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'Then and Now' Series

"It’s never too late for people to change."

When I was 18, I was in my 2nd year of my pre-U days but working hard to get into University was the last thing on my agenda at that time. All I wanted was to be seen as this cool gal in school; I wanted all the attention I could possibly get.

I got the attention from guys definitely but that wasn’t enough. To be “cool” and accepted, I tried smoking, played truant, skip classes, spoke back to my teachers, vandalized school properties and I even slashed my wrists. For a period of time, I ate with my wrists facing down to the table to avoid getting noticed by my parents. I was rude to my family members each time they showed their concern. I repeated that year before eventually getting kicked out of school and blamed my parents for not sending me overseas.

Some may wonder but I am from a close-knitted family who shares everything… I just didn’t tell them about my new “activities”.

To cut the story short, I failed my A levels as a private candidate and didn’t get to the university. I went through depression at the age of 23 as I felt small without a degree and my pay was meagre and I started slashing my wrists again to “take away the pain” (but never to commit suicide).

Now, at 30, I have 2 diplomas from SIM and NIE (National Institute of Education) and currently pursuing a degree in counselling. This is also my 9th year as a teacher and I no longer regret my past coz it has moulded me to be who I am today. I’m rather old to be an undergrad but never too old! =)

I am who I am because of my past and because of that little hope that so many people believed in. My mum always tell me: “It’s never too late for people to change. It may take months or even years but people do change eventually.” =)

Written by: Huda

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This piece was written as part of We Believe In Second Chances’ Then And Now series, where people share their personal experiences and reflect on how they have changed from when they were young (or younger), or how second chances have helped them.

If you would like to share your own story, please do. It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you live or how “boring” you think your life is – everyone has his or her own experience and everyone has a story. There is no word limit, and don’t worry about your language/writing skills – this is not a composition test!

Please send in your pieces to webelieveinsecondchances@gmail.com.

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