing at me because I failed.
“Maybe they are staring because they know I retained”
That thought ran through my mind all the time I walked into a canteen alone.
I eat lunches alone.
I camp out in the library alone during exam periods to do my last minute revisions.
I go to the printing rooms to print notes alone.
School was pretty much an ‘alone’ affair for me.
So even till now, whenever someone tell me about how vibrant university life is,
I can never understand.
All that continued for another 2 years and I spent a total of 6 years in NTU.
I think not a lot of people knew but I actually failed my internship once and was expelled of NTU halfway through my 5th year.
For my FYP (Final Year Report), I submitted a 2-pages essay for my interim report
because I did’t know an interim report is supposed to be a PROPER REPORT!
I think that’s an outcome of not having friends to tell you how an interim report is supposed to be like,
and not listening in class, and not bothering to find out more information from the school website.
Anyways, I clearly remember that my FYP professor in charge told me not to be the “first person he fail FYP for”.
That was how bad it was.
A friend of mine actually photoshopped my face onto Will Smith’s “I Am Legend” movie
because who on earth fails internship and give a 2 page essay for a FYP interim report man!
He photoshopped Maliboo’s face onto Will Smith’s dog in that poster somemore.
I think I have never ever shown my degree audit on my website before.
In fact, it is one of the few things in my life that I’m actually quite ashamed of.
But I really think it’s not because I’m stupid, but because of my laziness and reluctance to even try.
So here it is (the Year 1 subjects are shown at the bottom of the table so read table upwards):
I think this is about the worst degree audit many of you have ever seen.
But my point here is not to compare who is smarter and who failed more modules.
My point here is, that I actually graduated after all that bullshit in the 6 years in university.
If I can do it with that kind amount of failing and retaking modules,
anyone out there who is worrying about your school work will definitely be able to do it (with less failing) too!
The thing is, if you are already worried about your school work,
that fear of failing will surely drive you to start doing some work.
For me, the wake up call came a little too late at my 5.5th year in school.
I was on academic probation back then and still didn’t do well.
So the following semester, I was declined admission into school.
IMAGINE. 5 and a half years in university and I had to leave without a degree.
I was devastated.
I was just looking at my Appeal Letter few days ago actually, just thought I’ll share it here today too.
“My name is Peggy Chang, and I have been studying in NTU for the past 5.5 years.
Unfortunately in the most recent examinations, I didn’t perform up to expectations and was declined re-admission to my course.
Throughout my stay in the school, I was often affected and distracted by many other factors
like outside-school commitments, work and family problems.
Thus, I have been neglecting schoolwork and had only been putting-in minimal effort in my studies.
Since my first year in university, I have been working part time to help support the home.
My father is a public bus driver and my mother is a sales assistant,
and therefore I wanted to do my part to help lighten their financial load by supporting myself and contributing to the family.
I was heavily involved in taking tuition assignments and also did professional modeling to earn a living.
Due to the nature of the work, there were many times when I had to miss certain days of school.
I am writing this appeal letter with a heavy heart now because I really wish to continue my course in NTU.
I know that I have had very bad grades for the previous semesters, often unmotivated to work hard.
Yet when I imagine myself leaving NTU after 5.5 years, without even a degree,
I feel remorseful and hate myself for not trying harder in the past.
I now realise that I really want to graduate with my degree very badly.
Only then will I be able to support my family, and give my parents a peace of mind.
This expulsion really serves as a wake-up call for me.”
That was an excerpt from my Appeal Letter.
Fortunately, I was given a second chance with that remorse-filled letter and my mentor AP Lim in school.
That last semester was a scary one for me because I know that if I still don’t make it,
I will end up with just a shitty A Levels qualification.
And will also be in debt for all those tuition fees I spent over the 6 years.
Fortunately, I made it and graduated.
I think it was the best day of my school life.
So if you are feeling alone in school, or if you are feeling miserable because you cannot graduate with your mates,
please don’t give up.
Fact is, you are not alone at all.
Giving up is as good as allowing yourself to fail even more, and getting retained for a longer period of time.
Make things happen – get into the school’s peer tutor system, talk to people in lectures, make someone your study buddy!
Or if you’re like me, friend-less in school, make friends with the professors!
I remember I had a really caring and helpful professor in school back then.
There was one time when I sat in his office and chatted with him about my situation until I cried.
And he would tell me stories about other students who were in NTU for 7 years.
And how he didn’t want me to be one of them.
He made me update him every week about my school work in that fateful last semester.
And he even offered to give me extra tuition if I had problems with my work.
This was the email I wrote to him after I graduated.
And just few days ago, he emailed me again.
It sent all the memories in school coming back to me.
Everyone in school and at home were very helpful and supportive.
Back in NTU, you need to bid for your subjects at the start of every semester.
It’s like a fastest fingers win kind of thing where students need to fight for slots at tutorials.
Towards the end of the 6 years, I no longer had to fight for those slots
because they would help give me the slots to try to fit all my modules into the very tight timetable.
The Violet I mentioned in the email works in the admin office in my school and she was a great help when I was still there.
Sorry I digressed.
What I want to say is, classmates are an important part of school but don’t ignore the fact
that it’s important to have a good relationship with your professors too.
To all readers who are going to graduate soon, don’t give up and try your best.
Even if it’s not for yourself, put in your best effort for your parents, for your boyfriend,
for your girlfriend, for your teacher, for your future, and for your precious time.
Graduation is just a tiny tiny obstacle you need to get past in life.
I would also like to take the chance to thank Associate Professor Lim Siow Yong from NTU School of Civil Engineering.
I think you played a huge part in my graduation and thank you so very much, Prof Lim.
And because you painstakingly read the post all the way until here, I thought I’ll just put in a few pictures I took today. Heh!
A made me a yummy brunch today with her fabulous culinary skills!
Check out the yummiest Aglio Olio in Singapore!
It was as good as (if not better) it looks! *grins*
And because A has been trying to teach me how to swim in vain lately, we went swimming too.
Check out the girlfriend’s badass tattoo. Hahaha.
I feel so embarrassed to be swimming with a swim board!
I took swimming lessons for a year when I was 9 but still don’t know how to swim.
A lot of people attempted to teach me how to swim but all of them failed.
Well, I still can’t swim now.
All I can do is just to hold on to the board and kick around.
Beats sitting at home and getting fat, at least I get to work those legs a bit. Haha!
I’m so happy that my skin has improved so much since I last checked.
This afternoon, I saw a picture of myself taken about one year plus ago and I was appalled (by my own face).
Maybe I can share a little more on my next post because this post is seriously getting a little too long.
I shall sign off here!
See you at the next entry. 🙂