It wasn't a usual schedule most Form 6 students had, my schedule was packed with travels almost every weekend. Hasty, boring travels I should say, but I needed them to stay in touch with my family and friends. I had a brand new life in Malacca when I stayed there for about one and a half year just to go to school and do revision at night in my rented room. It was fun yet tiring, I had a lot of packing to do, those dirty clothes, books, personal items et cetera. I made myself clear that I would have two different lives, a studying and depressing life in Malacca, and a relaxing and enjoying life in KL.
Whenever I was back in KL, I forgot all my study stress. I didn't open any revision book or file even though I brought tons of them home, in case I felt like reading them. There was once when my brother saw me carrying books up to my chin and he said I was only bringing them along with me to feel secure, as I would never read them at all! He was right, thus I reduced the amount of reading materials to only one or two pieces of notes, and I didn't read them neither!! Maybe because the subjects I took which were so weird, most of them required good memorizing skills, so I couldn't simply read them anywhere. I needed the right time and place to study, which was in my rented room in Malacca. I locked myself in the room most of the time, came out just for the toilet or food or some small talks with my housemates. I watched only a TV game show whenever I remembered its showing time, and sometimes cartoons in the morning when I stayed for the weekend, or when I played truant, lol! I didn't have breakfast before school until the last few days of the STPM week, when I figured out that I needed some food before the final battles.
Every schooling day was damn boring to me, lessons were about the same, except that teachers always had new information for us to memorize. And sometimes if I missed one lesson which was somehow important, it meant that I missed those important notes, so I would go busy asking around for notes taken by my classmates. Since one or two of them would probably left out some lines, I copied notes from about 7-8 friends and got a complete version for myself. I did this even though I was with the lessons as well, because I didn't really concentrate in the class, my mind was always far away from what was being taught. I had even got caught many times by teachers, or particularly one specific teacher who would scream at me for talking while she was teaching. And the worst thing which she hated so much about me was that I often didn't do her notes or bring her photocopied notes. Well, it was not a big deal to me, for as long as I maintained my high scores in her tests and exams, I could be free from her punishments. But I could never stop her high-pitched voice from screaming my name during most of her classes, ever!
After school, the few hours I spent before I took a shower and a nap were either at food stalls having lunch with friends, or back to my rented room, eating whatever junk food that was kept in my drawer. I had catered food for dinner since a few months before STPM, and the food was so nice that I felt pretty much at home, having to eat it at a place so far from my family. Sometimes I went out with my housemates to "tapao" food at night, and whatever I brought back from the shops was usually bread or junk food or ice-cream, whether or not I had my dinner. I had an unhealthy lifestyle there, with improper meals and sleeping hours. I was glad that I didn't fall sick easily, though there were many times I hoped I had medical certificates to skip school!
My bad habit was being late to school, about 5-10 minutes late normally. It was done on purpose as I wanted to skip the singing-anthems part. On top of that, girls had to stand in front of the boys on the assembly ground, so I thought it was best if I could avoid being there. But bad luck came at times when I was caught by responsible prefects to stand at the side of the ground, apparently being watched and labeled as "the late comers" throughout the whole dull assembly. It was embarrassing but fun, I would never experience that again anyway. But there were certain days when I actually had to avoid being late or I would be in trouble, which were the mornings before Miss Sim's classes, well, I couldn't make her hate me even more, haha! And she punished those who were late after she entered the class by asking questions, eventually scolded them for failing to answer like Hermione Granger. I was proud that I wasn't one of the victims before, lol!
I was a frequent "koperasi" visitor, at the photostat corner. I had tons of photostated stuffs from there, couldn't resist the cheap price at 5 cent per piece without minimum pages required. And since it was so near to the library, I sneaked out books and brought to the "koperasi" to photostat, and then returned them back without being noticed. Well, I sensed that I was being watched sometimes, but who cared, I did put all the books back undamaged. I could be a rules-breaker, but I had one odd discipline, which was that I wore my tie neatly everyday, from morning till school dismissal, without taking it off or losing it at all. I realised I was the only one among all of the students who did this. It was just another habit of mine, since I was trained under the strict prefectorial board in SMK Kepong Baru.
Life in a house with schoolmates as housemates was the best I've ever had. We were all girls, and the house we lived in had a top rule- restriction for boys to enter! What could we do for a house owned and cared for by a group of sisters from the catholic church? We were each given a piece of laminated, coloured A4 paper containing all the rules that we must obey. There were rules on the time when we must reach home and be quiet, how to keep the house clean, where to hang our damp clothes, who clean whose toilets and many more which I've forgotten. We didn't bother much about the rules, and that made Sister Agnes always mad at us until she needed to have meetings with us, but I was absent most of the time. I was so not a housewife to do houseworks, I felt guilty though, lol. But it was over.
STPM was such a big, big trouble to me. My second paper, General Paper 2 was disastrous. I seriously had a huge dilemma right after that paper, before I left the examination room. My friends and I were discussing a question from Part D, we were torn between two answers. This question was worth 15 marks, and if one got it wrong, he/she might lost the chance to score an A for the whole paper. I was quite sure that I got it right after the short discussion, but soon after I contacted my KL friends, I learnt that most of them had the other answer, so as some of my schoolmates from other classes who were genius. I was doomed. It became worse after I called a tuition teacher and my General Paper teacher, they both agreed that I got it wrong. "DIE" was the only word in my mind. I couldn't imagine what was going to happen, so I text my brother, telling him that I was going to college, I wouldn't be accepted into law course in local university anymore. The thought about it makes me laugh now!
Fortunately there was a one-week break till the next paper. I recovered rather quickly, though I was still crying alone in my room every night. It was such a hard time, I had decided to just do whatever I could, I wasn't going to care about my result anymore. I hit my History and Business notes on the last night before each paper, and set between B to C grades as my target. I got a call from my teacher but I didn't tell him I wasn't prepared for his paper, History 2, or I would make him so disappointed since I scored the highest in his paper last trial. Maybe luck was on my side, I chosed to reread certain popular questions and answers (which came out), and had gone without sleeping for the last few nights. All papers turned out to be just fine, at least I knew I wasn't going to fail. It was luck, I wasn't quite sure about it, but I felt really lucky.
Months later, the result was out. I was shocked to hear that I got straight As, so was my family. We were prepared for bad news since the day I cried after the second paper. I really hoped for only an A in Economics, and forgot the rest. It was the weirdest thing ever happened in my life, unpredictable and unbelievable. Even though my expectation wasn't that high after I had taken my STPM, I actually had a note with me saying "Trial-3.67, STPM-4.00 (my prediction)" after I received my trial result. Thanks to God that I've finally made it.
Luck really exists, as long as we don't give up after feeling down but focus on other things, we are lucky, because we've avoided bad luck. Although it seems illogical, it did a thing for me. But I'm not going to rely on luck all the time, it's dangerous. Luck happens when we least expect it, so just accept it when it comes. Good luck!
pieces of me.
6 months ago