You will get stronger

I have been refreshing my yahoo mail for weeks.

28/02/17. It was around 7.30 am. I have no idea what kind of setting would be appropriate to receive such good news, but I woke up to 2 emails from SAIC in the setting of my bunk.

One congratulated me on the school’s invitation to their Scholars Program and the other congratulated me on my admission to the school and being awarded the Presidential Scholarship.

I was really happy.

However, this burst of happiness felt like a contained explosion when I realised that I might have to forfeit my scholarship because of my conscription which will only end on the 6th of November.

Calming myself down. I realised that I have 3 paths to take.

  1. Appeal for disruption of my national service.
  2. Appeal for deferment of the Scholarship.
  3. Try applying for the scholarship again next year.

Each of these paths brought great uncertainty. I was disappointed even though this was quite a monumental moment for me.

On the very same day, I filled up the disruption form and the next day, I tried submitting it but was rejected immediately. The next move I made, was to get a letter from my commanders to explain to the University my situation and ask them to keep my scholarship.

( Truth is, behind all these calm and rational decisions, my mind was in a state of turbulence.)

I wasn’t ready to give up my chance at disrupting for national service. My mum called the MINDEF feedback unit and reasoned with them. We even got a case number. I crafted an email later on and submitted it as well. The relevant department has been notified and the case is currently being processed. – at this point, I was actually rather hopeful.

In the meantime, I have written an email for the university, seeking their kindest understanding to keep my scholarship.

(This post is painful to write. I have wrote and re-wrote this post umpteenth times because I struggle with how I should approach this topic and why I am writing this for.) Up to here, this was where I stopped but here is the latest update.

After waiting for about 2 weeks, we finally have a response from MINDEF feedback unit. The answer was a no. It was expected but the hope I had earlier turned to disappointment. Time really wears you out. The pain of this news is more bearable as it seems like I have been worn out out by this feeling.

The following day, I sent out the email that I wrote earlier for SAIC with the letter from my unit Commanding Officer. Its been 6 days since I have sent the email. The refreshing of my yahoo mail continues….

The title of this post is You will get stronger. I guess I had the intention to write this post as an outlet for my emotions on this issue and to comfort myself.

Through this issue, I understood the feeling of being trap in the system. A system that resembles a cage with sturdy bars made of rigid and cold steel. It felt like one of those dystopian texts, where the system decides your fate.

Throughout the post, I switch to ‘we’ at times because those are decisions I have made with family. I am just glad that my family is here for me. At the end of this, I know my family and I will emerge stronger.

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