I am grateful to SIM for giving me a second chance

By alllysone

I went to SIM. At first, I struggled with myself for a bit, wondering if it is still worth attending a university here if I couldn't make it into the big three (NUS, NTU and SMU).

I guess the answer is, it depends on the individual. For me, it was really worth it. But for some of my peers, it wasn't. I think you need to be absolutely certain the degree you plan to undertake is something you genuinely enjoy. So long as you know what you want to do, SIM honestly isn't that bad of a place to pursue one's tertiary studies at.

I had breezed through my exams all my life until the 'A' Levels. Scored 250+ for PSLE, under 5 points for the 'O' Levels. I naively thought 'A' Levels would be just as easy, hence I took things for granted big time. In the end, I fared very badly and couldn't get into a government university.

Inferiority complex aside, deep down inside I knew I wasn't stupid. I knew I could do fairly well if I had tried harder. I wanted so badly to prove to everyone, to my friends, to my family that I was capable of so much more. Studied my ass off and made sure I did better than everyone else there. Recently, I received an offer to further my studies in my dream school.

Sometimes, I do sit down and think about the what-ifs. To be honest, if I hadn't enrolled into SIM, if somehow by a stroke of luck I managed to scrape through the 'A' Levels and barely made it into a government university, I probably would never have ended up in my dream school eventually. I would probably have settled for mediocrity and laziness if I didn't have to fight to prove myself to others.

Of course, there is no doubt that the school environment and the types of people you encounter are quite different. I came from pretty good schools previously and yes undeniably there are some cultural differences. People you meet on the SIM campus might be not be as academically inclined.

Long story short, if you can't get into a government university, but you know what you want to do with your life and are willing to work harder than anyone else, I honestly think SIM is worth attending. At the end of the day, the schools you studied at will not solely define the type of person you are or the level of success you are going to attain in the future. If you have what it takes and are wiling to work for it, nothing can stop you. SIM gave me my second chance and I am always grateful for that.

People will always mock SIM one way or another, for example, "shitty school which accepts and produces shitty students"; but such cruel remarks will only spur me to work harder and prove them naysayers wrong.

This first appeared as a response on Reddit Singapore. Do join in the discussion over there if you have thoughts to share.


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