2 AUGUST 2022 | TAN JIA XUAN
For someone who’s been staring at AEIS information for 2 weeks non-stop, I hereby declare that I am well-equipped with all the knowledge I need to possibly know. So for whatever I’m going to say below, give it some credit.
Now that my project for AEIS is over (Context: I had a campaign regarding AEIS examination and I recently completed it! Whether it was a success, we’ll see in a few weeks.), I have more time to think back and reflect on what I’ve learnt in a span of 2 weeks.
Looking back, I realise how hard AEIS can be. As bars progress to be set higher and higher, more international students struggle to successfully enroll into local schools. Pressure on children as young as 7 years-old to pass the entrance examinations after only a year of preparation. It takes a local student 6 years to prepare for , 4 to 5 more years for and and so on. No matter how I look at it, it just seems impossible and crazy to do it.
I guess ultimately, it is the only way to enroll into a local government school for international students and fellow students soldier on no matter how rough the journey may be. To seek for a better education system, the international parents would do anything for their children. It is really admirable to see parents making a lot of effort for the sake of the children’s future.
Difficult or easy, I definitely see the drive in the students.
As a digital creative intern in Spring College International (SCI), it is a pleasure to partake in AEIS campaign, which is one of the larger campaigns in SCI. I was given the opportunity to design social media posts, propose various content related to AEIS and edit captions and information. In my process of doing so, I’ve seen a lot of cases of students who have successfully enrolled into a local school.
As I slot in pictures of young, smiley students into my creatives, it brings me comfort to know that their hard work has been paid off, but it is not always the case. A nagging feeling pounds my head to know there ARE “unsuccessful cases” and more than often we bury them — but why should we? Because they did not manage to push through? Most would think it would be for the sake of future AEIS applicants, where it is important to boost their confidence and not discourage them. However, it is definitely important to still acknowledge their efforts of those who tried and nurture them into strong-minded individuals.
While we put out successful applicants, it’s hard not to miss that some of them have attempted AEIS more than once. It definitely reminds me constantly that we don’t always reap what we sow, and not all efforts may have a good consequence.
It shouldn’t stop us from trying, though. There are always times where things might not work in our favour and it doesn’t only apply to the studies aspect. As mentioned, some of the successful case studies did not just pass the first time round. The students also went through the “heartbreak” phase when they were not successful in their first attempt.
But guess what? Those students eventually passed with flying colours and proceeded to local schools. This would not be possible without their own determination and the spirit to never give up. I hope this is a motivation for students who have yet to take the AEIS examinations, or has once failed the examination.
What about those who does everything else except studying? Should they be “acknowledged for their effort” when it seems like it was close to none? Personally, I always would like to put the responsibility on procrastination. But what is procrastination, exactly?
It is a habit to delay or avoid doing certain tasks; usually more important ones, and complete other unrelated tasks first.
You certainly can! Even I procrastinate a whole lot (such as delaying to write this particular blog) and I do recognise the symptoms a lot. Try checking how many you’ve got!
Wait for the “right time” or “right mood”
Yeah I definitely know this one.
Here’s a real-time scenario: The weather’s perfect today, and in fact too perfect for me to be wasting my hours blogging, though it is due tomorrow, when I can (or should) go out for a walk in Jurong Lake Gardens.
Here’s the billion-dollar question; do I go out for a walk in the park? Before you answer this rhetorical question (because the “right answer” would have been a definite no), you would probably find yourself leaning towards a yes and following it would be a series of excuses, trying to justify yourself going to the park.
No time will be right to start on a challenging task because you dread it no matter what hour of the day. The only way out is through.
Leave something on the to-do list for a long time
I am guilty of it. Always leaving something on the list for the longest time possible and never touching it. “This weekend”, “After I finish my shower” or “Once I’m done with this” pops up in my head every now and then when I am reminded of the task. Will I ever get it started though?
Start on an important task, and digress
Feeling motivated to do THAT task? Until something else seem more appealing to complete instead. Yup, it usually lasts for an hour or half. I do feel hopeless most of the time when this happens because it’s something I gave into.
Over-planning the priority list
By the time you decide which is truly important and truly urgent, you probably could have used the time to finish your tasks. Going by difficulty level or deadline would be the easiest way.
First and foremost, find out the reason of your procrastination! Is the task too complicated? Is it boring? Do you not understand the deliverables? More often than not, many avoid a task because they fear of not being able to do it well.
Poor organisation of work can also lead to procrastination. If you do not have a schedule or list to follow, you might end up missing one or two tasks along the way.
Always let yourself have something to look forward to or work towards something. This motivates yourself to sit down and complete a task. You will come to realise that this reward system will push you into doing that task you have been setting off.
Tackle them ASAP!
There are bound to be problems coming up before you could settle the previous issue. Especially when you don’t have a particular love for this mundane task. Instead of dragging these problems and let them snowball, take them down as soon as possible! It makes the journey of completing the task smoother and you won’t feel weighed down easily.
Out of sight, out of mind really works. Phone out of your reach, turn on Do Not Disturb (even for your laptop or device that you’re using to do work!), any other materials you may need to be within your reach (without you having to leave your seat), and have a huge bottle of water for your convenience! You will realise when you’re comfortably in your seat, with the appropriate materials on your desk, all ready to work!
It’s all about the mindset
“I have to get this done” or “I need to do this” sounds really passive. Try to switch all that passive talk to “I want to do this” instead! Convincing yourself that it is what you “want to do” is part of the drill. Don’t forget to take anxious/worry as excitement too! This mindset provided great help to me on starting on my harder assignments.
That most boring, complicated, no-fun task should be out in the way first thing when you start on your to-do list! Imagine having to think about it even till the end of the day, wouldn’t that be stressful?
Now that I’m very aware of my procrastination ways, I always snap myself out of it as quickly as possible. I even plan out my day the night before so I keep myself on the same page with what I want to do, instead of having to think about it first thing in the morning (especially when you are still drowsy from just waking up, it takes more time and effort to just think).
It’s not always perfect, though. On some days, I wake up on the wrong side of the bed and it messes with my schedule of the day. Because of that, I might miss one or two tasks that I’m supposed to finish on the day itself.
However, I try not to pin it on myself and constantly remind myself that I have done my best everyday — and that is the most important thing to do; do your best. Not everyday can be, or has to be perfect, and more often that not we end up with imperfection.
So forgive yourself, and move on.
Author: Tan Jia Xuan
AEIS Exam Paper. (2021, July 26). Blog. https://www.aeisexampaper.com/blog/