Residents Share: Interesting Internship Experiences

Every internship experience is a unique and exciting one. Have you ever been curious as to what your friends actually do on their internships, or maybe how they went about applying and landing that particular internship? If so, you’re in luck! Reslife has found three residents to share their varied internship experiences in Shopee, GovTech, and the Singapore Nuclear Research and Safety Initiative (SNRSI). Sounds interesting? Let’s meet our interviewees!

1. Laney Fun, Marketing Solution Intern at Shopee

Source: Laney Fun (Right)

Interested in going into a marketing role? Laney Fun, Year 3, Business Administration and ex-CAPT resident gives us the scoop on her experience as a marketing solution intern at e-commerce giant, Shopee.

Laney and her ACE Elderly committee at CAPT (Source: Laney Fun)

1. Hi Laney! Let’s get to know you. Can you introduce yourself and some of your hobbies?

Hi, I’m Laney. I’m in Year 3, studying Business Administration and I stayed in CAPT during my first two years of university. In my time at CAPT, I was part of the ExCo of ACE Elderly, and I was also a member of the Social Innovation committee. In my free time, I love taking photos of food and going for picnics with my friends.

In my first semester of Year 3, I had the opportunity to take up a part-time internship at Shopee as a Marketing Solution Intern. I had an enjoyable time there and I really learned a lot!

2. Could you share a little about the process you went through to land your internship at Shopee?

I applied on Shopee’s career portal directly. It was quite simple – I just needed to submit my personal details and a copy of my resume and transcript.

Initially, I applied for another role and attended an interview with the recruiter but the role was quickly filled up. Thankfully, the recruiter recommended another position that I was also interested in trying out – Marketing Solutions.

I went for an interview with the hiring managers (who became my supervisors), and the interview was actually really chill! The hiring managers asked some general questions about my previous internship and NUS CCA (NUS Marketing Initiative (MINT)). They also gave a mini marketing related case question just to understand my thought process on how I would go about solving the problem. Two days after the interview I received a call from the recruiter informing me that they were interested to offer me a position. Overall, it was a very smooth and speedy hiring process.

3. How was the first week of learning the ropes?

Source: Laney Fun

My supervisor was super nice! I had my internship onboarding online due to the COVID-19 restrictions. We had a Google meet call for around two hours where she ran through with me the detailed job scope and daily tasks that I would be working on during my internship. She also asked me what were some things that I wished to learn during my time at Shopee and she really gave me practical opportunities to try them!

To be honest, the learning curve was not steep – during the first week, I was given bite-sized tasks to familiarize myself with the software I had to use, as well as the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). There were also self-explanatory handbooks that I could refer to whenever I had doubts.

Source: Laney Fun

4. What was your job scope?

I was part of the marketing solutions team that focuses on offering sellers access to Shopee’s marketing assets (such as banners, homepage banners etc.) in order to drive traffic and sales. I was also involved in monitoring and tracking digital marketing performance from brand partners, as well as supporting the team in coordinating initiatives such as Facebook ads and Affiliate Marketing Solutions. Additionally, I helped with the coordination of campaigns such as 11.11, 12.12, and CNY by working together with Business Development Key Account Managers and brand partners.

5. What is one project that you worked on that you’re most proud of?

I was tasked to run a macro to send mass invitation emails to hundreds of sellers on Shopee to take part in our Affiliate Marketing Programme. Without any prior experience in HTML and with rusty knowledge about Python, I initially panicked. I got on a call with my supervisor who ran through the basic functionalities of the codes and thereafter I had to craft out the email myself! With additional help from Google, I was able to craft the email and even inserted some emojis to make the body message more reader-friendly. It took many trial and error test emails to finally get the end result that I wanted. However, the feeling of satisfaction I got when I pressed “RUN” and watched the codes run without any error was definitely unforgettable!

6. What are some of your takeaways/ learning points from this internship?

I learnt to exercise initiative and be more meticulous! I started the internship during the Q4 period where the mega campaigns were taking place such as 9.9, 10.10, 11.11, Christmas etc. It was indeed hectic and there were many new processes that I was unfamiliar with. Initially, I tried to figure things out myself as I did not wish to “trouble” my supervisor, but that backfired as work started to pile up. Rather than struggling alone, I voiced out my concerns and doubts to my supervisor who was more than willing to hop on a quick call with me to clarify my doubts. Taking initiative in asking about potential improvements was also lauded by my supervisor.

Additionally, I had to liaise with my Key Account Managers (KAM) in charge of various brands. Hence, I needed to be careful in checking the media brief submitted by the KAMs. This involved checking the different promotional mechanics, logo, ad copy, creatives that each brand has for their advertisements. I made a few mistakes here and there, but that was okay because I learned from them and it made me more careful in the future.

7. What advice would you give someone who wants to go in a similar field or do a similar internship?

Apply for the positions again and again! I applied to Shopee a few times before they got back to me! Don’t be discouraged if you do not hear a reply on your first try. 😊
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2. Jerry Ho, Software Engineer Intern at GovTech

Source: Jerry Ho

Looking to go into a more tech-based role? Jerry Ho, Year 3, Computer Science, and King Edward VII (KEVII) resident landed an internship at GovTech over the recent summer break. Here’s his take on his experience:

1. Hi Jerry! Let’s get to know you. Can you introduce yourself and some of your hobbies?

Jerry (middle in white) with his friends at KE7 (Source: Jerry Ho)

Hello! I’m Jerry, a Year 3 Computer Science student. I’ve stayed in KEVII since I was Year 1 and I’ve had a really good time! Some activities I’ve been involved in include the Block Committee, Band, OCIP (Laos), as well as creating the hall yearbook. In my free time, I like to exercise and play some instruments to relax.

2. Could you share a little about the process you went through to land your internship at GovTech?

Just a disclaimer: I think the interview process might differ for different teams / projects in GovTech so do double check with the recruiter if you’re applying.

For me, the interview process was relatively simple – I had to undergo a 2.5-hour coding challenge where I was tasked to solve three to four algorithm questions. Afterwards, I was invited to attend a 45 mins interview with two developers from the project that I was applying for, where they asked about my past experiences and asked me to solve another algorithm question. Shortly after, I received the offer and then, it was mostly administrative stuff like signing of the contract before I began work.

3. How was the first week of learning the ropes?

The first week passed really fast! I remember my first day was just visiting the office to collect my work laptop and setting up some accounts that I would be using for the next few months. Subsequently, the next few days were spent trying to figure out what my colleagues were discussing during sprint planning and meetings, as there were a lot of words being used that were alien to me! I was also trying to learn a new framework called Angular in order to complete a small task assigned to me. Overall, I would say that the first week was rather confusing. Having to work from home due to COVID regulations did make it tougher. However, I was grateful to have supervisors and colleagues to support me and clarify my doubts through the process.

4. What was your job scope and what is one project that you worked on that you’re most proud of?

I was a part of a team that was working on the Citizen Disbursement System project – a joint p

Jerry and his team at GovTech (Source: Jerry Ho)

roject between GovTech and Central Provident Fund Board (CPFB), created with the aim of replacing the current system that disburses money to individuals. Basically, things like GST Vouchers and ComCare assistance etc, will be given out using the new Citizen Disbursement System application in the near future.

As a Software Engineer Intern, my job was to develop features for the application based on user stories (a set of requirements given by the Product Managers; can think of them as tasks!) while ensuring that all the features built were supported by test cases.

Overall, it was really great to be able to contribute to a project that held much meaning and would make the lives of citizens much easier in the future!

5. What are some of your takeaways/ learning points from this internship?

From this internship, I was able to pick up new technical skills and frameworks that I wasn’t exposed to in school, such as Batch Processing and DevOps for example. Apart from technical skills, I got to witness how Agile development frameworks such as Scrum were implemented. Through the presentations that I gave to the project’s stakeholders after completing each task, I also learned to bring across technical details in a clear and understandable manner. Overall, it was a fruitful experience and I’m thankful for the people that I’ve worked with!

6. What advice would you give someone who wants to go in a similar field or do a similar internship?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! If you’re still stuck after doing your own research, then I believe your colleagues will be more than willing to guide you. For people who are interested in doing an internship as a Software Engineer, remember to practise your LeetCode 😊

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3. Justin Ong, Radiobiology Research Intern at Singapore Nuclear Research and Safety Initiative (SNRSI)

Source: Justin Ong

Marketing and tech-based internships are popular fields that many students usually go into – but what if you’re more interested in doing scientific research? Let’s hear from Justin Ong, Year 4, Physics, and ex-CAPT resident who is pursuing a niche area of research in radiobiology.

Justin (rightmost) and CAPTSupport committee at CAPT (Source: Justin Ong)

1. Hi Justin! Let’s get to know you. Can you introduce yourself and some of your hobbies?

Hello! I’m Justin, a Year 4 Physics major and I stayed in CAPT in my first two years. My favourite activity I did in CAPT was probably serving as the vice-director of CAPT Support, a group of student supporters advocating mental health awareness and advocacy. Some hobbies of mine also include learning as much as I can about the world around me and just spending time with people I care about.

During the summer break of 2021, I was glad to have the opportunity to do an internship where I researched on the effects of radiation on cells at the Singapore Nuclear Research and Safety Initiative (SNRSI).

