If you are the type of person who has it all figured out in life, you can skip this article. If you never know the agony of being stuck with no progress and no hope, please move along. Now that you, my fellow ‘losers’ are here with me, let me begin.
On account of the announcement of SPM results recently, I am humbled to share my experience of not being a top student in SPM, from getting all the letters from A to E in SPM, to be honoured to receive Dean’s List Award in almost all semesters during my undergraduate years, and being a proud recipient of the First Class Degree in TESL upon graduation. This then entitled me to have my student loan converted to full scholarship (this I consider as my highest achievement). I was then blessed to receive full scholarship to further my study for master’s degree.
I spent my younger days not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, I was the true embodiment of go with the flow attitude, and I will tell you this as the first lesson, you need to take charge of your life, start making the best decision for your future, whatever that might be. I was the type of person/student who didn’t really know what my passion or strength are, and that cost me a lot.
So, for the second lesson for you, you have to find your strength and passion in life, that is where you should start basing your career choice on, hence determining your field of study. I was in Islamic stream during my early school days, then changed to Technical stream, then I wanted to try Science. After SPM, I enrolled in a polytechnic in the course of Mechatronics Engineering where I received my Diploma. All those fields that I tried, I wasn’t really passionate in, thus resulting in mediocre performance.
Then, as I decided to apply for bachelor’s degree, I made a decision to go for TESL, something that I never really considered before, but as my MUET result was quite good, I decided to give it a try. This is the third lesson for you, choose something that you are good at, or have the ability to excel in, that is your best bet. Alhamdulillah, praise and glory be to Allah, I found myself and what I want to do for the rest of my life there, an educator.
That leads to the fourth lesson I want to share with you, do not be afraid to make changes in life, do whatever is needed to ‘find’ yourself. Forever is too long to be stuck at the place where you are not satisfied with. Even for somebody with the letters A, B, C, D, E in SPM like me, if you can find your true strength and passion, you can do it too. SPM is not everything. It is a ticket to opportunities, yes, but it is not a death sentence.
I am nowhere near the top yet, but I am climbing, and that is the last lesson I want to share with you. Never stop climbing, however hard and exhausting that might be.
Nor Fadhilah Ahmad Powzi
Centre for Language Studies (CLS)
Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM)