8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started JC

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February 1, 2018

The author is a fresh JC graduate.

I’d venture to say that the 2 years in JC were the most enriching period of my life thus far. It’s a time of purposeful self-reflection, beating yourself down but picking yourself back up and telling yourself to “just keep swimming”.

It’s also a time of diving into your books with great intent and most often than not, leaving it being weary and drained. I know because I’ve been there and I really wished I knew more. SO as a closure to my years of regimented studies, here are 8 tips that I hope will guide you in your journey through JC.

Be Prepared (To Stay Awake)

This might seem very duh but most of you are probably going to underestimate the power of the mark scheme set to kill those who think they know the material but don’t exactly know because they’ve been sleeping in/skipping 9/10 of all the lectures. Wake up. Teachers might ask you to prepare before lectures and to be very honest, most of us don’t and it’s COMPLETELY FINE if you STAY AWAKE IN LECTURES. You’ll be surprised at how much difference it makes. Which leads me to my second point:

PRACTISE HARD And Do Your Tutorials ASAP

In secondary school, you are probably used to just memorising your notes and scoring your As. Well, surprise surprise but it no longer works in JC. Notes serve as your basal level of understanding and you refer to it to solidify all your theories but practice is what is going to get you those As. And just a heads-up when you approach A Levels: Do the 2017 A level papers please because they are the only papers from the new syllabus and were by far the toughest.

Also, do practice and actually study for tests. You might think they aren’t important and that you can just flunk some and be fine, but in the long-run, it is best to pace yourself according to the tests set by your school.

Another thing is to get every doubt, assignment, study session and all school work cleared ASAP. The last thing you would want is for your work to pile up.

If You Aren’t A Genius, Skip On Those CCAs

JC opens doors to many new CCAs, leaving you spoilt for choice. But when you try to take on numerous CCAs, it never ends well. Staying focused on contributing your best to one is always better than constantly wearing so many hats and spinning so many different plates at once. It’s only a matter of time before you drop one.


If you are someone struggling very hard to make the passing grade or can’t even make it past the passing grade, know yourself well and get tuition early, and in this case,  A Levels chemistry tuition with Julian. I’m recommending this because at the start of it all, I thought that I could handle it on my own but was terribly wrong and ended up panicking in the middle of JC2. I regretted not seeking help earlier on, thinking it would be a waste of time when in fact, a good tutor categorises your thoughts and makes everything so much clearer for you to self-study (especially when your school isn’t providing you with the help you need).

Take Care of Yourself

As students we tend to deprive ourselves of sleep, exercise and everything healthy when commitments pile up. Although sacrifices have to be made at times, keeping your mind and body in a healthy state is crucial as it keeps your spirits up when the going gets tough. As cliché as it sounds, exams aren’t everything. I have known those who acquired depression while going through these 2 years and it’s a dreadful life-long consequence that nobody wants to face. STOP STRESSING YOURSELF. If ever need be, speak to your parents and friends. You’ll realise the importance of friends and appreciate them so much more in JC. With the right friends, you’ll be able to achieve more than you ever imagined you could just because they were running the same race alongside you. So whatever it may be, just remember that you aren’t alone.

Learn To Laugh At Yourself And Move On

This applies to all situations but especially in JC, you’re going to fail somehow or another. Be it in tests, being unable to complete your checklist of the day, being unable to stay awake throughout the day etc. The best thing to do is just to let it sink in, laugh and move on. Never take your failures to heart as there’s always something to learn from it. If you’ve never admitted failure, you’ll never fail. And pro-tip: Get a bunch of friends to laugh with (jokingly of course), it works magic for your mind and mood.

A Good Study Place And Study Habits

Know thy self. Everyone has different places they enjoy studying at, be it at home, in the canteen, library etc. and study habits, be it studying alone, with friends, with food, writing on paper/ typing on your computer, in the morning/afternoon/night etc. Take the first few months to explore what works best for you and stick to it.

Interact with those who have been through As

There is life after As, believe me. If you don’t have the time to explore your interests fully at this point of time, talk to those who have graduated and living the life you want. Learn from them, be shameless in asking for tips and what-to-dos, at least that way, you’re assured that you’re going in the right direction.

And that is it folks! Follow these tips and I’m sure you’ll do fine. The 2 years will pass really fast so make use of all the time you have. Constantly better yourself by asking what it is YOU really want and lastly, don’t forget to enjoy life! You’ll reminisce upon it when it’s over.

All the best!