Close

Login here to access/preview our exam papers, or sign up now for your free membership!

# JC or Poly or Just Peer Pressure?

(20)
Tuition given in the topic of Miss Loi the Tutor from the desk of at 9:50 pm (Singapore time)

Updated on

EDIT: Updated the newspapers & mainstream media link with something more current. It’s current affairs after all. 🙂

Now that the O-Levels are over, many of Miss Loi’s (now ex-) students have been asking her the golden question: JC or Poly? Some potentially ‘life-altering’ factors being considered include:

“I thought JC more prestigious!?”
“But all of my friends are going to this JC/Poly!”
“I heard JC very stressed – I wonder if I can cope?”
“My father say die die must choose JC because Poly got no future!”
“Poly more relaxed and no need to wear uniform! Yeah!”
“My friend tell me this Poly/JC got more chiobus … “

… and many other similarly ‘grave’ concerns were raised.

Apart from the usual cliché “It really depends” reply, Miss Loi will go further by quoting this conversation from a TVB drama she saw last week:

Pretty Daughter with Miss Hong Kong face: “Pa, I very the confused! I dunno whether I should be with him or not? How?”
Father with wise sagely voice: “Dun worry, just make your decision and stick with it.”
Pretty Daughter with Miss Hong Kong face: “But I scared I choose wrongly then regret later!
Father with wise sagely voice: “Once you made your decision, never ever regret it! … “
Father with wise sagely voice: ” … You will never regret because you made this decision after much careful consideration. In this world there is never a right or wrong answer, so when you’ve made up your mind, trust yourself and move on from there …”

The important point here is making informed decisions. Unfortunately at your tender age of 16-18, this is easier said than done as your mindset and outlook are often shaped through peer pressure. In Singapore, these could come in the forms of your friends, your education, newspapers & mainstream media, or even your well-meaning parents.

Many of you (or your parents) will tend to think that you must:

Study hard > Get good grades >
Go to uni > Get good grades >
Join a big company > Get good salary >
Get married > Get cute babies >
[Start Loop]
Get promoted > Get pay rise >
[End Loop]
Retire rich > Play with grandchildren >
Go china tour > Go to heaven (hopefully).

Miss Loi does not dispute the above, and actually many have experienced and found that to be the definition of a successful life. However Miss Loi would like to remind you that the world is always changing (and at shorter cycles too) – what you see now will not be what you think it will be in 10-20 years time. For e.g. do you think your parents could have predicted the rise of blogging and the internet? Or the mass retrenchments of middle-age workers?

On the other hand, Miss Loi believes that each and every one of you is unique, and will absolutely rox in some area – an area which you may not yet be aware of. Let’s call this your ‘calling’.

Given the current environment, it is not easy to discover your ‘calling’. For the sake of some generalizing: you could be very sociable (sales), like to help people (medical, teaching, social work), talk too much (consulting, lawyer – haha), like to dismember toys (engineer, IT), full of ideas (entrepreneur, marketing), creative (media, design), weird (media, design – haha), can’t sit still (anything but office life), vain/attention-seeking (model/artiste), fussy (audit), like to stack/organize your notes neatly (civil service – haha), always never return money you owe your friend (businessman – haha) or … better stop here lest more people get offended 😛

So how to find your ‘calling’?

From now on (if you’ve not already done so), Miss Loi urges you to make it your top priority to find your ‘calling’. At 16-18, you are still young and time is on your side. Whether you’re already in JC or Poly or ITE or haven’t choose yet, take this time to experience as much as you can, do different part-time work to see different industries (if you’re not the slack kind), party as hard as you can to know more people (if you’re the social kind), read as widely as you can (if you’re the not-so-social kind), try out some business idea (if you’re the anyhow ‘whack’ kind – high chance you will fail but that’s the point!), backpack and travel as far as you can and learn to be independent and experience the world beyond our little Singapore (if you’re the garang kind), or just try out anything you feel like trying (don’t scared this scared that scared parents not happy etc. – but please don’t go take drugs or get anyone pregnant!!!!)

The idea is to experience as many hits and misses (i.e. find out what you really like and what you don’t) while you are still young and eventually you will discover your ‘calling’ by the time it matters. If it’s indeed your ‘calling’, you will definitely excel in it through your passion regardless of what you choose. It is always better to be tops amongst your cahort instead of being another faceless lemming amongst the masses.

