Tak kenal maka tak cinta. Jom Kenali Universiti Awam (UA) Malaysia.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Road Out Of The Gloom

Posted by KC

Dear MS-ians,

In addition to Melanie’s post (STPM Blues), she has raised several issues that I think we can all have a serious thought about.

The debate of Arts & Science has always been seemingly endless. This question ponders on us even more so at different stages of our education, normally after PMR, SPM and STPM. Here i shall not argue on this as it’s subjective up to a point by making comparisons between the two or debate which is better. However I find it interesting to understand the fundamental incitement behind this argument as it repeats its cycle year after year.

1) The indecisive- us
There are just too many factors that could affect our decision making in this. So how could one be absolutely sure they are making the right choice?
  • Go through a series of affirmations on your interest. Career tests are a stepping stone to this. Take up part time courses and attempt to prove that it meets your preferences.

  • Getting the information correct is an emphasis. I find it jaw dropping when speaking to various friends of future occupations; they tend to have a misconception or inaccurate information on that particular field, shunning them from making further enquiries or investigation.

    Example Friend #1: I can’t be a nurse although I love helping people; will develop phobia even before I see blood.
    Example Friend #2: I cannot study pharmacy- my weak memory wouldn’t allow me memorize those medical terms.
    Example Friend #3: I won’t be able to do quantity surveying although I like to be involved in the construction industry- not good in mathematics.

    Problem #1: You will be trained and over time it will be a norm. Furthermore, conduct more research on this as there are various tasks which nurses so as well, such as assisting patients in physiotherapy sessions, etc. One of my close friend is currently serving as a nurse in Singapore, she was unable to adapt to seeing ‘deaths’, hence falling into depression in the beginning. However the spirit to serve & faith kept her going, she is enjoying her job even more now, and it has been 5 years then.
    Problem # 2: When there is a will, there is a way. Pharmacist students aren’t super kids with mega memory bytes, they develop their own method in either memorizing/ studying skills as well, so why can’t we.
    Problem #3: As mentioned, one will be trained should the interest still lie; if one is already proficient in it (calculations), schools would have lost its purpose as a learning ground.

  • Pump up ourselves to be really confident in what we do and should all fails, such as disappointment after an enrolment, whoever said that that is the end of the world?

2) Prestige Oriented- us or family, others
Many of us have similar encounters with scenarios like this: parents pushing children into an elite degree where consideration of their main interest was placed secondary.

Parents love us, yes and we are not here to doubt that.

In many of the first-class/ top- school/ prestigious- college entry war, parents can be the true fierce competitors on securing seats for their children; also this does not diminishes the possibility from the kiasu Asian kids like many of us.

With many mixed emotions and disillusions in making college decisions which could be the turning point of your life, we tend to follow the absolute suggestions from our family because one will feel- if we don’t, then our lives are doomed. Alternatively we do not have the courage to stand up on our own visions because the basic notion is they have more maturity than us and their decision will always be the most sensible.

But is it always the case? It varies.

Example A: One of my current classmates is suffering in Architecture as his initial choice of study was Graphic Design. From his developer background family, very naturally they wanted him to be in architecture to prepare him to take over the family business.

Example B: Another friend has a passion in fashion designing but ended up being classmates with us. The verdict was fashions have less opportunity in the job market and the wage is deplorable.

As mentioned, the above are very subjective and we will all have our own point of view; wise decision or not, it is not up to us to judge. The bottom line I could reassure all readers is that they are having a hard time adapting to architecture (I pray they can get over this barrier soon); in the absence of fondness and interest in things we engage in, are there any high possibility of good work to be produced? We are all too smart to know just the answer.

3) Scholarship Scare
It might be true statistically that most scholarships cater for science based courses only. However, no one has ever said that that’s not going to change ever. Do look up to one example on one of my favorite designer, Ashley Isham. He owns a boutique in uptown London and is a frequenter on London/ Paris fashion week. He was accepted to the Central St Martins College for portfolio merit after presenting his sketches to a banker, whom later decided to provide him sponsorship.

