It is a common saying that school days are the best time of your life. But I beg to differ.
Every now and then, I struggle from nightmares about forgetting an exam, sometimes math, occasionally BM, and more often than not a fcking Sejarah test!
Run a google search on those dreams and it will interpret that you are currently facing a stressful situation in life. My own interpretation: 10 years after graduating, I still can’t get rid of my exam anxieties!
I was from an all-girl school, one of the prestigious schools in that small town. There were 3 prestigious schools, none of which was a coed. Competition was tough, as everyone strives to stay at the top academically. Back then, my only purpose in life was to remain top 5 in class (because number 1 was impossible so I lowered my target wtf) and to score straight A1 for SPM. Ask me what I want to be next time and I would hesitate to give you my answer, because duh, scoring an exam was my sole purpose in life.
I participated in some curriculum, only because I was forced to, and also because I had to score sufficient points lol. But even as I put on those uniforms, my head couldn’t stop thinking about my text books contents, and how my precious hours could have been spent on revision (can you believe I was such a boring loser wtf).
College was alright, as I no longer felt obliged to be the top, because there was no such ranking as everyone enrolled into different classes. It was more of a battle against myself, to achieve the target I set on my own without a side-by-side comparison with others. What the others achieve has become immaterial. That was when I first learnt how to slack and to tune down my momentum in life.
Later on I graduated and finally entered the work force. That was an entirely different battlefield from my years of education. But after those years of stressful exam anxiety and those aspirations to remain at the top, pressures from work is really quite acceptable (lady boss if you so happen to be reading this, that does not mean you should gimme more work k I will flip table one =<). Rushing deadlines is inevitable, but it is nothing like panicking the night before your history exam because you simply don’t have the brain capacity to memorize the whole book word-by-word. On and off there are problems that seems impossible to solve given the limited time and resources, but they do not cause quite the same impact from the mathematics questions that I was unable to solve during examinations. I was never a math prodigy, and have only managed to score well after significant hours of tuition and practice.
Now that I am an adult, I do the things I want with the people I like without having to gain the unnecessary permission or approval from anyone. I can splurge on food that I enjoy. Put on as much make up as I want without being judged as a freak. Wear dresses above knee length without getting punished. Share my opinion without feeling fearful for being wrong (because I finally realized that when it comes to opinion, there really isn't a right or wrong). Speak my own mother tongue without being told off (which now that I think about it, what a ridiculous rule. The school restricted us to speaking only BM/English, and if you are caught speaking mandarin you would get punished LOL?).
I am a full-grown adult. I am independent. I enjoy the finest things in life. I take on adventures and seek for the unknowns. I love freedom, a blessing in return for coming of age. Though, sometimes I fear for the future, and my heart skips a beat at the thought of not being financially well to own a house yet. But that’s okay, sooner or later we will all be able to, soon, later, eventually, finally.
Right now, I am living life to the fullest.
I feel free. I feel liberated.