22 November 2018. 1100 AM. Today is THE day. Not quite the Battle of Normandy but a rite of passage nonetheless for many Singaporeans who have been through the Singapore education system. The wait for the PSLE results created a sense of foreboding common among many Singaporeans, young and old. Whether or not you studied 10 hours every single day or not, you all feel the same kind of scared. But what were we really scared of?
The sense of relief that follows if you find out that you've passed, is palpable. It's written on the faces of your fellow students, your teachers, and your equally suffering parents.
Not so straightforward if you didn't pass. Some crumble under the weight of expectations. Parents, grandparents, and teachers, while understandably wanting their children to do well, may place unnecessary amounts of pressure on the fragile shoulders of their 12 year-olds. Doing well in Fortnite, Pokemon Go or FIFA 19 are important to these children. Scoring A's for all their subjects? Not quite a relatable expectation.
The sad thing is some may be driven to depression and suicide. You must know that life does not stop at 12. You have a long life ahead of you. It is alright to make mistakes as long as you learn from your mistakes. Parents, it is your responsibility to tell your children that failure, while hard to stomach, is the end of your children's life.
For the students who passed, now is the time to learn a life lesson - to be empathetic to the plight of others. It is fine to enjoy your success and bask in the adulation of your friends and family. Don't rub your success in the faces of your friends who did not do as well, or who failed. That's just not cool and respectful. The PSLE is but one test at this stage of your life. That friend who didn't do so well at PSLE may be your supervisor or boss next time. There is still a long road ahead where you may totally screw things up. When you do, keep your chin up and forge ahead.
If you see your friends struggling to come to term with their poor results, tell someone. Tell your teachers at least so that someone can check-in or intervene.
Here's wishing you all the best! Remember, your PSLE scores don't define you!
The writer, Faith, wants you to keep the faith.