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. 🙂
This is a very motivating entry… 😀 Hope to chat with you soon…
mono m – thank you very much girl. Chat with you soon! I’m mostly online at night. 🙂
omg isn’t that the condo at mountbatten? ~.~
Mountbatten – Hahahaha yes. The name of this condo sounds like Macarena. Why? Do you live here? :p
I am graduating this year. And I have always been haunted by two things in my school life: I flunked my stats 101 class twice, so this semester I have to pass, or i will not graduate. And I am so thankful for people around: my new stats prof who is very encouraging and patient even when i did not hand in my assignment, and my faculty manager who helped me with my timetable. I am always embarrassed that i am still doing a mod that was meant for year 1s (again, i am guilty of not hanging out with school mates, i guess deviating from the norm makes classes slightly more challenging) – so none of my friends or school mates actually know that i am struggling.
“If you tell the truth, it becomes a part of your past. If you lie, it becomes a part of your future.” I think i will start being truthful from today onwards.
Thank you for writing this. Cheers! (:
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K – Failing your subjects and feeling apologetic about it is normal and fine I guess. At least you’re feeling bad about it. I’m really happy to hear that your professors and faculty managers are around to help you. I always think that at university level, students tend to ignore their professors more and more. But hey! you’re going to be graduating this year! All the best for your last few months in school and best of luck to your upcoming exams too! 🙂
are we able to see clearer/bigger pics of A’s bad ass tattooS? she has more than 1 and they look awesome.
71N9 – Ahhh. I’ll try to snap a picture next time if I have the chance. Her tattoo goes all the way to one side of her thighs. 😡
oh btw, what app is that to take the four in a row pic? im guessing its pudding camera on iphone? if so, did u just hold it still and snap?
looking forward to the tattoo updates! 😀
71N9 – Yes it’s using the Pudding Cam on iPhone. 🙂 I took those pictures with the cam stationery. You can experiment a bit too! Different effects. 🙂
Will update about the tattoos! :p
I had been seeing you around NTU during those days. Sorry for say but u looked quite stuck-up actually. Especially during that time, you were quite well known to all school, due to all your contest, modelling and stuff. And I thought you had enjoyed your Uni days.
In any case, great to hear that you had move on and been doing well.
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
― Robert Frost
Chance upon – No worries about me looking stuck up. I think I get that many times. Because I really do look quite stuck up and pissy most of the time. I guess I cannot help it when I’m in school. Yes life goes on.
beverly – Will do a post up soon! 🙂
i wanna know the secret of ur flawless skin dear! XD
Thanks for this inspirational post. It really touched my heart and bring tears to my eyes! I definitely will learn from your experience and see how it can apply to my current situation as well. All my classmates are graduating this year and I am still struggling to fight back in order to retain back my place in Uni too. I really hope that I can make it and like you finally graduate with a degree.=)
Congrats for getting the determination back and the spirit to fight back in your life.
Wishing you and A a great blissful journey together. =)
Verlene – I hope you will get your place back in uni too. And after you do, just put your heart and soul into it and I’m sure you’re going to make it. Mind over body! 🙂 I wish you ALL the best here Verlene. 🙂
thanks Babe. You are really an inspiration. Really hope that I can make it. Thanks very much!!! =) looking forward to more great blogpost by you. =)
Verlene – you’re most welcome girl. 🙂
Hey there…I just bumped into your website and I must say that you are one strong girl.. 🙂
I am actually on the verge of failing my FYP and I think I will have to retake it 😥
I just wanna ask you, is it hard to get jobs if you have a failed fyp that shows in your cert…also, how was it like for you?
Vinny – Hello girl, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Well, it’s not the end of the world dear. I’ve heard of people who have failed their FYP before. Though I don’t know them personally, I’m sure they have already graduated and are alright too. It’s not the end of the world!! 😀 Chin up girl. As for me, I didn’t fail my FYP, but I failed my internship though! That’s quite a serious thing if you’re out looking for a job. But all I can say is, it’s just a piece of paper and whether you can get the job pretty much depends on WHO you are – how you carry yourself at the interview, first impressions and how you deal with questions and your communication skills etc. But of course, that said, public sector jobs are more concerned about your qualifications and results, so you might need to be prepared if you go for interviews for govt jobs. You will be fine Vinny! JIAYOU!
