Sunday 27 May 2018

Graduating from a Polytechnic

In Singapore, when you reach 12 years old, you do PSLE to determine your next place of study and at 16, you take O levels to continue on. O levels is a little more interesting than PSLE as the options get more diverse where you can either choose a junior college route or polytechnic as your next level of study.

For me, I chose polytechnic after O levels as my results restricted only to a few JCs which I felt wasn’t the right choice for me. What also made me chose to go to a polytechnic was that since young, I am a more hands-on person and not really book smart. So when I was making my choice, my mum assisted me in choosing and deciding on what I can consider.

I chose a science course in polytechnic as I was originally interested to working in the hospital as a testing laboratory staff. I chose Biotechnology as my first choice and got into it. I can still vividly recall year 1 of my studies which was the most difficult time in my 3 years because I didn’t take any chemistry in secondary school and the first year modules were mostly chemistry. I struggled really badly and even cried in front of my care teacher. She explained to me how it was and what decisions I could make. In the end, my friends helped me with the basics and I continue improving. After the first year, everything seemed better as it went more into
                                                                                   biology which was what I looked forward to.

In year 3, we all went through a 6 months internship and I think that was what made me think much more about my future and what I wanted to do. The 6 months of being in a laboratory and handling the research project brought me to think that maybe a laboratory job wasn’t what I wanted after all.

Even though I didn’t want to continue doing a laboratory job, my supervisor told me that there are much more different jobs that I could try after graduating. I think the final year was a time when most poly students start thinking about their future and planning their journey. I wasn’t sure if I would like a degree in science so that’s why I took a gap year to work and experience it. I have to say that polytechnic was a time of growing for me. I wasn't taught all the skills in school that I could applied in my first job but it definitely helped me in having the basics and expectations in place.

Being from poly have definitely given me the chance to mature much more and to give a better thought to my future. I believe that if I had gone to JC, I wouldn’t have gotten involved in financial preparation in terms of investing and also wouldn’t think so much about my future. Even though I do not know if I would have maybe turned out better or worse in JC, I benefited from my time in polytechnic and if i was given a choice to choose again, I definitely would choose the same.

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