It is not important at all to compare yourself to others.

Hi Juniors,

Your J3 senior here. First and foremost I'd just like to say that I understand the immense pressure all of you are under. Promos are looming for those in J1, and prelims for J2s, with everyday drawing closer to the dreaded 'A' Levels.

I'd like to make a disclaimer and say that in RJ, I was never a star student - didn't get any As for school exams, barely made it over 50th percentile for most subjects except those I liked instead of tolerated and hated school as such. I came from RGS, and didn't have the feeling of feeling like I suddenly became a ""small fish in a big pond"" - that transition was already made from primary to secondary school for me. However one thing I severely underestimated was how difficult JC would be. I barely scraped by J1, and spent the whole of J2 focusing on trying to keep my grades up and improve on them.

The pressure of achieving As for 'A' Levels is extremely daunting, especially those of you who are struggling to achieve As or Bs now - I completely understand. My advice: take things day by day. Anticipating the happening of the actual 'A' Levels will undoubtedly stress you out. Focus on a day by day chart if you can - note down all the things you need to finish for the day, and make sure you finish them. Allocate your work smartly and fairly, and in finishing your allocated tasks for each day, feel proud that you have finished and ACCOMPLISHED your goal. Breaking your to-do list down is really helpful, and I'd suggest you giving a try if you feel overwhelmed.

I'd like to stress also that it is not important at all to compare yourself to others. Everyone learns differently, and as such, learns and absorbs things at different paces. Don't feel bad if you aren't able to ""get"" things as fast as others, just make sure you are able to get them in the end. Cliche as this might sound, the only person you have to compare to, is yourself. I think you have succeeded so long as you are better and have improved from the version of yourself from yesterday - that is more uplifting and much less detrimental than comparing yourself to others - you will never be them, and it's okay. It's okay.

When we received our results, mine were admittedly much better than I had hoped for. However due to overwhelming pressure from the people around me I felt I hadn't done well at all, just because I hadn't gotten straight As. I spent some time mulling over this, and couldn't understand why people were congratulating me, especially when I felt I hadn't done well. Finally I realized that the only reason I felt inadequate was because I was comparing myself to others. As I said before, be proud of YOURSELF and all YOU have achieved. Don't let the school, your parents or other people belittle your achievements. If you have done better than you usually would have done, you deserve to be praised. If you have tried your best, you have already succeeded.

With this extremely long post, I would like to end by saying that I hope you all rememeber to be kind to yourselves. I understand the pressure - it's stifling and occasionally unbearable, but just remember to take things day by day, and reward yourself for the little accomplishments you have made along the way. Success is not measured in the final result/ outcome, but rather how we are able to learn from our mistakes along the way and celebrate when we have done something worthy. Take care of yourselves, juniors. You are all capable, and all worthy. Don't forget that.

This first appeared as a post on the Facebook wall of RJ Confessions (#377) on 10 September 2016. Do join in the discussion over there if you have thoughts to share.


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