I read an article on Kenny Sia's blog some time last year, and have been wanting to blog an entry for those at the crossroads in life.
Dedicated to all the juniors and youths at the crossroads of your lives
Some of you have heard of the phrase "Singapore is a society where your educational background matters" in argumentative essays.
Although I've personally used it in my essays before, I didn't turn out to be a believer, seeing how I did not pursue The Piece Of Paper in uni after polytechnic days. Many youths have probably thought and even struggled to make The Decisions - should I continue my studies? What course should I take?
So I want to share five lessons I've learnt in the process:
If you think secondary school and JC lives were stressful, uni life would only be... worst.
Secondary school was a nightmare for me- I blank out during examination no matter how attentive I am in class and have no problem completing my assignment.
Polytechnic days were liberation for me after ten years of educational abuse, and I finally found where I belong and the right way for me to learn.
If you were one of those who struggled by the borderline in school, you should probably take some time to consider the stress you may face in uni, and think if it's worth persisting. Uni is not a playground, but one where you are pretty much forced to absorb as much as you can in lessons. If you think you are on the right track, be prepared to face the challenges.
Take time to tell the differences among similar courses
Always take the time to understand what the courses are about! A few courses in the same faculty may seem similar, but their syllabus are bound to have significant differences. Taking myself for example, I enrolled in Chinese Studies, a course that is major Chinese minor media. Then a Chinese media course was introduced, that was major media minor chinese. They seem the same, but the lessons was really different.
If it's not a need, it's not a must
Asian kids are often pressured by parents, so we've been brainwashed from young - proceed to secondary school after primary school, and then we should aim to get into uni.
Try putting such presumptuous thoughts aside, and consider your choices carefully - does your dream job requires a uni qualification? Why are you insistent to be in uni? If you're in uni just to be the norm or filial, or even simply for pride, then I would suggest you save the expense, and save the chance for other students who NEED the slot.
Never EVER apply for uni just because "my friends are doing the same", because you're the one who would suffer at the end of the day.
（2）经验 VS 学历
Experience VS Qualifications
In my opinion, the decision is clear. Someone in the media industry once told me that the knowledge is renewed every three years. Meaning to say, what I learnt in Poly would be useless by the time I graduate from uni.
I questioned my ability to remain at the top of the game in uni, and I knew very well it's impossible. So I weighed the outcomes - three years of experience or three years in exchange for a cert with mediocre results? I chose the experience.
Being in the industry itself has got me my share of hell and gain, and I choose to believe that the exchange is equal. As of now, what I learnt in poly could apply to my work, and I'm learning more and better in the practical process. This is something that no textbook or syllabus can impart.
Something called experience.
Uni is a choice, and you can always return for it
Some of my friends had chose to find a job after poly graduation, just to give themselves some space and time to think about what they really want. I think life isn't just about success or failure, but more importantly, perseverance, effort, struggles, faith and failures.
If there's any dream you wish to pursue right now, give it a shot, and never let uni be the stumbling block. If you wish to spend some time going for auditions, interviews and penning your thoughts for journalism, let your courage lead the way. Even if you don't succeed at the end of the day, you've earned yourself better knowledge of your ability, self-respect and confidence. It's never too late to go back to schooling.
Always keep your heart and mind open, as there's no definite formula for success. So long as you're not remaining where you are, but moving forward, you're always growing and improving.