This post is specially dedicated to all of the SPM candidates of 2014. Nevertheless, even if you do not belong to this group, feel free to breeze through this post to get the early advantage of being able to have a rough idea on what you would want to do right after SPM.
First and foremost,
Thumbs up! For successfully going through all of the subjects that you have taken. May you will be granted the best result parallel to your effort, insyaAllah.
High school experience is such a great and marvelous thing! Do you agree? I suppose during this time period, you might still be thinking about your best friends, roommate, classmates, deskmate and all of the things you guys have done together, as well as things that you regret for not doing them before (No worries. I know exactly about those feelings). Therefore, I am writing this post to share with you about the things that you can possibly do during this break so that you won't have anything to be regretted later on! Here it goes!
1) Future Academic Planning
*cough cough* I understand that you seek for a break time to just relax, and I must say that you totally deserve it. However, I think that it is not a good idea to be relaxing all the way through your holiday. Aren't you jealous looking at your siblings, seniors and friends who have managed to go for a study abroad program and having people to sponsor them? I bet most of you do! Even if you don't, it is still wise to do a future academic planning so that you will be able to get into an academic program that you are passionate about.
a) Identify your passion and field of interest. Use this Future Study Planning Checklist that my fellow colleagues and I have prepared as rough guideline.
b) Draft the possible pathway that you have in order to achieve what you are targeting for. Know that there are several ways for you to achieve your ambition/dream. Therefore, sketch up your academic pathway and choose the path that you are most comfortable with. Here is an example:
2) Get A Driving License
a) Identify the type of license that you wanna take
- Motorcycle / Car / Both
b) Register yourself at the nearest driving driving academy
c) Attend the courses
d) Take the test
e) You're hot to go!
For detailed info or instructions for each step, feel free to check out this website!
3) Expand Your Readings
Do you still remember your KOMSAS and English Literature readings from your high school years? If you noticed, most of them are fiction stories, creative writings, poems and such. Things will be different as soon as you get into college or university. You will most probably need to take up one or two compulsory writing courses and be required to read non-fiction writings such as papers concerning real world issues, economy, religion, culture and such.
Therefore, it will be a very good idea to expand your readings! Try out different genres of books, especially those that you have never read before. Not only you will be able to be exposed to different ideologies and settings, you will also be able to write better and improve your vocabulary.
Books that I personally recommend:
- 7 Habits series
- Chicken Soup Series
- The Secret series
- Autobiographies of Successful Individuals
- Life Without Limits - Nick Vujicic
- Novel version of Trending Movies (Hunger Games, etc)
- Contemporary books on Religion
4) Develop Your Life Skills
This break right after SPM is a perfect time for you to learn and develop skills such as cleaning, cooking, carpentry, plumbing, mechanical, arts and crafts and so on. Personally, I would suggest you to really learn how to cook, especially if you're planning cut down your expenditure during college. Being able to cook will save you a lot! Other skills such as sewing, carpentry and crafts are also promising. You will be able to fix that torn pants from the taekwondo practice, create a lot of stuffs on your own using Do-It-Yourself materials. If you are good enough, you can also make some money by selling your own products! Be creative!
5) Participate in Seminars/Programs/Classes
Usually in school, you got to attend some programs and seminars - some that you might like, some that you might not. Regardless of the interest factor, there is always something to be learnt from each program or seminar if you give a good amount of participation and commitment.
So, what makes joining a seminar or program by yourself different? Well, obviously you get to choose what you wanna join! There are many kinds of programs that you can possibly join. Examples would be:
- Career Seminars
- Life Skills Development Program
- Adventure/Expedition Program
- Religious Camp
- Baking class
Say, for example, if you are wanna be an aerospace engineer. So, try to look for programs or seminars that are related to your career interest or even something that you think might be suitable for you. It would not hurt to try. This is the time for you to explore more on a particular interest by getting first-hand experience sharing from individuals who are already in that field.
Here are a few links to upcoming programs/seminars/classes that I have managed to find:
- Kem Remaja Sinergi 2014
- Education & Further Studies Fair 2014 (Local & Abroad) -Mid Valley
[p/s: Do check out the link because the registration date might be approaching soon!]
6) Part-Time Jobs/ Internship/ Attachment
Doing a part-time job is one of the famous options among SPM leavers. By doing a part-time job, you will be able to earn your own money, start saving up as well as learning how some things actually work in real life. Not everyone is born with a silver spoon in their mouth. In other words, not everyone has the privilege of being in a luxury family. Therefore, it is normal for us to have this desire to start earning our own money in order to lessen the burden that we put on our parents' shoulders. Or, some people just wanna work for experience and to save up some money on their own.
