Unafraid to strike out on the path less taken, Syarifah Aneesa Bte Mohammad (18A08) thrived after her decision to switch from a polytechnic to JPJC.
Jurong Pioneer Junior College’s (JPJC) Syarifah Aneesa’s academic journey was not a typical one. While most of her peers were happy with their decision to enter polytechnic instead of a Junior College (JC), Aneesa felt restless. After trying out polytechnic for a year, Aneesa decided to quit polytechnic to try out JC.
Aneesa recalled, ‘Most of my friends were happy in a polytechnic, but somehow I felt different about it. I was struggling to keep up. There were many rushed assignments and sleepless nights and I found myself struggling to a point where my health was affected.’ The mode of learning did not match Aneesa’s learning style and she decided to leave polytechnic to return to JC.
The decision to try out JC was not an easy one.
‘My friends told me that I was making the wrong decision and that I would probably regret it. They felt JC was worse and I would not enjoy it,’ Aneesa recalled. This made her worried about whether she was making another wrong choice.
When she stepped into college for the first time, Aneesa felt apprehensive. However, her classmates and teachers eased her in and it was through their support that she found renewed strength to push forth and tried her best.
‘JC was a time for self-discovery and provided many opportunities for growth. My teachers played a huge role too in making my JC life better – they helped us through the stressful days, guided us patiently and encouraged us constantly. Seeing such efforts put into my education and future really made me want to work harder.’
Aneesa put in consistent hard work and had a vibrant and enriching college life – participating in World Scholars’ Cup, a regional and international competition, and being an Orientation Group Leader and guiding her juniors in college.
‘Aneesa consistently shone in everything she did. She worked quietly yet did not give up when faced with challenges. She was like an older sister to many of her classmates and was an inspiration to them,’ said Ms Shalwa Mohamed Taib, Aneesa’s form teacher.
An atypical path that Aneesa took and it was truly her willing to try new things and embrace change that led her back to the JC path and inspired her motivation for learning once again.
‘For those who are currently contemplating change, my advice would not be to fear change. As the saying goes change is the only constant. Therefore the only thing that one can change is one’s mindset.’ To Anessa, the change back to college had been a right fit for her and being in an environment that was aligned to her learning style helped her to excel. A move that required courage for many, since it meant restarting her post secondary education, turned out for the best for Aneesa.