From gaming addict to scholar

He spent 2011 to 2012 playing computer games and skipping classes. And he was slapped with several warning letters for that. When he skipped his Year 1 exams, he got the boot from Singapore Polytechnic (SP).

Mr Quek Jun Hui, 23, is now back at SP – and as a scholarship holder.

His first attempt at a diploma was in the polytechnic’s marine engineering programme.

He would skip school three out of five days a week to play games from noon to 5am.

In school, he would sit at the back of the lecture hall to play games on his laptop.

He started to get warning letters from teachers for every module but ignored them.

“I knew things were getting worse, but I could not control myself,” he said.

After Mr Quek was kicked out of SP, he started to work part-time.

The job frustrated him. His employers refused to give him a pay rise, despite his workload.

“They told me I was just an O-level holder, and to stop complaining and not expect so much,” he said.

He felt miserable and wanted to prove his bosses wrong.

This resolve was strengthened during his national service under the guidance of his superiors.

“I passed my rifle to my friend (to hold for me for a while), and I thought my sergeant would reprimand me. But he simply told me if we depend on others, our footprints will never be seen,” he said.


That incident stuck with him and with the support of his supervisors, he decided to appeal to enrol in SP once again.

Mr Quek gave up computer games completely and would go to the gym to keep himself occupied.

Captain Ho Thye Sang, the course chair of the diploma in maritime business, decided to give Mr Quek a second chance.

“At the admission interview, he told me that after the diploma, he would like to pursue maritime studies in Nanyang Technological University,” Capt Ho said.

“I could tell he was more serious and once a person is focused, the results will show. He topped the cohort in his first year, and I am glad he did what he had promised.”

Now, Mr Quek attends all his lessons and studies on the weekends. He intends to open a food business in the future.

“I wasted a year, but it is never too late to follow your passion. People say you need luck to succeed, but with more effort, the better the result,” he said.


Written by Adeline Tan



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