Hey Peggy..Thank you so much for your kind words :’) It was really heart-warming to read…:)
But do you know how many semesters we need to stay back if we fail fyp??
Vinny – You’re most welcome girl. I’m glad it helped you a little. For FYP, it normally spans over 2 semesters. So I reckon if you fail it, you will be retained for 2 sems? Try your best. Not worth it to fail one FYP and get retained. JIAYOU JIAYOU!!
Hi Peggy! I’ve been reading ur blog since my J2 days! I’m a year 3 student and on academic probation too. I don’t have the best uni life either.. n i have this sem to decide my fate. Altho this is one of my biggest regret, after emoing for 5 sems, I decided to buck up this sem! Besides, what’s 3-4 years when we have like 50+ years to live a good life!! 🙂
All the best for ur marketing job n future!
p/s: You are a really different n cool girl :D.
60sgirl – thanks for your comment. i’m glad you’ve made up your mind to just go for it!! thanks a lot 🙂
I feel really motivated by your blogpost, a year 1 at ntu here, and I had a really screwed up exam today, so was feeling depressed:/ anyways I feel much more inspired after reading this that I shouldn’t look back and should move on! Thanks so much:)
Amy – That’s really nice to hear Amy. I’m glad my post helped motivate you a little! Don’t let a bad paper affect you! Jiayou and you will see your hard work helping your grades eventually. All the best girl! 🙂
Hi Peggy, this post really inspires me more on studying harder and not giving up. For me, after seeing the same module flunk twice, i was really on the verge of giving up (my GPA was like almost down below 2.0). But when i read your post and especially your appeal letter, it really bring tears to eyes because I feel my future in NTU will somehow be sad and full of regret for myself and my family if I leave without a cert after years studying. This post really gives me a wake-up call that no matter how bad my situation is in NTU, if I don’t give up and try even harder, I’m sure one way or another i will graduate (I hope to). Really thanks for your post Peggy ! You have definately make a difference for me and i’m sure for others who are in the same situation as how you were last time 🙂
Vitron – Hello there! I’m glad this post gave you more strength to pull through and bugged you not to give up! There are really a lot of people like you and me. Uni life is not as colourful as everyone described, but if you give up now, you will never be able to know the joy when you attend convocation and know that you are FINALLY a graduate. Hang in there and jiayou. It will REALLY be over before you know it. Don’t even think about giving up.
Hi peggy i just wanna ask was it difficult to score a “D” for human resource management module? It seems rather difficult for me to even score at least a “D”, there were so many questions that i did not know how to do. i am rather worried for it 😦
Happen to chance upon this entry though it was written almost a year ago. I must say ‘wow’! I really admire your perseverance. I can truly understand that because I’m your junior pursuing the same course as you in NTU! I am too having a hard time now struggling to keep up my grades. And yes, I do agree that LSY is a nice prof who always send us funny emails and stuff to keep our morales up. 😀
Starting reading the archives of your blog and I think it’s really wonderful how you have written about your own story to inspire others! Kudos 🙂
came across your blog post. was feeling really depressed because of my poor cgpa that is bordering dangerously at 2.0 and on the verge of giving up..
just wanna say thank you for your inspiring post.
Glad to know that I was not the only who’s struggling.
I faced the same situation, I came into NTU with the hope of getting first class. My mum was coughing non-stop so I bought her to a doctor. On my first quiz, luckily it is a math quiz if not I will had failed. In the morning the doctor called me, saying my mum had cancer. Mostly half year life span left. My mind went blank, cannot study anymore. Sitting there crying and crying, I never had secondary education, I went a long path. I took private N level (Homeschooling) N level to ITE, I was rejected 3 times until I appeal to MP.
