Reader Email: “Seeking Advice On Deciding For The Future”

Reader Email

I usually receive interview request emails from students. But this one is a first – someone asking me for advice about which course to take after the ‘A’ levels. 🙂

[ If the screenshot isn’t clear enough ]

Dear Ms Grace Tan,

I am so sorry for contributing to the accumulation of mails in your inbox. I am not writing for official purposes (i.e. Ads, sponsorships, interviews) as stated on your website and once again I apologise for contacting you for personal reasons.

I am a A level graduate currently dreading deadlines in June and August where I have to decide between SMU business and NTU comm studies. I have been reading up on local opinions, blogs and brightsparks for months. I came across your blog recently and have been reading it for a couple of weeks.

What drove me to start reading your blog was actually your self-intro page. For someone who chose not to be dictated by money or degree, I was very inspired by your courage and achievements, which is why I would really value your personal take on life decisions and career paths with regards to choice of uni courses.

Throughout my life, I have always made the “right” choice, whether it was to study in the top schools or to spend holidays interning. Over the years, I realised the “right” choice was not necessarily what made me truly happy. However, at this point in life, I worry that I would not be able to live life the way I want anyway if I finally choose to just follow my heart, which is to opt for a fun life in NTU mass comm, rather than the promising future that most people believe SMU business offers.

Thank you so much for actually reading everything up to this point. Sorry for taking up so much of your precious time. I really appreciate your work and what you do from what I’ve seen on your blog, I look forward to the day when ellen degeneres appears on your webpage! 🙂

I look forward to reading your reply.


I definitely do not think I am qualified to dispense advice on what to do after the ‘A’ levels. During my schooldays, I was pretty certain I was headed to the University to major in English Literature. But alas, I graduated with a History degree (the hows and whys are best left to another blogpost). Then I was absolutely lost regarding what to do after Uni.

Often, we follow what our heart says we should do, and then connect the dots much later. Things don’t always work out as planned, but we do whatever is best at that particular point in time. It will only “make sense” in the end, with the benefit of hindsight.

So my reply to this student was to follow her heart, take some risks, and work her ass off to become really good at what she has chosen to do. “The money will figure out its way to get to you. But if you don’t figure out what makes you happy, and choose to do it, then NOTHING will give you lasting happiness. Regret sucks.”

I also shared a video link with her:

It does not matter what you want to BE in future. As long as you have decided that you want to BE HAPPY, first of all.