Regardless of your reasons, there are always rewards for those who work for them. I myself had once worked with a wedding caterer as a waiter and was paid RM70 for several hours of job. I must say that the pay that I received was pretty decent for just several hours of work. There is a wide array of choices for you to choose. Some of the common jobs that are done by SPM leavers are:
- Wedding Caterer (Waiter, and etc)
- Academic Tutor ; UPSR/PT3/SPM (Centralized/Private/Home)
- Small Business (Bake Sale and etc)
- Tailor (Depends on your skills and abilities)
Other than that, you can also go for an internship or attachment. An internship is a temporary position with an emphasis on on-the-job training rather than merely employment, and it can be paid or unpaid. Having an internship experience is counted as having a working experience in a particular field or career and can greatly boost your skills as well as portfolio. Plus, you will be more likely to be accepted by universities if you have done an internship prior to applying because it makes you outshine the other applicants. Try asking around your teachers, family and friends who might know a company or agency that offers internships to SPM leavers. You can also try looking around at newspaper and internet advertisement, whichever works the best for you.
Another thing is an attachment. Basically, you attach yourself on a mutual agreement with someone who might currently be working in field that you are interested in to observe and gain experience mainly through observation. This is also a good choice for you to start seeing how things work and building up your connection at the same time. Usually, you will need to know some people who can recommend or connect you with people who are willing to have you on board with them. Nevertheless, it is also possible to contact the specific person personally through email, followed with an in-person meeting.
Want to change lives while you wait for your SPM results? Try being a volunteer!
Volunteering is the act of contributing your time and effort to a worthwhile cause such as a community project. In fact, the spirit of volunteering is deeply rooted in the Malaysian way of life – in the form of ‘gotong-royong’ where members of a neighbourhood or organisation get together to clean or build something.
So, how can you get involved in volunteer work and what can you gain from it?
Know Your Options
There are many volunteering opportunities in Malaysia. Non-profit organisations (NPOs), such as foster homes, are always in need of a helping hand. While it may not be a paid job, volunteer or charity work is a fulfilling way to turn your time into a working experience – all while making a difference in the lives of those in need.
Volunteering can be as simple as helping out at a recycling centre on the weekends. You could even get some friends together and organise a small community project in your neighbourhood. If you want to play an even bigger part, you can get in touch with one of the many volunteer organisations in the country such as:
- Malaysian National Animal Welfare Foundation
- Malaysian Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association
- St. John's Ambulance of Malaysia
- Women's Aid Organization
- Yayasan Salam Malaysia
8) Take A Short Course
Short courses are short-term and usually intensive training classes. They can last from less than a week to six months, depending on the subject, the institution, and if a certification is being pursued.
There are also short courses that prepare you for taking an externally administered exam – for example, you could take an English language course at a language centre to prepare for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) which is administered by the British Council. Besides IELTS, you can also take a short course to prepare for the TOEFL Test. It measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. And it evaluates how well you combine your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks. Plus, TOEFL is widely accepted among so many universities all around the world! So, you can consider it as one of your passport to study abroad. I myself sat for a TOEFL Test before coming here to the United States.
Short courses are available for a variety of subjects, ranging from foreign languages to photography to accounting. Usually, short courses are taken to learn or improve skills in an area of interest and/or for career advancement.
They also can serve as an introduction to a subject or skill area that you may not be familiar with. Thus, they are also a good way to find out if you are suited to the course or career that you are interested in.
Here are some sites that you can use to look for a nearest center that offer such kinds of short courses:
- TOEFL Preparation Programme
- IELTS Preparation Programme
- Professional Short Courses (Visual Graphics/App Development/Designing/Video Editing/ETC)
Pheew! Finally I'm done writing this post. It has been awhile since I last wrote something this long. Nevertheless, I hope that some, if not all, of the information that I have shared in this post can turn out to be useful to you in any way.
Feel free to personally email/message/contact me through my Facebook/Twitter account for any inquiries or request if you wanna me to specifically write on a any topic that might be useful and interesting to you and other people as well.
You can reach my Facebook/Twitter pages by clicking at the respective tabs at the upper part of the site.
Have a great holiday matey! Utilize your time and make full use out of it!
DONE READING? CONGRATS AND THANKS TO SCARLET LETTER