The stress

I hate this feeling. It’s tiring me out. Everything wraps up to the close in the final semester. It’s recess week, meaning half the semester is gone, and there’s only half left to do what I have to do. There’s just this general feeling of just escaping reality to just feel better of yourself, which is not really good cause the problem isn’t solved. Yet it just feels very easy to go towards the comfortable position of just doing what I can and then not bothering about the results. Oh why oh why did I even do so well in university? Else I would be in a more relaxed mood right now.

The final semester is supposed to be fun. Lesser modules, and you start planning for grad trips and all. The job search begins and everyone begins excitedly preparing for interview in the hopes of snaring that dream job with a decent pay to support ourselves for the next part of our lives. All along for every part of your life, PSLE, O Levels, A Levels with S papers and working hard every semester in uni, in a dramatic build up to this critical point of your university life, it does seem a little anti-climax that you’re feeling depressed over this harsh reality that you might have to settle for a lower class of honours simply because FYP is a veto subject.

Isn’t it sad? I mean the sole aim of education is to raise standards so you can find a good decent job at the end of it all. But we have become a nation so focused on academic success that we keep climbing and climbing and conquering peaks and all. To what end? And if not getting the elusive first class honours does not seriously affect your chances much; since 2nd upper honours is quite a good class of honours in reality; then why still be hung up over it? If I can net a good job that I want, should I still be anal about whether I get a first class honours or not; considering that this first class honours thing is making me really stressed out that my appetite disappears and I feel like kicking and punching the pillow?

Sometimes I wish I never did that well. Sure it looks good. Fellow friends are probably slightly jealous of your academic prowess. People look at your resume and think “Gosh he has two times Deans List and I have none”. And then people keep referring to you as first class honours, somewhat to the point I get feeling annoyed. It is this expectation that everyone has of me, that since I did well in most of my semesters in university, that I should be expected to finish off with a First Class Honours. Has anyone realized that I have never referred myself as a First Class Honours student, but rather a 2nd Upper? It does make me feel more at ease and relaxed. It is as if mentally preparing myself to settle for less is good for me. And it is.

Or has it ever occurred to anyone that my standard might be just a 2nd Upper Honours? Sure I can do well in academic studying. Learning about things and applying the concepts and theory as well as the math. Sure I’m good at that. But I have always sucked at project based work. Maybe my standard is just there.

In this semester I finally understood the feelings of many people. In my past 7 semesters I have been repeatedly encouraging people to do their best, giving them tips and methods to do better, and trying to get them to improve and aim higher. But in reality, everyone has this limit in terms of how good they are in a certain field. Blame it on genetics or upbringing or whatever, but a limit does exist. This explains why some people need not listen to lectures and yet do very well for subjects, whilst some people spend their whole lives studying but still can’t grasp the simple concepts.

In my entire life I believed, naively, that there are no limits. Fortunes are held in the hand of man. We can work harder and harder to achieve what we want. But now I realized that is far from the truth. In general, yes, fortunes are held in the hands of man. We can choose to improve ourselves and obtain higher peaks. Yet there are some cases where we are bounded by circumstances, and we have to go for Plan B to pursue our dreams. I can work my ass off, but does that make me happier?

Forgive me, everyone. But I fear I might be reaching my limit. Each day goes past and I feel more and more dejected and helpless. I scream “God save me” when no one is around. I wish this whole thing was just one big nightmare. I still have dreams for the future, and hopes too. Hopes and dreams that were once built on the premise that I graduate with a first class. But now that things have come to this, and I am really at the verge of breaking down, I just wish that I would be allowed to focus my energies on my job search process so I can get a job that I want that won’t be affected by whatever class of honours I get in July.

Never in my life have I felt this low, and I hope I can just get my dream job in the Air Force and graduate as a happy student of NUS rather than a depressed student. I want to be happy. I just want to finish this semester happily. Can I?

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