Tomorrow is the start of my third year in NTU. Looking back, I can’t remember anything useful that I learnt. In fact, I’m fairly certain I will forget all the course modules in their entirety by this time next year.
Each time I take a new module, it’s like opening up a new room in my mind, and stuffing it with all kinds of things. Each time the exams roll around, I arrange all the items neatly in the room for easy extraction. And each time the exams are over, I will close the room and lock the door, never to open it again.
There are only two things memorable for the entire year, and none of them have to do with course curriculum.
I still like this letter a lot. It’s funny, it’s a story I can tell to others, and it’s something that will make me smile even after so long.
My letter was published and stirred up a mini shitstorm online, garnering hundreds of comments, mostly negative. Some viewed it as a failure. I saw it as an accomplishment. I had an audience, and the more worked up the people were, the more amusing it was. And the people who got it did laugh, which was all that matters.
True, I was hated, but I don’t mind being hated. In fact, I take perverse pleasure in being hated. Only when you are being hated that you know you are doing something right.
It’s getting difficult to breathe.
There’s a major project due on Wednesday. Exams would start on Friday. And then for the following six days there would be four more exams. Things were getting a little too exciting.
Everything was entirely my fault. After all, the exams dates were known to all right from the beginning. You pick your own course based on the lesson timetable and the scheduled exams. And if you choose to squeeze everything together, nobody’s stopping you.
At that time, I didn’t care about the exam dates. I only looked at the lesson schedules and took the ones which were convenient to me. So what if exam dates were all squashed together? I reasoned. That’s a problem for Future Me to worry about. Present Me doesn’t have to worry about this.
In the blink of an eye, Future Me had become Present Me. I had to juggle everything at once. I had to prioritize. I had to manage my time well.
It was tough going through that, but the key takeaway from all these is that in the process, I think I grew up a little. I learned not to worry too much, and was able to handle stress better.
Just do your best at any given time, and let the Universe take care of things. Give up and surrender. It will save you much grief, much stress, and enable you to live a happier, stress-free life.
I think it worked. Everything worked out well in the end. So the lesson here is simply not to worry so much. It’s rarely worth it.
Another lesson is to simply get excellent project mates.
You might find all this stupid. And it’s perfectly alright to feel that way. Why would you want to be hated? Why would you deliberately bring unnecessary stress to yourself because of lousy planning?
For me, it’s solely for the experience. For the laughs that it will bring. For the stories that I can tell.
Sophomore—from the Greek sophos(wise)and moros(foolish).