January 2, 2009


Filed under: My Life — happychick @ 6.38p01

Sitting my final school exams was more stressful than almost anything that has ever happened to me. For more than a year the inescapable reality of having to sit the TEE loomed over my head, forever getting closer. Looking back now, I can still feel the tightening in my stomach that accompanied any talk of the TEE (Tertiary Entrance Exams). I was absolutely terrified. And for as much as I knew I wasn’t alone, that was little consolation. I felt alone. I felt underprepared. I had all these grand plans to start studying early so that cramming wouldn’t be necessary in the weeks prior to the exams. Grand plans which got lost amongst the endless homework, assignments and tasks that had to be completed before I even thought about studying for TEE.


I remember walking out of my final exam with mixed emotions. I was relieved, of course- I wouldn’t have to sit another exam until University, and that was a whole four months away. I was sad, too- this would be the last time I’d be standing out the front of my school as a student. Effectively, I was free, but also nostalgic for the days when you knew that, whatever else happened, tomorrow there would be school. I was also a little bit angry, for reasons I couldn’t, at the time, come to grips with. I was angry because, in my heart, I knew it hadn’t been worth it. I knew that I’d spent the past two years of my life slogging it out for those 6 exams- so I could get a good TER, so I could go to University and pursue my dream of becoming a journalist. I’d known all along that this was my one chance of making something of my life that so many people I knew missed out on. But leaving that exam I was kicking myself, knowing that I’d worked myself up for something that in the end, meant absolutely squat. Whatever TER I got, it didn’t define me, it didn’t tell anyone anything about me.


My TER was 96.75. That’s a fairly decent score, and one I deserved. My parents were thrilled, my friends were jealous, the guy who conducted my job interview yesterday was stunned because he’d initially thought I was a bimbo. My teacher emailed me, “very proud” of my “splendid results”. But I didn’t care as much as I think I should have. I should have been proud- and I was, to some extent. I should have felt victorious- I’d spent most of the past 12 months gearing myself up to beat the other girls in my graduating class, but once I did, I didn’t really feel superior. I did feel grateful though. Grateful to myself for having achieved something that no one really thought I could. I was grateful to my Dad, because every time I would feel stuck or alone or overwhelmed I would look up at him or visit his grave and tell myself that I had to achieve for his sake. And I was grateful to the Universe, or God, or whomever it is who pulls the strings on this earth- grateful that I now had a pathway I could follow, grateful that hard work and determination actually did pay off sometimes, and grateful that I didn’t care enough about my TER score to make it my whole world, to let it define me and tell me who I was in relation to those around me. I was proud of my TER but I can’t wait to be rid of it when I begin University.



  1. Hi there.

    i got to this site by mistake.
    but i couldn’t stop myself from reading.

    you have a talent for writing and i envy you.

    i hope that you will have a good life. i really do.

    might be jumping here every now and then. just to read more.

    hope you don’t mind ^_^

    Nitaro (i am from far away, so i am sorry for any spelling mistakes)

    Comment by Nitaro — January 6, 2009 @ 6.38p01

  2. Lucky you, happychick.

    Comment by Anonymous — December 23, 2013 @ 6.38p12

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