The reason vast majority of students choose to attend junior college is that it is the path that will lead you straight to university.
You have already passed your O level exams and are feeling pretty confident that if you study hard for 2 more years you’ll pass your A levels and will be admitted to the university of your dreams.
Sounds pretty straightforward right? Well, think again.
Life of a JC student may not be as rosy as it first appears. A lot of former junior college students describe this period of their lives as stressful and disheartening, and some even go so far as to call it the hell on Earth.
So, what exactly makes the life of a Junior College student so hard?
Here are 10 hard truths you need to be aware of to prepare yourself for the JC life.
1. JC requires a lot of self-study.
You have probably got used to the secondary school teachers spoon-feeding you the information and you might think that’s the way it is at junior colleges as well, right? Wrong!
Junior colleges will test your ability to self-motivate and manage your time.
Did any misconceptions arise during the lectures?
Do you have any doubts regarding the information you have just received?
Well, tough luck. It is now your responsibility to sort it all out.
Do yourself a favour and do it as soon as possible. Because if you don't, the work will soon snowball and you will find yourself gasping for air under a huge pile of unfinished essays.
2. Project Work is the stuff of nightmares.
I mean, it is hard enough for JC students to come up with innovative solutions for global issues that are plaguing our society nowadays, but doing that with a bunch of people you have only known for less than 5 minutes, and who are, on top of that, uncooperative has to be just the type of situation that makes up one of the circles of Hell.
It will make you realise the person who came up with an expression “two heads are better than one” definitely has not studied at junior college and taken Project Work before.
3. Roses are red, violets are blue, and rich kids have it easier than you.
We all know that in life in general wealthy people have access to better resources so it shouldn't come as a surprise that colleges are not an exception to this rule.
While you are spending hours furiously taking down notes and organising your data, Richie Riches of the world can summon one of their private tutors and have them compress the entire course curriculum into a few comprehensive cheat sheets.
That doesn't mean that students with fewer financial resources don't stand a chance, but they definitely do have to walk up a much steeper hill.
4. Co-curricular activities are yet another source of headache.
Participating in your favourite sport or playing your favourite instrument in a band after a hard day's studying may seem like a good idea on paper, but in reality it is yet another activity that makes your anxiety go through the roof.
And many students who join CCAs do it just for the sake of their portfolio, so don’t expect everybody in the drama club to be as enthusiastic about the early works of Shakespeare as you are.
5. Watch your back!
One junior college student has her notes stolen.
Another one discovers that her stationary items have been destroyed with merely hours leading up to an exam.
No, these are not scenes from teenage horror films, these are real-life situations some JC students had to endure.
So if you plan on making out of JC with your mental health intact it's a good idea to have eyes in the back of your head.
6. Student, meet failure.
So, you where a star student in your secondary school, and now you’re stepping into JC thinking that it will be a piece of cake.
Well I'm about to burst your bubble. Junior college is more like a piece of stale fruit cake. Hard and tough to swallow.
So if you get a bunch of Cs on your report card don’t get discouraged. I assure you, you are not the only one.
7. There aren't enough hours in a day.
Commute to school, attended the lectures, participate in CCAs, commute home, join tuition centres or private tuition, do your homework, go to sleep.
Wake up. Repeat.
Social life? HA! Forget it!
You are a JC student now. Friends, boyfriends and girlfriends can wait until after the A Levels.
8. Integrated program students will always be ahead of you.
IP students bypass the O level exams and go straight to A level preparations.
Because of this O level graduates are in a disadvantageous position when it comes to getting used to how the system functions.
9. What about the soft skills?
During the 2 years at JC students get used to a very structured system.
Your life revolves around your aspiration to achieve academic excellence but what about the soft skills a.k.a. the common sense every human being needs to navigate the real world?
Well, JC teaches you maths, science, history etc. but if you want to know how to be a leader or a critical thinker the onus is on you to figure that one out.
10. Stationery shops will drain your pockets.
Pencils, erasers, pens, notebooks, rulers will not break the bank individually, however when you have to buy them in large quantities throughout the entire term the cost adds up.
To conclude JC life definitely isn't a walk in the park, but it is a stepping stone towards your final goal. The obstacle that stands between you and your career as a doctor, lawyer scientist etc.
So keep your eye on the ball, and if you start feeling overwhelmed buy yourself a “Hang in there” kitten poster for your bedroom wall.
And remember, thousands of students have already survived this experience there is no reason why you shouldn't. If all else fails, perhaps an experienced JC tutor can help you ease your burden.