Thursday, 24 January 2008

This is life

At this moment, I know several 16 year olds who are over the moon. You see, they have just received their GCE 'O' level results yesterday.

One of them is my colleague's son. He scored straight As, surprising even his parents. "You must have more faith in your son", I told her. In our competitive academic environment where every other child gets a headstart from young, she couldn't believe that her son could score better than his peers. Afterall, she had never sent him to any enrichment class all his life.

I know another boy who doesn't receive much attention at home. His family barely gets by on his father's meagre income as a driver, yet he outshines all his peers in school.

I remember when I was 16, my best friend outperformed me in her 'O' level results, gaining a place in a prestigious junior college. Years later, her brother won a scholarship and was educated in Oxford University while the youngest brother excelled in our local university.

Did they have an early headstart in life? The answer is "No."

I used to visit her at home to find her slaving away in the kitchen with her mum. Her parents sold curry puffs for a living. Life was hard and she had to finish her chores before she could revise her school work or go out with me.

On the contrary, some of my affluent classmates who were always shamelessly flaunting their musical talents (obviously they attended enrichment classes since young) and assets or rushing for private tuition didn't do too well. They were the same ones who never made us feel welcomed in school.

I know we shouldn't use school results as an yardstick to measure our success in life. Unfortunately, as awkward students in a snobbish girls school, that was our only salvation.

I have no idea how they are doing right now but I do know my best friend and her brothers are high fliers.

Whether we get an early headstart or not, I guess at some point in life, everyone's on par again.


Amel said...

Yes, this is life is a PERFECT title, Blur. One of my Mom's best friends was rich...but because of that, her three sons didn't go to uni since they thought their future was "secured" that their mother was gone and their father is sickly, the family business is crumbling down...and they find themselves having to work their asses off to feed their family.

It's true what you said...real life isn't just about good school about relations with people, as well. It's about EQ, not simply IQ.

Anonymous said...

amel said it! well done!

The World According To Me said...

It seems like another life time away since I got my exam results!

I totally agree with the below:
..real life isn't just about good school about relations with people, as well. It's about EQ, not simply IQ.


SOUL said...


happy weekend
well said

Anonymous said...

When I was a child, I was given a few IQ tests - the average result was 153. The school said I could skip two grades, but my mom said no because she thought it would impact me too severely socially. I'm glad she kept me with my peers.

I would be considered an "underachiever" by most standards, but I've made my career choices based on things other than ambition.

I think the true measure of success in life is happiness anyway.

Blur Ting said...

Amrl - That's a good real life story. Sadly many people struggled so hard to build up their empire and their kids live a life of luxury thinking money grows on trees. That said, they don't think it's necessary to learn how to run a business until it is too late.

Blur Ting said...

World - It's funny when we were younger, school results were like the MOST important thing but as we get older (even in tertairy education), it's not looked at so closely anymore. And then by the time we start working, good results can only get you so far but it is mostly EQ that gets you places.

Blur Ting said...

Soul - Happy weekend to you too.

Blur Ting said...

Wow, Holly. I always knew you are a very smart person. It shows in your sensitivity and in your writing too :-)

cadiz12 said...

it's so true. a boy in my class was going to school full-time and working after class and on weekends at a golf course. he was supporting his parents and sister, and managed to be one of the best students at school. i wasn't surprised that shortly after we graduated, he went to a very prestigious engineering school in the U.S. and shortly after that sold his dot-com startup. now he's living much more comfortably than all those kids we knew who went to private school, tutoring, extra lessons, etc.

plus, he's a really nice guy.