So anyway, after the huge commotion on my recent posts - The Truth about Life as a Polytechnic Student (part 1 and part 2), some readers requested for the sharing of tips on making the best out of their life in Polytechnic. 



I was rather surprised by the above requests because I have to admit that I'm not the best model student out there, especially from the "bad impression" I've left from the previous posts. Still, going through thick and thin throughout my past three years definitely equipped me with relevant skills, knowledge and experiences which I had never known on the very first day I stepped into school.

Like any of you freshmen out there in Year 1, I had no idea what to expect. 

All I HEARD was that I would be getting more freedom there as compared to entering a JC, and that it was going to be loads of fun!! :-)

That being said, I've decided to do up My Polytechnic Survival Guide for students out there who might want to get a little heads-up on what they could be expecting through their journey in Poly.

ONCE AGAIN, omg I'm so tired of repeating this (and I can't expect myself to be repeating it for every single post), but

THIS IS ENTIRELY BASED ON MY OWN OPINIONS.

Also, writing these tips down does not mean that I practice them myself. 

However, from my observations, this guide will hopefully give you a good direction to head towards, throughout your journey in school.

So hold your fingers, you keyboard warriors, and stop firing non-constructive crap that will be fallen on deaf ears anyway. MY tips, MY thoughts, MY take, NOT YOURS. You can write your own for all I care. How annoying.

For those who are genuinely here to read, thank you! =) I hope you gain something out from this guide. Let's begin!


Best photoshop skills ever. Not the point.

Here is My Polytechnic Survival Guide:

Source: Yoashleydawn

Sign up for Freshmen Orientation Camps (FOCs). You'll get to know new friends of different backgrounds from different schools, and even those from the same faculty. Networking is important. However, don't forget the main reason you're there for (besides looking out for eye candies) - to enjoy and have fun! It's going to be a real, memorable experience when you look back.

Have a good overview of what you'll be studying. I'm sure each Polytechnic has their own school online portal for students. Before school starts, take a good look at the modules you'll be going through and read the overall module briefs to have an idea of what you can expect for the term or semester.

Buy a planner. Or use your laptop/phone to keep track of the work assigned to you. It depends on your preference because some of you might be lazy to keep a planner with you all the time. I usually just jot down information in my iPhone's "notes" section when needed, or I add in the assignment on my laptop's To Do List.

Get lecture notes from your seniors. If you can save that few bucks of buying or printing new lecture notes, and recycle your seniors' unwanted lecture notes, why not?

Source: Thriftysue

Take down notes. Sometimes, lecturers drop hints on areas which could be tested during your examinations, especially when your papers are nearing. Take them down, so it'll be easier to recall when doing revision. Sometimes, lecturers might go at a faster pace, so you can either request for them to slow down a little, or just take your phone out and snap a picture from the lecture hall screen for reference.

Clear your doubts. Don't be shy to ask in tutorial classes when you have questions. However, for lectures, students usually wait until the end of the session before they approach the lecturer so that they don't disrupt the cohort.

Source: Huffingtonpost

Presence is key. Like I've mentioned before, your group mates will usually feel like you're contributing more when you're present, as compared to when you're not, even if you're still contributing. You need to be there for them to ensure that you're giving constructive input and ideas for the group to move forward, and that you're physically there to help out, be it with your art project, report writing, or handling of prototypes. In most of their eyes, seeing is believing.

Be open to ideas. Even though an idea might not seem feasible or to your liking, try to accommodate with one another. Don't shut down on your group mates' ideas just because you think yours is right. To ensure that you're on the right track, consult your lecturers about your current ideas and get feedback from them on what they think and where you can further improve on.

Talk your problems out. Unless you are PERFECTLY happy with ALL your group mates, happen to be willingly (not forcefully) agreeable to EVERY SINGLE idea, have NO BAD FEELINGS to hide at all, and are GENUINELY SATISFIED with ALL of them throughout your WHOLE JOURNEY in Polytechnic, you should talk it out with your team mates and clear the issue out. Or else, all I can say is that this will just lead to more drama in the future.

Don't let others take advantage of you. Please don't, or you'll end up suffering for the entire project where these people will be happily taking your kindness/timidness for granted and worse, get used to it. Get out of your shell, and don't be afraid. Talk to your close friends or lecturers about it and see how they can help you out. Be brave and stand up for yourself - and you'll be so thankful you did.

