It’s the night before graduation day. Naturally, thoughts will race through my mind. What have I learnt from my 3 years in Polytechnic? Who am I now? How different am I now?
3 years ago, I was a naive 17 years old. I have little self-confidence; I will stutter and mummer my way through a presentation. I will hesitate a lot before approaching a stranger, whether for help or for a quick chat. I can never handle critical thinking, let alone having a deep conversation about life or affairs. I never felt sharp, I always feel gullible, and always taken advantage of. Most importantly, I never felt smart. I would look at academic achievers and think to myself “hell, that will never be me. How can a pathetic midget from a less-known neighbourhood school achieve that much?”.
They always said the 3 years in Polytechnic will be the best time of your life, and you will learn and grow a lot, both academically and non. “Marketing bullshit”, I thought to myself. Never have I been proven more wrong; the sentence before this have proven itself true to every single word.
Thanks to the academic curriculum and activities in NP, I have indeed learn and grow a lot. I can assure myself with pride that I have way higher self-confidence than before. Everyone thinks Business Communication module is a complete chore (let alone doing three years of that module?!), but it’s probably one of the module I learnt most from. I can now stand in front of an audience and express my opinions as someone filled with substance and not just false pretence. I am able to approach a Singaporean stranger stranded at a foreign airport with ease, or turn to the stranger beside me and have an intellectual conversation for the entire flight. I never could have imagined myself doing these back then, let alone performing these tasks.
The group projects have made me a much independent individual. Research, reading, proposing has intensively sharpen my knowledge and critical thinking, and I can portray myself as a person who follows and understand current affairs and able to contribute my own valued opinions.
Naive and too trusting were my biggest flaws. Social politics is indeed frightening, but I’ve learnt to be “socially smart”. Throughout the 3 years, after numerous social outings, CCAs activities, camps etc, my eyes were widely opened to this scary, yet amazing social world. Nobody will be gunning for your attention or friendship if you’re not attractive or rich. Nobody will offer you a coconut and not expect two coconuts or even a coconut tree in return. It’s the cruel, harsh truth of society. Trust is not easily earned, but once you obtained it, treasure it and give it your utmost respect. I have made amazing friends within my school; people who I’ve learn, play, suffer with together. People who’ve made me laugh, mess around, and remind me at the darkest periods that hey, maybe life isn’t bad if you could just looked up. I am eternally grateful to these people, and I will carry the names and faces throughout my entire life.
Lastly, I never considered myself smart, but somewhat a dumb-wit. Polytechnic was a big pond to me; I never see myself not drowning in it. Today, I could lift my head up and feel that I am capable of higher achievements, of greater heights. Straight distinctions, and being among the few hundreds among 5,100 graduates to obtain a Diploma with Merit has certainly assert my abilities. It’s the best feeling to not be too afraid of something, to stand at the cliff of a hill and telling yourself “I can fucking do this”. That’s confidence, and that’s intelligence.
Polytechnic has indeed been the most fruitful and best damn 3 years of my life. I will eternally be grateful for what I’ve learnt, and who I will become in the future. Class of 2014, Happy Graduation!