Daily30, Life Thoughts, Personal

Daily30: Letting things go.


I took a day off yesterday because my brain couldn’t function well enough to write a blog post. For today’s post, I posted a poll on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – asking my friends to help me decide whether today’s post would be on something light & fun, or deep & personal.

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So here I am, 10-something at night, cracking my head at what to write about. So naturally, me being me, I Googled stuff. “Deep topics to write about”. A bunch of websites came up and all, all listing different topics and blog posts ideas and whatnots. I read through a couple, and found one website that had something I kind of enjoy, and felt like, okay, let’s do this. While in the back of my mind, there’s this nagging thought that says “dude you’re so going to regret writing about this“, but oh well. Here goes nothing.

When have you given up on something?

If I look back at all the things I failed at or given up on, a few stood out to me. Sure, there are the little things that I gave up on like learning to play the guitar (I blame my short fingers for this, by the way, considering how it was hard to reach the chords), giving up on my Senior Vlog Project (which only lasted 4 videos, unfortunately, omg I’m so bad at it), giving up on Actuarial Science (but tbh this one is not just me giving up, but I think I could’ve at least left it with a better grade if I tried a little harder but somehow it just doesn’t click to me anymore), and giving up on the multiple blog series I tried to start (November blog series, Grad School series, summer blog projects, etc).

These ‘small’ things seem minor and doesn’t really affect life that much, other than me nagging at myself for not being able to stick and complete them.

But there are some huge things that I gave up on and still haunt me, and they like to pop up in my head at the most random-est (I know, dah ada most nak letak est lagi, cakap grammar nazi, apa ni) time in my life. And it’s annoying. But since I only have 30 minutes to write this post (which I only have about 15-minutes or so left now), I’d probably only have time to talk about one major thing.

Giving up on myself during A-Levels.

So, for those who might not know me and my background, right out of SPM, I did my A-Levels in Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar. My A-Levels was supposed to be for 1.5 years, and then straight off to the UK. I was the one who actually wanted to stay in KTJ for A-Levels after SPM, so my parents were fine with it. My SPM days in KTJ were OK, not that perfect or happy memories, but I had some solid good memories there, so I thought let’s just stay here for A-Levels then, no need to worry about UPU or whatever stuff.

Come SPM results, got the results that my parents and my teachers wanted me to get (Alhamdulillah). Applied to a bunch of scholarships, got rejected from most. My self-esteem and ego took a huge hit. My friends were all “It’s okay Syaza”, but I couldn’t handle it. It made me think – was I not good enough? If we were to say that I was rejected because the scholarship was a need-based scholarship, fine, I can accept that fact. But fighting for a merit-based scholarship with my results, and not even making it to the first round of a 4-stage interview process, whereas my friends, some with one or two A-‘s, got to the first stage, it was a huge huge hit on myself and my self-confidence.

Around that time as well was our time to start drafting out our personal statements for UCAS. We had to start thinking about why we wanted to apply to UK universities, what we wanted to study and why, and I was having a really hard time getting my thoughts together. I read through my drafts multiple times, thinking that this was not good enough, that I could’ve done better, that I needed to figure out why I was there in the first place. I needed a break.

I was also getting frustrated with A-Levels. It was getting too rigid and feels a lot like SPM all over again, where I had to focus on the AS exams and working with endless past year questions and all. I couldn’t take another round of SPM anymore, so when the MARA rayuan offer came for ADFP in INTEC, I took it up (after a hard time convincing my parents to let me go, that is).

I gave up, on myself, on A-Levels, on the UK. Mostly because at that time, I didn’t think I was worth it. I didn’t feel like I could’ve survived it. I didn’t think that with my shitty personal statement, I would be able to get any offers from UK universities.

So, I bailed.

And I got a chance to start over fresh in a new place.

My last day in KTJ before I left
My last day in KTJ before I left

I’d spare you the details about my INTEC life, the ups and downs in INTEC, about how I didn’t regret moving there because it led me to him, about how I completely enjoy the American education system because it was flexible and gave me the chance to learn more about myself. If there are people who want to know more about this, do let me know (comment down in the comment section), and I can probably write more about that.

But there are also times when I think about how I gave up on A-Levels and on myself, and all the things that I could’ve done and all the things that I missed out on.

I think about my KTJ friends that I used to be close to and now I merely see their pictures and updates on social media.

I think about my UK dream and how it’s now in the past (at least, for now, but that’s a whole new story).

I think about how it made me feel – disappointed at myself for giving up, mad at myself for not doing better, sad and frustrated at myself because I ran away from a problem.

I think about how much trouble I caused to my parents.

I think about what could’ve happened if I did pursue my studies in the UK, and if that could’ve helped me salvage what’s left of my friendships with a bunch of my ex-schoolmates.

And I think about how I would’ve turn out to be if I didn’t make that decision to run away and start over new. Would I have been better? Would I have been more successful? Would I have been able to graduate with a higher results?

But those thoughts can do nothing good to me now, so I try my best to shove them in the deepest and darkest pit of hell my mind and focus on the present, on what I can do now to improve myself and make the most out of what my life has been.

Because, like J. K. Rowling said:

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.

Until next time, stay awesome!

1 Comment

  • I hated my A level days. Worst two years of my life. The good thing that came out of it was that I realised that I am sick and tired of chasing and competing for grades and I don’t want to put myself in an environment that values a piece of paper over actual personal growth ever again. Ditched Nanyang Business School and came to Malaysia to learn and be part of the early and growing startup ecosystem. ? No Ragrets.

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