1. Andrew Boey, 45, spent years studying what his mom thought was his strongest subjects only to discover his real passion lies in photography
"First of all, congratulations to those who just received their SPM results!
Right now, you must be thinking what you want to do with your life and your studies or career path. My advice: DO WHAT YOU LOVE and NOT do what you can.
I got 6A's for my SPM and I spent years studying for my mom (yes, really, I am old and brave enough to tell mom this now!). My mom believed Chemistry & Biology were my strongest subjects, which were true. But I never like these two subjects one bit.
I spent almost half a decade in a university studying these two subjects that I was good at and eventually graduated to be a Chemist.
But guess what? Being good at something and loving something are totally different things. Finally, I ended up working as a Chemist for only two years because I really hated being one.
I am a professional photographer and a commercial filming director for almost 20 years now. I absolutely love what I am doing very much, and my clients love my works too. It doesn't even feel like a job because it is so fun, and my friends can testify to this. This is my calling and to be honest, I am even better at this subject, simply because I LOVE IT.
In hindsight, I should have told my mom that I wanted to study photography or filming when I was in university and insisted on it. But alas, I was neither brave enough to have followed my heart. So, SPM school leavers, be brave. Follow your heart. Follow your passion!"
2. Steven Chai Jin Xien, 19, regretted that he didn't do his best in high school but has turned over a new leaf to pursue Civil Engineering in university
"To all the people who got bad results for SPM and feel sad and you don't feel like furthering your studies at college or university, please don't be. You have tried your best in SPM. SPM is just another chapter of your life and it's also a small chapter.
During my secondary school years, I didn't study hard and kept on messing around. In the end, I have no A's and got bad results for SPM. I regretted but it is too late.
But in the end, I managed to get into INTI International University and started my undergraduate course there.
I took Civil Engineering although it's one of the toughest courses and I wasn't really confident because of my results in SPM. After I came to university, I started to work hard for my studies and managed to pass most of the subjects. This is my 3rd sem in Diploma in Civil Engineering.
Here's a shoutout to all the fresh high school graduates - your SPM result does not define you nor should it determine whether or not you should further your studies. It's about the commitment that you put in studies.
It's okay if you messed up your SPM but it's never too late to fix things and get things right.
Don't let others define your future, your future is in your hands and you are the only one that can define your future!"
3. Jin Lim (Jinnyboy), 32, a popular YouTuber "wasn’t a very bright student" but he takes every failure positively and never doubted himself
"I was always too embarrassed to show my SPM results because there were others easily better than me," Jinnyboy wrote on his Facebook page.
"I wasn’t a very bright student to begin with, but I’m here to encourage you not to give up because you were made to fail, because when you fail, you learn. I still fail until today and if there is one thing I’ve learned through failing all my life, it is to never doubt yourself because there is something out there that is waiting especially for you to discover.
It's all about how you get there, and how you get there, it depends on YOU. Your biggest critic is not your parents or your friends, but yourself.
Until today, I still don’t know if I've made it in life. I’m still failing at quite a few things. Sometimes results are not the main deciding factor of your future, you are."
4. Mai Sabrina Mahathir, 23, got straights A's but took the road less travelled to pursue her own interests
"Here's my SPM results:
Add Maths A+
Pend Islam A
Moral of the story? Do what you want.
I didn't become a doctor or a chemist or an accountant or a lawyer. I didn't go to colleges I did not like, or accepted scholarships to courses I was not sure of.
Now I am a struggling supporting actress who studies Communication full time and teaches tuition part time. I also sell shoes sometimes. But it is exactly where I want to be.
SPM is the easiest part of adulthood, mate. Bad SPM result is not the end. But good SPM result is not the end of your hard work, either. Keep trying. Keep exploring. And money? Trust in rezeki (sustenance). Rezeki ada di mana-mana, tak kira apa kau buat (Fortune is everywhere, regardless of what you do)."
5. Peter J. Albert, 20, thought the world ended when he failed to reach his own expectations for SPM but bounced back to reach his goals despite his disappointments
"I made the mistake of dwelling in sadness when I come to realise that I fall short of what I expected to get for my SPM results 2 years ago.
I made the mistake of thinking that the world would end, when ultimately at the end of the day, the Sun would still rise the next morning. I despise those who had better results than me, and that was my mistake.
Falling short of what you've always dreamed of surely sucks, but the thing is, be reminded that this is just a phase, and phases will past.
You'll be able to do wonders even with little to no A's. You'll be able to do wonders with all A's. If there is one thing that I regretted the most about my SPM 2014 result, it would not be the result itself. What I regret the most, is how I handled it - I was bitter and sour and I know today that I shouldn't be because in the end I am heading in the direction that I have always wanted although I took a longer time than my other peers.
Some of them have already started their degree or is in the midst of finishing their foundation studies while I am just starting mine from scratch after trials and tribulations. Although we plan things in advance months ahead, it would not go the way we expected them to be, so don't be afraid when that happens.
In the end, you will get there, with the rest of them. And when you do, you'll look back at this very moment. You wouldn't even think of your results 20 years from now, probably, but you'll remember how you reacted to it.
So be happy, smile, and move on!"
6. Aaron Aw Teik Hong, 31, a stand-up comedian and PhD student thinks the best way to live life is to enjoy what we do without getting stressed up
"People pass with flying colours, I passed with crawling colours. Everyone get so stressed up, stay up until midnight to study. For myself, I knew that I only got hope to score 3A's (BM, Moral, Math) and that is good enough for me.
I had enough sleep. I go into the exam hall. Can't answer, left the hall early and went home, and sempat (was in time) to catch "Johnny Bravo and Samurai Jack" on TV.
I went to Form 6 and took STPM. I didn't get any A's but the result was good enough for me to get into public university. I went to a university in Melaka, and every night I go out to party without paying any money. I graduated not with first class honors, but again, the result was good enough for me to continue further my education for a masters degree. Now, I'm doing stand-up comedy and an aerospace PHD.
What I want to say is, you don't need to strive to be the best of the best in life, otherwise in the end, if you cannot be best of the best, you will get depressed.
For me, I just see the need to pass with minimum criteria and live happily like Disney ever after. In the end, it's not how many A's that matter, but how well is your earning power."
SAYS would like to wish all SPM leavers our heartiest congratulations and good luck for your future endeavours! :)
SPM is, no doubt, a hard exam. Just take a look at how writers from SAYS struggles with SPM math questions: