Muhd Faizal had a difficult start when he first joined TP in 2012. There were days when he was totally demoralised and felt like giving up his studies. But he eventually pulled himself together and graduated with a Diploma in Clean Energy in May 2015, scoring a commendable GPA of 3.56. He shares his story…
Let me ask all of you a question... Has anyone of you at any point in your life ever felt that you were lost at sea, confused, disoriented and without a sense of direction?
Well, something like that happened to me, just before my ‘O’ levels. I suddenly lost my anchor of support, someone whom I loved very dearly – my grandmother. After she was gone, I felt total emptiness. No one to give random hugs to, no one waiting by the window whenever I come home from school each day. Concentrating on my lessons in school was rather tough, and it affected my studies.
After I joined TP, I tried to distract myself and not think about it, but somehow I still neglected my studies. It only hit me when I saw my GPA after the first semester. I asked myself, “Is this what grandma would have liked to see if she were still alive?” No, she would have been very hurt, very sad.
It was a wake up call. From then, I decided that I should start working hard, because that was what grandma would have wanted. I formed a study group with my course mates, and we motivated one another. I also decided to play a more active role in CCAs, becoming the President of the Pacesetters group, which is the body of Student Ambassadors for TP, and also represented TP at the annual Poly Forum – a national congregation of tertiary students who get together to discuss and brainstorm issues of the day.
Faizal (arrowed) with fellow TP participants at the Poly Forum
Losing my grandmother turned out to be the catalyst that pushed me to strive for more. The key is perseverance. Whenever we fail, we must pick ourselves up, take it as a learning experience and move on. It is only natural that we may be affected emotionally, but we must try to minimise our “emotional down time”, and bounce back strongly.
As we sail on in life, strong winds, crashing waves and many other dangers will test the strength of our ship. Always allow yourself to dream as big as the ocean and have a clear view in mind of what you want to achieve. Be courageous, sail towards your goal, and persist, persist, persist! I can assure you from my own personal experience that if you continue to persevere, you will achieve the success that you deserve.
(Adapted from Muhd Faizal’s valedictorian speech at Graduation 2015)