'I got my dreams crushed again
'Chai Hung Yin, Rae Tan & Tan Su Ferne | The New Paper |
Tue May 24 2011
Teen who fell to her death blogged about 'lousy' A-level results.
LIKE many other 18-year-olds, she went to school on March 4 this year feeling panicky and light-headed.
After two years of memorising facts and formula it was the day when her A-level results would be released.
Krystal Aki Mizoguchi, a half-Japanese, half-Chinese Singaporean student at Yishun Junior College, had one fervent wish - to make it to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the National University of Singapore or the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Nanyang Technological University.
But when the anxious girl received her A-level results from her teacher, her world came crashing down.
With her grades, she could apply only to private universities but the option "had never crossed (her) mind", she wrote in her blog.
Two months later, on May 14 at around 7.40pm, she fell to her death from her ninth-storey flat at Ang Mo Kio Street 53.
Could the tragedy have been prevented?
Teachers here are trained to spot students at risk, said the Ministry of Education.
A teacher from a secondary school in central Singapore said: "Regular sessions are held with students and this is when teachers can identify any problems.
"We would raise the matter with someone at a higher level and refer the student to a trained counsellor if needed."
In her last blog entry on March 5, Krystal wrote: "I got my dreams crushed again after seeing my grades yesterday. "I already predicted my grades but it felt so real when I saw the statement of results."
Psychologist Daniel Koh from Insights Mind Centre said teens have it worse now. They face more stress which can come from studies, peers and even social norms.
He said: "Previously, a teen is happy with just a pass. But now, just passing is not good enough. They need to be the best.
"When they cannot manage, the stress level goes up. And it becomes a vicious circle.
"They feel hopeless and helpless to do anything and this spirals into a bigger problem."
Socially too, teens have to cope with a lot of expectations such as having to be seen as fashionable and sociable.
An introverted teen would find it hard to fit in, he added.
In other blog entries, Krystal revealed that she was afraid of disappointing those around her.
She wrote on Nov 7 last year: "Everyone's been expecting me to perform well. I'd feel so bad letting so many people down if I got lousy grades.
"The possibility of failure makes it all the more foreboding.
"It would take a miracle for me to get decent enough grades for the big universities in Singapore. Why are my fellow peers such over-achievers?"
Krystal's parents divorced when she was very young, leaving her and her younger brother in their mother's care. The teenager's father, who is Japanese, works in Singapore. Her parents declined to be interviewed.
In her blog posts, Krystal seemed envious of her boyfriend's family.
"They are some of the nicest, sweetest, most wonderful, fantastic, awesome people I know," she wrote in a blog entry on Dec 8 last year.
Her boyfriend had also studied at Yishun Junior College. When his family took her to a hair salon last December, Krystal was "bursting with bliss".
"Because (his entire family) gets their hair cut at the same salon, they booked me an appointment at the very same salon.
"I felt so happy and pampered.
"I was rambling on to my boyfriend about how happy I was and that nothing could ruin my day," she wrote.