Motivational speech back at my high school

CBN Hari Membina Azam 2018

I graduated from SMK Convent Bukit Nanas Kuala Lumpur in 2016. Last year, I was invited as the guest speaker to give a motivational talk back at my alma mater during the Hari Membina Azam which is an anual event in the school to motivate students who are going to be sitting for examinations soon. It caters specially for students going through major exams such as PT3 and SPM. All the form 3 and form 5 students were in the hall.

It was my pleasure to be back there today. Honestly, I was shocked when I saw my high school teacher miss called me early one morning and she asked if I could share my experience during my preparation for SPM. I did not know what to say actually. So I just shared about what I had gone through and maybe a little about how I strived through SPM.

My experience in form 4 and form 5 were the best years in my life although they were also the most stressful years because of the dreadful term “SPM”. I think everyone must be scared or fearful of SPM right? Okay, now I can say “SPM only ma” because I have already finished it but I assure you, I was very very very very fearful of it back then.

Many have asked me questions like “how do you study?” or “what do you do as preparations for an exam?” For me, everyone has their own ways of studying that actually work the best for them. If you have not found what the best way of studying is for you, then I encourage you to do so soon. Let me share a little about my way of studying, how and when I found out. So, my way of studying is by reading and staring at the books over and over again. I noticed that I have pictorial memory when I was 13 which was in form 1. So by just reading over and over again, my mind actually captures it and that is how I sit for an exam. In examination halls, I start picturing my notes or the textbook and then I would be able to remember what I have studied. I would prefer having coloured notes or books and I will use highlighters because the colours makes it easier for me to capture it. I found out my way of studying in the first exam in form 1. If I am not wrong it was the history paper. When I read a question, I actually could picture that part of the textbook where the answers were and I remember the colour of the page. From then onwards, I always work on this way of studying and it has proved to be very helpful. You might think that WOAH it’s a gift that I have pictorial memory but let me tell you, I have to read the same thing over and over again just to keep it in my memory. If I am not mistaken, I have read the whole history from 4 textbook over 10 times. Actually everyone has a different way of studying, I have had friends who study by listening, some by doing lots of practices and some by making notes and copying things over and over again. I really do encourage all of you to find your own ways of studying that is best for you.

Furthermore, to do well, I think time management and discipline to follow it is really important. Setting daily goals is very effective but we must be disciplined enough to follow it. Set goals that are achievable but also not too easy. For example, you can set your daily goals like 2 chapters of history today. So by hook or by crook, you have to finish it before you get distracted by others things. I usually set mine as 2 subjects per day. One is a subject that I enjoy studying and another that I struggle studying so when I get tired of the subject I don’t really like, I will take a short break and move to the other that I prefer. For example, Biology and Additional Mathematics on the same day. I enjoyed Additional Mathematics but struggle with Biology. Identifying our own weak subjects can also be very helpful. We need to spend more time on subjects that we are weak in even though we may not like it. Honestly, I am weak in Biology but this fact made me spend the most time studying it although I feel bored because I know I won’t do well if I don’t put in extra efforts.

Besides, I feel that an effective way of studying is by identifying your strengths and weaknesses. By doing this, you can work on your strengths and overcome your weaknesses to be a better person no matter in academics or other areas. Some people might fear the thoughts of knowing their weaknesses but trust me, it will be for the better and not the worse. Working on one’s weakness will help to counter them and one day it might not be a weakness anymore.

My advice to all high school students is that, you should enjoy what you are doing while working hard towards your ultimate goal. You should try to be a balance student not only concentrating on academics but also your other activities. I personally joined many activities in form 4 & form 5 like the school choir team, badminton team and not forgetting ExCo of the prefectorial board. Also, when u feel very stressed out, you should find someone whom you can trust to share your worries and anxieties, trust me, it works! May it be your parents, best friend or teachers, I’m sure they would be willing to help you out.

Making mistakes along the way is very acceptable. Mistakes are great opportunities because that is how we learn. Especially in high school, that is a safe space for students to make mistakes and learn from them. Through them, the younger generation are able to learn through the hard way and ensure they do not repeat it in the future. Mistakes are stepping stones in all stages of life. We will not appreciate success without failure. Failure is what makes our success meaningful. We must find positive lessons from our every mistake.

Indulge in happiness while working towards your goals is also very important. The secret is not to do what you love but love what you do because by doing that, success will be more achievable. Obstacles and unexpected things will pop up along the way and there is no way out but learn to accept and push your way through it so might as well love what you do.

Success never comes easy. We have to work towards our success by putting in our own effort and not just sit and wait for it to come. The more hard work and effort put into something, the bigger the results will be. Everything has a cost and the cost for success is hard work and perseverance. Enjoy all you can now because after your school, you are ought to face the outside world and life would not be as simple and fun as it is now.