Bullied then homeschooled: How God made a way for me to enter polytechnic
Hannah Lee // May 5, 2020, 12:02 pm
I am an unusual Singaporean – a homeschooled student.
I was homeschooled due to bad experiences in Secondary One. I couldn’t take the bullying and I was a very sensitive person in the past.
Hence, I looked around for alternative options and hastily decided on homeschooling! Being homeschooled is a rarity in Singapore, and a choice that’s not very well-looked upon.
Honestly, this decision to homeschool was also a rash one, made without thinking of the consequences.
But in the years since then, I’ve come to learn that there’s no point in running away from my problems.
Fast forward to a few years later, and my peers were entering the next phase of their life – tertiary education!
As a 16-year-old, I very much wanted to go to a local polytechnic too, so that I could go back to mainstream education.
Studying in a polytechnic would also enable me to meet new friends! I was excited at the prospect of sharing Christ with a few of them before I graduated from polytechnic.
But at that point in time, I only had a Grade 10 American Certificate and was unsure if my qualifications met the polytechnics’ requirements.
No matter the outcome, I am never alone or forsaken. God has a plan for me.
Hence, I prayed to God and sought His will. Right there and then, I felt in my heart that God had called me to apply to one particular polytechnic in Singapore. I obeyed and I only applied for that polytechnic under the Direct Admission Exercise (DAE) which took place in November 2019.
Some time after that, I was called up for an Entrance Exam that was based on the O-Level English, Elementary Math, and Pure Science syllabus.
Since I was studying an American-based curriculum in homeschool, it meant that I had to switch and revise for the Singapore syllabus immediately. It was a difficult transition but I worked hard, went for tuition, and eventually attended the exam.
Fast forward to March 2020 when I received bad news: the polytechnic had rejected me.
How could it be? Many thoughts ran through my mind. Did I hear wrongly from God? I was devastated and angry at God. It felt like my world had crashed down on me.
Amidst my hopelessness, my peers on the other hand were excitedly looking forward to their next phase of life.
This made me bitter and I often wondered why I didn’t seem to have that same favour and ease of getting into a polytechnic.
My father then suggested that I email the other polytechnics to enquire about applications. Though it was quite impossible that would even consider me since applications had closed, I did so anyway.
Republic Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic then gave me a chance to apply! I was overjoyed but I still felt uncertain.
The waiting period was so difficult. I often cried myself to sleep as uncertainty clouded my mind. I didn’t know where God was in my situation and worse, many other DAE applicants started to receive successful outcomes.
But I was told to attend an interview instead.
Thankfully, my church leaders and friends who knew about my situation stood by me.
They cheered me on, got me bubble tea, sent me voice recordings of their prayers for me and even flowers.
I was so touched that God was using these people to bring comfort into my heart.
Slowly, I learned how to surrender to God’s will for my life instead of getting frustrated. I worshipped God every day and I started reflecting on my pastor’s sermon, where she talked about God’s hand over our lives.
Hearing those words placed a calming warmth in my heart. It assured me that no matter what the outcome was, I am never alone or forsaken. God has a plan for me.
After three and a half weeks, I was accepted into Republic Polytechnic’s Mass Communication course.
God had come through for me!
Despite my doubt towards Him, God still paved a way for me.
This was despite the fact that my chances of success were low as a homeschooled applicant – and it didn’t help that the course had already rejected many academically better candidates.
I give all the credit to God. For me to have secured a spot in that course only showed me the power of God in my life and that He works in special ways.
Despite my doubts and frustrations towards Him, God still paved a way for me to enter the course of my choice.
This season has showed me how faithful my God is.
And it will eventually help me in the future when I face giants in my life: I will always remember God’s faithful hand over my life and choose faith over fear.
I write this in the hope that others feeling like I did would be encouraged that God is always in control, and is someone we can trust and surrender to.
In the midst of an uncertain, discouraging and waiting season, God will come through for you in His time. All you need to do is trust Him.
The road here may have been tough. But God has made it worthwhile, growing my faith, patience and humility.
I just can’t wait for what’s ahead in these three amazing years of polytechnic life!
THINK + TALK
- What was the biggest disappointment of your life?
- How did you respond then?
- What are some ways you can rely on Jesus when you next face trouble or disappointment in life?