I see them wear the uniform walking in so the anger in me boil up. I was think I am going to take my vengence so I swear if I get in I must get number 1. ITE is easy to get the number 1 and poly maybe number 2. That incident changed my motivation, I hang on and hang on … the pain increase everyday and my gpa near to 4 drop bit by bit to 3 and to 2+ now only 2.2. The worst thing is I pass all the paper and miss one paper because it is the hardest. I studied for two day straight and prep to go but fall a sleep and miss that paper. Who knows there is a sub paper, first I thought it is kidding. Then my grandmother was hospitalize, taking care of all procedure. So I only studied half. At the age of 30, this year I and purpose to change NRIC already. Yet I am still struck here waiting for the result of last module.
You indeed inspire us not to give up, I was about to give up before coming across your blog
Don’t give up Chris. You’ve come such a long way, it is too much to lose if you were to give up now. Just psych yourself up and DO IT! Jiayou!!!
Your post made me cry Peggy. I am currently in a similar situation (graduating in 2017), taking six years to graduate. Thank you for putting up this blog post as it gave me a glimmer of hope. I’m hoping that taking a longer time to graduate does not dent my job prospects.
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Hey anonymous, you will be fine! Just need to do your best and finish up the studies! Have a little faith! If I can do it, I’m sure you can do it too! Jiayou!!!
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Thank you!! It’s very inspiring and brave of you!!:)
I’m actually in a similar phase now but it’s like no matter how hard I tried to study, I still fair badly as compared to my peers. Then, I stopped having motivation to study. I study for the sake of not getting kicked out of school. I know it’s unhealthy but I’m still trying to get myself out of that mindset! Anyway, do you have any idea what is the gpa to get the degree?:/
I’m so sorry to hear that. 😦 Well whatever it is, whether you like your course of study or not, if studying just for the sake of getting a degree can help you graduate, then you just have to pull through. My professor once told me, after I graduate, I can do whatever I want – fashion, media, anything. But as long as I’m in school, I’ll have to try to graduate no matter what. So I guess that works for you too.
Try your very best if quitting halfway is not an option for you.
I have no clue about how the GPA system works. Back in my time, I was the last batch of students that didn’t fall into the GPA system. Sorry I can’t help much on that!
Hi Peggy. Came across your post by accident and I was tearing up at the end of it. You are such a brave girl. I failed a module twice and it is a prerequisite to another module and was only offered in sem 2. As a result I think I might have to repeat another year because of it. However, as the tuition grant was only offered for 4 years, I will not be able to repeat another year due to the expensive school fees. I feel really lost and helpless. Nobody knows I am struggling as I kept everything to myself, I am really depress now and at a lost of what to do. Wasting all the years and without a degree is really devastating.
Hi Peggy. Came across your post by accident and was tearing up at the end of it. You are such a brave girl and thank you for this post that gave me and everyone out there who’s struggling alone strength. I have failed a module twice and it is a prerequisite to another module and is only offered in sem 2, as a result I might have to repeat another year cause of it. However as I read the tuition grant only offered for 4 years, I will not be able to afford the expensive school fees if i were to repeat another year without the grant. I feel really lost and helpless now knowing I wasted all the years and not getting a degree.
This reply might have came too late, but I have asked OAFA about this matter, and they said that after exceeding 4 years, you will be paying the same school fees minus the gst subsidy. It is stated in an attached document on the tuition fees page. Hope you are doing fine now.
just wanna say i randomly found this when i was frantically googling how to stop feeling depressed and lonely in year 4 hahaha and i felt that your post is very encouraging and lifts my mood a bit, so thank you! and i’m surprised you are from civil engineering too hahaha
anyway, love your butter my buns and keep up the good work 🙂
Thanks for the sharing!!! inspire me alot, I am taking last sem exam right now!! good luck to me
Even though u have tried so hard to graduate, in the end, was your university degree helpful to you in life, seeing that you are now running 2 cafes with no relations to your civil engineering degree?
I just finished an exam that i know i will fail because i just couldnt answer half of them because i didnt have the time to revise AT ALL.
Devastated. I was hoping to pull up my gpa. I studied hard during the term but nearing the exams, i just couldnt allocate the time for revision. Or maybe iwas just procrastinating and procrastinating and unfocused. Or maybe this course isnt for me. I regret sitting for it.
Since this might be a prerequisite to my other courses and this is my final year… i might retain. Either ways, a lousy gpa just makes me so unmotivated to study any more.