2. Could you share a little about the process you went through to land your internship at SNRSI?

I was actually lucky enough to get my internship by organising an event for the NUS Physics Society, where the speaker was a Professor who was the head of SNRSI. A few students and I asked if he was free for dinner after the event and we sat and talked about his research over a meal. After finding that his area of research really interested me, I then asked if he was accepting interns over summer. He said yes, and that I could send an email with my resume as well as detailing which specific area of his work I was interested in. I did as I was told, and was fortunate to be offered an internship at his lab.

Justin at his lab at SNRSI (Source: Justin Ong)

3. How was the first week of learning the ropes?

It was actually quite manageable! The first month of my internship was online since the COVID restrictions at that time got pretty bad, but that allowed me to learn the ropes slowly and basically just read a bunch of research papers over the first month. This was crucial in helping me get very familiar with the field.

After the month of preparation, we were then allowed to come onsite to the lab. The research assistants and fellows were very helpful to guide me along, as I learned all the experimental techniques I needed over the next month or so.

Justin testing out some experimental techniques (Source: Justin Ong)

4. What was your job scope?

My task was basically to optimise a lot of experimental techniques, since I was working with cells that had never really been used before. I spent the first month onsite testing and studying the conditions that were best for the cells. In my final month, after the procedures were mostly optimised, I actually got to propose some experiments of my own!

5. What is one project that you worked on that you’re most proud of?

Near the end, I got to propose an experiment to study something known as the ‘cell-induced bystander effect’ which is, simply put, about how cells, when placed near other cells that have been hit by radiation, also give off signals similar to those cells that have been hit by radiation, even when they haven’t. My principal investigator (PI) let me plan out the entire experiment myself and conduct it entirely on my own, which was incredibly fun as I got to experience a small taste of what it means to be a researcher myself!

6. What are some takeaways/ learning points from this internship

My main takeaway is that research is often a long and tedious process, but very rewarding as well. It is important not to get discouraged when you can’t get results, as this is very normal in scientific research. Perseverance and hard work are very important, as well as staying detail-oriented. I also got to learn soft skills like how to present my data to others, and the importance of teamwork in a lab.

7. What advice would you give someone who wants to go in a similar field or do a similar internship?

Try to start looking for an internship early! If you are interested in a life as a researcher, be daring and email a lab and ask if they would be accepting interns as soon as you can. Most importantly, follow your passion. Oftentimes, those who think they are passionate in a certain area of research sometimes end up realising that it isn’t what they want after trying it out. So, I would recommend trying out as many lab internships/attachments as possible.

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After speaking to our three interviewees, it is clear their internships have been fruitful spaces and seasons of growth, with valuable lessons learned through the process. While we may not have covered all the possible internship fields, we hope that these three diverse internship experiences have been helpful in giving you an insight into the entire process of an internship – from the start to the end.

If you’re looking for more tips on landing an internship, do check out our recent article “5 Tips and Tricks to Land an Internship”. Reslife wishes you a fruitful internship journey!
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Know other residents with interesting internship experiences to share? Tell us in the comments or DM us on our IG @nusresidentiallife !

Unravelling the World of Cosplay (by Sean Pineda)

Cosplay has become one of the most diverse and popular expressions of Japanese pop culture, which has been growing in popularity in Singapore. Sean Pineda speaks to four student-cosplayers from NUS on the appeal of dressing up as fictional characters.

Xan Awe, 24, strikes a pose while portraying Iguro Obanai from Demon Slayer. To him, the most important part of cosplaying is the opportunity to form meaningful connections with others in the community. (Source: Black Disc Photography)

For Xan Awe, Year 3, Accounting, his 10 odd years doing cosplay (costume play) have helped him befriend numerous fellow Japanese pop culture enthusiasts on campus and beyond.

“Growing up, cosplay essentially became my entire life. It’s hard to give up cosplaying when most of the friends that I had were solely from the hobby,” said Xan.

Xan, who is also a resident at Residential College 4, is one of many cosplayers in Singapore—people who wear costumes to represent fictional characters from anime, manga and video games. Cosplay, or kosupure in Japanese, has its roots in Japan, but has since become a global phenomenon with countless hobbyists across different countries.

According to Xan, when he first started cosplaying in secondary school, the community in Singapore was much smaller and tight-knit, consisting of only a few hundred people who were all acquainted through mutual friends or Facebook groups for the hobby. However, with the community growing exponentially larger, coupled with cosplayers shifting to other social media platforms like Instagram, it eventually became impossible to personally know everyone like before.

Nevertheless, Xan remains a staunch advocate for the ability of cosplay to bring people together. This motivated him to become a member and eventually the president of the NUS Comics and Animation Society (NUSCAS), a student-run society where anime and manga enthusiasts in the campus can appreciate and enjoy the different aspects of Japanese pop culture together. He has even conducted workshops to teach NUSCAS members about the basics of cosplaying and ease them into the hobby.

“As the president of NUSCAS, I hope to create a safe space for Japanese pop culture fans in NUS to form meaningful connections, just as cosplay once helped me to do the same,” he said.

Xan added that residential life on campus is ripe with potential for students interested in cosplay and other aspects of Japanese pop culture to find their flock, and encourages them to try creating their own interest groups or even conducting events such as cosplay showcases within their residences. In doing so, even more people can be introduced to the world of Japanese pop culture.

“I think engaging in activities like cosplay while staying in campus not only helps the hobby gain more exposure, but also can be something unique for everyone to bond over, especially considering that people don’t usually cosplay or see cosplayers outside of conventions,” says Xan.

“Speaking from my personal experience in the cosplay community, your interests feel much more meaningful when you partake in them alongside other people.”

Breaking the Mould

For 22-year-old students Isaac Soh and Oh Kai Ling, cosplay empowers them with the freedom to embody a diverse range of identities.

Isaac, Year 2, Nursing, who goes by the alias LabeefVA, started cosplaying in 2019, with his first cosplay being Tanjiro, the male protagonist of anime series Demon Slayer. Eventually, Isaac discovered “crossplaying”: the act of cosplaying characters of different genders from one’s own. This inspired him to try something different and crossplay as Exusiai, his favourite character from mobile game Arknights who happens to be a gun-toting female angel.

“I believe cosplaying is all about self-expression, as long as you really want to be that character you shouldn’t be afraid of any barriers to entry, whether it’s size, gender or anything,” said Isaac. “Just embody the character and enjoy the process.”

Similarly, Kai Ling, Year 4, Food Science and Technology, who goes by PepperSteak in the cosplay community, also enjoys crossplaying as it lets her pay tribute to the tough-looking male characters that she likes. Kai Ling points out that crossplaying is “nothing unusual” even in the Singaporean scene.

“To me, cosplay is about the journey of becoming a character that I love, regardless of gender or how popular they are,” she said. “In a way, this makes it even more rewarding when others recognise and appreciate my cosplay.”

With the outfit on and prop gun in hand, Isaac Soh, 22, transforms himself into Exusiai, his favourite character from Arknights. He sees cosplay as an outlet for self-expression and is not afraid of portraying characters of a different gender from his own. (Source: Sean Pineda)

Oh Kai Ling (right), 22, performs the signature pose of Kujo Jotaro from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure alongside fellow cosplayer Tongatron. Her taste in anime characters is reflected in her preference to “crossplay” as tough-looking males like Jotaro. (Source: Coffeebenzene Photography)

Cherished experiences
For Katherine Whiteway, Year 2, Communications and New Media, while her interest in cosplay stemmed from her love for trying out cosmetics, this hobby means more to her than just playing dress-up.

“Cosplaying lets me show appreciation for my favourite characters and series,” Katherine said.

Katherine was introduced to cosplay by a secondary school friend whom she went to anime conventions with. She has since become more active in the hobby, often participating in multiple photoshoots during semester breaks.

Her Instagram account, Nekotsurin, has close to 2,000 followers since its creation in 2018. Apart from uploading pictures of her cosplay outfits taken during events and photoshoots, she also spends most of her time on the platform interacting with supporters and other cosplayers, a process which she says brings her joy.

To Katherine, the highlight of her cosplay journey was during Anime Festival Asia 2018, when the manager of YURiKA, a famous J-Pop artiste who was making a guest appearance that day, asked to photograph her cosplay of Diamond from Land of the Lustrous—an anime series that YURiKA sang the opening theme for—with the intention of showing Katherine’s cosplay to the artiste herself.

“Having someone that’s actually connected to the anime industry appreciating my cosplay is a once-in-a-lifetime experience I’ll never forget,” said Katherine.

Katherine Whiteway, 20, flashes a bright smile for the camera while dressed as Hanako-kun from Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun. For Katherine, cosplaying is her way of expressing appreciation to her favourite characters and series. (Source: Sean Pineda)

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This article was contributed by Sean Pineda in collaboration with the AY21/22 Semester 1 run of the NM2220 module.
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Know any other interesting stories of residents living on campus? Tell us in the comments or DM us on our IG @nusresidentiallife !

Fencing Foil Fun (by Odelia Ong)

Odelia Ong speaks to a former National Fencer and current Cinnamon College resident, Ryan Ong, to uncover the highs and lows of his fencing journey.

Ryan Ong Ren-An, 22, in his fencing suit holding his foil weapon. Ong has been fencing for 15 years and was once in Singapore’s National Fencing Team. (Source: Odelia Ong)

It all started from a birthday trip to Toys‘R’Us  at United Square shopping mall 15 years ago. Instead of choosing a toy from the store, Ryan Ong Ren-An, Year 2, Computer Science, was drawn to the bustling activity beside the store. There, he stood glued behind the glass windows, captivated by masked individuals suited up in white outfits combating each other with their ‘swords’.

