15 October 2012

Why I Dropped Out of Polytechnic

Readers and followers who have read through my Profile Page would have noticed that I have a funny educational background entry which is graduating from Singapore Polytechnic with a Diploma in Games Design & Development (Incomplete). So what exactly happened and why did I made this hard decision which many others would not even consider?

Skills & Interests Mismatch

What comes up in your mind when someone mention to you that he is currently pursuing a Diploma course in Games Design and Development? Computer Programming right? Unfortunately, that is not the case.

The core module of this Diploma course is known as Games Design & Development Studio. There are absolutely no exams and its primary mode of assessment is through Assignments, Projects, and Portfolio Review. The assessment criteria focuses heavily on Artistic Drawing and Digital Painting skills of which both are my greatest weaknesses.

Having pursued the Diploma course for 1 year 6 months, my grades reflected who and what I truly am. My core competencies are in the fields of Business Management, Finance Management, and Creative Writing which are way off the primary focus of the Diploma course which are Artistic Drawing, Digital Painting, and 3D Modeling.

Personal Deception

I attempted to deceive myself time after time and pushing myself to continue the course after the first 6 months, believing that I can excel in the artistic areas so long as I invest a lot of time and effort in practicing. Unfortunately, things did not work out as I thought they would.

As time passes by, the grading criteria of the artistic skill sets are going up while my grades are going down. I have always wanted to drop out of the Diploma course since the start but could not muster the courage to do so due to peer pressure from my family as well as friends. And for that, I continued to deceive myself and continued to pursue a Diploma course which is not in any way related to my core competencies.

The Decisive Moment

Finally, after a prolonged period of meaningless struggle, I came to a point of understanding and accepted the fact that I really applied and pursued the wrong Diploma course. I am finally able to muster the courage to make the hard decision of withdrawing from the Diploma course. And so I did it, I stopped the meaningless wastage of time and money pursuing for that something which I can never reach.

Leveraging on your Strengths

At the end of this chain of events, I would like to share with my readers and followers the important lessons of life which I have learnt through the hard way.

Always follow your heart and be true to yourself.
Pursue your passion and live the dream!

Never do something just because someone else said so or because there is a rumor about a certain field which can earn you a lot of money. Money will, in some way, come to you when you are doing what you love, loving what you do, solving real life problems, and fulfilling the unmet needs of the people who are more than willing to pay for what you can do best.

No one knows what you can or cannot do.
You are the only one who knows yourself best.

Having left Singapore Polytechnic, I went on to pursue the Diploma in Commerce (Business Administration) course offered by Kaplan Higher Education Institute. I managed to complete the course, scoring well in the areas of my core competencies, and have been awarded with a Diploma qualification.

Career Development & You

Are you eagerly looking forward to the start of another day at school or work?

If your answer is a 'Yes', you are on the right track!
Continue to pursue your passion and you will reach your dream destination in time to come!

If your answer is a 'No', you might be traveling the wrong path.
Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. If you are pursuing the incorrect course or career path, you might want to consider switching to the correct one as soon as possible with the least wastage of time and money.

Life is short, and you only get to live once.
Pursue your passion and live the dream!


gof12 said...

Hi. I'm a year 1 poly student studying in Singapore poly. I'm interested in science but i can't get into any of its science courses due to my cut off point. Initially, i got into food science and nutrition in Temasek Poly. However, my family, especially my mum isn't too happy because Temasek Poly is far from my home and she thinks that food science is not a "good" course. She wanted me to choose IT but I didn't listen to her for the first time. So she brainwashed me for like 4 months and manage to persuade me to forfeit Food science in Temasek Poly and join IT in Singapore poly. I have no interests in IT at all, but my parents encouraged me to try first week to know whether i can study or not. I tried the first week but feel like it's really tiring and difficult for me. I keep dragging my feet to school and wanting ro drop out because i can't cope with a diploma I'm not interested in at all. I keep breaking down at several points. My parents don't encourage me to join food science but IT instead because they think there's more job prospects in IT and I will also get to earn more money. But there's no point if i didn't do well enough and didn't graduate end up wasting time and money. Should I drop out of poly after first week of school? Like you, I'm also afraid of being looked down by my family and friends. How to convince my parents to allow me to drop out?

JeForceX said...

Hi gof12,

Allow me to re-cap the timeline of events:
• Initially got into food science and nutrition in Temasek Poly.
• Forfeited Food science in Temasek Poly and joined IT in Singapore poly.
• Kept dragging feet to school and wanting to drop out because can't cope with a diploma with no interest in at all.

Some facts to share:
• Regardless of whichever industry you work in, there will always be salary and the difference will not be that much considering an employee with a Diploma qualification.
• The global economy is changing at a very rapid pace and there is no such thing as a 'sure-win' industry with jobs that can earn you a lot of money.
• Without any interest in IT, you will not be able to absorb the teachings, let alone think about passing the 'exam' and graduating.
• Even if you graduated with a Diploma in IT, you will not be able to secure a job in the IT industry without the correct mindset, skill sets, interest, and passion as job interviews are far more challenging than ever before. Interviewers can see right through you and 'tell' whether you are right fit for the job and the organization.

My Thoughts:
• Science is a very specialized industry and it is not widely available in the Private Education sector so Private Education is not an option in your given situation.
• Since you are still a student of Singapore Polytechnic, you can try checking with the Student Services Centre (somewhere around block T14) on whether you can 'switch' to a course (of your choice) offered by the School of Chemical & Life Sciences.
• From a realistic point of view, pharmaceutical sciences will be an excellent choice as the pharmaceutical industry in Singapore is real.

Your Actions:
• Instead of using the term 'drop out', use the term 'switch field'.
• Inform your parents that you have absolutely no interest in IT and will not do well in this course of study.
• In the worst case scenario, show your parents the 'bad grades' at the end of the first semester as a form of 'evidence' that IT is not the right fit for you.