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I got my O-level results 10 years ago. Look at me now

8 16 1528

The O-level results came out two days ago, and receiving that slip is a momentous part of almost every student's life.

As some laugh and some cry, and some perhaps do both, this week brings me back to 10 years ago, almost to the day - when I too was about to discover what my years of secondary school education would come to.

I was 16 years old, facing the future as the song of life prepared to shift key and move to the next verse. I had hopes and dreams, and I did not know what to expect.

But I was sure that the O levels, with all they represented, would provide guidance and set me on concrete footing for my future.

Now, if I could literally transport my 26-year-old self to face the 16-year-old Jose, and asked him if he recognised the man standing in front of him, he would shake his head. He might even call school security.

I am unrecognisable to myself, in ways I would never have thought.

Take career, for instance. The 16-year-old me wanted to direct movies. The parents of 16-year-old me wanted him to practise law.

I learnt in the years between 16 and 26 that we are all muddling our way through. Though we pretend otherwise, and though some may have more luck than others, nobody really has a clue what they are doing.

I am now a journalist, a job I never expected for myself as a teenager fresh........

© The Straits Times