That day, Ryan left Toys‘R’Us empty-handed, but that trip into the fencing club next door resulted in an even better gift – fencing lessons. Ryan, who is also part of the prestigious University Scholars Programme at the National University of Singapore and a current resident of Cinnamon College, fondly recounted his fencing journey that took flight when he was 7, but more than anything, his love for the sport.

Soon after he started fencing, Ryan discovered a flair for it and competitions became a routine. He participated in local tournaments mainly organised by Fencing Singapore or his fencing club and often walked away with medals and trophies.

 

Ryan, 11 in this photo, posing with the trophies and medals he had won in the four years since he started fencing. Some of these achievements include Standard Chartered YMCA International Fencing Cup (Bronze), Singapore Minime Fencing Championships (2nd place) and Fencing Masters Classic Men’s Foil Championships (Individual Champion). (Source: Ryan Ong)

At one of his matches, his quick and explosive jabs caught the attention of talent scouts from the Singapore Sports School (SSP). Ryan eventually broke his Direct School Admission contract with St. Joseph’s Institution (SJI) and enrolled in SSP instead.

The road to success

In SSP, Ryan adhered to a gruelling schedule which saw him having to balance academics and two training sessions daily. His hard work paid off when his stellar performance earned him a spot in Singapore’s National Fencing Team when Ong was 14.

Being part of the National Team unlocked many opportunities for Ryan. For one, he had private blade-work lessons with his coach, which took his technical skills up a notch. He also got to travel to new places such as Germany and France for training camps and international competitions.

Ryan practising his footwork which is an essential part of training. “Most training sessions would start with at least half an hour of footwork drills, and I hated them because they were so tiring, and my legs would be dead (slang for aching). But thinking back, having good footwork helped so much in competitions, especially against super tall opponents with really long reaches,” said Ryan. (Source: Odelia Ong

Ryan achieved a series of successes during the three years in the National Team and these accomplishments can be greatly attributed to the parental support he received. “Because of my parents, I’ve been focused on enjoying it, fencing well. That made the experience more enjoyable for me,” said Ryan.

Ryan’s major fencing achievements and milestones over the years. (Sources: Ryan Ong and Fencing Singapore)

Ryan’s father picked up the sport and developed his unique repertoire of moves to coach Ryan, while his mother took on the managerial role, chauffeuring Ryan to school and trainings, preparing his meals and handling competition matters.

Aside from logistical support, Ryan’s parents provided for him financially, including his fencing equipment and travel expenditures. Ryan’s yearly competitions also doubled as a family vacation, where they would tour the country once he was done competing.

Ryan (right) and his family at Cassis, France, for their year-end family vacation after Ryan came in 5th place in the 2015 Cadet Circuit competition in Cabriès, France. It is customary for Ryan’s family to tour the country after his overseas matches. (Source: Ryan Ong)

A fencing hiatus

Ryan was at the peak of his fencing journey when he began questioning whether there was more to life than just fencing: “I started to feel a bit burnt out in my last year at the training camp, sort of didn’t feel like training, just shag out (slang for exhausted),” he said.

Despite his achievements, Ryan had never considered a career in fencing: “For a long time, people talk about whether this is a viable thing that you can do… but at that time I wasn’t ready to make that sort of a decision, so I started to slowly move away from it.”

Ryan eventually left SSP to pursue the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme in SJI when he was 17. This decision marked a turning point in Ryan’s fencing odyssey. He finally had more time to explore his interests and think about what he truly wanted in life.

In 2017, Ryan took a break from fencing to focus on his IB examinations. He then enlisted in the army upon graduating from SJI.

Initially, Ryan tried to continue fencing when he booked out on the weekends. Such a lifestyle, however, was unsustainable as it was simply too physically demanding. As a result, he decided to stop fencing completely.

Despite this, Ryan never felt that he left the sport. His life was heading in a new direction and moving away from fencing was simply a natural progression to focus on other aspects of his life.

Once a fencer, always a fencer

While Ryan is no longer a national fencer, he plans to compete in the 31st FISU World University Games held in Chengdu, China next year. When asked about his motivation to return to the field, Ryan chuckled and replied: “Why not? Just go and try, see if I still have it!”

Ryan practising his blade work on a dummy target. He currently trains with NUS fencing in hopes of qualifying for more fencing competitions. (Source: Odelia Ong)

Ryan’s easy-going disposition towards fencing echoes the attitude he took during his peak years: “I never really cared about the ranking. I just genuinely went to fence.”

Ryan sometimes wonders whether he would have made it as a professional fencer if he committed his life to fencing. Nonetheless, he has no regrets and is happy with how life turned out for him: “Fencing has made me who I am today, directly, or indirectly, through the experiences… I still really love the sport. I hope to never completely stop fencing.”

Fencing has shaped Ryan’s life: “From the discipline, being not so results-oriented and focusing on doing the best you can. The idea that you can do it as long as you put the effort into it, and that carried over to a lot of things I did,” said Ryan as he anticipates his future fencing endeavours. (Source: Odelia Ong)

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This article was contributed by Elizabeth Cheong in collaboration with the AY21/22 Semester 1 run of the NM2220 module.
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Know any other interesting stories of residents living on campus? Tell us in the comments or DM us on our IG @nusresidentiallife !

Socially Distanced Social Club (by Elizabeth Cheong)

With online learning as the new normal, more students are choosing on-campus accommodation to reclaim their social life. Elizabeth Cheong speaks to residents to find out why.

The communal lounges in the College of Alice & Peter Tan are always full of students studying or relaxing together. (Source: Elizabeth Cheong)

“It’s a new season of your life, but you don’t actually get to experience it because everything’s virtual and you’re still at home. It just doesn’t feel like an official transition.”

Wong Shu Juan, Year 1, FASS, recounted this about her first semester of university. Like most students at NUS, a majority of her classes are held over Zoom, and CCAs have been suspended or scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This social isolation is a far cry from what the incoming freshmen envisioned for their university life, motivating students like Shu Juan to apply to stay on campus. Shu Juan is currently a resident of the College of Alice and Peter Tan (CAPT), one of the Residential Colleges under NUS’ UTown College Programme.

She is not alone; the Colleges received nearly a quarter more applications (23%) from the 2021 cohort as compared to last year, according to the statistics published on NUS’ Joint Residential College Application System.

Face-to-face time

Shu Juan and Ray Yeo, Year 1, Architecture, shared why they chose to stay on campus, instead of taking classes from home.

“For me, I joined because I wanted a richer student life experience. I haven’t really made a lot of friends in my faculty,” Shu Juan said. This is because her classes are all held online, and she added that even when doing group projects, there was no need to meet up face-to-face.

On the rare occasion that she met up with a group, she found the interactions “disingenuous”, and prioritised work over friendship.

“But in CAPT, I see my friends every day… It’s so much easier to talk on a personal level with them, and not just about what work we need to do.”

Ray shared similar sentiments. “Seeing each other every day opens up a lot of avenues for interaction with each other,” he said. “Having this space where we’re all living in close quarters allows us to interact with each other on a daily basis and brings us closer.”

“In the CAPT lounge, you can just grab someone to ‘tabao’ food together and eat together, it’s very socially enriching,” Shu Juan said.

The two freshmen have become fast friends in the short two months since their first meeting, a testament to the conduciveness of the College’s environment for fostering friendships.

Next-door neighbours

The primary platform for social interaction in the Colleges is the House system, where residents are grouped into smaller comm-unities based on their room assignment. For example, CAPT is divided into five Houses, where each House accommodates three floors of residents in the building.

Samantha Kok, Year 2, Social Work, is the head of one such House. In her first week, just after she had moved in, Kok had been grouped up with fellow freshmen and seniors in her House. Together, they went for grocery runs to purchase campus living necessities and grabbed meals together.

“It set the tone, and helped me to get to know more people in my first week in CAPT.” She added, “The House is a community. It gives people a sense of identity and belonging.”

It was this camaraderie that inspired her to become the House Head and provide the same experience to her juniors.

Members of a CAPT band perform a setlist of songs at their weekly jam session. (Source: Elizabeth Cheong)

Clubs and common interests

The Colleges also provide a wide variety of avenues for student interaction in the midst of the pandemic, from clubs and societies to sports and performing arts.

In CAPT, residents looking to keep fit can join one of thirteen sports interest groups, including rarer sports like tchoukball and bouldering. Artistically-inclined students might participate in the handicrafts interest group, which recently held a resin-making workshop.

“I joined a band with people from different Houses in CAPT, and we meet weekly to play music together.” Samantha shared. “It’s a good way to spend time with different people while pursuing a common interest.” These clubs help students bond over common interests and form meaningful friendships outside of their Houses.

Before the pandemic, students may have seen residential life as complementary to general student life. Samantha added, “For me, it’s now my only source of social interaction.”

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This article was contributed by Elizabeth Cheong in collaboration with the AY21/22 Semester 1 run of the NM2220 module.
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Know any other interesting stories of residents living on campus? Tell us in the comments or DM us on our IG @nusresidentiallife !

Passion in a Pandemic (by Chloe Kow)

With the performing arts sector taking a hard hit from Covid-19, Chloe Kow speaks to two students who persevered to pursue their craft.

Viktoriya Klyukina, 22, is a final year music student preparing for her Graduation Recital (Source: Chloe Kow)

After finishing an impressive flute solo she had practiced for months, Viktoriya Klyukina, 22, took a bow to an empty concert hall in September last year. This silence greeted her first live-stream concert in which she performed to a camera instead of a crowd. 

