Gone were the days when PSLE exams were much "easier" compared to today, I managed to do pretty well despite not putting lots of effort or having lots of professional tutors to help me. My score is good enough to walk into any SAP schools in Singapore then. I literally walked into the best SAP school in the west area, somehow I thought life won't be that tough and I could still enjoy my student life playing arcade, computer games and ball games.
I continued to play lots, and I paid a price for my playfulness. I didn't perform well as expected and teachers did not give me the spotlight I used to have during my primary school days. But, during Secondary 2 streaming, somehow I managed to squeeze myself into a Triple Science class, which requires at least 70% overall cut off score to qualify. It sounded prestigious and I think it still is as of today.
Secondary 3-4 was pretty hellish for me, it's more about my self-esteem issue that I was constantly being side-lined and neglected by teachers due to my under-performance. I was the bottom of this cream of the crop by results, and often had to attend free tuition classes after school to keep myself afloat and worthy to stay in this elite class. Some classmates would mock at my "broken" English and never failed to correct me with a sarcastic tone. One English teacher even said to me during my O levels, "Just aim for a pass will do, not higher!" How discouraging to me...and I eventually got a B3 for my English (surprised!)
Since then, I did not wish to see my classmates and teachers again, as they reminded me of my unworthiness in front of them. I decided not to choose the same junior college or Science stream as them and instead went for a lower ranking school - Saints Andrew's Junior College (SAJC) where by "elitist" classmates will never choose. True enough, I saw none of them when I moved on. I chose Commerce stream as I felt that I was never really that good for Science and I wanted a fresh change in my learning. Learning about money and management should be more interesting than all these physics and chemistry formulas, right?
I took Accountancy, Economics, Maths and Management as my 4 core A level subjects and continued to hold on to them despite faring poorly in Management and Accountancy at times. My teachers are very encouraging, especially my GP tutor (Mrs Pryke). I need to give full credit to her, as I fondly remembered when she told me this, "KY, I believed you can performed much better in your English, I can see that in you." Such inspiring words lingered and pushed to me do better in GP... (yes, I got distinction in the end and no one believed that.)
Same goes to my Management tutor (Ms Amanda), when I kept failing the subject, she gave me private tuition to uncover my gaps and encouraged me to write more points to score. I can't thank them enough for believing in my potential to excel and I did it. To me, teaching is not just a job, it's a profession to inspire people to be their better self.
They inspired me to explore the world deeper, in the realm of world affairs, news, economics and finance. In short, to be a better investor, I feel that one needs to immerse and keep abreast of world news to have a broad picture of how the world is doing now. With the wide knowledge being refreshed daily, you can form your opinions and viewpoints about the future and not to be easily influenced by rumours/ hearsay.
You can start easily just by reading newspaper daily. If this is too hard, imagine Warren Buffet reading 500 pages daily.