Apr 10, 2010

Poly vs JC

I was reading the Straits Times section about Poly high-flyers. There was something about a RGS and RJC student who score 10A1s in her O Levels (SERIOUSLY, WTHWTH) and then got 4As in her A level subjects, a distinction for her S-paper and an A1 for GP. Then she went to SMU, "aided by a scholarship", before she decided to drop out and go to Ngee Ann Poly to study early childhood education. She then got an almost-perfect GPA of FREAKING 3.99 (highest possible score is 4). Like, omg, talk about being gifted.

And here's a crazy one: "When Dr Lindi Tan graduated with first-class honours in biochemistry from London's Imperial College five years ago, she scored not one, but five, prestigious scholarships to overseas her studies. In the end, she turned down the offers from Oxford, Cambridge, Cornell and Imperial College and chose Johns Hopkins University". And she was a graduate of Ngee Ann Poly.

The main thing that caused me to rethink my decision to study Mass Comm in Ngee Ann after the O Levels was the modules in the course. In the entire first year, only one measly module was about writing / print journalism. Everything else was related to broadcast journalism, advertising & PR and other stuff like graphic design. The Mass Comm course is very very focused on broadcast journalism, in which I have no interest. I can't talk well and know my strengths lie in writing more than anything. In fact, I think I write in Chinese better than I talk in English. Talking as in for stuff like radio and broadcasting, of course. And we all know my Chinese is horrible. (I hate not being able to answer Dave's vocabulary queries during Chinese class because I'm supposed to be his Chinese helper or something.)

So yes, I wanted something that would help me write better and teach me to think critically, and after a lot of consideration and reading up of Singapore Poly's Mass Comm brochure as well, I decided JC would be a better choice because I knew studying Literature would help me a lot in my critical thinking skills (of which I have none) and English Language and Linguistics would definitely benefit me greatly in my future career in print journalism.

The thing is..... I don't know how many JC grads go to overseas universities, and I definitely hear about A LOT more Poly grads going to overseas universities than JC grads. So many JC grads end up in NUS and NTU, but I've yet to know of anyone who went overseas after JC, apart from the crazy geniuses who went to Oxford, Harvard, Princeton etc. What's more, Poly grads get a year or more off in university because they've already learnt the things the people will be taught in that year or so, so they get to pay less school fees. Overseas school fees are expensive and my parents probably wouldn't be able to afford them, especially if I'm thinking of going to the UK. I'm not keen on going to a university in Singapore at all, especially because I want to do something like Media and Communications. I need new experiences and a new environment, I need more exposure, I need to learn to be more vocal and opinionated - a skill I would definitely be more able to acquire overseas. During my Channel Newsasia Journalism trip to Hong Kong, I talked to Roland Lim the news reporter and he strongly advised me to go to a university overseas too. Trust the man.

I'm one of the few JC students who's aiming to go to an overseas university like the University of Melbourne / Australian National University / if I dare hope, the University of Sheffield. But having parents who can't afford my university education overseas (if we're talking about England, they wouldn't be able to afford even a year there, please), I'll need something like....a.....scholarship.

I'm talking big here, and it takes me a lot of courage to tell people my true ambitions because I know I probably can't fulfill them. So here.


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