Viktoriya, an international student from Uzbekistan, is a final-year flute major at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, as well as a current resident at Prince George’s Park Residences (PGPR). Coming from a family of musicians, Viktoriya always knew that music was her calling. She first picked up the flute when she was eight years old and she has not looked back since. 

When Covid-19 hit hard last year, first to be restricted were performances involving intentional expulsion of air, of which included wind instruments.      

From over 200 events annually, Viktoriya found herself unable to attend rehearsals, suddenly barred from her craft.   

“It’s super sad in terms of the amount of work which we haven’t done but could do,” she said while recounting how her entire third year of academics and performances was shifted online.   

Jez Chin, 20, is a Soprano Section Leader in The NUSChoir. (Source: Chloe Kow)

Practising music online is something that Jez Chin, 20, would also be familiar with. Jez, Year 2, FASS,and ex-Sheares Hall resident joined The NUS Choir last year when they first began practising over Zoom. “There was no human interaction at all and you can’t hear anyone else except yourself and the leader teaching,” she said.   

Trials and Tribulations  

Apart from limited opportunities to perform, Viktoriya shared how the situation was so volatile that a recent performance by other students was cancelled due to a positive Covid-19 case. Consequently, all students and staff who were in contact with the infected performer had to be isolated.   

Viktoriya had then been asked on short notice to replace a fellow flutist who was involved in this cancelled performance, as her isolation made her unable to attend rehearsals for a separate recital. She said: “It was a test of my professionalism. With Covid-19 you need to be able to jump into things very quickly.”  

Such professionalism was shown in how The NUS Choir put together their first digital concert, Many Waters Cannot Quench Love, last academic year on 8 May 2021. 

The choristers performed 14 pieces in groups of fives, which was later streamed online. Jez was shocked because it meant that each singer would have a role akin to a soloist, which was unfamiliar to most choir members.   

To her relief, the process went well, and she learnt to become a more independent singer. Jez recounts an abrupt cancellation of practice in September, as the choir’s usual practice venue had to be sterilised due to a Covid-19 case. She said: “I was worried that we would not have enough time to learn our pieces. I was also shocked because we could have possibly returned to online singing after one whole year.”  

Fortunately, the situation was sorted out by the management and practices resumed shortly after.  

Return to the Stage  

“I was very happy. I even forgot I had stage fright and was almost running onto the stage to play. So exciting,” Viktoriya said as she shared how she performed live again at the Esplanade Concourse last month, after a year of not being able to do so.  

The latest National Arts Council Safe Management Measures allows up to 20 unmasked performers.  Viktoriya explained that full-fledged orchestra pieces are still not possible due to the limit on performer numbers.   

However, students have begun practising chamber pieces suitable for smaller ensembles.  Viktoriya noted that this was a good opportunity to practise more, as such pieces were usually brushed aside, back when their schedules used to be more packed.   

The NUS Choir has also adapted to the latest safe management measures to sing in groups of 20. Chin said: “It was the best day of my life. I was honestly very happy when I heard we could finally sing in (groups of) 20.”   

Although the sound produced from a smaller ensemble cannot compare to the fullness of an 80strong choir, Chin considered this a significant improvement from last year.   

Unexpected Silver Linings  

 Viktoriya’s personal convictions and passion for music helped her maintain a positive outlook. She shared that the merits of this situation included more time for individual practice and self-exploration.   

Being forced to take a break also benefitted her physical and mental health. “I feel much better and have become more productive. I feel reborn,” she said.   

 Viktoriya encourages those who are struggling amidst Covid-19, to “have an open mind and consider things from a different perspective”.  

Likewise, Jez is looking on the bright side. She said: “I learned to be a lot more thankful to be able to sing with others and learned to appreciate my art a lot more.”  

Jez is currently a Soprano Section Leader and looking forward to performing with The NUSChoir at their annual concert, Varsity Voices, in April 2022. To anyone interested in joining the arts scene, she said: “Just go for it.”  

Sources: Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, The NUSChoir, NUS Centre For The Arts, NUS Cultural Activities Club

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This article was contributed by Chloe Kow in collaboration with the AY21/22 Semester 1 run of the NM2220 module.
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Know any other interesting stories of residents living on campus? Tell us in the comments or DM us on our IG @nusresidentiallife !

You Just Got Your Results… Now What?

Results day is finally here! Some of you might be pleasantly surprised, while others might be a little disappointed. Regardless of which group you fall into, what matters most is what you do moving forward. For that reason, Reslife has put together a handy guide to help you make sense of the results you’ve received in a constructive manner, as well as tips on how you might improve in the semesters to come. Let’s get straight into it!

 

1. Understand why you got the results you got

Once you get your results, it’s tempting to just focus on calculating your new CAP (Cumulative Average Point), being pleased or disappointed, and then putting the semester behind you and moving on. However, doing this is akin to a student merely being interested in the grade they got after receiving their exam script, and zoning out as the teacher goes through the answers to the questions.

If you don’t understand what went wrong, or what went well – you won’t be able to improve in the semesters to come. Sure, you may not get your actual exam script back, but through the single letter grade you get for each module, you can deduce the reasons as to why you got that particular grade, be it good or bad.

For instance, if you didn’t do as well as you expected, don’t just accept it at face value – think about what went wrong. Were some marks deducted because you were late to tutorials? Or was it the way an essay or report was written? If you can’t figure it out, don’t be afraid to email your professor to ask where you fell short, or what could have been done better. The bottom line is that the first step to improving is understanding your strengths and weaknesses.

 

2. List down points of improvement

Source: Shutterstock

After you’ve come to a general understanding of why you got the results you did, it’s time to make a list of how you can improve moving forward.

For each module, list down at least three things you feel like you could have done better in, and plan some concrete steps to improve upon these things in the next semester. For example, maybe you missed the deadline of an assignment because it slipped your mind. A concrete step to improve moving forward could be to set calendar reminders for all subsequent assignments for your modules.

Points of improvement don’t always have to be drastic – like studying each week’s content a week in advance. Doing well for a module is not just about knowing the content well, but also about how disciplined you are throughout the semester, such as by completing all that is assigned on time, attending tutorials punctually, and being participative in tutorials as well. By securing marks in these small and achievable areas, you might be surprised as to the difference these extra marks can make.

 

3. List down the good points too

Knowing what went wrong is valuable, but it’s just as important to be aware of what went well. By knowing all you did well in a module, you can carry these good points over to subsequent modules and semesters.

Even if you didn’t get a good grade for a module, that doesn’t mean you didn’t do anything right. So, for each module, list down at least three things you did well in, and plan concrete steps to incorporate these good points into the next semester. It can be as simple as keeping on top of your lectures, or participating actively in tutorials. Good habits and practices should be celebrated too!

 

4. Don’t beat yourself up

Source: Pinterest

There’s a great quote by Winston Churchill that is always apt for the results season – it goes:  “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”. No matter how you did this semester, know that it’s not the end of the road. A bad grade won’t kill you, and a good grade doesn’t mean you have it all. What matters is that you learn from your mistakes and your successes, and use these lessons to improve upon yourself.

So don’t beat yourself up over a poor grade. Be proud that you’ve done the best you could have done in the circumstances you were in, and know that there will always be opportunities to improve. Don’t give up – Reslife believes in you!

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Are there other ways you go about reflecting upon receiving your results? Tell us in the comments or DM us on our IG @nusresidentiallife!

5 Tips & Tricks to Land an Internship

Ah… internships – deeply coveted by all students, but undoubtedly also one of the more stressful parts of being a university student. Reslife has touched on the topic of internships in our previous articles – Internship 101, Ways to Ace Your Internships, and Finding Your (Out)Fit For Interviews, but what we haven’t discussed is perhaps most pressing of all – how do you even find an internship? If you want to know how to land the internship of your choice, read on as we reveal the five most important tips and tricks to do so!

 

1. Cast Your Net Far and Wide

Possible places you can find suitable internships to apply for
(Sources: NUS, LinkedIn, Google Jobs)

Where do you even find internships to apply to? Well, there are many different places you can visit. Most obvious of all would be NUS’s own job search portal, TalentConnect. The good thing about applying on TalentConnect is that the internship opportunities on the portal have been posted by employers who are specifically looking to hire NUS students – this means that there might be a higher chance of you successfully landing the internship. Applying on the portal is also straightforward, as all you need to do is submit a copy of your resume, as seen in the picture below.

Search for possible internship opportunities on NUS TalentConnect

Applying for internships on NUS TalentConnect is fuss-free!

Although TalentConnect is a great place to source for internships, not every single internship opportunity can be found on the portal. If you feel like you can’t find an opportunity that suits you, don’t be afraid to venture out and apply on other job-search websites! A quick Google search of to find internships in a field you’re interested in can yield multiple results, and is a convenient way to source for internships that interest you.

Google search for internship opportunities and apply directly through the link provided

Other than TalentConnect and Google, another great place to land an opportunity is none other than LinkedIn. Click the “Jobs” tab and browse possible internships that interest you. The great thing about LinkedIn is that you might even find recruiters on the site actively looking to hire interns for specific companies.  If so, don’t be shy – slide into their DMs and ask about the position you’re interested in!

Search for internships on LinkedIn

Spots for internships are few and far between, so don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Apply for multiple opportunities and apply on different platforms and portals to maximise your chances!

