Thursday, April 22, 2021

The Journey (of Education) Less Traveled

After 15 years of education, I finally finished my A'level examination and was all ready to embark on a different phase of my life. While waiting for results, I took up a part-time job to earn some extra pocket money. It was also the time when I get to know my dearest husband in end 2005.

The results were out and I was very happy with it. Not straight As but close enough. However, I wasn't sure what major to take. As a Science student, I enjoy learning about Science but I was sure that I don't want to work in field related to Science. I didn't know what other non-Science major to take. Maybe I wasn't attentive to the school fairs and such. I was really lost. Standing at crossroad, I decided to postpone my degree by a year and figure out my interest. I also didn't want to add more financial burden to my parents.

I'm sure I had given my parents a hard shocking time when I told them that I wanted to defer my degree. I was a hard-working student and that would be the last thing on their mind to hear from me. My friends can't believed it. I can't believe myself too.

1 year of wait turned into many more years as I enjoyed the ability to earn some form of income. I took up a full time job in 2007 and completed a one year part-time diploma in 2009. I'm not even sure why I didn't think of taking a part-time degree. Perhaps still worried about the school fees. After I finished my diploma, I was ready to continue my degree. My then boyfriend of 3 years thought it was time to settle down with him before I take up a 3 year long part-time degree. I suspect he was worried that I won't marry him if he were to wait any longer. And of course I said Yes! to him and we tied knot in 2010 at 22 years old.

After all the wedding preparations and honeymoon, I finally applied for Unisim (now SUSS) and its scholarship in 2010. At the scholarship interview, I did well until they asked why didn't I go to local university. I got emotional and cried in front of the panel. The 4 years at the workforce was amazing but it felt like an unfinished business and I just have to finish my degree. 

By God's grace, I was awarded the scholarship! The scholarship doesn't come with any bond but I need to achieve a GPA of 4 out of 5. I wasn't sure if I could do it but I decided to go for it. I know God hears my worries and answered my prayers. I prayed and asked God to help me through. 

It was tough to be working full time and studying by night. But God gave me the extra strength & wisdom, very supportive husband and family. He also granted me 2 very nice bosses whom I'm still grateful to until today. 

It became more stressful when we decided to try for baby in 2011 but we found out that I had PCOS. In 2012, we went through TCM treatment for 10 months. We took a break from treatment because it was so stressful and I finally conceive in Dec 2012. I studied through pregnancy, took a semester off and finally finish my degree in 2014 before Emma turned 1 year old! With my degree, I joined my current company and is still thankful for the various opportunities I get at work.

I know it's God's blessings. I can't do it all by myself. 

I tried to do it my own way by jumping into work right after A'level. But, God made it right by giving me a scholarship with any bond and my Mr Right when I keep hanging on to him. It wasn't one of my strong faith moment but he never gives up on me. He shows me that he can straighten things up even though I could have mess up. I thank God for always putting us back on track back to his plan. God always make things beautiful in his times.

I ended up finishing my degree at 27 years old instead of 21 years old. I never regret making my decision because I get to know my husband and have two precious daughters. But, I feel really bad making my parents (especially my mum) and relatives worried. More worse after I became a mum myself. I don't know how I could handle it if the girls were to do such things to me in the future.

I don't know how things would unfold if I were to go NUS or NTU for some science or social sciences degree. But, I know God has his perfect plan for me and has always been there with me. With the same kind of faith, I know he will always be with the girls and walk with them. I can't do parenting without Him being in our life. I don't know what lies ahead but I know God has his perfect plan and will always walk us through.

Blessed Cross Decor from Shopkustomise

On deeper thoughts, I realised that this is the period of university admission where most students should have submitted their application and waiting for admission results in May. If you happen to be reading this, I'm not asking you to defer your studies ok! Pray about it, Go for it! But, I just want to share that God has different paths for everyone and he will make things beautiful in his own time. And my story happened to be out of the norm one. 

With my little voice here, I pray that you will get to know God personally and experience all the amazing works in your life. 


With love,

Ashlyn 

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