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The Five Stages of Results Day

Results are coming out tomorrow, and that means grief for some. Alan Teo will take us through the 5 stages of grief of results day… and perhaps a silver lining?

On the morning of the 28th, many NUS students will awake to the SMS of Doom™. After just a month of summer vacation, this blissful break is rudely interrupted by your results. For some, the results may be good. However, for many, it tends to be below expectations.

Thus begins the first stage of receiving your results – Denial. As you roll around in your bed groggily, grasping your phone, staring at the SMS that you have received, you’re telling yourself: “No, this can’t be happening. Not to me. I’m still dreaming. Yes, a dream. That must be it.” You put your phone down, close your eyes, and will yourself back to sleep. You want to get back to the ludicrous dreams you were having of flying around the world on clouds, saving your romantic interest from fatal situations, or getting into the Dean’s List.


You wake up several hours later, feeling more refreshed, alert… and BAM! You remember that odd dream you had earlier of receiving bad results. “What a bad dream! Lucky it was only a dream! I should have gotten at least a B+ average given the effort I put in!” You reach over and pick up your phone and have a look for the SMS of Doom™.

Your bad grades stare right back at you.

“Noooo!” You let out a bestial roar which no one in your house notices because you make that sound every morning when you wake up anyway. You toss your iPhone into the corner of your room as you enter the stage of Anger. “Why me?! I worked so hard! It’s not fair!” Then you remembered that you’re not using a Nokia anymore and rush quickly to check if your iPhone is alright. Then you go back to punching your pillow to vent your rage.

Anger as we know it.

After draining your energy, you sit erect on your bed, running through the events of the semester in your head. “Maybe… if I approached the professor to beg for some class participation marks… or perhaps they got my script mixed up? This can’t be it, there has to be a way to change this!” You plough through this stage of Bargaining, trying to reason and negotiate with yourself as to how your results are not as permanent as Mickey Rourke’s nose job(s).


When you have finally run through all the options and realized that none of them are feasible or even remotely plausible (no, a protest march around the Dean’s Office is not going to do anything, neither will a Facebook petition), you enter the Depression stage. This is the darkest hour as you ruminate and experience a plethora of negative emotions. “I’m screwed for sure! With this kind of results, I might as well drop out! It’s over!” Thoughts of despair and hopelessness dominate your mind as you reconsider your friend’s offer to join him as an assistant manager at a local fast food joint.


For every dark night, there follows a brighter dawn.’ Or at least that’s what you remember from the motivational poster at the now-defunct Borders bookshop. You try to cling on to the semblance of hope, as you move on to the Acceptance stage. “It’s going to be okay. CAP is cumulative, I will just make up for it

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next semester. It’s not the end of the world.” You recite the dozen reassurances you’ve had so much practice unloading onto your friends but rarely to yourself. “I will find a way to cope. I will be fine. There is a new semester.”

You comfort yourself and promise yourself to live life to the fullest. “Results are not everything. The world is not ending just because you had bad results.”

You giggle at the silly thought. Of course the world is not ending now.


That’s only happening six months later.

Comment ( 1 )

Have Something To Say ?

  1. Hopeful Graduate May 27, 2012 Reply

    Please let this NOT happen to me. ><"

    Last request to the almighty Bell Curve Gods, allow me a safe passage outta NUS!

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