 

2. Referrals & Connections are Key

Source: Insperity

Hands down the easiest way to land an internship you really want is to get someone currently working in the company, or an ex-intern to refer you to their boss or the recruiter. You will probably still have to attend an interview before landing the job, but it speeds up the process tenfold as you don’t have to worry about your resume getting lost amongst the hundreds of other applicants. This is why forming connections and networking is so important, and why maintaining a professional LinkedIn account is essential. (For tips on how to set up a great LinkedIn account, read: 5 Ways to Ace the LinkedIn Game).

On LinkedIn, it’s easy to view whether one of your connections has previously held a position at a company you’re interested in. If so, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for a possible referral, or even just tips on how to stand out amongst the pool of other candidates.

 

3. Tailor Your Resume to the Job

Highlight your experiences and achievements that are most relevant to the job
(Source: Novoresume)

It’s tempting to just dump all your achievements in your resume, but recruiters have many applicants to sieve through. They don’t have the time to filter all the information you put on the page to discern your most relevant experiences and accomplishments. This is why it is of pivotal importance that your resume is succinct (one to two pages), and is tailored to the job you are applying to.

The best way to do this is to read the job description and the requirements, and ensure that upon a quick glance of your resume, recruiters will be able to see that you meet all the requirements. For instance, if the job you’re applying to is design related, move all your design related experience to the top of your resume, and you may choose to leave out information that doesn’t show that you meet the specific job requirements. This might mean that you will have different resumes for different applications, but the extra work will pay off.

Lastly, if you want to ensure that your resume is crafted to perfection, NUS has a handy tool called VMock which uses artificial intelligence to provide personalised feedback on your resume. Your resume is the first impression a recruiter gets of you, so do your best to leave a lasting positive impression.

 

4. Prepare Well for Your Interview

Source: iStock

Congratulations, you made it to the interview round – essentially the last hurdle you have to overcome before landing the internship! This is the time for you to really sell yourself and show your recruiter or employer that you are the right person for the job. You may not know all the questions that they’re going to ask, but that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t prepare for the interview. Furthermore, going into an interview well-prepared shows the recruiter that you’re keen on the job and that you are responsible. So how do you prepare?

First, make sure you have the answers down for the common questions asked in interviews – questions such as, “Tell me about yourself.”, “Why do you want this internship?”, and “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”.

Next, research extensively about the company, as well as the role that you will be taking up. You can expect questions that might test how much you know about the company, such as “How can the company improve?”, “What has the company done well in?”, and questions that are more specific to your role – eg. “Tell us about marketing projects you have done in the past.”.

Once all the main questions have been asked, you can be sure that every interview will end off the same – “Do you have any questions for us?”. Absolutely do not say “no”! This is a great opportunity for you to not only clarify any concerns, but also demonstrate your interest in the company and the role and show that you have been thinking deeply about the internship. Ask about the projects that you will be embarking on, the work culture, pitch a novel idea you hope to implement – if this internship is something you’re really interested in, you should be bursting with questions (but don’t overdo it!).

Once again, if you need help practicing for your interview, you can do so on VMock Interviews, an artificial intelligence programme that gives you feedback on your responses and even body language.

 

5. Start Applying Early

Source: Fastweb

There are numerous reasons as to why you should apply early. First, most companies take a while to get back to you. Hence, make sure you apply early so that you still have time to look for other internships should you not land a role in your first round of applications.

Companies also recruit early for summer and winter internships, so to maximise your chances of landing an internship, you should be applying at least two to three months in advance for a position. However, many companies also do hire closer to the internship start date, so don’t stress out too much if you’re a little late on applying. The bottom line is that the earlier you apply, the more likely you are to end up with an internship you want.

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An internship is an exciting and meaningful experience that will push you to learn much and grow much. Don’t take up an internship just for the sake of it, but think about what fields you are interested in exploring and start from there. We hope that these tips have been useful, and Reslife wishes you all the best in your internship hunt!

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Did we miss out any tips on finding internships? Tell us in the comments or DM us on our IG @nusresidentiallife !

Sick of School Food: Hidden Food Gems Near Campus

After around 15 weeks of staying on campus, you might be getting rather bored of eating at the same places all the time. Not to worry – to celebrate the last stretch of the semester, Reslife has compiled a list of little-known food gems in the vicinity of campus. Let’s get straight into it!

1. NEWest

(Source: NEWest.sg)

Address: 1 West Coast Drive, Singapore 128020
Directions: Take 196 from University Town to Clementi Stadium (4 stops); change to 97/197/198 and ride to NEWest (2 stops); OR Take 154/201 from Clementi Mall to NEWest (3 stops)

Located not too far from Clementi Mall, NEWest is still a relatively new shopping mall that has yet to fill up all its retail units. However, a quick exploration of the mall reveals many hidden food gems selling unique food at affordable prices. Here are some of our favourites:

a. Donburi-Ya
Address: NEWest, #01-K21
Hours: Mon – Sun (11am – 6.30pm)
Price: ~$8.45- $11.90

Donburi-Ya Menu

Craving for some delicious Japanese rice bowls but not too keen to splurge on the bowls offered at Waa-Cow? Donburi-Ya at NEWest is a cheaper but just as delicious alternative that’s sure to satisfy you!

At just $9.90, you can choose from their Wagyu, Kurobuta, Mapo Tofu Dons, or have their Unagi Don at $11.90. You may also choose to add on a side dish and a drink with an additional $2.90. To sweeten the deal, Donburi-Ya offers an additional 10% discount for students, so do remember to bring along your student ID if you decide to visit!

1 For 1 Set Meal Offer

For further discounts, bring along a friend to try their 1-for-1 Set Meal which gives you the choice of Wagyu, Kurobuta or Mapo Tofu Don with a drink or a delicious Milk Pudding for just $16.90.

Unfortunately, unlike its larger outlet at CityLink Mall, this humble eatery only allows for takeaways so you might choose to bring it back to your NUS hostel, or go to the nearby park opposite the mall to enjoy your food. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for good quality rice bowls at an affordable price near campus, Donburi-Ya is still a great option!

For more information on the food they serve, check out this full review by Daniel Food Diary.

b. Jumbadog
Address: NEWest, #01-107
Hours: Tues – Thurs & Sun (10am – 8pm); Fri & Sat (10am – 10.30pm)
Price: ~$9.90

Calling all Subway, sandwich, and hotdog lovers! While there may no longer be a Subway on campus, you can still get your customisable sandwich fix at Jumbadog.

In a unique concept similar to Subway sandwiches, Jumbadog serves footlong hotdogs that you can customise. Their classic hotdogs all go at $9.90 (ala-carte), while their specialty hotdogs and sandwiches are pricier at $13.90 (ala-carte). For those looking for #instaworthy food places, this is an eatery you must visit! With striking hand-painted murals on the walls, and a vintage arcade machine you can play while waiting for your food, Jumbadog seals the deal with a fun atmosphere in addition to its giant hotdogs.

Get crazy with your hotdog flavour combinations with Jumbadog’s Tako(yaki) dog! (Source: Eatbook)

For more information on the food they serve, check out this review by Eatbook!

c. Springleaf
Address: NEWest, #01-108/109
Hours: 24 hours
Price: ~$3 – $10

Source: SG Dabao

 

Sure, ordering in supper is easy and convenient – but nothing beats the thrill of going out of campus late in the night with a group of friends and enjoying some delicious food under the stars. For those looking for a late-night rendezvous, this Springleaf Prata outlet at NEWest is open 24 hours, so swing by anytime and satisfy your prata or murtabak craving. The moonlit sky combined with the twinkling fairy lights hung around their outdoor seating area creates the perfect atmosphere for some late-night deep conversations or just some laid back fun. For vegetarians and vegans, apart from the different meatless prata options, Springleaf Prata also offers some great vegan options, such as their Meatless Murtabak or Vegetarian Chapati set.

d. Up in Smoke
Address: NEWest, #01-67
Hours: Mon – Fri (11am -11pm), Sat – Sun (10am – 11pm)
Price: ~$5-12

You might have heard of the popular Gelato shop at Sunset Way, Burnt Cones, but have you heard of their sister shop, Up in Smoke? Up In Smoke serves a more extensive brunch and lunch menu than that of Burnt Cones due to its larger kitchen space, as well as the same signature artisanal hand-crafted gelato.

14 gelato flavours (Single $5, Double $9, Signature +$1, Supremo +$2) are on display. (Source: Daniel Food Diary)

Some of the interesting flavours you can look forward to include: Ube (Purple Yam), Thai Coconut Lychee, Black Sesame, Scamorza (Smoked Cheese), Earl Grey, Bacio (Hazelnut chocolate), and Pistachio.

As per their name, Up in Smoke features an Instagram-worthy Smoked Buttermilk Waffle that you might have seen videos of on your own Instagram feed. But at an additional $10, this Insta-worthy moment does not come cheap – so maybe save it for an after-exam treat? ☺

 

Smoked Buttermilk Waffles (Source: Daniel Food Diary)

Apart from their signature gelato and waffles, Up in Smoke serves main dishes such as Philly Cheesesteaks (Junior $10, Regular $12, Double $18) and various brunch dishes.

e. Moonrise Cafe
Address: Newest, #01-106
Hours: Tues – Thurs & Sun (12pm – 10pm); Fri & Sat (12pm – 12am)
Price: ~$6 – $10

(Source: TB Foo)

(Source: Moonrise Cafe)

(Source: Moonrise Cafe)

(Source: Moonrise Cafe)

If you’re craving for some ice cream and waffles but you don’t want to splurge on artisanal gelato or have smoke erupt from your waffles, you can get your ice cream fix from Moonrise Cafe at an affordable price. A simple café with a friendly owner, Moonrise Café serves up classic ice cream flavours such as Belgian Chocolate and Strawberry Cream at $3.80 per scoop, but also more unique flavours such as Cookie Monster (in a strikingly blue colour!), Pistachio and Speculoos at $4.80 a scoop. You may also add a waffle to the mix at just $2.50! For affordable dessert, Moonrise Café is definitely the place to go.

