Dreams are good. They propel a person to aim high, to do well and not stray from the path of goodness. But dreaming should be dovetailed with action and not boasting. This is the current situation that I observe some of my friend’s students to be wallowing in. Most harbour lofty dreams of studying abroad, of getting in the classrooms of esteemed universities of America and Australia. One even pronounced, “I have to get into Cambridge, Miss!” in front of her classmates. But to this day that pronouncement lacks the correct game plan.
It’s enough to make anyone listening to these pronouncements go absolutely up the wall. Saying “I am going overseas to study” is easy, but actually getting in the university of choice is a lot harder than these naïve students think. Their optimism and confidence, commendable at one point, quickly spiral into empty bluster that leaves one reeling in annoyance at such presumptuousness. Ask about their game plan and they’re completely blank. Ask them how they’re doing in class and you draw a blank – they merely shrug their shoulders, as if banishing that invasive question. They miss the whole point: education is a process that involves continuous training. They also miss point number two: instant learning is the best way to enhance vacuity.
These grand dreamers completely miss the ludicrousness of their situations. Case in point: one student couldn’t fill up his visa application and was so miffed at not passing the university entrance exam. Another couldn’t be bothered to attend his English classes in school and crammed for two weeks to perfect his skills in English – reading, writing and speaking – so he can ace this language exam, which was one of the requirements of the university he was trying to get in.
Fortunately, there are a couple of such dreamers who have gotten their heads out of the clouds and their feet planted firmly on the ground. He, with his rock star-off-stage swagger and demeanour, calmly goes through his notes, past IGCSE papers, writes the final draft of his research papers and is fully cognizant that rushing to go overseas won’t help him at all. He’s taking it slowly and is decided on making it to the student intake next year, not late this year. No cramming for him. He also has gone beyond complaining and moaning about deadlines and exam dates. Instead, he burns the midnight oil and if he’s exhausted talks to the teachers, seeing if both parties can come to a reasonable compromise.
Another one, who hides stress quite well with his toothy smile and uncombed hair, is not wasting his summer by sitting idly by. He and his best friend had signed up for a one-month study tour with an English language institution and are set to fly to Los Angeles middle of June. He’s making sure his fundamentals are more than good so he’s on par with other student-competitors.
At least, with these two, one is far from going batty. As for the rest, one has to get far away from them.