With the current situation we are in, it’s normal to feel lost and unsure about everything that is going to happen. Having to make so many drastic changes to my life — like my study plans and the way I interact with people — wasn’t easy for me, and I’m sure we are all going through the same struggles.
Nevertheless, there are still some things that won’t change. Like the close bonds you have forged with your classmates, and the hours of grinding you’ll have to do with tests upcoming.
I will be listing some tips that have personally helped me to get through JC life. The experiences you have will all be different, but the same lessons will be learnt wherever you go.
Be Open to New Beginnings
Some of you might be a little hesitant about venturing out of your comfort zone to make new friends or to challenge yourself. Just tell yourself, you have only 2 years of JC before you join a university. Make the most out of it, and try to be open to everything that comes your way. Try to stay positive and look at the bright side of things. Don’t think back and regret what it could have been, but instead on what it will be, if you acted now.
Stay Focused On Your True Goals
Nonetheless, besides staying open to new challenges that come your way, remember that you still need to cross that finishing line at the end. If you think these challenges are going to weigh you down, or won’t give you any sort of enthusiasm, then it would just be a redundant obstacle you have to cross to get to the finishing line.
Always consider all your priorities and weigh them together. For instance, one priority could be studying for a major test, and the other priority could be you headlining a major event in the school. In this case, you would have to weigh the pros and cons of both situations. Would you be willing to forsake your time studying for this test to headline the event? Or would you be willing to focus all your time on studying for the test and the event be subpar?
If you have to choose between these priorities, then make sure that the one you choose is the one you will stay focused on accomplishing, and that the one you throw away, is the one you will not think back and regret. Once you set a goal, don’t look back and regret it. This just weighs you down emotionally, and we have no time for that in JC.
Be Friendly with Everyone
I’m sure all of us have seen real-life Korean dramas playing out before our eyes, be it the people we know, or us individually. It really isn’t worth your time and energy to listen/badmouth/be stressed out over bad thoughts about other people. Every single person here has their good and bad points, like you and me. If the person has done nothing wrong towards you individually, there is no reason why there should be any tension between you two. Sure, there will be awkwardness and a sense of anxiety at the start. But I’m sure that as time goes by, the good sides will appear. You just have to find them and embrace them. At the end of the day, you will find a sense of relief that you have no tensions in your life, and you can focus on whatever you need to do for yourself.
Try Not to Procrastinate Too Much…. For Real
JC is very different from secondary school, regardless of whether you are an O level kid or an IP kid. The stress is very real, and the runway is very short. You will be receiving tons of lectures and tutorials every week, so make sure to finish them on time within the allotted slots so you will not have a backlog. The backlog…. is VERY real. It may not seem like much at the beginning, but there will come a time when you are unable to finish these lectures and tutorials on time, and you will start to feel overwhelmed and stressed out, and wishing you went to Poly instead of going through A levels. It’s definitely okay to take a breather every now and then, but make sure you complete what you need to do first (especially those that are on schedule). You will realise that you will have a lot more time for yourself to take breaks.
Whatever the Situation, It Can Only Get Better.
One of the darkest times of my life happened in Year 1 JC, just before the promotional examinations. Nothing bad happened, everything was perfectly normal. However for some reason, the light at the end of my tunnel just started extending further and further away from me. I felt that everything was pointless, and questioned my every decision. It felt strange and foreign to me, as I had never spiralled so deep down before in any part of my life. Suffocation, stress, anxiety are just a few words to describe it. No one knew about the situation I was in, except for my mom. Her motivation was pretty inspiring.
This is what my lovely mum said to me: “You have reached rock bottom. That’s fine. Just learn from your mistakes, take notes about the situation you are in, and proceed to climb upwards. Make sure you don’t repeat them again, and tell yourself it can only get better”.
There will come a time where you might possibly see yourself starting to spiral downwards. When you start being aware of it, slap yourself and get back up. If you find yourself stuck, take a break and pull yourself together. Even if you hit rock bottom, that is still okay. Just climb back up. It is not easy, but it definitely isn’t impossible.
With that, I would like to wish you all the best for your JC journey. It will be a fulfilling one for sure! 🙂
Giselle Teo, 20S61
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