"Jacqueline Koh
Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting around for somebody to give you flowers"
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Wednesday, November 7, 2012 || 7:10 AM

There are so many hurdles to jump when it comes to writing a uni entrance essay. You're supposed to be objective - you can only be subjective if you can effectively musk it into objectivity (and it's a challenge to introduce two mutually exclusive ideologies into a neat package - it will just get really messy.) And on top of that, you are supposed to give a prelude of your personality, how you are different from others, and how your point of view reflects how differently you think from others. Very difficult to be objective. And to be subjective, it's dangerous - well largely because subject matters are mostly up to each interpretation and you really have to cross your fingers and pray that the people who are in charge of reading your essay have an open mind enough to accept a probable conflicting point of view. 

So, i kinda like drafted out something, and I found myself typing without stopping. Here's the draft though it's too negative and subjective, and it seems more like a page off a journal. This probably aren't going to the admission's team desk unless if I can find a way to tweak things round, to make it more appropriate. But still, i think some pointers do make sense, and it's something i feel genuinely, so here goes! 

An inner monologue about being a Singaporean student

An education system is equivalent to a human being; we try to be as perfect as we can, but ultimately, both are hopelessly flawed.

When one thinks about the Singaporean education system, I am positive many would conjure up an image of excellence. Being a student in Singapore for 16 years, I must say, I agree to the stereotypical views of how majority of the people would perceive the education system to be like – Promising and nothing short of excellence. However, to achieve that sort of status, there are some aspects a Singaporean student is bound to miss out on in their learning journey.


Let me first tell you, a Singapore education system is very result- orientated.

A conformist education environment which focuses on grades. A grade is a reflective measure of how well one understands the subject. However, so much attention is drilled to which alphabet is ultimately reflected on a report card to the extent that the slower students here resort to other methods apart from understanding the subject matter, to get hold of that desired grade. The big ‘M’ word comes into play. No, not magic. Lots of brain work actually – memorizing. They do not promote understanding sufficiently even though they might try to because the importance of that get casted aside because of the relative speed of understanding of others. It is always a race here. A race which literally kills (*refers to newspaper clippings on suicide rate and stress levels of Singaporean students.)

 This is why a Singaporean student doesn’t pray for wisdom for an exam. Instead, they pray for a particular topic to be asked because they have memorized the entire chapter of it word for word two months before they step into the examination room.

This leads many students to be asking the same question: “Why do I have to study this when I do not even have the need for it in the future?” When this statement comes out of their mouths, you can be pretty damn sure they belong to the group of people whom I have just described.

Well, Linguistics aid you in communication work, which is something humans, as social individuals do on an everyday basis. Math trains you to think on your feet, and allows you to view matters in a more logical manner – formulas are just a part of a complex package which comes alongside with it. Science allows us to have an insight of the building blocks of life – it allows us to understand things which are going round’ in our world a little better. Be it physics, chemistry or biology. Econs deals with the supply and demand of everyday life – when we walk into a supermarket, we understand why some things are priced differently, we understand what causes things which impact us the most – inflation, currency fluctuations, etc. 

In my opinion, the Singapore education system molds an individual to be an excellent worker. However, the study plan set aside for their students do not equip them with the necessary skills to be business starters, as any speck of passion will be muffled down to remain as an inner voice because of the need to suppress and comply.