So hopefully this long post will help you a little the next time you are faced with a ‘life-altering’ decision. Just FYI, some of Miss Loi’s richest friends have never completed their respective Uni/Poly/Sec/Pri education. Drugs and pregnancies aside, there is never a right or wrong decision. If you think you’ve just screwed-up big time, just remember Miss Loi always says that the next step you take is always more important than the previous step you left behind.

Sigh … think Miss Loi is getting old and chiong hei (long-winded) already 😕

### Revision Exercise

To show that you have understood what Miss Loi just taught you from the centre, you must:

1. commented in tuition class

2007
Apr
3
Tue
12:23am

1

Thats really some good advice for your students.

I agree that the best thing anyone can do in decision-making is to make full use of whatever information you have at hand and then making an informed. (Whether the information is reliable or accurate is another story altogether) But once your mind is made up, stick to it and persevere.

Anyways, if its any consolation, the choice between JC and Poly is not a matter of life or death so relax.

2. commented in tuition class

2007
Apr
3
Tue
12:24am
3. Miss Loi Friend Miss Loi on Facebook @MissLoi commented in tuition class

2007
Apr
3
Tue
1:20am

3

Thanx for dropping by Kenny.

You really hit the nail on the head when you said "the choice between JC and Poly is not a matter of life or death so relax" 🙂

4. StudentLee commented in tuition class

2008
Dec
17
Wed
11:48pm

4

Thanks for that meaningful quote. Sometimes it really might be too late to regret and you gotta move on. But i feel that making the right choice right now about going to Jc/poly is still important as i really do not wish to regret at the end of the day and force myself to move on. It is really not easy to make a choice out of the 2 since both have advantages and disadvantages...I have no idea of what i want to be in the future since i have no chance to try them out. Part time jobs do not really help, since we could not be there to try out those jobs ourselves. There is no way to get experience!! Thus, making us make a choice right now is so ridiculous! What can i do????

5. Miss Loi Friend Miss Loi on Facebook @MissLoi commented in tuition class

2008
Dec
21
Sun
11:21am

5

Hi StudentLee,

Miss Loi was in the same situation like you many, many (too many) years ago. But maybe the decision was easier then as JC was always perceived to be > Poly.

It's hard to make decisions when you don't get the chance to experience it yet. To aid you in your quest to find your most informed decision, do you have friends/people in JC/Poly/Uni/on the job in various industries whom you can talk to? Better still, get them to show you around the premises and hopefully you can get some vibes about the area (Open House/Job Fairs and other "propagandic" events not withstanding).

Best is to get someone who really KNOW you personally and chances are he/she might be able to say if a particular path suits your character.

Do be wary of 'advice' (however well-meaning they sound) dished out by unqualified folks who profess to know a lot but in actual fact are just speaking from hearsay or their limited last-generational one-sided experiences. This dangerous group of people can include friends/aunties/uncles/relatives or any jaded individual with a biased mindset.

Also, you can get a 'feel' of the various markets and industries by flipping through the Recruit pages (admittedly they're a little thin at the moment) of the papers regularly - do you fit the descriptions/requirements of your dream jobs there?

Lastly, as the world is always changing, accept that there's NO WAY you'll know for sure what you really want at this stage (some of Miss Loi's friends in their 30s/40s are still clueless - sigh). For e.g. who could've known about the internet 20 years ago?

Go in with an open mind that whatever you're studying/doing right now is unlikely to determine in black & white what you'll do next time (unless you're some President's Scholar) - it's the little bits and pieces of experience you pick up along the way that will steer your ultimate direction.

FYI, many, many (umm ... too many) years ago, Miss Loi did part-time work at Famous Amos, Guardian Pharmacy and gave tuition in her spare time during her school holidays - just to "earn some money, gain some exposure, and to kill some time".

Never did she realise at that time that her *ahem*impressive*ahem* sales of that Guardian slimming product helped overcome her innate 'fear' of customers and even played a big part in landing her first job, and that she's still using those customer-service experiences in her daily dealings with parents today, and that she hasn't touched Famous Amos for more than a decade, and that the little thing she was doing in her spare time becomes ...

