Situation: You’re done with your O Level examinations and you just got back your results. Now what?
Most of you will have two choices to choose from: Junior College or Polytechnic. You might already have visited the various polytechnics during their open house from 5th-8th January and checked out the courses they have to offer. Now, while a handful have already decided where they want to go, some of you are probably still stuck between the two choices. So I hope this post will (somehow) help and guide you in choosing the right path for you, all based on my own opinions and experiences.
You should go to a junior college if you are confident that you are disciplined enough to do assignments. Why I said so is because technically if you go to JC, you only have 1 and ½ years to study and prepare for A Levels after which you’ll be taking the exams. Now I’m in no position to judge how JC students are even though some of my friends are in JC. But after seeing some of their tweets, JC life is hard. I don’t have much to say about JC, as I’m not a JC student. But if you do choose to go to one, I wish you all the best for your posting results
You should go to a polytechnic if you want a longer time to complete your studies. You have three years to complete your diploma in the course that you’ll be posted to. Some people have this perception that poly life is easy and very ‘slack’ as they say it. WRONG! It is equally stressful as JC life when you have assignments flooding your way and are ‘Forever Missing Sleep’ (FMS). FMS actually stands for School of Film and Media Studies in Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP). I am taking one of the four diplomas offered there and I’m not kidding when I say ‘Forever Missing Sleep’. Not only does it apply to me but to (almost) all the FMS students. When you first start year 1 semester 1, it is not that bad. But as time passes, you’ll wish you had more time to sleep. Apart from NP, there are four other polytechnics to choose from like RP, NYP, SP and TP. So do consider them too.
When you choose a course and polytechnic make sure you consider these factors:
- Future career
- Passion in the course you pick. Remember you will be in the course for three years. If you’re in a course you extremely have no passion in then you will suffer throughout the three years. I didn’t get the first three choices I chose that are related to my passion. When I got the text message to show which course I was posted to, I kind of half-expected it. I somehow knew I wouldn’t get the first three choices, as my L1R4 didn’t meet the requirements. Why I didn’t appeal? I don’t know. I have some passion in the course I’m in right now but there’s still a long way for me to find that passion as equal as the one I have for my first three choices. The director of my school always tells us to have passion in what we do.
- You may or may not think about the future careers when you pick your courses but it will affect what kind of job you’ll have later on. And that brings us back to passion. If you have passion in your job, you’ll definitely love your job. Not all of us have the option to choose our desired job but if you make the best out of your course and get your diploma I’m sure you’ll go a long way in the future.
- It’s best if you choose a polytechnic that is convenient for you to travel to, as you will get tired from traveling to and fro. For RP, if I’m not wrong their school timings are from 8.30am-3.30pm for year 1. For NP, the timetable changes each semester. You may have classes as early as 8am or as late as 1pm. There is no 15 minutes grace period policy in NP so if you’re late even by 5 minutes, you’re considered absent. I do have friends that live in the East but it all comes down to yourself, whether you’re willing to wake up early to go to school if you live there. I’m not too sure about the timings for other polytechnics though.
I hope I’ve somehow helped ease you burden in choosing between junior colleges and polytechnics. It may not be much but I really wanted to share my opinions and experiences. To all getting your results tomorrow, all the best! You’ve done what you could. Some of you will definitely cry tomorrow but I hope it’ll be tears of joy! Don’t forget to thank you teachers and friends who’ve been there throughout your journey.
Lastly, join the NP family! There are so many reasons for you to come to NP. But it’s best if you find out and experience it yourself.
“You may not get what you want but always make the best out of what you have.”
Ngee Ann: Always that something Xtra!
Below are the websites of the five polytechnics. Visit them for more information.
Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP): http://www.nyp.edu.sg/
Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP): https://www1.np.edu.sg/jae/index.html or http://www.np.edu.sg/ for the full site
Republic Polytechnic (RP): http://www.rp.edu.sg/
Singapore Polytechnic (SP): http://www.sp.edu.sg/wps/portal/vp-spws
Temasek Polytechnic (TP): http://www.tp.edu.sg/main/index.asp