5 Solid Steps After SPM

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3 March 2016

– the Judgement Day for all the SPM takers in 2015

For those who were taking SPM last year, did you get your desired results?
[For those of you who are not familiar with Malaysian education system, SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia), Malaysian Certificate of Education, is a national examination taken by all fifth-year secondary school students in Malaysia, equivalent to eleventh grade in American’s K–12 (education). It is set and examined by the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate. You can learn more about it from Wikipedia.]

Some of you already know that you are getting Straight A’s at the end of the examination period last year; some of you were not sure about a few subjects and prayed hard to have some luck on them; and some of you don’t really care what you get because you knew that you did not work hard enough for it.

Well, at this point, no matter what you got, the best you can do now is to fully accept it. The good news is now that you already have a certified results, it is easier for you to plan your next step rather than doing all bunch of research about different options after SPM without knowing what you have to offer.

Today, we are going to share a few easy-to-follow steps for you to start doing your planning for your future:

1. Have some FUN and organize a REUNION with your favorite high school buddies.


After SPM has done, some of you probably already took some time off from studying over midnight. Yet, most of you probably did not really get to hang out with many of your high school classmates or buddies due to family restrictions and part-time job obligations. So, embrace the time when you are getting your results to gather up with your good ole mates. Go hang out with them at a mall or watch a movie together. It is always fun and refreshing to have a reunion. And, this is probably your first reunion that really matters to you. After this, many of them will be gone for their next stage of life and you might never see them again!

But, for those of you who did not get very good results and your parents are mad about it?

I am sorry, you will have to shoulder aftermath of getting not so good results by staying grounded at home. You can always go out with your friends after they have cool down a little bit. Yes, we all know that academic grades are not everything that determines who you are or your future success. And we totally understand how it is for you have strict parents who want nothing but Straight A’s from their kids. Even though we encourage all of you to be independent and choosing the life that you really want for yourself, be clever when you are dealing with your parents too to avoid any serious drama.

2. Lay out all of your options and act on them


Like we have mentioned at another of our featured posts, Taking Full Responsibility for Your College Experience, “Our parents have brought us thus far, now is our turn to shape it the way we want it.” The only way that you are going to know what kind of life you can lead is to get enough information. Now that you already know your results, it is the best is to immerse yourself with knowledge and different perspectives of all the options you have for the next step of your life. You will be surprised at how much you can find by just googling some of your possible interests you have. For example, if you want to become a physical therapist, simple type, “what does it take to become a successful ‘physical therapist’ ” on the Google search bar or any other search engine. And of course, you can substitute the ‘physical therapist’ for any job or career title you want.

Once you have written out all your options, start your application process early if you are applying for a higher education institution, for a scholarship or a job. Do not wait until a day before deadline only you start asking your teachers to write a recommendation letter for you. Start now!

3. Be aware of all your strengths and your talents.

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Due to the Malaysian educational culture of overly focused on national exams results, many students nowadays forget to notice his or her own strengths, talents, and interests on things other than getting good grades. It is a good thing if you are one of the students who can get good grades but that just proves that you are able to read, write, memorize, and imitate the knowledge that you get from the textbooks.

No matter what kind of social-economical background you are from, I truly believe that every single one of you have your own unique talent that you can further develop onto something that you utilize in your future career. Now, take a pen and a piece of paper. Write down every single thing that you have done in the past that are non-academically related. You can start from your biggest achievement like winning the Basketball championship on the district level all the way to the little things that you enjoy doing on your own without any competition or formal training, like singing, writing, playing the guitar or even dancing. Be creative and opened-minded. You might find your talent in your ability to harvest rice grain in your uncle’s paddy field. You never know until you really give in some thought on learning about yourself. As the famous Spanish novelist, Miguel de Cervantes says,

“Make it thy business to know thyself, which is the most difficult lesson in the world. Yet from this lesson thou will learn to avoid the frog’s foolish ambition of swelling to rival the bigness of the ox.”

The importance of self-knowledge was also emphasized by Plato, Aristotle, Buddha, Jesus, Emerson and Nabi Muhammad. Even our good old A. Samad Said also often educate us on this same subject.


Ancient Greek characters for “Know Thyself

The initial gush of freedom you felt after you handed in your last exam paper was exhilarating. However, the feeling was quickly overshadowed by a looming cloud of uncertainty. ‘What should I do next? Where should I go? Whose advice should I listen to?’ These are questions that many secondary school leavers tend to ask themselves when they reach the crossroad of what to do in this new stage of life. So how do you decide? There is no straight or single answer to the question. Like it or not, the decision is ultimately yours.

You have to understand why are you what you are doing and decide your pain to make your gain 

You are already a 17 – 18-year-old teenager, it is time for you to accelerate your journey of understanding yourself and to find out what your natural talent. Be patient with this process if this is your first time doing it. With time and effort, I am sure that you will find out something about yourself that you are very proud of.

4. Develop skills that enhance your personal growth.


Regardless of which route you are going to take after your SPM, it is important to get all the opportunities you can get to cultivate some of the skills that you did not pay attention in high school and probably won’t focus on much in your college life too.

Most of the Malaysian students nowadays lack the most important basic communication skills like speaking, listening and negotiating even though they can write a perfect score essay on a heavy social issue like vandalism or an environmental issue like deforestation.

Join a social organization that can help you to develop some of the skills you lack. Organizations like Toastmasters and Young Malaysians Movement Public Speaking Club (for Chinese speakers) are highly recommended to develop communication skills. Besides, it is also a great platform for any fresh graduates from high school and college or universities to build their professional network. Guess what? You would be surprised that you might meet someone who is already working in the industry that you are interested in getting in. If you do, now you can start interviewing them about their work and lifestyle to see if it is a career you want to get into. And if you are proactive enough, you might even get a chance to work part-time with them to get your foot in the door of that specific industry.

5. Be committed with your decision.


After a serious consideration of all your options, you might be going for STPM/A-Levels/any other equivalent programs, taking a year off, working with your parents’ business, working full-time in a company, or studying abroad.

No matter what you have chosen to do, just remember to put 100% commitment on your decision. Don’t get frustrated if you face any obstacles along your journey. Believe in yourself that you can undertake any challenges in your way towards your destination.

No matter what you have chosen to do, just remember to put 100% commitment on your decision. Don’t get frustrated if you face any obstacles along your journey. Believe in yourself that you can undertake any challenges in your way towards your destination.

If you are going to start your own business, make sure you read Secrets Revels by Top Malaysian Startup Founders“, “7 Ways Entrepreneurs Think Differently” and “4 Ways to Deal with Hard Times before you execute.

Thank you for spending your time with us here today.

We really hope you love our articles here in MalaysianStudent.com and they will help enrich your student/working life.


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Author: Editor

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