Hi guys, this is a note of encouragement for all of you students out there who might be struggling with your studies… or simply feeling tired and jaded right now.
Today is the day I received my results, which marks the end of my university life. 😀 In retrospect, it was not an easy journey. But now, I’m thankful for every moment that I have experienced, because I can share these lessons learnt with you.
I have been in moments where I barely managed to scrape through passing grades. And through the journey over the years, I experienced discouragements, fear, and worries. But through it all, I learnt what it means to be resilient. And as I grew and became stronger as a person, my grades slowly get better as well. Today, I received the result that is beyond what I can hope for. 🙂
Hard work alone is never enough. Below are the 5 lessons that I learnt during my school years, which I hope would help and encourage all of you students out there. Yes, they are simple. But these are the simple truths that saved my life and my sanity.
- Be thankful for everything.
When things are tough, it is hard to be thankful. But you know, it is exactly in those moments where thanksgiving becomes most impactful.
Give thanks in all circumstances. Even in your difficulties. The more grateful you are, the less negative emotions and stress that you will experience. And this is really true. Now that I have managed to make a habit of being thankful, I found myself to be a lot more positive and stress-free.
So I want to encourage you to make a habit of being thankful for everything, because it will really lighten up whatever burden in your heart, and make life a lot more peaceful. It doesn’t have to be complicated or poetic. But be thankful for simple things. For instance, we can always be thankful for the fact that we can still go to school. Or for the fact that you have friends or families. Or perhaps simply because we are able to wake up this morning. The list is endless.
Stop thinking about your failures and difficulties, and instead, be thankful for having the opportunity to face those challenges.
- Take joy in whatever you do.
There is no point in working hard if you don’t enjoy it. So really, I want you to take joy in every single thing you do. And once you make this into a habit… life is really not that hard.
Studying is only as fun as how you perceive it to be. If you like a subject, then most of the times, you would do well in it (and vise-versa). So I want to challenge you: Can you find joy in all of your classes and projects? Remember, it’s all about the mindset.
- Don’t compete with others. Compete with the very best you can be.
Contrary to popular beliefs, you are not running a race against other people. Instead, you are running a race against your potential, the very best you can be.
My university is in NUS, Singapore, where we are graded relative to other students’ performance (i.e. through the “bell curve”). Needless to say, competition is always intense. And in such environment, it is easy to feel jealousy and envy. And it is easy overlook the fact that you are studying for your own benefit, not others’.
There will always be someone else better than you at something. After all, everyone has his or her own strengths and talents. Comparing yourself against another person will only leave you feeling inadequate and discouraged.
So instead of comparing yourself with others, ask yourself why are you here? Why do you want to study? If you are tired, simply ask yourself… “Did I put 100% effort in it? Really? Could it be possible to put more effort into it? Can I make it to be 101%?”
Fight on, so that when you look back unto it… regardless of your results, you would have no regrets.
- Take responsibility for your results.
Don’t blame others if you don’t achieve the results you wanted.It’s easy to blame less-than-desirable results on irresponsible group mates, boring teachers, the fact that you don’t like the class, or even the whole grading system itself. There will always be excuses that you can use. And none of it would enable you to improve your grades.
Instead, I encourage you to take responsibility for all your actions. You are your own judge. Look at yourself, and answer this honestly, “Is it possible to improve myself? Can I do better?”
- Keep in hope. And have courage.
Moments in our life are like snapshots, and often times, we are not able to see the complete picture yet.
Everything is a process, and a journey. Many years ago, I questioned why did I receive such a disappointing grade even though I tried. But you know, I slowly understand that everything happens for a reason… sometimes, for a purpose that is beyond what we can think or imagine.
Someone once said to me, “Hope is not a commodity that you can either ‘have’ or ‘don’t have’. Hope is a choice. It is simply the belief that your tomorrow will be a better day than today.”
Hope is a decision to trust that everything will work together for good… if we refuse to let discouragements and disappointments take over us.
Don’t give up. Keep in hope. And have courage.
Photograph by M0THart