Inspiring Stories: My Educational Journey Part 2

Have you read part 1 of my educational journey?

After talking to my friends, “K” decided that she would not continue to study as her parents felt that for her to study in ITE is a very shameful thing for them and if their relatives come to know of it, she would feel very ashamed. She mentioned that she might find a job instead.

Decision made by Me & my friend “I”

For myself and “I”, we decided to pick up whichever course we could in ITE. I took up the 2 year Secretarial course and “I” took up the E-commerce course. During my first year in school, I had very friendly teachers and I quickly made friends with them, although I was highly not popular in class. I had few close friends. People quickly distant themselves from me, either because I had good grades or because someone in class just didn’t like it that they were being close to me. I don’t know.. I start to think that maybe in my ITE life, I can just survive all alone by myself. I often had problems forming project groups and I would just take the “left-over”slots.

I taught myself how to be independent. The image of ITE students were so bad those days that we would often either hide away from the eyes of the public, or bring spare clothes to change. We didn’t want to be seen in our uniforms.

Knowing my goals

I worked really hard, bearing in mind my goals (To get into a polytechnic) and I was very motivated to go into the Polytechnic. I did what ever additional CCAs, took up whichever volunteer work etc, so long as that would help me to boost my grades. I knew deep in my heart, that if I did well in ITE, I could still get a chance to study in the Polytechnic and I could even get into the Business Course. This was something I wanted very much and at that point in time. I knew that I had made a right decision to study in ITE. If I didn’t choose to study in ITE and go through this additional 2 years, I would never have a chance to get into the Business Course because of the very low cut off points. My goal then was to get a good GPA, so that I could get into the Business Course and to complete the course in 2.5 years, instead of 3 years. ITE provided me a second chance. A chance to get into my dream course, and to prove that I can do well and that I am not stupid.

In ITE, I did very well in all my subjects and for every semester I was one of the tops in class. I was also offered several opportunities to be mentors in both of my CCAs. I do not see myself as a failure. I was seen by my classmates as someone who is hardworking and studious. I fought back strong and i graduated with a good score that allowed me to enter into my dream course for 2.5 years. It was a birthday wish come true, I got my admission letter on my birthday.

Have a thankful heart and never give up

I am extremely thankful for all the opportunities and guidance that my teachers had given to me in during my ITE days and the support that they had rendered me in my ITE educational journey.  They taught me to be more vocal, they trained me in my presentation skills and gave me the confidence whenever I did well in something. They inspired me to work for what I want. It turned out to be the best decision I have ever made.

Today, I have completed my ITE, my Polytechinc Studies and I am proud to be even a University graduate. All these doesn’t come easy, but I am thankful for that I once failed, so that I can be successful in my life later. Without bitterness, one can never know what sweetness taste like. Those 2.5 years in the Polytechnic didn’t come easy too, but they made me a better person and with all the decisions  I’ve got to make for myself, it mould me into a person who knows what she wanted in life.

The life skills which I gathered during my days in ITE has taught me to be a risk taker. I am now an independent woman with her own views and thoughts. I do not fear the decisions I’ve made but am able to survive through tough times with confidence.

★Do not feel dismay or upset if you fall down along your life journey.
★Cry, be upset and unhappy only for a short moment.
★Pick yourself up quickly, and make the right decisions that would help you.
★What others say is not important, the most important thing is how you see yourself.
★People may try all means to pull you down, they cannot succeed as long as you won’t let them.
★The journey to success may be a long and lonely one but remember you’ll always have your loved ones with you.

I hope my little educational story have inspired you.

Disclaimer: This article first appeared in It was written by the same author.

Inspiring Stories: My Educational Journey Part 1

Some time back, I saw an article link posted by a fellow blogger friend regarding a Mediacorp artist whom had became successful today despite that she was once from ITE. I wish to take this opportunity to share my very own story. You can read the artist’s story here.

Most of you would not know me well enough to know my background, in particularly my educational background. Many friends look at me today in awe and admired me because of my life achievement. But they failed to see my struggles and the hardship i went through back in school. It is not by sheer luck, neither do I have the clever brains that I am, who I am today. It is a whole lot of hard work and knowing what I want, picking myself up from where I fell. From then on, it was a whole lot of planning and making major life changing decisions.

Primary School:
To begin my story, let me share with you my background. Right from the start, I left Primary 6 with reasonable grades and an average PSLE result that gave me 2 choices. I could go to a better school and go into a 5 years normal academy stream or I could opt for an average neighborhood school with a 4 years express stream. I choose the later, thinking that its better to finish school in 4 years, rather than 5 years.

Secondary School:
When in Secondary School, I did very poorly with my Mathematics, Science and Accounting subjects. It must be partly due to the fact that I was often bullied in school, either because of my family background (not rich and affluent), or my looks (I had lots of pimples and very bad skin then) that made it hard for me to concentrate in school. In fact, I didn’t do well in most of my studying subjects. I realized that those which I performed better (my languages) was because I had a friendly and encouraging teacher. For those subject that I get either a teacher whom I could hardly understand what they were saying the whole time, or scolded us “Stupid” or played favoritism to top students, I would totally let go of the subject. My mind seems to wander off somewhere else whenever they were teaching in class. No matter how hard I tried, went for remedial classes, tuition classes etc… I never seem to do well.

By the time I reached Secondary 4, I knew that I am going to fail a few subjects for my “O” Levels Examination. I briefly calculated the points that I would require to end up in a course that I would totally not be interested in, but still be in a local polytechnic. I knew that no matter what, I need to pass my English, Mathematics and Science. I worked hard and I fight strong, my Science teacher said that I was never going to make it with my Science, but i proved him wrong. I passed! But I failed my Mathematics. Remember this thou, “O” levels is not just about passing, its about doing it well. Even if you get an average C or D for the subject, you’ll end up with too many points to get into a good course.

The day I received my “O” level results, I cried like hell. I didn’t know what to do. On my slip, there was only one option =ITE=> Was it the end for me….. ? I even had silly suicidal thoughts. I talked to my 2 other good friends “K”& “I”, like me… they didn’t make it to the Polytechnic either.

Tough decisions:

I knew right there and then that I only had a few choices, but because of the highly negative vibes and the branding of being “stupid” was so strong those times, I told myself to avoid going into ITE. I spoke to my mother about it and she answered me ” If you don’t wish to continue studying, what do you wish to do?.” She totally left the decision making to me.

Now, I had several options.
1) Retake my “O” Levels privately within the next year for my Mathematics, if I passed, I can appeal to get into Polytechnic to do a normal course with high cut off points. The ones with the highest points were either a Nursing course, OR an Engineering course (Lower points was better if you are wondering).

2) Go to ITE, I could only opt for the 2 years Secretarial course (the one and only course that appeared on my result slip). The positive side was that ITE was a government school and you’ll get your certificate recognized after you graduate. If you do well, you can get a chance to advance into a polytechnic to continue your studies. But whatever course you do in ITE, it has to be linked to the course which you are going to do in the Polytechnic. (E.g – Secretarial to Business, Nursing to Nursing, Engineer to Engineer etc)

3) Find a private institution and take up some computing course. As far as I could remember, in our days, there was only Informatics, TMIS, and some other less popular business schools available.

4) Discontinue my educational journey, find a job and perhaps find a chance to upgrade my skills later on.

Make a guess where I ended and what happened next…. Stay tuned to part 2 of My Educational Journey.

Disclaimer: This article first appeared on It was written by the same author.