If you’re looking for a quiet spot to study, this café is also a great option as it offers free wifi (just ask the friendly owner!), and also serves main dishes such as lasagne and spaghetti.

 

2. Ayer Rajah Food Center
Address: Blk 503, West Coast Drive. Ayer Rajah Food Centre, Singapore 120503
Directions: Take 196 from University Town to Clementi Stadium (4 stops) and walk
Hours: Mon – Sun (6am – 1am)
Price: ~$3 – $7

(Source: Trip Advisor)

Located a short walk from NEWest, Ayer Rajah Food Centre is definitely one of the best places to go if you’re looking for the best Indian-Muslim food, especially as the Halal food options in UTown might be rather limited. Mee Goreng, Rojak, Satay, Mee Siam, Briyani – you name it, they’ve probably got it! A few of their most popular stores and food include:

 

a. A. Rashid Khan (Kambing Soup)

Visit A. Rashid Khan for some delicious kambing soup (Source: Trip Advisor)

Listed as the top contender for the best Kambing (Mutton) Soup in Singapore by Singapore’s Michelin Guide , A. Rashid Khan is a stall you don’t want to miss. With generous chunks of mutton and a complimentary sliced French loaf to dip into the spicy and flavourful soup, this dish is best eaten on a rainy day to warm you up.

b. Habib’s Rojak

Habib’s Rojak serves one of the best Rojak in town (Source: Seth Lui)

Habib’s Rojak has been around for more than 30 years, and the owner, Habib, is the second-generation owner of the stall (his father named the store after him when he was just a year old!). While Habib’s father has handed over the reins of the stall, he still comes down each morning to inspect the food and is strict on ensuring that the ingredients come from the best suppliers. The dedication of Habib and his father to the quality of the Rojak they sell thus makes it unsurprising that this stall has been lauded as one of the best Rojak stalls in Singapore.

As can be seen in the picture above, the stall has a large variety of ingredients that customers can choose to add to their Rojak – some of the most popular ingredients include Tepong Kelapa (coconut fritter), Tepong Telur (a fried hard boiled egg), Tepong Sayur (vegetable ball), and the Crispy Prawn. What makes this stall stand out the most might have to be their delicious secret recipe chilli gravy – a zesty yet sweet gravy that complements the Rojak ingredients well, and always has customers coming back for more.

c. Lee Kee Wanton Noodles

Visit Lee Kee Wanton Noodles for some yummy wanton noodles (Source: MissTamChiak)

While Ayer Rajah Food Centre does specialise in Indian-Muslim food, there are still some stalls selling good quality Chinese cuisine. One such stall where you might see a long line of customers in front of is Lee Kee Wanton Noodles. This stall has been around since 1979 serving generous portions of noodles with roast meats at an affordable price of just $3-4. Many food bloggers have praised the stall as selling restaurant quality food due to the tender and juicy roast meat that is served According to a review on Seth Lui.com, while the Wanton Noodles serve up some thick and meaty slices of char siew which complement the noodles well, the Roast Duck Noodles serve an extraordinarily juicy and succulent roast duck which takes the cake.

It’s clear that if you’re looking for some good quality and well-cooked roast meat noodle dishes that might be even cheaper than what you can find on campus, Lee Kee Wanton Noodles is your go-to hawker stall.

d. V4Vegetarain

(Source: Happy Cow)

Looking for more vegetarian food options near campus? This unique stall opened by Mummy Yummy operates on a pay-as-you-wish scheme in order to bring affordable vegetarian food to the financially needy in Singapore. By supporting the stall, not only do you get some yummy vegetarian food, the amount you choose to pay will also sustain the stall as they continue to provide affordable and free food to those in need.

Source: Thisen Rau

Source: P Chong

Mummy Yummy serves up a generous portion of Vegetarian Chicken Rice, Vegetarian Laksa, Vegetarian Duck Rice, and more! Source: Thomas Soh

For more information about other popular stalls and food to try, check out this Eatbook Article!

 

3. Eng Kee Chicken Wings
Address: 505 W Coast Dr, #01-208, Singapore 120505
Directions: Take 196 from University Town to Clementi Stadium (4 stops) and walk
Hours: Tue – Sun (8am – 2pm & 4pm – 8pm)
Price: ~$3 – $7

Next to the Ayer Rajah Food Center is another smaller food court, Eng Kee Kopitiam, where the famous Eng Kee Chicken Wings are found.

These chicken wings have been lauded as one of the best in Singapore, and this writer can attest to that! The wings are meaty, juicy and full of flavour on the outside, and also crunchy on the inside. If you’re looking to eat a full meal, you can also order the chicken wings with bee hoon and other side ingredients (eg. cabbage, sausage, egg etc.).

To find out just how irresistible these chicken wings are, check out this CNA article.

 

4. Alexandra Village Hawker Centre
Address: 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1, Singapore 150120
Directions: Take 33 from New Town Sec Sch to Alexandra Hosp (8 stops) and walk OR take 196 from New Town Sec Sch to Pk Hotel Alexandra (14 stops) and walk
Hours: Tues – Sat (7am – 9pm), Sun & Mon (11am – 9pm)
Price: ~$3 – $7

Alexandra Village is a pretty well-known hawker centre, yet it still deserves a mention for the affordable yet delicious food you can find. All of the stores are sure to serve up some quality food, but here is a selection of their most popular stores based on this writer’s observation of queue lengths and the food reviews online:

a. Shanghai La Mian Xiao Long Bao

 

These xiao long baos from Shanghai La Mian Xiao Long Bao are a must-try! (if you can brave the queue!) (Source:MissTamChiak)

Helmed by Zhang You Zu, a chef from Nanjing China who has over 30 years of experience in making Xiao Long Bao, Shanghai La Mian Xiao Long Bao is one of the most popular xiao long bao stalls in Singapore. This is evident as the stall has one of the longest queues in the hawker centre, but their delicious xiao long baos are worth the wait!

The secret to the flavourful filling of these xiao long baos is the patience and tender loving care of Zhang and his team. The fillings have to be prepared and marinated overnight for the perfect texture, moisture, and rich flavour.

What’s better is that these xiao long baos are highly affordable at $5 for 8 pieces – even cheaper than the ones you can get on campus! If you ever feel yourself craving for some delicious xiao long baos, now you know where to go.

b. Ashes Burnnit Burgers

Ashes Burnnit serves up some incredibly juicy burgers with charcoal buns
(Source: The Fat Guide)

It’s tough to find affordable yet juicy burgers under $10 that aren’t from McDonalds or Burger King, and burger options are also rather limited on campus. Enter Ashes Burnnit, aptly self-proclaimed as serving up “gormet hawker burgers”, this stall serves up high quality burgers at very affordable prices on a unique charcoal bun. To sweeten the deal, every burger comes with a generous serving of thick and crispy fries, and the stall is also halal certified. If you’re craving a burger but sick of fast food, give Ashes Burnnit a try!

c. Xiang Jiang Soya Sauce Chicken

Lauded by many as the best soya sauce chicken rice in Singapore, Xiang Jiang Soya Sauce Chicken is a must try (but beware of long queues!) (Source: Singapore Foodie)

If you’re bored of getting your usual order of steamed or roasted chicken rice on campus, why not switch it up a little with some delicious soya sauce chicken rice? Xiang Jiang Soya Sauce Chicken has a Michelin Plate and has often been compared to Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle at Chinatown, the stall that received the first ever Michelin Star awarded to a hawker stall. Many food bloggers also consider Xiang Jiang Soya Sauce Chicken to be a worthy contender for one of the best plates of soya sauce chicken in Singapore (some even think it’s better than a certain Michelin Starred hawker stall!). What’s better is that for the low price of $3 and $3.50 for rice and noodles respectively, the Soya Sauce Chicken dish is really value for money and cheaper than most options on campus.

d. Depot Road Zhen Shan Mei Claypot Laksa

This famous claypot laksa dish is listed on the Michelin Bib Gourmand (Source: Singapore Foodie)

We’re all familiar with laksa, a dish that is easily accessible on campus – but have you ever tried claypot laksa? Ever since receiving the Michelin Bib Gourmand award in 2016, and in subsequent years after that, the stall has become renowned in Singapore for its delicious claypot laksa dish. While it might look like an ordinary bowl of laksa, one taste of the rich and flavourful broth and you’ll know that this dish is something special. Apart from enhancing the flavour of the laksa, the insulating claypot also ensures that your food stays hot throughout your meal!

A small, medium, and large bowl of claypot laksa is priced at $4, $5, and $6 respectively, and is really a steal for the quality of food you are getting.

For more information about some of the most popular stalls and food in Alexandra Village, check out this article by Daniel Food Diary, or this article by Singapore Foodie.

