On 25th February 2019, I sat in my bunk, #05-03, at the 5th company line. I was in my green and black admin attire, holding back tears, watching all my bunkmates getting excited over their A-Level results and university applications, and wanting so badly to be like them.
In 2019, I didn’t make it. And it broke my heart. I wouldn’t be applying for a university placement with the rest of my friends of the same batch. As I listened to their laughter and excitement, I remembered how happy I was for them. Then, the realisation hit me that I’d have to retake my A-Levels all over again. The end seemed far and I never thought I’d make it.
There were many instances where I asked myself, why? Why, Syazwan? How much does this mean to you? Is this really worth it? Retaking A-Levels all over again seemed like a nightmare. Honestly, the worst part of it wasn’t studying for another year, but it was seeing my friends move on and getting accepted into local universities while I was still stuck there alone.
However, fast forward about a year later, I was finally applying for a placement in local universities and was able to move towards the next phase of my life after being stagnant for so long and it was an extraordinary adventure. I met new people, revisited my studies, and became a student again. But most importantly, I met new people I knew I could count on and forged friendships that will last a lifetime. No matter our differences, we have each other's backs. I am grateful to have gone through the journey with them.
So, the why. Why did I insist on completing my A-Levels instead of taking another route? I did it for my parents who waited for me to come home every day, for the teachers who guided me, for my friends who supported me along the way, for those who studied with me until the school compounds closed, and for those who retook this journey with me and understood the pain.
The endeavour was tough, but I was never alone. I thank my family for constantly supporting me, my friends for going through thick and thin with me, my teachers who believed and placed their faith in me, and my parents for being my pillar of strength and support. And most importantly, I thank the Most Merciful, Allah SWT, for helping me see this through.
To those who lifted me up when I was down, I remember the words of encouragement you all gave me. I remember all the messages you sent. I read and reread them over and over again, using them as motivation to not give up and to keep going. And after a year, I was finally able to catch up with you all. When I stepped out of the examination results hall in 2020, my new certificate did not consist of only better grades, but it was also filled with all the memories I had throughout this journey. It was finally time to move on and put this phase behind me forever. I have no regrets. Because nothing easy is worth having and I finally made it!