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Make full use of your school break
So the last paper has come and gone, and now you look forward to months of rest and play, as you tell yourself: this is the only time I can properly get a break before I start work when I graduate.
You are absolutely right. Never again will you be free to explore the world, with time on your hands, free of mortgage loan worries and work commitments.
While the adage 'all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy', think hard about how you are going to spend that precious few months, because what you do can and will impact your working life in future. This is because you can find out more about your intended career path, and most importantly, expand your circle of friends and those you know.
Here are thus some tips on how to spend your vacation wisely. Best of all, you get to still have some fun and rest too!
Learn to drive
If you haven’t booked your lessons, do so right now. Yes, given Singapore’s limited land space and escalating car prices owning a vehicle seems to be a bit of a dream. However, being able to drive is an important life skill as you will never know when you will be needed to operate one.
Pick up a new skill/ language
When my sister completed her last A Level paper I remember her banging away furiously on a typewriter as she had enrolled herself in such a course. Her rationale for doing so? To equip herself with such a skill as she foresaw that she would need to prepare a lot of paperwork. Almost 20 years later, she doesn’t regret those hours invested in front of the machine, as her work as Vice President in a bank is aided by her ability to type so quickly, and she puts her administrative staff to shame with her speed and efficiency.
So keep a look out for courses, including foreign language courses. Potential employers are always on the lookout for that something extra from the pool of potential hires, and your ability to rattle about another country’s GDP in that language will definitely impress!
Get out of this country and totally immerse yourself in another culture. Better yet, if you harbour a desire to seek employment out of your country, this will be a great time for you to visit the country/countries of your choice to see if that is really what you want. However, do make sure that you give yourself ample time to really get to know the country and the people well (so no day trips!)
Be an intern or get a temp position
Before I decided to become a teacher I wanted to be really sure I was able to handle the load. So after my A levels I decided to try being a relief teacher at a secondary school to see if the job is right for me. I am glad I did as I got to see for myself firsthand what teachers really did, and which no volume of paraphernalia can impart that real grasp of what is truly happening and what a teacher undergoes on the ground.
A note of caution though: some firms have a very long and rigorous screening process, even for non-permanent positions, so do apply to the firm or company of your choice early to avoid disappointment.
Be involved in charity work
Help take care of the abandoned animals at the Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or carry out cleaning and repair work at a senior citizens’ home of your choice. Rally your friends together to see how your whole group can work to reach out to the those less privileged. There are just so many benefits to helping a cause as not only do others benefit from your commitment, you end up feeling good about yourself as well. What’s more, potential employers will see you as a well-adjusted all-rounder who gives back to society.
By S. Siew