5. Nature Café

Address: Blk 11, Jalan Bt Merah #03-4462/4460
Directions: Take 196 from New Town Sec Sch to Blk 1 (15 stops)
Hours: Mon – Sun (11.30am – 9pm)
Price: ~$7-$13

(Source: Happy Cow)

It can be difficult to find a large variety of vegetarian and vegan options on campus, so the large vegetarian menu of Nature Café is definitely well appreciated. From their Soy Chicken Rice ($6) and Korean Bibimbap Rice ($9.90) to their Nasi Briyani ($8.50) and Mushroom Baked Rice ($12.90), it is clear that they serve a wide range of cuisines. The reviews left by customers also ascertain that the food they serve is delicious and of good quality. If you’re looking for a place with numerous vegetarian options near campus, Nature Café might just check all your boxes!
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With this handy list of hidden food gems near campus, you no longer have to feel constrained to the handful of food places in the vicinity of your NUS residence. Whether as a pre or post exam treat, do give these hidden gems a try, and we hope that these suggestions will fill not just your stomach but also your heart!
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Know of some other little-known but delicious food places near school that we missed out? Tell us in the comments or DM us on our IG @nusresidentiallife

How to Take Care of Your Mental Health (Tips from Mental Wellness Groups on Campus)

The stress of school can often be overwhelming, especially as we enter the last stretch of the semester. With never-ending assignments to do and tests to study for, it’s easy for us to neglect not just our physical health (replacing sleep with coffee, anyone?), but also our mental health. Here at Reslife, we’re familiar with the struggle, and we want to encourage you to make your mental health a priority.

With the help of three Mental Wellness Groups on campus, we’ve compiled some tips on how to take care of your mental health as we approach the gruelling part of the semester, so read on – for your mental health deserves care and conversation!

 

I. Love, USP

Love, USP AY21/22 Exco

Love, USP is a mental health-focused interest group in Cinnamon College. From 25 to 29 October 2021, Love, USP engaged in a large-scale collaboration with multiple student groups, namely – USC Welfare, USCaffeinated, USClassical,  USCrafts and USPermaculture, in a bid to organise various “Chilling Sessions” for the wider student population. These Chilling Sessions consisted of myriad fun activities for USP students to learn practical ways to take care of their mental health. Based on the insights from these activities, Ryan Kwok (Year 2, Computing, Love, USP Co- I/C) shares a few key tips for all of us below:

 

1. Use a Mental Health Tracker

Mental Health Tracker Template and Instructions

Sometimes, we may not realise that stress is building and affecting us mentally until one day, we just break down completely from the pressure. In order to prevent this, a mental health tracker is extremely helpful in creating space each day to feel your feelings and be mindful of your overall mental well-being. It is essentially a daily log of things pertaining to your mental health – some examples include tracking your mood or whether you have met your own self-care goals. By externalising your thoughts and emotions on paper, this can help you understand how to manage them instead of bottling up these feelings.

 

Here are some ideas on what you might want to include in your own mental health tracker:

  1. Mood of the day: How are you feeling today
  2. Things that made you happy: What or who are they?
  3. Sleep log: How many hours did you sleep today?
  4. Daily self-care list: Did you drink enough water and sleep enough? Did you take ample breaks in between work?
  5. Gratitude log: What are you thankful for today?

 

Headed by USCrafts, the mental health tracker activity aims to give students time to design their very own mental tracker, allowing them to monitor their mental health through the difficult weeks leading to the end of the semester.

 

2. Drink Calming Teas

Poster advertising Love USP’s Wellness Tea Session

It is widely known that certain teas have positive effects on the body, such as promoting relaxation, relieving stress, improving sleep, easing constipation, and increasing alertness. (No, unfortunately, we’re not talking about bubble tea!) If you’re feeling stressed, USCaffeinated has some tips on teas you can consider trying:

 

1. Calming Teas

Calming Teas are teas that are usually herbal and caffeine free. Chamomile-infused teas are great for relaxation (eg. Pukka Love). Additionally, teas with peppermint are good for soothing headaches (eg. Pukka Cleanse Organic). If you want to try these teas out, the Pukka tea series can be bought from your local FairPrice/Cold Storage!

 

2. Low-Caffeine Teas

Low-caffeine teas are good if you’re weaning yourself from coffee and need a transition drink. Generally, green, white and oolong teas have lower amounts of caffeine as opposed to black and red teas.

 

The Wellness Tea Session by USCaffeinated provides free samples of calming teas to USP students – reminding them that that there are healthy and yummy alternatives for relaxing

 

3 .Listen to Classical Music

Source: USC News

 

Sure, classical music may not be your go-to music choice, but did you know it has some serious mental health benefits? Not only does it reduce the stress hormone – cortisol – but it also promotes the secretion of oxytocin, which uplifts your mood, and melatonin, which helps you sleep better. In order to boost your mood and relieve anxiety, you can consider playing some classical music while you study, or during your breaks. Maybe even as you’re getting ready in the morning, to boost your day!

Check out this classical music playlist curated by a member of USClassical who has generously shared it with us: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6QWKuP2bLvaGT6gry2HT6D?si=df5a8 0b922bd4653

 

II. Love Tembusu

Love Tembusu is a mental wellness advocacy group in Tembusu. Through planning mental health initiatives and events, the group advocates for the importance of mental wellbeing to Tembusians and provides ways to destress and practise self-care. Tammy Tan (Year 2, Business Administration, Love Tembusu Head) shares with us some insights from the group’s mental health initiatives that we, too, can apply so as to take better care of our mental health:

 

1. Find a Comforting and Safe Space

When life gets overwhelming, it helps to have a safe and comforting space to step back from the chaos of expectations and deadlines being thrown at us. Even if just for a moment, this safe space is where you can allow yourself to feel your emotions, instead of trying to bottle it all up. Be it a specific corner of your room, a park bench, or anywhere at all – find a place to process your emotions freely and slowly. Once you are done, you will leave with a much lighter heart and a clearer mind.

The Oasis, a room for Tembusians to take care of their mental wellbeing

The Oasis is an example of a safe space that Love Tembusu has created for all Tembusians to relax and tend to their wellbeing in. It is carefully constructed to offer a safe, quiet and cozy atmosphere. For instance, the room has several live plants that aid in detoxifying the air and even a water fountain to add white noise to the room. The room has been well received by Tembusians, with many choosing to go there to unwind after a submission or a long day. Tembusian Teo Ming Huang (Year 2, Computer Science) remarked, “When I’m there, I just allow myself to feel and not think.” Tembusian Jane Ee (Year 1, Medicine) agreed: “The dim orange lights and sound of water in the background sets up the perfect reflective mood.”

 

2. Practise Gratitude

While deceptively simple, learning to practise gratitude for the little things each day is a mindful action and can be very beneficial for your mental health. Pausing to reflect on the good things will help us magnify them, instead of worrying about what we don’t have. Incorporate gratitude into your life by writing down one to two things you are thankful for at the end of each day. Soon enough, you will find yourself feeling more content and happier. ☺

 

Participants penning down words of gratitude during Love Tembusu’s Gratitude Workshop

 

Love Tembusu employed this practice of gratitude through a workshop where participants could pen down some words of thanks either to others or for themselves. Upon going through the workshop, Sahil Arora (Year 1, Business Administration) wisely remarked, “Taking some time to offer gratitude to a special person or even to yourself is an act of kindness to yourself.”  Jane mused: “Sometimes human greed gets the better of us and we get too caught up with what we don’t have. This usually means we forget to stop and be thankful for what we already have. I enjoyed living and thinking in the moment and penning down what I’m grateful for in the ‘here’ and ‘now’.” Truly, reflecting on our blessings is a simple but powerful way to uplift our spirits.

 

3. Share Your Burden With Others

Source: Satria

One stick is easily broken, but a bundle of sticks is harder to break. When we learn to lean on our communities for support, we will find that we are stronger and more equipped to tackle whatever life throws at us. You don’t have to face your giants alone. A lighter heart awaits you as you share your burdens and struggles with those whom you trust.

 

We Are Not Really Strangers – game that Love Tembusu uses in their mental health conversation sessions; Source: Yahoo

In the spirit of deepening connections and encouraging Tembusians to serve as each other’s support systems, Love Tembusu organises mental-health related conversations every three weeks. Such conversations have been useful for participants to reap the benefits of sharing their burdens with others. Mrinal Ganesh (Year 2, Computer Science) reflected: “It was reassuring to know that we were not alone in the emotions and stress that we felt, and it was also eye opening to hear other participants’ approaches on how they coped with similar emotions they experienced. I left this activity feeling more relaxed and composed.”

 

III. King Edward VII’s Peer Support Groups (KEVII’s PSG)

Posters advertising KEVII’s Peer Support Group and their events

KEVII’s PSG is an entirely student-led initiative that focuses on providing peer support to residents. Peer Support Leaders (PSLs) proactively identify residents who are potentially distressed and provide a safe space for these residents to share about any struggles they may be facing. Additionally, PSLs organise activities to raise awareness of the importance of having open conversations about one’s mental health.

While we have discussed much about how to take care of your own mental health, living on campus means being part in a community and having ample opportunities to care for the mental health of those around you. Charis Soon (Year 3, Pharmacy, KEVII PSG Head) and Teh Xue Yong (Year 3, Computing, KEVII PSG Vice Head) share with us some key insights they have gleaned from being a PSL:

 

1. Check In Regularly and Intervene Early

Source: Mama Mia

First, if you notice that a friend has been more withdrawn or down in the dumps lately, it is important to intervene early and offer your support before the situation gets worse. Charis notes, “Mental health issues always lie on a spectrum, and it is easier to support them when they are early on in the spectrum where the situation may be less severe.” This is why having a community of friends to check in on each other regularly is key in providing timely support. It is also crucial to note that since you are not a professional therapist, you may not be completely equipped to help them work through their struggles. In such cases, you can direct and encourage your friends to seek professional help if needed.

