Yes, it's a rather big deal, by any measures.
The worst part of failing finals is never about one self. It's about hurting all those who i care.
Let me attempt at enumerating the adverse SIDE EFFECTS of failing the finals.
Retarded my life by 6 months
I thought i have paid my dues as a student. (2+6+5+2+5=)20 years of education has been a really long journey. I couldn't wait to start working, to be financially independent, to be in a position to give. To be able to start materializing long term plans.
To be really an adult, not just by age but by my worth to the society. And most pressingly, to start paying off that huge mound of debts piling on my back!!!
Giant 25 year old leech that i am now
Financial burden on my family
I am sort of a scholar, living on the generous partial loan/grant from Kuok Foundation, and more loans from OCBC all these years. However they do not have provisions from any extra time needed to complete my degree. And it certainly didn't help that i have never budgeted for failing my finals, being cocksure that nothing would prevent me from passing my finals. Serve me right.
With the tap running dry on that side i will have to turn to my family for support. Sighs, i am approaching 25 and i still have to burden my family financially. Shame on me, shame on the 25 year old leech.
Disappointing my family
My mum had once said she wanted to get a tailor-made cheongsam for my commencement. I squirmed at that idea of such an elaborate costume, after all it's just a bachelor degree that i am earning, and it's a dime a dozen these days. But that's beside the point, it shows how much pride she feels to bring up a son to graduate as a doctor, singlehandedly. Therefore it was really heart-wrenching for me to tell her that there won't be any commencement this July. She will have to wait longer...
Delaying my filial responsibility for another 6 months
Ever since my dad passed away not long after i started primary school, my mum had been playing the roles of father and mother and breadwinner and maid and cook and driver and ATM and counsellor and friend and (PET?, heh).
I have always liked to imagine being able to provide for her, to finally begin to repay all that i owe her. Treating her to fancy restaurants that we could not afford, bringing her to visit places that she didn't have time to travel to, giving her the peace of mind that she never had. Well, all these too have to wait.
That's not me. My chest is not at all hairy...
Dented self worth
That's the least of the problem. Ha, fellow buddhists will concur with me. Non self.
Making my girlfriend wait another 6 more extra months
Tonight we would have been together for 2 years and 8 months. It used to be x months before i would propose. Now its x + 6 months. I am sorry, darling.
I wonder if any examiners would have given any thoughts about what it means to fail a student and take away more than just 6 months of his/her life.
It really is not just about an exam.