6. mathslover commented in tuition class

2009
Apr
11
Sat
12:53am

6

Maybe I can share some many many (uhm.. not as many as Miss Loi's) years ago experiences also. 🙂

The only reason why I chose a JC instead of a Poly was because they had double maths module back then and at the end of Sec 4 I was crazily fanatical over the subject.

My idols were people like Euler and Pythagoras, and my dream job was research and discovery, despite all the good-meaning-advice from almost everyone that 'who would pay you to come up with proofs?' -.-''

... fast forward...

Today, I'm not a researcher, never been one, though still hoping that eventually will be one. 🙂

But there was no regrets, in fact today I am proud to be Miss Loi's competitor! shh.. later Miss Loi ban me from here..

7. Miss Loi Friend Miss Loi on Facebook @MissLoi commented in tuition class

2009
Apr
11
Sat
2:01am

7

I am proud to be Miss Loi’s competitor!

HOR!

So the kitty's out of the bag! 从实招来! Out with the truth!

*Prepares swinging light bulb in interrogation room*

8. Sally commented in tuition class

2009
Dec
9
Wed
11:26am

8

wow thank you so much Ms Loi, one of the better articles I've read about going to poly or jc. I've been talking to alot of people... my parents, teachers, and there is also a very interesting website focused on this topic alone- http://www.polyorjc.sg. It's reassuring to read your blog knowing I'm on the right track by getting an informed decision. love that tvb excerpt you wrote!

9. Miss Loi Friend Miss Loi on Facebook @MissLoi commented in tuition class

2009
Dec
12
Sat
8:49pm

9

Just saw your comment, Sally. You see, TVB dramas can be good education material too!

In any case, it's really good that you've been talking to people but as mentioned earlier do make sure that all your well-meaning folks are qualified in what they say i.e. shut out all the "You know hor ... your 3rd cousin's brother-in-law's sister went to this course and now she's driving a sports car leh!!!" If that's the case, you'll need to find out how she got her sports car - there could be a rich boyfriend hidden somewhere 😛

Here's wishing you all the best in finding your true "calling"! Like in romances, it may take awhile before you realize that he/she is The One.

P.S. That website link sounds like a great idea but the caveat is that it's run by Singapore Poly (?!) 😕

P.P.S. How time flies. Can't believe it's been more than 2 years since this article was written.

10. Serafine commented in tuition class

2011
Nov
12
Sat
3:49am

10

do u know about secure jobs readily available in singapore?
the only thing i can think of is being a teacher but i dont want to be confined to just that...

slightly worried about whether i can find a job aft grad, cuz i heard there's uni ppl who can t find a job even aft graduating 0_0;;;

i've thought of dabbing in the arts in the past but i heard that u cant earn \$\$ fr it n Van gogh had to eat paint cuz he was too poor T^T
so i decided to study triple sci but now im still hesistating...

but fr my current state n performance, even before my o level results come out i know that i 'll definitely need to take the poly path since its somehow predestined... BUT THE BIG PROB IS THAT I DONT KNOW WHICH CAREER/COURSE TO GET INTO....

~PS HELP >__< thankyou~~ : )

• 2012
Jan
11
Wed
10:20pm

10.1

@Serafine: It's pretty clear that future job security (or rather insecurity) has clouded your consideration - instead of trying to discover your inner CALLING.

Even if you end up finding your "dream secure job" (and perhaps giving up your real passion in the process), chances are
, in an ever-changing world, you would continue to feel insecure throughout your career - unless if you're Minister (even then ...)

• Serafine replied to Miss Loi’s comment

2012
Jan
12
Thu
9:51pm

@Miss Loi: haha thx 😀
my results came out better than expected 😛
contradictory to what i said before...

despite that it seems like all the arrows are pointing to Biz innovation n design @SP :/

criteria i'd hope for my course (while i was expecting that i'd be unable to go jc aft my exams)is somehow fufilled..
1-beautiful campus
2-simple travel
3-only wait for mrt , not bus
4-change the world like stevejobs( said somewhere in the brochure.. i randomly thought abt this cuz he'd just died)
5-not too exp... well its not exactly cheap but this year it just happens that they hav the Moe Bursary to make it less of a burden..
6-learn many interesting things that are somehow practical
7- my mother had been hoping i'd study accounts if i went to poly..well u noe...accountants... it has principles of accs... if i end up liking accs i might go for a diploma xD secure secondary job..
8-awesome that we get to learn a bit abt history of art n design & consumer psychology ((been interested in art n design & psychology.. though i was hoping for daily-human-kinda-psychology but i guess i'll just try to find books abt it =P ))

n the design studio they have is really appealing to me xP

but den again, i saw in a presentation at TP a girl who learnt veterinarian stuff ended up in Uni Dentistry...

