Sometimes, studying can get costly, really difficult and tiring. So is working most of the time. I fell sick often in my first year, and my parents tried to help me in their own ways.

In this edition of the JC Life series, I will be sharing 3 ways my parents helped me which I’m thankful for.


1. Moral Support!

The topics students would be studying in JC are a lot heavier than in secondary school. We have to learn a lot of new knowledge within a relatively short timeframe of just 2 years. Sometimes, it could get overwhelming.

I was fortunate enough to have supportive parents. My mom often dropped me off at school side gate in the mornings so I could sleep more. She also attended many school events such as the choir concerts I performed in, my school award ceremony and even school-organised talks. Meanwhile, my dad made sure every week I had enough to spend for transport, school and food.

Additionally, they tried to assure me when I was unsure of myself and encouraged me to push through with their words of encouragement and hugs.


2. Embraced Horrible Results with Me

My parents hoped that I would do my best and make it to University.

I expressed to my parents not to compare scores or studying habits as much as in the past because it stressed me out a lot more knowing that I was not doing as well as whoever they were talking about.

Gradually, they embraced the reality that JC was a lot harder and more stressful, so they told me to take care of myself. (Though I would be nagged at often for falling sick)

Thereafter, whenever I showed my mom my results, she would ask if I did better in comparison with the previous exam. She then encouraged me to keep going.

Arguably, examinations are still important to assess our ability to understand concepts and it could show where students and teachers need to work on more.


3. Tuition Could Help, but not all the time

Depending on how you view it, tuition could help some and it may not be as beneficial for others. Tuition could help if it enriches us in topics which teachers do not go through enough and it allows inter-school interaction.

However, most teachers would have gone through content according to the syllabus, and tuition could pose as an additional source of stress.

Why could tuition be stressful? Tuition requires time and financing. The time in tuition could be used to complete homework or participate in CCAs.

I remember telling my dad about how I felt that I could not score well enough and that I might need tuition. As a supportive parent, he went around looking for nearby tuition centres, and signed me up for one. (Like wow) I went for a few sessions for one subject and I stopped after a month or so after informing my parents, because I felt that the money could have been spent for better reasons like household expenditures. I also learned that what I had to do first was to attempt as many questions as possible, and thereafter ask for clarifications.

Subsequently, I put in more effort in my self-revisions and consulted my teachers often.


Bonus: A Nice Memory

The memory I recall most vividly about how my parents helped me was the period about a week or two before prelims where I was suffering from burnout. One night when I reached home at about 9pm after studying in school (given my hour-long journey home), I said, “I don’t want to study anymore. Either way, I’ll do badly. I just can’t get it like the smart students.”.

My mom was gentle but firm when she asked me what happened while she rubbed my back. I did not learn how to recognise signs of burnout at that time, so I simply told her I didn’t want to study anymore. She asked me to wash up and sleep and insisted that she would send me to school the next morning.

Before I fell asleep, my dad patted my head and tried to encourage me with this. “When you feel like giving up, think of the hawkers. Many of them wake up earlier than you, and many of them sleep even later than you. When you think you’re working hard, there are people working even harder. Mum and dad support you and believe in you.”

My parents didn’t have the opportunity to go to University, but they worked hard to provide for the family. Therefore, even with the difficulties and ups and downs, I am still thankful that I had rather supportive parents during JC and now, University. 


This article is brought to you by Denise Ong. Denise is a first-year undergraduate in NUS Business School. She is currently interning with SNCF as a Marketing Intern. She is experimenting with designing on Canva and Photoshop, and enjoys playing volleyball in her free time.