*Archived*
# Life of JC and NTU Civil

Disclaimer: This post does not talk about any comparisons between NTU Civil Engineering and courses from other schools. It is purely a post to share my story on the thought-processes and emotions that went through my head upon receiving my A Level results. And i couldn't think of a proper title so ya

Background Information: Graduated from some JC in 2015 (PME/C) Matriculated into NTU Civil Engineering in 2017
Story time: 2nd March 2016. A Levels results release day. Never would I have expected this day to come. To be honest, I wasn't hoping for much. Throughout my years in JC, I spent most of my time either sleeping or playing games on my phone. During lectures, I spent the time complaining about how bad the teachers were to my friends, instead of actually paying attention to the class itself (In my defense, some teachers were really bad, but some really tried their best). I guess the complacency came from the fact that I did pretty well for my O Levels after studying for it at the eleventh hour. Complacency didn't do me well in JC. I barely scrapped through my first year JC finals and was at the back of my class both literally and figuratively. The second year was a blur to me. All I remembered was being an Orientation Group Leader (OGL), having tons of fun up till orientation ended, still having fun after orientation and then it was the June holidays. Typical of most schools, we had our extra classes during the holidays. It made me wonder if the holidays were holidays at all. I distinctively remember being in my H1 Chemistry class, with the teacher piling up tons of worksheets and assignments. Never have I felt that lost and helpless about what the teacher was talking about. All I could do was smile and pretend nothing was wrong. The pressure was immense. Where was I going to find help to complete one and a half years worth of content within a few months and get me ready for A Lvls? Needless to say, I didn't

Results were out and I got CDC/D. Rank point of 62.5 (Can't remember exactly but it was around there)


Remember how I talked about feeling helpless during the extra classes in June? Well, I was even more helpless than before now. With a rank point of 62.5, I basically didn't have many options for local universities. Why a local university? Parents were insistent on me getting into a local university. I think it's more of a stereotypical mindset that Singaporean parents would prefer their child to enter a local university if possible. And there I was looking through the website for NUS, NTU and SMU. Desperately looking at the universities' Representative Grade Profile PDF and only focusing on their “10th Percentile” column. I shortlisted anything that was close to my grade into my notebook. After two hours, the results were in. The only available courses were NTU EEE, NTU CEE, NIE Physics.." I thought to myself. Firstly, I wasn't thinking of getting into any engineering or science related courses. Secondly, I think it's stereotypical of students (even up till today) to want to pick Business, Medicine or Law as their course of choice. I was one of them. I did not come close to NTU Business in terms of grades but still i applied that as my first choice. looking back, that was prettyof me. I failed to understand what I really wanted to study and what was being offered by the university courses. Instead, I let the general crowd influence me into picking what I thought was the best choice for me – Business. Submitted my application with Business being my first choice and NTU EEE being my last choice (Figured I had to at least get a placement in a local university first to pacify my parents)

I remember the wait for the reply from each university was excruciatingly painful. I myself was worried enough about not being able to get into a local university and it didn't help that mywas constantly nagging at me asking me about when the results were released, resulting(no pun intended) in me having a breakdown almost every single time. A few months later, received an email that I was accepted into NTU EEE. Beggars can't be choosers, so I clicked “accept” immediately without giving it much thought. For the next two years while I was in NS, I tried applying for other courses, with a rejection letter following suit. Some of my seniors and relatives who have taken the course before gave me a pre-empt that it was going to be a tough course. As for how hard it was, all I heard was “it'shard”. Afraid of potentially failing and dropping out of the course, I filed an appeal for NTU CEE instead. To my surprise, I was offered NTU CEE and from that day on I never looked back again

Re-entering an educational institution after two years of being atrophiedis tough. And it was even tougher that my basics for math and physics weren't good, due to the lack of studying in JC. With the year one common modules and the thought of losing on the bell curve, I spent the bulk of Y1S1 mugging at the benches outside LKC and in the libraries. I remember studying up to ten hours a day (inclusive of lectures) from Monday to Friday just to make sure I won't fail the semester. Results were out and i got a GPA of 3.97. This was a tough semester; trying to jump-start myto work again, and not knowing how hard to work to maybe get a pass. I was relieved that I managed to secure a second lower

In came the next few semesters, with more modules related to Civil Engineering. I started to find joy in what I was learning. Civil Engineering at that level was broken down into Structural, Geo and Water related modules. The emphasis on Physics in the Structural modules really allowed me to understand the concepts better. Being one of those “kia su” students, I made appointments with professors after classes to clarify any issues I had with them after studying. Not all professors were as helpful as the rest but I managed to do well enough


This is the part where I give some advice to future students entering university. One thing I regret up till this day was not understanding what I really liked (in terms of subjects in JC), instead I chose to apply for a course that most people were saying was 'easy' or just because it was popular. Understanding what your strengths and weaknesses are will help with the decision making process for university courses. It is also very important to find out more about the course that you are interested in to learn more about it. University is just like JC, Poly or any other educational institution you come from. There will always be modules you favour over the rest and there will be times where you will ponder about whether what you are studying is actually useful or not. To that, I would say to have a positive mindset. This doesn't only apply to university but to life as well. We are not always going to study something we like or work with people who have the same goals as you. Only by carrying this positive mindset, will you be able to get through these tough times that you will encounter.