n i just heard that they're looking at the GPA now instead of just the top 10% ^_^

11. Steel Rain commented in tuition class

2012
Jan
10
Tue
11:22pm

11

AHAHAHA!!! Miss Loi! That reminds me of one year ago... and hor actually all that needs to be done is to make the right choice... map out your life and career (got specific goal (apart from Law), take Poly, if not, go JC).

P/S: Come to Ngee Ann if you are interested in a Business, Media or Humanities Course!!!

12. yuuki commented in tuition class

2012
Jan
10
Tue
11:39pm

12

After reading your post, I still cant decide. My heart is like in between JC and Poly. What should I do?

13. Student_B commented in tuition class

2012
Jan
11
Wed
12:43am

13

Hi Miss Loi, i got quite good results for o lvls. at the beginning, I was set on going for a particular course in a poly, then my father "discuss" with me, and he made me think that you cant go to uni after tha. So I chose an other course as my first choice and my dd and i "discuss" again, and again he made me think that JC was better if you want to go local uni. Now, I'm sruck between Jc or Poly. Can you help me please??? Initially, my mind was 90%Poly, now it has become 50% Poly 50% JC. What should i choose??? 🙁

• 2012
Jan
11
Wed
10:08pm

13.1

OK first of all Miss Loi doesn't know you, your dad, nor the courses you are considering ... but oh you're sooooo FICKLE!!! *personally can't stand fickle-minded men :evil:*

But seriously, is the course you're interested in offered at a higher level in Uni as well?

If so, since your results are good, it may be practical to set your sights to get into the Uni course (and meanwhile endure the JC uniform for the sake of easier entry to Uni later) instead of settling for the poly course in the short term.

Every dad is the best in the world and 世上只有爸爸好 ... but without knowing who (and how powerful The Force of) your dad is, how did he managed to reduce your 90% conviction to 50%??? Is he an insider who is privy to information concerning whether your course and the skills you'll pick up is going to be in demand in a few years time, or was it just a case of

“My father say die die must choose JC because Poly got no future!”

• Student_B replied to Miss Loi’s comment

2012
Jan
13
Fri
1:41am

@Miss Loi: No. My dad did ask many people, our relatives and his colleague. Most of them are either went to JC and today in local uni, or still in JC, or grad from jc and uni years ago (10 years or less). After hearing opinions from them and my teachers and friends. I feel that I'm back to square 1 - 50% JC 50% poly. And one fact i know about myself is that i lack self confidence, and when problem arise, i tend to look on the negative side. Would you give me some advice please? I've been having sleepless night.

### One Reaction

1. ShuYen tweeted

2012
Jan
10
Tue
3:43pm

14

What she said is quite true (: --https://www.exampaper.com.sg/miss-loi-the-tutor/jc-or-poly-or-just-peer-pressure

• ### Latest News

Once again, with the current COVID-19 situation, all joss sticks sessions have been ZOOM-ed away from Novena and are currently held online.

Please check our 2021 secondary / O level maths group tuition schedule for updates throughout this lockdown "heightened alert" period. *sigh*

Meanwhile, stay safe everyone!

The 2021 Maths Exam Papers are here! The 2021 Maths Exam Papers ARE FINALLY HERE!

Sign up or login now to access the latest set of Preview Papers!

... and join our ever-growing list of 18955 members

* Please refer to the relevant Ten-Year Series for the questions of these suggested solutions.

• ### About Miss Loi

Miss Loi is a full-time private tutor in Singapore specializing in O-Level Maths tuition. Her life's calling is to eradicate the terrifying LMBFH Syndrome off the face of this planet. For over 30 years she has been a savior to countless students ... [read more]
• ### Gratitudes

中三时，我对数学已经心灰意懒，认为那是难以捉摸的科目。但是，在Ms Loi 的耐心教导下，面对中四离校考试时，我对两棵树学以信心满满。而在稍早前的预考中，两课数学也拿了A1。... [read more]

Maple Tay
Cedar Girls’ Secondary School