4) Fear of Society Change
I can understand many of us have obligations towards ourselves/ family whereby the decision making really goes beyond our control; one of the external factors could be change in the society’s preferences. This is obvious in the IT industry. What could one do when one foot is already in it? Be flexible and willing to change.

4) Absolutely Clueless
To unclog the brain block of not knowing what to do, the simplest way one can adopt is to open up our eyes and be inspired by figures that we look up upon on. This is because I do understand by saying ‘ask- yourself-earnestly-what-do-you-want’; the answer may or may be not- bottomless. After high school I have had too many dreams and had a tough time deciding rationally on which- I dreamt to be a news anchor on national television, an economist, business woman etc. Just to note that these ambitions were not matched to my capabilities or forte, they are just the very basic childlike dreams we used to have when times can be so much more of a naiveté.
  • Read more articles, journals, newspapers & magazines and see how people live their lives.

  • Open up conversations and talk to people you feel comfortable about it. It’s mundane to shut down our worries on this ambition- future topic because it will create undesirable anxiety.

  • Research is the key. Check out on what these professions do- job scope, daily lives, salary, future prospects.

  • From there, we might be able to get a head start. Its our life, nothing to fear guys!…

Any addition to this? Your comments are most welcomed!


**To Mel & all STPM-ers, all the best! =)
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  1. First of all, good job for coming up with this blog for Malaysian students.

    IMHO, Arts stream is no lesser than Science stream.

    Hey, even Prince William studied Geography and history of Arts! So does it make him lesser than students who study medicine and engineering? No!

    Always know your purpose of studying that particular subject. Is that subject going to help you in your future tertiary education and career? For Prince William, he studied Geog and Arts because the knowledge is essential for those in royalty.

    Okay, Prince William is a royalty and we are not as lucky as him.

    Imagine all straight As students chose to do Medicine. So, does it mean that there is no way for any Malaysian to win the Nobel Prize for Economics or Literature since all the 'smart' people chose to do Medicine? I don't think so.

    You may not be studying Science, but it doesn't mean that you couldn't be somebody if you study Arts.

    Don't let this nonsense stereotype shun your potential and future.

  2. Kudos to our new blog contributor, Carrs L for writing such an informative and inspiring post.

    Personally, I think that we should follow our hearts. Ask yourselves what're you passions, then try to get involved in the industry through part-time working or reading related news and journal as suggested by Carrs L in the post above. Ask yourselves again whether it's the right course/job/industry for you. Salary, job opportunity, future of the industry etc are things to be considered too. Follow your hearts and make your best decision!

  3. In my opinion, to follow your heart is not good enough. When you reach Form 5 or doing your Form 6, you should start thinking about your ambition and seek advice particularly from your peers, seniors, counsellors about the choices of careers. Ask them how to achieve your career goals i.e. what courses you must take, which university to go, etc.

    In my past experience, I wanted to pursue my studies in mass comm (well, that time I wanted to be working in the entertainment busi), but when I achieved excellent result in my STPM, I ended up registering for Bachelor of Business Admin becoz people said I shouldn't waste my good results by applying a 'lower rank' programme like Mass Comm.

    The moral of the story is, get opinion from different people. A programme/course with 'higher status' is not necessary good especially if that is not what you really want. Never underestimate courses that most people thought are 'lesser' than courses like Medicine and Engineering (for science stream) and Business Admin and Economics (for Arts stream).

    Currently, I'm in my final semester of completing my Masters in Educational Management and planning to continue Phd so that I pursue my career in lecturing. Now, this is what I want to be. Honestly, Educational studies is never on my mind when I was studying in secondary school (or even uni) because of the perception the society gave me.

  4. ur right but...jz admit it...in Malaysia...Science Stream is still the top priority among parents and teachers in school...and students...

  5. well, i'm interested in archiecture..but i'm a MRSM student which means that i've got to forget about MARA scholarships that does not offer any scholarship for that field. so any suggestion?


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