Career & Education | Life | Personal Stories | Article

I Used To Hate Studying, So My Family Was Shocked When I Told Them I Was Going Back To School

by The Simple Sum | 7 Jun 2024 | 5 mins read

Sponsored content by Temasek Polytechnic. 

Many aspiring adults in their late 20s will be focusing on reaching new heights with their career, while some will be planning to ballot for a Build-To-Order (BTO) flat or welcoming a new child into the family. 

But for 28-year-old Singaporean Dylan Law, the focus was on improving himself. The Logistics Executive who works at Panasonic, decided to pursue a Diploma, even though he was not a fan of studying in the past. 

“I was struggling whether to take on further studies or not. I was afraid that I couldn’t cope as I would have less time for myself outside of work. But I wanted to upgrade myself. That’s why I decided to take on a part-time diploma,” said Dylan. “I remember when I told my family, friends and my superior that I wanted to return to school for further studies, they were very shocked and surprised as they knew that in the past, I disliked studying,” 

“But then, they were also happy for me and were encouraging, especially one of my Secondary School teachers with whom I was still in contact.”

Fast forward to two and a half years later, Dylan completed his Diploma in Business Practice (Logistics Management). It was an interesting experience, he shared. 

Setting a goal for yourself, and having discipline is important 

Dylan forked out about $500 per semester, after receiving subsidies under SkillsFuture. “What I can recall is that the subsidies really lowered my school fees,” he said. In total he paid about $2,500 for five semesters. 

But there were also moments when Dylan felt a lack of motivation to go to school as he had to juggle work at the same time. Having discipline is very important, and setting a goal in mind for your plans is crucial, he shared.  

“To be honest, it is easy to motivate yourself to attend classes but at the same time, it is even easier to motivate yourself not to attend classes as it’s not easy to juggle a full-time job with part-time studies.” 

“For me, since I signed up for the diploma course, I wanted to put in my best effort to meet the goal I had set for myself, which was to score a high Grade Point Average (GPA) that would help me enroll in a university if I decided to pursue that path.”  

Many people assume that returning to school after working for a few years means you are going to be older than everyone else studying there and becoming that awkward older student that nobody wants to talk to. 

That’s not the case, Dylan said with a grin. “As I was doing my part-time diploma, the age group of my classmates was similar. Hence, it was not weird for me.” 

Encouragement from company to upskill motivated him to do better 

Dylan’s company had hired him even though he did not have relevant knowledge or experience in the logistics industry, six years ago. 

His interest in his job grew as he pursued it and the more he worked the more he felt that he wanted to better understand the logistics industry. Therefore, he decided to further his studies to meaningfully contribute to his work.  

He cites his understanding supervisor as a key contributing reason to completing his part-time studies. 

“I have a very understanding superior who would lighten my workload during the period that I was doing my studies.” 

“I was lucky that I did not face any “glass ceiling” at work although I did not have any relevant background (logistics) to the job that I was doing. My company provided me with opportunities to learn while working.” 

His family also provided the required moral support, especially his sister who gave him guidance whenever he sought help. 

Plans to slow down after diploma, with an eye towards an optimistic future 

Dylan is currently not married, and he plans to take his current lifestyle at a slower pace as he just completed his diploma. He plans to look at other courses and is even considering university studies. 

“My experience returning to school was a fruitful journey as I really gained a lot of relevant and new knowledge from the courses I attended.”

Dylan cited a business IT and application module where he picked up new functions that can help him with his work reports. He also brushed up knowledge on transport management and international freight practices. “It is very important to understand the Trade Term, Shipping documents, declarations etc. From the modules I have attended, it really deepens my knowledge which I can apply in my day-to-day work.” 

“Importantly, I was also able to meet new people from various industries and backgrounds and this has helped me grow both academically and socially.” 

Sponsored content by Temasek Polytechnic 

Discover new experiences when you open a new chapter in your career and life with Continuing Education! 

Under the SkillsFuture new ITE Progression Award (IPA), ITE graduates aged 30 and below who choose to pursue a diploma will be eligible for two government top-ups. The first top-up provides S$5,000 to their Post-Secondary Education Accounts upon enrolment in a diploma program. The second top-up, awarded upon completion of the diploma, grants S$10,000 to their Central Provident Fund (CPF) Ordinary Account.  

Find out more on Temasek Polytechnic’s website here.