NTU Confession Post – Spending 6 years in Engineering

I was scrolling through Facebook when I saw this post shared by a friend. It was made anonymously on NTU confession.

I was tempted to post a comment. Then I realised that I am really trying to be quiet this year. So I didn’t. In fact, I used to be quite active on NTU confession and even had some less than ideal interaction with the admins. I still remember that there was a post on an alleged molester being shared on the platform, which I felt that despite it was done with good intentions, it is not the right platform nor the correct method. I stand by my views even after many years now. Then there was another incident where the admin decided to block my page because it was named “sgben.com”, because they think that I am trying to promote my website through their platform, which to me, is ridiculous.

Anyway, I have stopped following their page because I think my time is over since I should have graduated donkey years ago. But you can imagine why this particular post triggers some thoughts.

In the past, perhaps I will try ways and means to share why spending 6 years in engineering is not a big deal. I myself face the same problem, so in a way, I am trying to justify myself. After all, what is 2 – 3 years more when you live for 80 over years? I think the more important question is what have you done with the years. And even if you have done nothing, what’s the big deal if you are able to realise your mistake and learn from it? I know plenty of people who graduated slightly earlier than others who didn’t amount to much. And I also know people who did not have a good headstart making headwind later in life.

To me, there are so many factors that could have shaped one’s journey. If I am really mediocre but I have rich, educated parents throwing money at my education, making sure that I get the help I need and the stability I require, I will probably still graduate, even if I didn’t make it to the top of the class. But of course, having rich parents does not necessarily mean that one will graduate. The student still has to work towards it. And even if one has rich parents, they will also need to see that education is important in order to provide the necessary support and encouragement toward their child’s education. There are some who truly don’t believe in paper qualification and would rather their child quit school to run their multi-million dollar enterprise.

What I am trying to say is that whether one will graduate or not really depends on a multitude of factors, with one’s inherent qualities being part of it, but only part of it. And we are still trying to find that balance. So it is not the case that having a good reputable degree definitely means that you are good. It means you are likely to be good, at least in certain aspect. But to confirm that, we may need to investigate further. Neither does not having the paper means that you are bad. Sometimes, there is more than meets the eye. Sadly, not everyone has a eye for such details nor the time.

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Categorized as Thoughts

By ben@sgben.com

Hi, I am Benjamin. I am a Singaporean son, born and bred. I came from a modest background, just like most Singaporeans and went to mainstream schools like most middle-class Singaporeans. What makes me different is my unconventional choices and journey in life, giving me more profound insights. Entering a secondary school infested with secret societies in the earlier days exposed me to a different side of Singapore. I graduated well despite having a volatile phase. I chose one of the youngest polytechnics despite having a score good enough for JC, even as others tell me it is not recognised, and I would not make it into university through that path. During my National Service, I also went through a difficult phase of rediscovering the purpose of serving. My university was another defining chapter, spanning over nine years, involving many adventures and endeavours. As you can see, I seldom bother myself with dogmas. I strongly believe in Steve Job's speech at Stanford University. I hope to lead others by example, inspire them to do the same and empower the decisions they have to make in their lives. Reach me at sgBen.com.

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