Exams over, what next?
Published on: Monday, March 22, 2021
By: K Krishnan
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A student takes online lessons during phase three of the movement control order in Shah Alam. (Image: Miera Zulyana/Malay Mail)
FOR THE last one year, students preparing for important exams such as SPM / STPM and other equivalent exams have been put on hold due to Covid-19, MCO, lockdown, etc.  

After preparing for more than 12 years in school, many would have felt very disappointed and frustrated that they could not leave school. 

Some of you would have been just waiting to be let out of the cage. You would have been counting the days when schooling would end.  Well, it has ended now! All the major exams which were postphoned from last year were held recently  in February and March. You would have sat for the exams  and you are a free bird from now on. With exams over, what next ? 

Since you are a free bird, you can do whatever you like now. However, since we are still under the MCO period, there are some restrictions. You cannot move as freely as you want. Here are a few suggestions to ponder :-  

1. Understand the MCO 

and emergency rules and laws

Due to the Covid 19 Pandemic the government has introduced many new rules / laws. You are continuously reminded about these rules / laws  in the local media such as Radio, TV, newspapers and the social media.  Do not be ignorant. Take it upon yourself to know what you can and cannot do. Hefty fines are imposed and do not become a victim. The authorities are not going to be lenient if you claim you are a student or you are not aware.

2. Improve your English

English is a very important soft skill.  Whether it is for studies, employment or for social interaction you will soon realise that English is an International language. English is widely used in the internet. 

If you want to grow and develop in the future world, you need to be proficient in English. You have been learning English since you were in the Primary schools. Perhaps you didn’t get  the opportunity to use the language with your friends. Enrol in a English class and brush up your English. The best time to do this is while waiting for your exam results. 

3. Study other languages

Other than English, you can also learn other languages such as Mandarin, Tamil, Hindi, Japanese, German, French, Spanish, etc. This is an added advantage for you in the future. When you attend a very important interview, at the interview they may ask you what languages you know. The more languages you know, the better your chances are. There are many private tutors and language centers that teach languages. They are not really very expensive to learn. 

4. Enhance  your soft skills 

Soft skills are the skills that enable you to fit in at a workplace. They include your personality, attitude, flexibility, motivation, and manners. Soft skills are so important that they are often the reason employers decide whether to keep or promote an employee. 

Soft skills are different from technical skills.  For example  a carpenter, might have  the ability to operate a power saw.  A soft skill would be the ability of the carpenter to communicate effectively with coworkers and clients. There are also other softskills such as  Communication skills, Teamwork, Problem-solving skills, Time Management skills, Decision Making skills, Organizational skills, Stress Management skills, etc. 

Many NGOs , Educational institutions, Religious Groups, Employers and Individuals conduct training in softskills. Do look around. 

5. Improve your Computer skills

You may have studied basic Computer skills in school. This  may not be sufficient for the future. When you enter the university or work for an employer, you may need to know or use  many computer programs.  There are more and more programmes which are being developed.  Unless you learn some of these programmes, you will be ignorant about what is going around you. The best time to learn these programmes is NOW!.  There are many training centers that offer formal and informal training classes. Search for them.     

6. Get your driving licence

Sooner or later, you need to drive. It takes about 4 to 6 months to obtain a driving  licence.  Once you start College or start working, you may not have the time to learn driving.  While waiting for your results, start learning how to drive.  Make good use of your idle time. 

7. Get a part-time job

Money is important. You may want to buy a new i-phone, a  tab or a laptop. You may not want to ask your parents. There is nothing more productive than earning some extra cash for the time being. Look out for part-time jobs that allow you to work for a couple of months. 

Many school- leavers opt for a part-time job while waiting for their  results to be released.  It is estimated for you to have around 2-3 months of break, so why not earn extra cash instead of staying at home. 

A part-time job is a great opportunity to meet many different people. Although money is important, a part-time job gives you some working experience that’s necessary for character building. 

If you’re not the type who likes to clock in and out of an office, you may want to consider freelance jobs such as typing, writing, data entry and so forth, which are all readily available online. Get a part-time job.

8. Join a volunteer programme

There are many NGOs which would gladly welcome you to join them as a volunteer. You may be involved with cleaning the environment, teaching special kids, help in a old folk home,  promote  religious activities, etc. 

You learn to work with people of different races, religions, age groups, etc.  There are many non-profit organisations (NGOs) in Malaysia that offer a platform for students to volunteer. 

9. Take a short course

What better way to fill up your empty schedule by filling it with something practical to your life. Find something that you always wished to learn like acquiring a new skill,  mastering a sport, and so on.  

Taking the time to learn how to do CPR or swim freestyle can help you save lives. By the way, you can always find something to learn for free such as getting a friend to teach you about how to play the guitar or a cooking lesson by your mother. 

Life is all about experiencing and learning so don’t be afraid to try out something new as this can be something extraordinary in your life.

10. Pursue your hobby 

When you were in  school, you may not have had the time to pursue a hobby. Now is the time to pursue your hobby. Nurturing a hobby helps you understand and discover the things you like as well as the things you dislike doing. 

You’ll learn to appreciate your strengths and your weakness.  If you’re creative why not explore your skills through artwork such as watercolour painting, sculpting or dressmaking? If you’re keen in  science , then try out gardening or landscaping. 

If you’re the expressive type, why not try out your vocal prowess by singing your favourite  tunes or express your moods through dance? There are so many things you can do.

Career Info

For School-leavers

If you are a school-leaver and you have an idea to share, write to [email protected] . Your ideas will be published for the good of other readers. In return, you will get a Free copy of “ Bagaimana Memilih Kerjaya” (worth RM 20/=. ). Limited to the first 10 students who participate. 

For course / training  providers

If you are providing any  of the above mentioned courses or related courses , please send further details to  [email protected]  The information will be shared with our readers in this column.  

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