Source: Csueastbay

Dress appropriate. What I define as appropriate may vary, depending on which faculty you come from, or what your lecturers deem fit. From a Business Student's point of view, students are usually dressed up in their formal business attire. Ties, blazers, and suits for the guys, and skirts, dresses, or long pants for the girls. Dress smart, and it will be a plus point even before you start on your presentation.

Have confidence. Some of you might have no problems with public speaking, but others who are more timid or not used to speaking in front of an audience might find it scary - especially when you're graded for it. Try to keep your calm and have confidence in yourself. As long as you have enough practice, are prepared for it, and know how to deal with the Q&A session after the presentation, you should be good to go!

Source: Uchicagoadmissions

Know your study technique. Some of us study better by writing notes down. Some prefer to memorize through constant repetition. Others remember better by hearing, so it's extra important for these people to listen in lectures. As for me, I do last minute cramping of information through memory work. Which is bad... But we tend to be too busy with project work that once it's over, we only have a week or two left to study for a few modules.

Keep your electronics away. Be it your laptops, phones or tablets, they can be a really huge distraction. Admit it, we are all victims to social media addiction. Fifteen minutes of studying and we'll unknowingly reward ourselves with an hour of break. Do yourselves a favour and turn off your devices and keep them away for a few hours.

Take breaks. After that few hours of studying (and making sure that you really do study and register the information in your head), take a well-deserved break and rest for a bit. Now you can scroll through your Twitter and Facebook timelines without feeling guilty!

Source: Spongebobwikia

Make sure you don't slack off in your first year. Although it might be the most enjoyable semesters in your Polytechnic journey, the modules learnt can be really crucial too. These are usually the basic fundamentals that you will require to know well before proceeding in the following years. Which moves on to my next point.

Balance your time well. Joining a Polytechnic will give you loads of freedom - you can take on extra language classes, join many CCAs, sign up for different camps, and even organize course events. After school, your friends might also ask if you want to hang around for a bit or go out for dinner, etc. Some of you might also have other commitments such as relationships or part-time jobs. However, don't forget that your main goal is to do well in your studies if you plan to further pursue your studies. Learn to schedule your time well and plan your day in an organized manner for maximum productivity.

Know your goals and work towards them. Do you plan to enter a university after graduation? Which course do you wish to pursue? Would you plan to enter a local or overseas university? Do you see yourselves somewhere ten years from now? Is there a burning passion for something which you'd like to work towards instead? These are some of the many questions you should be asking yourself to get a clearer direction to head to.

Be on your guard. Many people around you can be all smiles, and seemingly nice from first impressions or even after a few months of close interaction. However, unless you're really lucky to meet people mostly of really genuine characters, expect to see the surfacing of two-faced chaps, assholes and liars after a period of time. Not everyone can be trusted, and you have to be really mindful of that.

Get ready for a roller-coaster ride. There might be times when you excel in your work, there might be times when your results disappoint. There might be times when you get nice surprises from your friends, yet there might also be times when you feel betrayed for particular reasons. No matter what happens, be prepared for a roller-coaster ride because as fun as it gets, life in Polytechnic (or even in general) is not all rainbows and butterflies. So...

Try to stay optimistic. Be positive. And learn to be more open-minded to new experiences, if possible. Whenever I feel upset, I'll talk it out with my close friends and most of the time, it makes me feel better.

So, yeah! That's the end of My Polytechnic Survival Guide. 

I know, it's pretty weird because I wrote it but I don't adhere to all of my own tips. We don't always manage to follow the rules all the time, do we? Plus, I probably have different goals from you guys.

However, despite all that I've been through, I'm still thankful for the experiences I've had for the past three years - both the good and the bad, for shaping me into the person I am today. Sometimes, we learn through the hard way to emerge as an even stronger person. 

And to all of you out there waiting to take your 'O' Levels, who just entered Year 1 as a freshman or those who are just a fellow student like I am, I hope you've found this guide useful and I wish you all the best in achieving your goals and have a wonderful experience in your Polytechnic life! =)

Hit me up on ask.fm if you have any more questions or suggestions on new posts that you'd like me to do. Until next time!