My eighteen-years-old nephew who got his SPM result last month was asking me for some advice about 'life after SPM'. He's asking which college he should go to, which course he should be taking, whether he should go to Form Six for 2 years, and many more questions. In return, I ask him what's his interest and from there to see what are the plan to meet his interest. I've also shared with him the followings:
1) Do some reading and research on different disciplines. I think other that that special gift or talent that we have, what we enjoy doing is very much link to our knowledge and our life experience. If the father is a doctor, very likely one of the children will become a doctor. If the father is a lawyer, very likely his children will become a lawyer. If the father is a businessman, very likely his children will also become a businessman. If the father is a successful athlete, very likely his children will excel in sports too. You see, there is really a link somewhere. So, since not all of us are lucky enough to have doctor father, a lawyer father, a successful business father or a successful athlete, the least we can do is do some reading and research on different discipline. In this way, we can expose ourselves so that we can have more choices.
2) Do something you enjoy doing. After working for many years, I realized that the most rewarding job is the job which you enjoy doing. What we enjoy doing might change from time to time, but, deep in our heart we know best what we enjoy doing. Maybe your father is a doctor and he wants you to become a doctor. If you know your interest is not in medicine, but in arts, you should really follow your heart. But of course, the best would be if your family background is in medicine and you have interest in medicine, then you'll really be a successful and happy doctor.
3) Do not follow your friends. We all have good friends and some friends who might influence our decision. It is important not to follow friends. If your friend wants to study engineering, it is not wise to follow him to study engineering while your interest is in arts. If your friend wants to go to Kolej A, it's not wise to follow him to Kolej A just because you're afraid you could not find new friends when to go to Kolej B. You will find and make new friends no matter where you go. Follow your own path and do not let yourself drift away with others path which might not be the best for your.
4) Believe in yourself and fight for yourself. If there're limitations of the number of students in certain course, do not just accept it. Try to appeal or look for other alternative somewhere else.
Most probably he'll go to Form Six. Mainly because with STPM, he will have higher change to get a place in local university. The other reason is, Form Six is the most cost effective way. I really hope that he'll find something he enjoy doing. And for the rest who's in the same boat with him, I also wish you all the best in your future undertakings. Some say, real life start after SPM :)