This 29-Year-Old Graduated Top Of Her Course Despite Dropping Out & Is Now A Preschool Teacher


Siti Ayeeshah Zaki •  Nov 03, 2021

‘’If you’re 60-years-old and want to learn how to skateboard, do it. You only have one life. Do what you want to do,’’ Shikin, 29, told us in a recent interview. She truly lives by the saying YOLO! 

An upcoming preschool teacher and a mother of one, Shikin is proud of the journey she has gone to find herself. Now, she is not afraid to grow and learn, even if she ends up being the oldest in the class! Willing to take Skillsfuture courses, university classes, or even learning cool new skills, Shikin believes in constantly building herself.

Dropping Out To Find Herself 

After O Levels, Shikin decided to follow her passion for design at Temasek Polytechnic. However, after 2 years, she realised that she was spending her time on something she did not want to do. She felt that having teachers and assignments stopped her from being as creative as she wanted to be. Wanting more out of her education journey, she left for bigger things.

This was when her sister introduced her to theatre! Working as a costume designer, she claims that this was an incredibly fun job. Unfortunately, she couldn’t see herself doing it far into the future. ‘’One of the best jobs I ever had...but after thinking about it, I felt that I could only learn so much here and it wasn’t a stable job for me. I didn’t see myself doing this job even when I’m 50.’’ Despite having fun in a few productions and enjoying the journey, she decided to move on. And this time, into uncharted waters.

One thing was certain, though. She wanted to help others. So when an ITE accepted her into an Early Childhood Education course, she was ecstatic. However, her move back to school didn’t come easy. 

While her family and friends were always supportive, there were times where both her and those around her were unsure of her journey. 

‘’My mum actually came to ask me, why don’t you work and earn some money for the family instead of going back to school? But to me it’s like, I want to go get that black and white certification so that I can get a better job, and then better pay later on.’’

Diving into ITE, she discovered that she was right about her passion and full potential. Graduating top of her cohort in ITE, she then worked her way up to getting a diploma in Early Childhood Education from a polytechnic.

Now a mother of one and waiting for her new life and job to begin, she couldn’t be more proud of how far she’s come. Looking back with pride, she told us, ‘’There’s a Malay saying, ‘susah dulu, senang kemudian’, which means ‘difficulty first, ease later’.’’ 

She also volunteered with Mendaki as a Befriender, helping youths just like herself pursue their dreams and reach their potential.  

A firm believer in not wasting time and pursuing anything that makes you happy, Shikin now has more plans to upgrade herself, “I want to take a furniture-making course in the future. I haven’t gotten my own house yet, but I think it’ll be really useful when I do. I could build my own shelf, things like that.’’ 

While she may not have taken the usual Singaporean route when it comes to education, Shikin is certainly an inspiration. Searching for your passions does not have to follow a set age, and Shikin is definitely a testament to this! If you’d love to do the same thing, join Raikan Ilmu’s and learn new skills with their courses for the month of November!

As Shikin told us, “If it makes you happy, go for it. Don’t waste your time. You have to spend your time doing things you love.’’