Here I am, a few months later. Much has passed since my original post documenting my interview and tests. Here I am now.
It’s an understatement to say I’m crazy grateful, fortunate and so thankful to have been able to get to this stage in my life. Grades-wise, the past two years have only seen me scrape the bottom, peaking at a below average. So here’s where I motivate – myself in the future if I feel as though rock bottom is sucking me in.
My scores throughout the two years of IB were a steady non-progression of 30/42, 29/42 and 30/42 again. School average was always about a 35/42. Amazing, huh? How someone so low could have somehow made it up to the top. On many occasions I just found myself thinking: studying is not worth it. What’s the point if I work so hard only to be disappointed time and time again? Friends around me started to accept my lacking intelligence, I for one felt that I didn’t belong.
Quite simply, the only advice I have for myself is to let go and let God. Keep going even if it seems like it isn’t helping. Find ways to motivate yourself. I’ve got a few tips:
- Follow studygrams; seems dumb, but it actually does do a fair share of motivation in my books.
- Study outside (cafes, school, mcdonald’s, whatever).
- Fresh air does you good. As well as a good cuppa coffee.
- The Forest app. Don’t laugh, it works.
- A study playlist, I find korean acoustics extremely comforting and uplifting, especially since I’m literally unable to sing along.
- Study with friends that will wake you up when you’re falling asleep.
- Do something else to get your mind off the stress. Go for a run – I hate it, but it’s better than sitting in my room close to tears.
- Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
It gets difficult to find your motivation. Sometimes it just takes a sudden realisation to get your mind out of the gutter. And I don’t know when this blog post turned into motivation guidelines, but I’m sure future me in law school would appreciate it.
Future me in law school, future me, a lawyer.
Chin up buttercup. You’ve got a long way to go.
Love is a beating apple
Cardiovascular muscle only
beating to life’s melody
Joy is a pineapple of quirkiness
Sour sweet spiky
Peace is a ripe banana
Comfort as is or as banana bread
life in status quo
Patience is a durian
If season’s tight, peeling’s right
taking time to meet the meat
Kindness is a cocktail cherry
on top, of a sundae
For those sundays every day
Goodness is a rich grape
To be treated into wine
Smooth, sipped slowly
Faithfulness is a peach
Gentleness is a flowing watermelon
An enormity to give
Self control is a lemon
“Sorry, I’m not a lawyer”.
The number of times I repeated this today only made me surer and surer of what I want to do with my life.
Comparatively, I must say that the NUS Law admission procedures were much more formal than SMU. I had my interview on a Thursday and my written test on a Sunday.
The 2-1 interview was much more personal than SMU, as the interviewers were actually given the chance to ask about my personal achievements, experience and goals. Prior to the interview, the students are given yet another blank form to fill, namely to write in your work experience/internships as well as answer the great question of: why law.
As a former ACSI girl, I was surprised to see many familiar faces at the NUS interview – which perhaps meant that the university tended to group the students by school. Unsurprisingly, we all bonded over the buffet spread provided to us.
The Written Test was much more intense, I would say. It was a 1 hour 15 minute paper, in a large auditorium housing around 1000 hopeful individuals. Like previous years, there were two main questions. The first was regarding copyrights and the freedom of speech, where we were given an article and excerpts of different Singapore laws. The second was more of a question to do with legal ethics. We were told to spend no longer than 15 minutes on this question, which was rather strange but which I adhered to. Many overachieving friends spent much longer on this question, the reason why I am rather unsure of.
All in all, it’s over. All that’s left to do is wait for results.
Part 2 of the SMU Saga, the written test.
I am actually not able to give any information about this portion of the SMU Saga as we signed a confidentiality agreement preventing us from spreading anything about the content.
So here’s to the end of this blog post.
Filled with nerves, a turning tummy, a typical T move of being incredibly unfashionably early – was how I entered the Basement level of the School of Law, an awful forty minutes early.
A quick look around gave me a feel of my fellow contenders, all but one were girls, and all but a handful in professional court attire (minus the blazer). Immediately my brain took a full 360 as I questioned my ability to read, my lacking memory, did the e-mail they sent out a week ago mention anything about attire? (A later conversation with my interviewee-mate answered this: no)
A rushed shuffle as some Law seniors registered my name and NRIC, I was then directed to a room full of nervous 19-year-olds. Another look around and I could recognise no one, something I was relieved about, but also made me wonder if I would have felt less worried if I saw a friend. Sitting in that room was probably the worst 7 minutes of the entire interview process, with the fear of the later interview to come and the unfamiliarity between interviewees.
Another rushed shuffle, the Law seniors called our names one by one and brought us to the room next door, where we were separated into groups. C, a girl I knew immediately would be a strong competitor. She seemed intelligent, calm and prepared. L, a girl who confused me. She was extremely talkative, obsessed with food and baking cakes…more later. We were introduced to even more Law seniors who tried to teach us the tricks of the trade. To be fair, they were trying really hard to calm us down and tell us some info on the professors, but I’m almost certain no one in my group was listening.
Then came a time for chit-chat waiting outside the interview rooms. L was not like anyone I had met before. She talked about everything under the sun – her horrible grades in school, how the teachers reacted on her A level results day, her hunger 24/7, her tardiness to the interview and hence how she was forced to run, how she turned up for the NTU interview the previous day in casualwear and was the odd-one-out, how her father was a lawyer but she shared a different dream, her nervousness, her discomfort in heels. I looked to the side at C, who like me was only half listening, and half preparing her memorized interview answers.
Q1. Tell me about yourself. Your strengths, weaknesses, etc.
I spoke first on this question as there was an awkward silence. I produced exactly what I had rehearsed, my adaptability. C brought up something different, mentioning her love for planning and organising. L…she loves to bake.
Q2. Let’s go back 1000, 2000 years ago, before technology. Say a man sees a herd of cow in a grass field and makes an agreement with the owner of the cows to purchase one for $30. The next day, the man comes with the $30 but the owner gives him the reigns of a three-legged cow. Is this fair? Who’s right?
Surprisingly this question was purely hypothetical, as I know for a fact that most interviewers tend to ask on topics relating to current affairs (some topics include Trump’s “Muslim” ban, LGBT rights, maid abuse, COE prices). While answering this question a few points we brought up were on the definition of the cow, which we said was a four-legged animal that produced milk. You can only imagine what the interviewers said in response to this. Nevertheless, the interview-turned-discussion ended on a good note with the interviewers nodding along and thanking us for our time.
I think one of my greatest takeaways from the interview was learning how to speak coherently under pressure. Yes, it’s intimidating to have people so experienced in their field staring you down as you utter complete BS. But it’s part of the learning experience and I’m grateful for it.
As for the journey home, I ended my day with a nice lunch with the birthgiver at our favourite Korean restaurant.