As new year is approaching, may I chronicle my landmark year of 2015 in a monthly manner:
January-a bracing month for me embrace the adventure
I got my mind set and got ready for the run after school reopened, not quite for A-Levels itself but for the upcoming SAT on the 24th. After this big battle I took the adventure to compete in the table topics contest to end this month. This adventurous life was complemented with fun as I facilitated the A-Level Student Ambassador camp and played the role as a banker. Well…what I had to do was to calculate the debt status of each group, but even the simple mastery of manipulating excel spreadsheet already impressed my friends.
February-first explore, then relax
Well the first half of it was devoted to my extensive exploration: first at Toastmasters club to demonstrate my freshly studied SAT grammar (as a grammarian), then to The Big Bad Wolf book fair in the town, and finally to Kuala Selangor for half-day volunteering activities. Then Chinese New Year break came, and I shall then submit myself to celebrations and relaxations.
March-Back to life for another new chapter
Nobody needed to remind me that the AS mock exam was approaching, because I already felt the fear and stress. In the same month the new college library was open, and I hid myself for preparation of that exam in this cozy haven.
April-No fool playing despite April Fool
Shall I say that the happiest day in the month was April 1 when I just finished my mock exam and relished myself in celebration? Yes: the real AS exam and another SAT were in a month time. With talks on university application running in tandem, I came to realize that there were a lot more for me to do.
May-celebrate, showcase and sit back
Well 2nd was the SAT and the heaviest AS papers was done by 14th. I could already switch my study mode from intense to normal mode, and devote some time for the Graduation Night Performance (AAA) instead. This exam season was tinged by happy moments: celebration of my birthday by a bunch of friends as crazy as I am, and notification of my winning of the valedictorian award and subject prizes of physics and economics. Can’t tell how lucky and blessed I was, really.
AS was done in the middle of the month, and the next day was our graduation (we attended without officially graduating, but this is the Sunway tradition). Good things abound: the performance was impressive, at least in the eyes of my parents, and I managed to take photos with most friends (including class photo and housemate photos).
Third semester was down the way, but I gave my time to the IELTS instead of A-Levels. Coincidentally, thanks to the free giveaways of the MyTeksi app (taxi booking service) I followed my friends to go nuts by exploring places near Taylor’s college (we call it SS15), even during the one-hour lunch break that was barely enough for these endeavors. After my IELTS, I surrendered myself to the adventure of solving IMO 2015 problems in my room, and ‘ditched’ my study time just for one birthday celebration. My rationale could hardly be convincing in typical parental view: Hari Raya break was approaching and why not take a break in advance?
I wished my preparation for A2 mock exam could be as “happy go lucky” as how it went for AS mock exam, but thanks to the cramming of syllabus from two semesters to one semester, it was not. The picture of how the teachers rushed for syllabus completion is currently fresh in my minds until the extent of utilizing extra classes, not all of which were desirable. Really-not studying much in July made me panicky. (On a side note: AS results were out on the 11th. While our college showed an overall performance boom in Science subjects, what else can I say except “I’m very satisfied with my results?”)
September-get the ball rolling
OK now the post-exam break was for me to take a break, but I started my college essays instead in the name of “being productive”. Returning from the break marked the activation of our A2 countdown timer, but it also signaled the scant time we had in class…
“I don’t care”, I forced myself to utter the three words amid heavy pressure along the way, but it only worked for the first two days (reason being that we had class outing on the 2nd with one teacher, Ms Amy for a lunch in conjunction with the last day of school). Filling in Commonapp for activities, having counselor to upload my transcripts, endless fine-tuning of all my writings, memorizing econs essays and physics sample answers, doing past years, stressing over Cambridge interviews and test…all consumed my energy. This explains my increase of dose of coffee from once per week to 3-4 times/week (sometimes in the afternoon!) But I have to move on: I have no excuse to screw up my A2 and I have to put my bet for early action-simply because the admission rate was substntially higher and I want it badly.
Applications ongoing, still. But the worst part of life was over when I submitted my first application to the US. After the last paper on the 12th I embarked on two trips: one for one-day excursion to Port Dickson, one hour drive away and the other for Penang+Ipoh, four days in total. While it didn’t sound like somebody with few application essays pending, I chose it simply because I felt it necessary after my toil for studies and round one application.
December–conclusions after farewells
We had until 3rd to move out from Residence, which means Isaid goodbye to quite a few friends who left earlier than I did. After that, the prospect of taking a new test, TOEFL, sent me some nerves. Only after some practicing did I realize that it wasn’t too bad. And come 17th, I had a brand new reason not to stress too much: I am accepted to Princeton through early action! (That having said, I should still touch up and finish my apps). Getting home provided me the opportunity o spend time with family, and we seized the chance to some getaways in different places in Malaysia.
Not much to say for 2016 since I have eight months before my matriculation at university. Right now I need to get a decent job like teaching in the meantime to remain productive (and to pick up some skills like programming). Apart from these, isn’t this the right period to spend more time with family?