SPM is finally over, hurray! At last, you can savour the sweet taste of freedom.
But wait, that’s not the end of your woes. From stressing about the Add Maths paper to figuring out what course to study, you’ll likely find that these post-SPM problems hit close to home.
#1. Everyone keeps asking what you’re planning to study
Yes, your ears are probably bleeding from hearing the question, “So, what’s your plan for the future?” If you had a dollar for every time someone said that, you’d be a millionaire!
While it’s still hard not to roll your eyes, you’ve smartened up over time and now know how to navigate these conversations. Whenever you meet kaypoh concerned relatives, you immediately engage in lawyer-like tactics by answering ambiguously and shifting the focus onto them (“Oh, I’m still considering a few options. How’s cousin James by the way?”). Genius!
#2. You can’t stop thinking about that one question you got wrong
“Why did I put A instead of B?!”
“What if I failed because of that mistake?”
“Why do my friends have a different answer from mine?”
Your post-SPM days should mean unlimited hours of video games, going through tubs of ice cream while bingeing on K-dramas or hey, just being plain ol’ carefree. Yet, you can’t seem to get your mind off that one tricky question you messed up — and it’s driving you up the wall.
In fact, the more you think about it, the worse you seem to feel. And even though your family and friends have tried to get it off your mind off by saying, “It’s just one question la...”, deep down you can’t help but fear that it could determine your pass or fail.
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#3. You’ve no idea what to do next
Although it feels liberating to be free from the shackles of studying (at least for a while), you’ve been so caught up with your preparing for SPM that you haven’t had the time to think about your college plans… until now.
Should you live your best life and have a good break or start college right away? Spend some time catching up with friends or do something productive like checking out colleges and speaking to counsellors? Take a foundation or pursue a diploma?
There are just so many options that it makes deciding a struggle!
#4. Your pile of mess that’s begging to be cleared
Now that you’re no longer chained to your books, you’ve probably almost forgotten about that spot at home that you’ve been neglecting — your study corner where stacks of books, notes and writing materials are still strewn all over, just the way you left it on the last day of SPM. You’re still terrified to enter the abandoned room that harbours an atmosphere of stress and anxiety, afraid that those horrid feelings will overwhelm you again. Or… you’re just too lazy to clean up.
But there’s no running away from it. You’ll have to deal with it sooner or later, or risk being nagged to death. This means organising your stationery and materials and finding new owners for your beloved reference books, precious notes and cheat sheets (ugh!).
#5. Your parents keep bugging you to attend Open Days
“Ah girl/boy ah, have you heard of this college? They’re having an open day this weekend.”
Repeat that by a hundred. Not a single day goes by where your mum does not prompt you to check out a college open day or attend an education fair that she stumbled upon.
While it’s absolutely vital to check out the college’s campus and find out their offers, you can’t help but be annoyed as not all your mum’s suggested institutions offer your preferred course. And you’re certainly not checking out every. single. college. she found online.
If only your parents could understand… sigh.
#6. You start experiencing an existential crisis
Are you getting panic attacks and experiencing pangs of anxiety? Do you lie awake at night with the awful feeling that your future feels so uncertain and bleak that it makes your stomach churn? Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world.
You’re probably having an existential crisis that almost everyone experiences. It’s a moment where you begin to ponder the meaning, purpose and value of your life. You might even question your own existence — from your personality and goals to desires in life.
When that happens, your best bet is to stay calm and avoid over-thinking. Maybe all you need is a good night’s sleep and you’ll be ready to take on the world with a fresh mind the next day!
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#7. Stressing out about your financial ability for college
You’ve got big ambitions and dreams to realise. Your parents have worked night and day to make ends meet and it’s time you pay your dues by climbing the ladder of success.
But alas, achieving your aspiration seems out of reach when you start thinking about the exorbitant tuition fees your parents may have to fork out. And that’s on top of the accommodation fees you have to pay should you decide to study outside your hometown.
Although worrying about your finances can be a daunting experience, don’t let them crush your motivation. With good enough grades, you’re sure to qualify for the many scholarships and financial aids available. And don’t forget about the good ol’ PTPTN that will always have your back!
Regardless which of these problems you’re facing, rest assured that you’re not alone. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by these problems, be sure to talk to someone about it. And we guarantee you’ll feel a whole lot better after!