PSLE results doesn't determine your future, you determine your future

By Derrick Lee

Today is the release of the PSLE results and since my Bluetooth headpiece died on me while I'm commuting, I would like to congratulate those who are satisfied with their results and inspire those who didn't do very well.

10 years ago, I received my PSLE results. My total score was 174, I will always remember that because 174 in Chinese translates to 一起死 which means die together haha. I was probably the last in my class and the worst among my relatives.

I was discouraged, I even cried. I got lectured for a while and my parents got over it quickly and we had Swensens for lunch, no use crying over spilled milk yeah.

I continued to do badly in secondary school, getting into trouble day in and out. I remember vividly that during a meeting session with my parents, my teacher told them that I would have trouble even getting into ITE if I don't work harder.

The thing was, some of us are just not the academic kind and you can't blame yourself for it. I was lucky, I found an interest and became very good at it. I started developing private game servers, earned extra pocket, got into the top 10 most popular servers list, earned money from it and also received a court letter to shut them down. That was also why my results were declining.

Back to the meeting session, it was then that I knew I had to work harder so I could get into ITE to finally practice what I'm good at. I wanted to get into Information Technology and so my goal was to do well for my N' levels so I could get there. I also had my heart broken and I really wanted to get out of that school.

I started going for tuition for principles of accounts, a subject I never got a pass in. I stayed back after school to study at the void deck and I memorised essays for social studies.

The long awaited day came, the release of N' level results. We were all sitting in the hall waiting anxiously for our form teacher to call us up. If you walk away from the form teacher with an additional coloured form, it means you can't make it for O' levels and you either retain another year or go to ITE. My name was called up, I went up to my form teacher and sat down. I was only hoping that my form teacher wouldn't hand me the coloured form, because that means I won't be able to get into Higher Nitec in Information Technology.

He handed me my results slip and said something like "I'm surprised". I look down at my results slip and thought that he probably handed me someone else's slip by mistake. I got 4 As and a B in Geography. That means I have an option of continuing my studies in Secondary 5 for my 'O' levels.

Hello, it was a no-brainer, I went along with my decision to enrol in ITE College East in Information Technology and my parents fully supported my decision. Many friends and teachers discouraged me against it, they were afraid that I would get influenced and go back to square one again, but it turns out to be the best decision I ever made.

Studying something you love isn't really studying, I loved every moment in class, I did well and I participated in competitions which had a huge impact on my resume. I graduated as a bronze course medalist and went on to Nanyang Polytechnic as a second year student.

Looking back, I'm glad I made a wise choice of enrolling in ITE. My point is, your PSLE results doesn't determine your future, you determine your future. What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? Don't let a minor setback get in the way of your dreams. If I did well for PSLE, I wouldn't be who I am today. I would probably be a government scholar by now.

When all else fails, working hard prevails.

Thank you Chan Kelvin, Teng Tse Peng, Martin Leong, Tng Wee Li, Crystal Quek, Cynthia Oh, Nicholas Tungkaisheng, Smma ML, Cally Ng, Zen Leow, and Gary Lim C W for believing in me and guiding me.

This first appeared as a post on the Facebook wall of Mr Derrick Lee. Do drop him a positive note on the page itself if you have been inspired.


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