I don’t mean to sound pretentious. I really don’t.
But I do expect a lot from myself because I’ve always believed I can deliver.
I also don’t mean to sound like a sob-story-wanting-to-happen, but unfortunately I do like listening to Coldplay and staring out my car window with the occasional tear weaseling its way out. ((I am a liar, I cry a lot))
My point is – the past week has been difficult.
The past week consisted of a 20-hour train ride, my O level results, an emotional roller coaster, a true realization of just how fickle faith can be, an unplanned sleepover and a chance meeting (it was also very awkward) with a boy who gets on my nerves but is annoyingly good looking.
Going back to why I was scared of sounding pretentious – I was very surprised when I got my results. Its not me being
narcy narcissistic when I say I am a straight-A kinda kid. I am used to being top of my class, or at least in the top five. However over the past few months I have also come to terms with the fact that everyone cannot excel at everything. There will always be a few things that will bite you in the ass. And that’s okay.
What I had not been expecting was to be taught a lesson on a seemingly-crucial result transcript. I had not been expecting to practically experience ‘not excelling’.
But the way I have been brought up, whenever I feel bad about something, I have been taught to look at those below me, those who are worse off, and always be grateful and thank God.
Sometimes, though, finding the resolve and strength to move on from the shock and accept it and be thankful for it. It doesn’t really happen.
I study (studied now, because voila! I have graduated from school and am heading to college) in a Convent, and Sister expected a lot from my result. She had been wanting a world distinction. ((!!!?)) And she didn’t give me a moment to gather myself and pulled out my result from that big brown envelope and recited it to me.
I really did not need that.
It was a really sad day. But maybe I needed it. Maybe I needed to see endless Facebook statuses from the most unexpected people about straight A*s and whatnot. Maybe I had overestimated myself.
And that was what sucked the most. The potential overestimation and how threatened my self-confidence felt by it.
Can you imagine how horrible it feels when the first big exams you take, don’t turn out amazingly well like you thought they would, like everyone had said your’s were bound to turn out.
Because “you’re so smart, just shut up about how ‘bad’ your Addmath exam went” and “You’ll tou get your grades, na! What’s your masla? (problem)”
I didn’t tell my Dad or my grandmother my results. At least for a few (many) hours. This was huge, in my head, because telling my Dad my results is obligatory, and telling my grandmother is traditional. I’ve always done it! Always, and just the fact that I wasn’t in the least bit ready to disclose the information was jarring.
I had never been this bothered by my result!
The bigger problem, the “This is going to blow up in my face”-problem, was colleges.
To make this simple for everyone, let me just say there are three A-Level colleges in this city that are the top names for the job. And I had never applied to College 1. I had applied to College 2 way back in January (pre-exams, pre-‘all that jazz’) and aced the interview and was made an unconditional acceptance offer and then turned it down – because I wanted to try my luck with College 3.
The turning-down was a very big deal in my house. I had just turned down an amazing deal. They had given me the subjects that I wanted, I was dead sure that I would get a shot at whichever extra-curricular I wanted to try for in the variety that they offer, I was dead sure I’d make friends because so many of my friends were going with me anyway. College 2 was such a safe choice. And now that I had turned it down – I was in need of grades. I needed to get a certain number of A*s to qualify for College 3. If I got unlucky and ended up with bad grades, I was doomed. (ish)
I turned down College 2 for the elitist, known-to-be-snobby College 3. The college every kid in my city aspires to get into. The college that is arguably the country’s most-recognized institution on an international level. The college that doesn’t even hand you an application form unless you have shown them a copy of your results, and proved that you fulfill their requirements. The college that starts its admission process after results have been announced, all the way in August, when all other colleges are closing their doors. The college that has students who laugh at A’s (no grade below an A* exists for them) and receive VIP-treatment at all after-school tuition centers. The college that will accept barely twenty or thirty students.
I am so badass, am I not?
So yes. I took the leap. I gave my exams with practically no back-up plan, hoping and praying that I would do well enough.
And now here I stand.
Acceptances from College 1, College 2 and in the midst of heated discussions with the head of College 3.
(( !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ))
Because I applied to College 1 the night I got my results, with the hope that spots were still open. And I submitted my result to College 2 and showed them my unconditional letter, praying they would not hold my earlier decision to not pay them and go on the waiting list, against me. And I managed to get my hands on an application form for College 3, despite not fulfilling the requirements, because sibling-preference worked in my favor (my brother is in the eighth grade at their middle school branch.)
Its pretty….. wow.
Believe it or not, even with barely any chance of getting in anywhere, me showing my results at all three places got me responses I had only ever imagined.
Everyone knows that colleges have very limited seats this late into the game. And yet – look where my faith led me.
Can you begin to imagine how blessed I feel? I know I sound like a forty-year old when I talked about being blessed and shiz, but.. It does not get more obvious than this for me.
At the end of it all, I guess what I’m trying to say is.. It was horrible. It was horrible not knowing where I was heading, if anyone would take me, how high my chances were now, of getting anywhere. Its beyond horrible – its sickening. I am a worrier on the best of days, so this past week I’m surprised I wasn’t throwing up every hour.
My mother kept telling me, “Have faith in God, pray for the best. Things will turn out okay.”
And I prayed. And then I saw my results and my faith faltered.
After all that praying – I still didn’t get what I wanted. Maybe I had gotten what I had to get, what was best for me, but I sure as heck did not have it in me to deal with it. And so I had a very difficult few days, barely eating anything, crying in different corners of the house, re-thinking who I was.
But then the acceptances happened. Wheels began to turn.
I saw things happening for me and I swear to God – I was speechless.
Going to make a decision between College 2 and College 3 soon!
Wish me luck and share your school/college/university stories with me! I’d love to hear about stressful experiences that you look back on and cringe even now, or that you think you freaked out about unecessarily.