Life After SPM: There Is Much More To Life Than Just Our Results
by Lee Xin Hui, Rachel. |
We always hear it, from your seniors or your elder cousins to the motivational speakers in career workshops: “SPM results are not everything.”
What does that mean? Were the tuition classes attended, past year papers attempted, and all-nighters pulled all for naught? Short answer: No. They are important, and they are necessary for several reasons, such as building your self-discipline and time management skills. However, these are not what your life depends on.
1. Your result is just a stepping stone to your next direction
It only gives you a ticket to your following path, a small benchmark to measure where your academic competency is at. In your result slip you might see a certain pattern, for example your sciences may have scored higher than your languages, or your mathematics was far more excellent compared to the rest of your subjects; and these can be useful tells that can help you make more well informed decisions for your future. That’s all result slips do! It doesn’t measure your diligence, your efficiency, or your tenacity; all of which are far more important that the number of A’s you’ve obtained.
2. Your result doesn’t determine your future
You’ve also probably heard this before, most university graduates end up having a job in a field that’s completely unrelated to his or her major. A design student ends up opening his own cafe, or a science graduate suddenly becomes a real estate agent; even in tertiary education, where most students undertake specific courses, they still land on a different career path, thus rendering their university major insignificant. So although your SPM results were subpar, it doesn’t mean your future is all dark and gloomy; which brings us to the last point.
3. It’s not too late to turn around
This works both ways: I’ve known average students who graduated first class, and I’ve known straight-A students who struggled to pass their papers. Of course these can be affected by their choice of course, the nature of their university, and other factors; but this also shows us that your SPM result is not a mirror of how your tertiary education will go! You might be unmotivated to study back in secondary school because you just don’t see the importance of everything you’re learning, but now that you’re in university and you’re actually studying something you’re interested in, things can change.
I’m not saying it is a guaranteed thing, you don’t magically become a 4.0 student when you’re studying something you’re passionate about, hard work is still a necessity; I’m saying it’s a possibility in hopes of encouraging you if you’re disappointed at your current SPM results.
So if you’re satisfied with your SPM results, congratulations! I believe your future path will be far more interesting and challenging and it will be one hell of an adventure; but if you’re feeling disappointed, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world, there are so many possibilities you have yet to explore.
With that said, here are some suggestions on what you can do after receiving your SPM results.
1. Further Education
Tertiary studies would be the more popular path, but do take time to evaluate your plans before you enrol yourself into a particular course at a particular university. With so many choices available, do your research and talk to your seniors about their experiences, then make your decision. If you’re sure of the academic field you want to tap into, then maybe a foundation or diploma course would be ideal because it narrows down your subjects; if you’re still keeping your choices open, then perhaps A-levels or Form 6 will be more suitable for you.
Then again, I’m not an expert, if you need further insights, do talk with the people working or studying in the particular institution; ask them what the environment is like, how will you be assessed, and other information that can help you with your decision-making.
2. New Skills
Maybe you’re more of a hands-on person and you know that the academic path isn’t for you; there are still plenty of areas you can venture into! From the beauty industry (make-up artistry, hair styling) and the arts (handmade accessories, painting) to entertainment (making music, dancing) and traditional skills (goldsmithing, weaving); you’re bound to fit your existing capabilities into at least one domain.
You can also think of your hobbies or your current side hustle, look up on how to make a living out of it, or what you can pick up on additionally to expand your repertoire. It may seem difficult at first as you transition straightaway from solely reading textbooks and memorizing facts to apprenticeship or being self-employed; but hey, we all start somewhere.
3. Get a Job
So you want to first explore the working world before you decide on a particular future path, or you just simply want to start making money without the hassle of assignments and exams; that’s another adventure altogether! You can apply for working holidays overseas, where you fund your own travels and garner experiences by working wherever you set foot on; or you can start applying for smaller positions in companies and slowly work your way up. Either way, you will be met with a different set of challenges if you had chosen to pursue something else; so be open to them and be ready to tackle them as they come.
Whichever way you choose to go, know that they are not limited by your SPM results at the end of the day. So instead of dwelling so much on them, however good or bad they are, think about what you can do next.
All the best in your next phase of life!
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