After going with the flow pretty happily for the past 11 years as a student, having to choose a future path for yourself before you even turn 18 is not only scary, it ’s shocking.
You’re now supposed to make an important decision that will affect your developmental years as a young adult, and you have to do all this after you literally put your pencil down after the last SPM paper!
Not to worry, we’ve got the perfect guide that will reveal all your possible options after SPM and help you choose the right one for you.
#Plan A: Begin college or university
If you decide to take the academic path pretty quickly after SPM, have a think about what fuels your passion and excites you. Do you like working with numbers? Does the fast-paced world of pop culture rock your world? Maybe you’ve got a soft spot for young children and love patiently answering their many queries.
List down everything you enjoy doing during your free time and reflect on what you actually love doing. Remember, it’s very different compared to what you imagine you love doing. Your results slip will also show you your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on those and choose a programme that caters to what you do best.
Both Diploma and Pre-University programmes have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important that you consider them before making a decision. For instance, you can join the workforce easily with a diploma while a pre-university programme such as foundation has a shorter duration of study where you’ll be done less than the time it takes to complete a diploma.
As for pre-university programmes, while most of them offer a kind of flexibility with the subjects you choose, they also have their own differing framework. A Levels is strictly 100% exam based while Australian matriculation programmes like AUSMAT and SACE are graded based on a combination of coursework and exams. It all comes down to whether you prefer to have your results tied down to a single exam or not.
So, identify what you feel most strongly about (duration of study, financial help or the learning framework) to guide you to choose the most suitable programme for you. Once you have a better idea of your interests and capabilities, go through all the possible university degrees and their relevant career paths to shortlist the best ones for you.
#Plan B: Get a part-time job
Perhaps you’d rather gain some part-time working experience before you go back to the drill of being a student. Well, you’re in luck! There are thousands of part-time jobs out there, leaving you spoiled for choice.
You’ll pick up essential life lessons that you won’t learn in the classroom, giving you an edge. Plus, working part-time translates to serious cash in your bank account; what’s not to like?
Try your hand at being a promoter or sales assistant if selling is a key skill you want to develop. Donning a barista’s apron is also a good one as you’ll learn how to interact with different types of people.
Itching to do something in the digital world? Apply to become a social media manager, where you create witty captions and source striking images to boost the social media presence of a company.
If you’re artistic at heart, choose creative jobs such as photographer, content writer or graphic designer. These jobs will not only challenge you creatively, but they will also add to your portfolio and earn you good moolah!
Regardless of which job you choose, experiencing a part-time job will lay the foundation for good character and work ethics, which will come in useful when you begin your tertiary education.
#Plan C: Take a gap year
Okay, so you prefer to spend some time finding yourself before you begin pre-university or part-time work. Not to worry, it’s good to make the most of your carefree days while you still have them!
Taking a gap year to travel the world or volunteer for a worthy cause are both good ideas which will broaden your worldview and open your mind to different perceptions. You could also get serious about developing your skill set, so say hello to improving your baking, coding or anything else you can think of!
However, remember to be a realist and decide on a concrete plan after your gap year is over. All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy, so we suggest enrolling in a good pre-university programme once you’ve had your rest and relaxation.
Now that you’re aware of all the choices you can make after SPM, we hope you’re better informed to pick the best option for you! That brief window of time after SPM and before the new year starts is a precious one, so go forth and maximise it the best way you can. Good luck and all the best!