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How can I cope well in Polytechnic as a new student?

Large Wreath

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Large Wreath

Content written by:

Sophie Ong

Last Updated:

31 May 2021 at 4:35:35 am

Image by Daniel Mirlea
How-to Guide

The environment in Polytechnic is very different compared to Secondary School. It feels entirely new, and it is normal to feel lost at times. 

The first year of Polytechnic is essential to build your foundation and make new friends. We have identified five ways to help you cope in Polytechnic!

1) Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

2) Be Participative

3) Choose Your Groupmates Wisely

4) Be Consistent

5) Studying Method

1) Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Entering a new school may cause anxiety, especially when you are separated from your friends that you usually hang out with. You may feel shy when you meet new people.

What should I do?

- Be open-minded and start a conversation with others first! Don't wait for them to approach you. You may not necessarily have to think of a reason to speak to someone; a simple question to enquire about a class topic or work can be a starting point!

- Smile more and give off a friendly vibe. You will be seen as more approachable, and people will find it comfortable approaching and speaking to you.

2) Be Participative

Having a good GPA is important but having a good portfolio is also essential, especially if you want to enter a University.

What should I do?

- Sign up for a Co-Curricular-Activity (CCA). In Polytechnic, you may choose more than one CCA. A suggestion would be to sign up for an interest group related to your course of study, as it will reflect well on your portfolio since you will have relevant experiences.

- Do not hesitate to take up leadership roles such as class chairperson or even a President/Captain in your CCA. Although you may feel that these roles are distracting, they can be fun at the same time. Moreover, the potential to shape you as a relatable leader is a skillset you shouldn't miss! 

3) Choose Your Group-mates Wisely

The subject grade in Polytechnic does include group projects. Sometimes, it may have a heavy weightage, and you will want to do well in group projects to pull up your score. Being selective of your groupmates will ensure that you pick responsible groupmates instead of "free riders".

What should I do?

- Mix around with everyone in your class and talk to them. Find out their personality and people you will want to work with.

- If they are your mutual, ask your friends who are close with them about how they are like.

- A tip would be working and interacting with different groups of people in the first semester as you are not close to anyone yet. You may then form permanent groups in the second semester when you already know who you enjoy working with.

4) Be Consistent

There may be many small quizzes and tests throughout the semester as the subject grade is split into many components. To lessen the stress that you will face, being consistent with your work is vital to ensure that it does not snowball.

What should I do?

- Sometimes, lectures are being held online, and it is done at your own pace. Following the timetable given to you can help prevent accumulation of work.

- Ensure all assignments are completed at least two days before the submission date. In the event of technical issues when you submit your project, you still have time to seek help.

- Don't feel shy to consult your lecturers if you need help. Even if they seem unapproachable, ask anyway. Your grades are essential! Otherwise, you may consult your friends.

5) Studying Method

Experiment your studying methods during your first two semesters. Identify if using electronic devices such as tablets or printing out notes is effective for you. Different subjects have different studying techniques.

What should I do?

- If you are unable to get used to using electronic devices to study, printing your lecture and tutorial notes may be a better method for you to study instead. Highlighting may help you when revising.

- For subjects that require mathematics, practicing and doing test papers will help you. For certain topics, understanding the mathematical concepts are important to assist you in answering tricky questions.

- For subjects that require you to memorise concepts, picking out keywords and phrases to remember can reduce the amount of content you need to learn. Creating a relationship by categorising or grouping by similarity can also help you.

Starting right is important and we hope you find our content useful! 

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