BY SARACH AND STEFITH
So O-level results have come out, which means many students are thinking about where they want to go in their next phase of life.
When we were choosing schools, we had different experiences. Sarach knew right from the start that she was never going through the one-exam-means-everything phase again, but Stefith spent forever trying to choose, and nearly appealed to go to a JC.
In the end, both of us chose to go to polytechnic, and we never looked back. Studying Mass Communication in Ngee Ann Polytechnic is probably one of the best decisions we ever made, and we’ve certainly benefited a lot from it.
Not sure if poly is the path you should take? Well, here are six signs that it might just be the place for you.
P.S: We’re writing this from our own experiences in poly, and no one ever has the same stories, so take it with a pinch of salt!
P.P.S: This post is written entirely out of the goodness of our hearts and the fact that we’re nosy old ladies on the inside. We only wish someone had paid us to do this.
1. You know what you want to study
Going to poly is best if you’re already quite certain about what you want to do. If you’re particularly interested in something which cannot be found in the A-level curriculum, say aerospace engineering, design, or business, then you should definitely consider enrolling into poly where you can study something you’re interested in. Don’t bother wasting time on getting a certificate just to go into university when you already know what you wanna do.
But if you’re kind of interested but still not quite sure? Going to the open houses and talking to the students there will help loads (plus you get lots of freebies!), but don’t worry if you missed it! You can still head over to the various polytechnic’s websites to find out more about the course and modules and ask seniors you may know in that course.
2. You hate the thought of having one exam that will determine your life
“The thought of doing ‘O Levels’ all over again was a big N O. The JC curriculum was far too similar to secondary school and I was itching for change. The modular system of polytechnic, including assignments which were all cumulative, was a system that attracted me.” – Sarach
If you’re like her, poly will definitely appeal to you. Although there are exams and assignments throughout the academic career, there is no one final exam that determines how well you do for your whole three years.
Of course, the thing about poly is that your Grade Point Average (GPA) is cumulative. If you screw up one semester and do badly, the impact of that one semester follows you throughout your entire three years. It’s a daunting thought, but with hard work in the next few semesters, you can definitely pull your grades up.
Due to the fact that you learn different things every semester, your holidays are totally free of school work, free of revisions and free of studying since you’ll have almost no clue as to what to study for the next semester! With that being said, this leads us to point number…
3. You hated having to go back for lessons during the holidays
Semester breaks in poly are amazing – the lecturers do not touch you at all and there are no academic school activities AKA no studying or school work! Sounds like loads of fun, and you get a proper break to spend with your friends and family. You could participate in CCA activities, travel or work/intern for extra cash and experience. The choices are endless when your 7-week break is entirely yours.
On the flip side, the long holidays can make you lose the school groove, and all your other modules will tap on stuff you’ve learnt before, so don’t throw it all away 😛
4. You work better in groups
Group projects are very common throughout poly life. You will have to learn how to manage all kinds of people and work as a team. If you’re a team player who believes that teamwork makes the dream work, then you should consider heading the poly path.
Of course, studying is still needed and there are individual assignments – but who says you have to deal with it alone?
5. You like getting your hands dirty
Stefith’s friend Charlotte interviewed Nathan Hartono for a class assignment!!!
Polytechnic is all about getting ready for the workforce, which means equipping you with the right skills set and knowledge to complete tasks in the industry. In Mass Comm, we don’t just study how to write good articles for journalism, but go out to cover events, meet and interview actual people for articles, applying to real life what we learnt in the classroom.
Polytechnic is certainly very hands-on, and we gain a lot of real-world experience which is highly sought after in the industry.
6. You didn’t really thrive in secondary school
Here’s the thing – the place that suits you best is where you thrive in. We’ve been told that JC is very similar to secondary school, so if you didn’t really enjoy your time there, you probably won’t enjoy your time in JC either. The key thing is finding a place where you learn at a comfortable pace and are happy to be in.
Be it choosing between JC or poly, or even between JCs, find an environment which you will enjoy and be able to do well in. Only you know yourself best, so check out the different open houses and do your share of research to find out what you feel will work for you.
Of course, as much as we loved studying Mass Comm, it’s not possible to be happy with your school environment all the time. There were definitely periods where we were cursing our modules and questioning why we still had to do some form of math. However, at the end of the day, we still enjoyed our time in poly tremendously, and we certainly thrived.
If you’re keen on a specific field and are pretty sure about what you want in life, the poly track is definitely the best way to go. The key thing is honestly to know yourself and know what works for you – pick the right place for yourself, and the rest will fall into place. There’s no right or wrong, no system that’s better than one of the other.
This is just our two-cents worth on some things to consider if you’re thinking about a poly education. Whatever it is you choose to do, do it with your head held high and an open mind.
All the best! We hope we’ve helped you in some way or another 😀