Life Thoughts

Knowing the Answers vs Finding the Answers.


Okay, considering the fact that it’s a slow night at the library tonight, and I’m super duper sleepy and can’t really do much studying for my Accounting quiz on Tuesday, here’s a little something based on a recent post by Aiman Azlan on his Facebook page.

Kenapa ada orang straight A dalam academic, tapi tidak pergi jauh dalam kehidupan?

Ada pula orang yang tidak ke bangku sekolah tapi mampu untuk memimpin arus perubahan?

Sebab ada bezanya antara orang yang pandai jawab soalan dengan orang yang pandai mencari jawapan.

English translation (non-direct, after some minor adjustments):

Why is there people who score well in academics, but did not go far in life?

And why is there people without much education but managed to lead a wave of change?

Because there’s a difference between someone who knows the answers and someone who knows how to find them.

This. Is. Just. Spot on. (I would post a thumbs up icon here but I’m not sure how to do so. Let’s just do this -> (Y) )

I mean like, okay, speaking from my own experience with helping ‘aspiring Malaysian students’ who wish to go to the UK / US / abroad for their tertiary education, either through Facebook or email or my, (if you’re a new reader, note: I consider myself somewhat a part-time admissions counselor online with all these prospective applicants lol) sometimes it gets a little too much when I get those questions that make you feel like, ‘Dude, are you seriously asking me this?’

Like, seriously.

You are a scholar, sponsored by either MARA / JPA / any other sponsoring bodies out there. You are supposed to be the best of the best, the creme de la creme. Shouldn’t you guys be like, well, at least, independent? Shouldn’t you guys be resourceful? There’s tons of resources available out there for your use, why are you so dependent on other people, when a simple search on Google can give you hundreds, if not thousands, of different websites on where you can find your answers.

Yes, I get it, sometimes you’d want to hear from a personal experience, like knowing if a particular university is better for your major of choice, or perhaps on the education system or the weather or student life and that sorta things. Or perhaps you would want to know if a certain major is right for you by asking someone who’s currently studying in that major. I can work with that, ’cause I know it’s important to know more personal experiences and you can only get that by asking someone directly.

But for questions like, “Do I need to send my ___?” or “How do I apply to this university?” and others like that, I’m just like….

That’s not even including the totally outrageous question like: “Can I not retake the SAT / TOEFL / IELTS? It’s just too hard to get a high score.” (Note: The SAT Reasoning test is an exam that tests your critical reading, writing and mathematical skills, while the TOEFL / IELTS is pretty much like MUET, but only for universities abroad)

I mean, wow, you’ve completely blown my mind on how you managed to score that scholarship to go abroad but you still do not have the mentality of a scholar, of a chosen student out of hundreds of thousands of worthy applicants in the whole of Malaysia. This seriously makes me doubt the education system in Malaysia, in which students aren’t trained or taught to think for themselves, to learn to make mistakes and grow from those mistakes. Or that they are not trained or taught to do things on their own, but instead wait to be spoonfed by their teachers and parents.


“Here you go, do these past years’ exams.”

“Here’s some practice questions for you. Master them.”

“Here’s the spot topics for tomorrow’s exam. Make sure you know them.”

“This is what you need to know. Memorize them.”

And some, if not most, of the students will be waiting (patiently) to be handed all these ‘steps to success’ by their teachers, holding on to the faith that ‘If I do what they told me to do, I can get those A’s.’

Perhaps those would work in  high school, but when you’re done with SPM and are thrown in the real world, how would you survive? No one’s going to babysit you anymore, no one’s going to tell you what to do. Heck, they won’t even care if you show up for class, or if you hand in your work in college or anything. But does that means that you don’t have to come to class or turn in your work? Of course not. It’s all on you, mate. It’s all on you.

You’ll have to take the effort to do those things. Take the initiative to find out what you need to do, when you need to do them, and how you need to do them. No one’s going to tell you when to study or when to sleep, it’s all your choice. No one’s going to tell you what to study for the exams, you just have to read and understand and figure out what the main topics are.

And if you can’t do that on your own, then perhaps you’re not matured enough for it. You’re still acting like a spoiled little kid who can’t survive without someone telling him what to do.

Grow up dude. Stop whining about how everything is hard, how things are not going your way, or how much you want things to change around you. Instead, start by changing yourself. change how you look at the world, change how you prepare yourself for the world, and work on improving the world by improving yourself.

Just a thought, as I sit here at the library desk at 4:30am on a Monday morning, trying to get through my 8-hour midnight shift. :3

Stay awesome people 🙂

1 Comment

  • Somehow this is also related on how most children (or teenagers or adults) are raised in a family. Ugly truth yeah spoonfeeding is one. Not to mention being spoiled.

    “…in which students aren’t trained or taught to think for themselves, to learn to make mistakes and grow from those mistakes…”

    I need to agree on this one , failure is hardly acceptable among the society. You failed once ? bye you’re not good enough.

    Beautifully written, keep on writing.

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