Alternative Route does not = Bad Route

I think in the later part of my life (after I entered Polytechnic) I have probably received this question/comment pretty often: “Don’t u think it’s a waste?’ or “Like that not waste time only…” or “Why not continue? If not like damn wasted leh.”

Well, life was pretty much planned out for me by society/mother since I was born. Nursery -> Kindergarten -> 6 Years Primary School and grab a PSLE certificate -> 4 Years Secondary School and grab an O level Cert -> 2 Years Junior College and grab an A level Cert -> Enter one of the local Universities NUS, NTU, SMU -> Go out to work. Along the way finishing up my piano and get a Diploma/Degree if possible.

So, from the start: I entered Nursery (albeit reluctantly with lots of screaming and shouting and protesting from me), completed it before moving onto Kindergarten and then Primary School. Graduated with an aggregate score of 230 for my PSLE; Moved onto Secondary school, got a decent O level cert with 11 points for L1R5 and 8 for L1R4. Needless to say, I entered a Junior College. So I got an A level cert and moved onto a University right? Or at least that’s what most think I will do?

Wrong. My A level certificate was not good enough for me to enter any of the 3 local universities. Lucky for me, I already planned out my route when I was still in JC for the worst if I did not manager to enter university. That was how I ended up in Singapore Polytechnic. Dad and I were, so to speak, ‘brave’ enough to accept the reality that I would be unable to enter NUS/NTU/SMU. Mother, however, was really delusional. She kept digging through and searching the internet, asking around, to see if there are any loopholes for me to enter the 3 local Universities. I was thinking: What’s the point? Just accept reality already and move on with life! What’s she so upset about? I’m simply not smart enough and do not belong with the elites. So what? It is not the end of the world and it’s not her life either =x

That was not the end. Even after entering Polytechnic, I’ve had people questioning me about my decision. Why not go to a private Uni instead? Why come to a Polytechnic? *sigh* Back then, I was unable to give them any proper answer except for the fact that I am unable to enter a local university cause of my sucky A level results.

Now, after One and a half years in Singapore Polytechnic, I realised something. Everything in life can be counted as a learning experience, no matter how insignificant they seem. In the eyes of others, two extra years of Junior College and then moving onto a Polytechnic is a waste of time. This is my personal perspective and how I feel:

If I had gone straight to Polytechnic, a lot of things would have been different. I might not have been able to survive the sudden freedom thrown into my face, my studies might not have been where they are now and I definitely wouldn’t have been able to handled CCAs on top of all that. Taking a pure science combination in Junior College (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Economics), I learnt analytical and critical skills. These skills were useful for me when I came to Polytechnic. Studying was much easier and lighter because compared to JC, poly subjects were not as difficult. It was also easier to link things to real life.

And of course I do not regret my choice coming to Polytechnic in the least. Believe me, there were people asking me what went on and how I ended up going to a Poly from a JC and questioning my decisions. Polytechnic and Junior College are still a little on the general side. It is only in University, local or private, that one specializes. I like to think of it as having both sides of the world; Practical, hands-on, fieldwork from Poly, and Analysis, Critical, Mental work from JC.

I don’t think I would have been able to fulfill my full potential if I had went onto University instead of going to Poly. Then again, I never know. However, judging from what my friends are going through in University, I think my thought leans towards the positive side o.o

Well, it is our experiences in our life which makes us who we are today. Without having gone through what I did in my life, I highly doubt I’d be in the position which I am in now. I wouldn’t say it’s the perfect life but it’s perfect enough for me, in a realistic way. I’m starting to stand on my two own feet, express myself better, have a father who’s trying (at least I’m hoping that’s the case) to understand me, a boyfriend who compliments me a lot (not praise people, compliment in terms of compatible traits and characteristics) and pulling myself away as much as possible from being controlled by anyone and playing politics in the house.

Now to see what else life has for me. I seem to have the strangest ability to choose the harder/longer way out all the time. Oh well.