Transitioning to Tertiary Education After O-Level

Posted on: 02nd March, 2021

By Allysa Tan, Student
Diploma in Media and Communications, PSB Academy

Have you ever wished that you would go to sleep and wake up as a Tertiary education student? That memory of me as a secondary school student remains vivid in my mind. Less writing and more typing, the freedom to wear anything instead of uniforms – that was the period of my life I was looking forward to. When reality hits you after O-Level, and you realise that you are going to be an actual tertiary student, this is your ultimate guide from a teenager to a young adult.

Familiarise Yourself with The School

City Campus @ PSB Academy

Not just the quickest route to school or knowing where your classrooms are, but also be familiar with the online platforms the school is using. As we are still living amid Covid-19, online learning will probably still be part of our learning journey.

Before your first day of school or orientation, find out about your school’s facilities and what is around the area. End of the day, you are going to be spending a significant amount of time with the school, it is crucial to familiarise yourself with the school’s surroundings as it makes navigating much easier.

Prior to my first day of class, I researched about PSB Academy, I realised that there are 2 campuses – City Campus @ Marina Square and STEM Campus @ Jackson Square. Since I was a media and communications student, my campus was situated in the City Campus. Not only that, I also found out that I will be using the TV & Radio studios during my course of study.

With this knowledge, it gave me a little push of excitement and motivation to begin my learning journey.

Be Open to Ask for Help

Personally, I feel that this is a trait that should be instilled long before tertiary education. Lecturers and teachers are filled with knowledge and expertise that will help us expand our knowledge and understandings. Hence, we should always look for them whenever we need help with our assignments.

I used to be closed off to the idea of asking for help because of my fear of the question being too “common sense.” But the lecturers at PSB Academy would always remind us that “no questions are stupid questions.” But if you are still fearful to approach the lecturers face-to-face, you can always email your questions to them. There are no hard and fast rules, just remember to reach out whenever you need help!

Other than academic issues, every school has a support staff to deal with administrative matters. These administrative issues you might face are just as important as your academics because it involves your student journey. Therefore, it is extremely important to administer independence in yourself and approach for help when needed.

Managing Your Time well

It is no doubt that tertiary curriculum is well-spread and flexible. Like myself, many other tertiary students are able to commit to part-time jobs or volunteer work apart from studying full-time. However, it does not mean we can neglect our studies. Our curriculum still consists of exams, quizzes, and assignments. To ace your assignments and exams, attending lectures are important so that we do not miss out on important lessons.

A helpful tip is to have a planner, so you can easily plan your weeks out. An alternative can be the calendar app on your phone, with the “add event” function. If you plan to take up a part-time job, look at your school’s timetable first before scheduling your work. I prefer to work 2-4 days, depending on the weeks, to ensure I have ample time to complete my assignments without compromising my rest.

Participate in Student Clubs/Activities

PSB Academy

PSB Academy offers quite a wide variety of student and interest clubs. Sometimes there will be events where students and alumni are welcomed to join. Active participation in school allows you to expand your circle of friends and broaden your experience and knowledge.

While I am not in any student clubs, but I have taken opportunities that PSB Academy has offered me. For example, I was the school’s ambassador for the January 2021 Open House, my testimony is up on the school’s website, and currently, I am writing this blog article.

PSB Academy has shared on their social media platforms that they are looking for student writers to contribute to their blog. In a way, they are offering opportunities to students. It may seem small, but these are opportunities and experiences that can be reflected in our resumes.


It can be scary, moving into a whole new environment, the idea of making new friends when you have already settled with your group of friends from Secondary school. However, life is pretty fast-paced, and we should always be ready to adapt to new changes. I hope you find this guide helpful, good luck!

Disclaimer: All views and statements expressed are solely personal opinions and do not represent those of PSB Academy or other people and organisations.