 

2. Be A Friend

Peer support is not an activity, but a process. Viewing people that you support not as a “case” through, but an actual person who is a friend, is important. Peer support is akin to nurturing a friendship built on trust and respect for each other’s boundaries – knowing when to listen and comfort, and when to give advice. Your friend is a person, not a project – be genuine and be present.

 

3. Provide a Safe and Supportive Environment

The KEVII PSG team also found that residents are not always comfortable when talking about their mental health issues. It is often challenging for residents to share their own experiences and struggles – being vulnerable is never easy. This is why a supportive culture is paramount, where experiences are listened to and addressed with utmost care.  Individuals don’t feel judged or worried that what they say may be dismissed or invalidated. If those around you can trust you to be a safe and supportive listening ear, they are more likely to share their struggles with you.

In order to improve the mental health literacy of their residents, KEVII’s PSG planned a series of dialogue sessions over the course of the year. The first session, held on 8 September 2021, was with SHINE Children and Youth Services, where the relationship between life stage transitions and mental health was discussed. The session effectively equipped their residents with skills to converse within their friend circles about mental health, thus allowing conversations surrounding mental health to be more normalised.

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We hope these tips to take care of your mental health have been useful. As we enter into the busier and more daunting period of the semester, remember to take care of yourself and seek support if you need. Remember – you are not alone!

HELPLINES

NUS University Counselling Services Hotline: 6516 7777.

National Care Hotline: 1800 202 6868.

Samaritans Of Singapore: 1800-221-4444

Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019

Institute Of Mental Health’s Mobile Crisis Service: 6389-2222

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What are some other tips you have for taking care of your mental health? Do you know other places or groups on campus that are organised around supporting students through mental health issues? Tell us in the comments or DM us on our IG @nusresidentiallife!

Ripples of Good: Residents Share Their Community Engagement Projects

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples” – Mother Teresa

A single stone cast across the waters creates many ripples

Creating ripples of good is exactly what NUS hostel residents are doing. Even with their busy schedules, residents have still held space in their hearts for the communities around them. Be it residential colleges, halls, or student residences, all are actively involved in different community engagement projects. With so many willing hands and eager hearts, the impact that these projects have made, is extensive. To celebrate and better understand the community engagement scene in the NUS residential landscape, in this article, Reslife will spotlight three different community engagement projects. Read on to learn more about the impact of these projects, how to get involved, as well as the valuable lessons our residents have learnt along the way!

 

1. College of Alice and Peter Tan (CAPT), Active Community Engagement (ACE) Elderly

CAPTains interacting with the elderly from Sheng Hong Welfare Services

CAPT is well known for being a residential college focused on community engagement and active citizenship. Under the ACE wing of CAPT, there are eleven main committees supporting different communities that CAPTains can sign up to engage with on a regular basis. One of the committees is ACE Elderly, a collaboration between CAPT and Sheng Hong Welfare Services (Lifepoint Centre).

The main aim of ACE Elderly is to strengthen digital literacy among the elderly, while also allowing CAPTains to form deeper connections with them. Estherlyn Ng, Year 3, FASS, Project Director of ACE Elderly AY 20/21, explained, “Our project consists of five bi-weekly engagement sessions spanning the whole of Semester 2. The topics we’ve covered before are: Managing Phone Storage, Google Drive, Google Maps, PicsArt, and Instagram. In every session, there will be a “challenge” segment for the elderly to apply what they just learnt. For example, during our Google Maps session, we actually explored the vicinity with Google Maps to see if they knew how to get to a particular location,” Estherlyn added.

Estherlyn with one of the seniors she was partnered with

In terms of how the sessions have impacted her, Estherlyn reflected that she has learnt how to be more patient in her interactions with the elderly, as well as the importance of empowering them through the tasks. For instance, she noticed that many tasks that were intuitive for younger users, such as closing advertisements or moving pictures while editing them, turned out to be much harder for the seniors. “In situations like these, you need to be patient and give them the space to try it out on their own before stepping in. This shows that we respect them and believe that they are capable of doing it themselves,” she explained, “After all, our role as a volunteer there is to befriend, guide and empower them through the activities, instead of doing it for them”.

CAPTains teaching the elderly how to use a mobile application

Ultimately, interacting with the elderly has brought Estherlyn much joy, and she loves listening to the wisdom and life lessons that the elderly participants are always keen to share. Additionally, she is now more patient and understanding when it comes to teaching her grandparents and even parents about how to navigate mobile applications.

For those looking to start volunteering with the elderly, Estherlyn advises you to come with an open heart and mind, “You might have some fears or worries about whether you can communicate effectively or make a difference, but don’t let these fears stop you. As long as you are willing, I believe that you can definitely gain a lot through your experience and also greatly touch the lives of these seniors!”.

 

2. Raffles Hall, Project RHino

Kirby Yap, Year 3, FASS, Project RHino Tutor, tutoring her student during Project RHino

The next project we want to spotlight cares for a community on the other end of the age spectrum – youth! Raffles Hall Information Outlet or RHino as it is affectionately called, is a tuition clinic aimed at providing free academic support for less privileged students from Secondary 1 to 5.

When asked how this project was birthed, Lim Choon Wei, Year 2, FASS, Project Director of Project Rhino AY21/22, explained, “We noticed that the pandemic was limiting the number of face-to-face academic lessons in school, thus more students were turning towards paid private tutoring to improve their academics. However, since this avenue of support is not easily available to the less privileged students, Raffles Volunteer Corps felt that it was imperative to address this issue through the formation of a tuition clinic.”

Project RHino collaborates with Bukit Batok Community Club (BBCC) to source for students attending secondary schools within the Bukit Batok constituency who might need more academic guidance, and over the span of two weeks, six sessions have already been conducted on Zoom this academic year, each lasting 1.5 hours. “During the sessions, our volunteers will check with the students on the type of help that they require. For example, volunteers might help students with their homework, go through topics that they are slightly weaker in, or even get them to do practice papers,” Choon Wei added.

Tricia Tan, Year 2, Business, Project RHino Tutor, tutoring her student during Project RHino

Daniel Koh, Year 2, FoS, Project RHino Tutor, reflected that the programme has been meaningful to both the students as well as tutors, “Most of the students feel that the project is empowering, and this motivates them to sign up regularly for our sessions. Although as tutors, we are only required to help our students with their exam preparation, we usually also share our own study tips and advice, such as study methods or how to cope with stress. This allows the students to be better equipped to tackle their academic challenges down the road, even when we aren’t there to help them, just like how teaching a man to fish will feed him for a lifetime”.

Daniel tutoring his student during Project RHino

A key advantage that Daniel and the other Project RHino Tutors have in relating to these students is that they have been in their shoes not too long ago and thus can understand what these students are going through. This allows the tutors to be better equipped at being a mentor and helping these students cope with their academics. For this reason, if you’re a young adult and engaging with youth is something you’re interested in doing, there’s no better time than now to look for opportunities to do so!

Overall, not only has Project RHino has made a positive impact in the lives of over 100 students from schools in collaboration with Bukit Batok CC, it has also inculcated a spirit of volunteerism amongst the students in Raffles Hall, inspiring them to seek out other ways that they are able to contribute back to society.

 

3. Prince George’s Park Residences (PGPR), Pawlunteer

Pawlunteer participants walking the rescue dogs from Animal Lovers League

Apart from projects engaging with youth and the elderly, a project to support our furry friends is also being conducted in PGPR. The Pawlunteer Project is a new project started in August 2021 that gives the residents of PGPR an opportunity to give back to the animal community in Singapore. It is a partnership with Animal Lovers League (ALL), a no-kill shelter that houses over 500 dogs and cats.

Parisi Shirke, Year 3, Business, Project Director of Pawlunteer AY21/22, highlighted the heart behind the project, saying, “We planned this event to give our residents an idea of what it’s like to help and care for the many abandoned and homeless animals, and how doing so might benefit their lives in a meaningful way”.

Pawlunteer participants after a long day of hard work!

Every Saturday morning, a group of dedicated PGPR residents will make their way all the way to Sungei Tengah, where ALL is located. For the next four hours, they will brave the unique smell of 500 dogs and cats, working hard to clean the cages and walk the dogs (or have the dogs walk them!) while also picking up lots of dog poo.

Although the work is hard, and it can be tiring at times, overall, Delwyn Lee, Year 1, CHS, Pawlunteer Participant, has had a positive experience in the Pawlunteer project. For instance, he has learnt many new things, such as how to properly interact with and read the dogs and cats, as well as some components of what it takes to run a shelter in Singapore. “This experience has been nothing but positive, and I love that I am able to work with many different people from different walks of life, bonded by our love for animals and our desire to provide them with a better quality of life,” Delwyn reflected.

Delwyn walking a rescue dog from Animal Lovers League

Delwyn enthuses that it is the “best feeling ever” when a dog or cat in the shelter goes up to greet him without prompting, indicating that they feel trusting of him. Apart from that, another great memory Delwyn has of his time in ALL was when he witnessed a dog being adopted. “On my first day, I got to see one of the dogs being adopted by a forever home. It was such a moment of celebration, since the goal of a shelter is to eventually find each dog a loving family, and this finally happened for that dog,” he explained.

Apart from inculcating a deeper love for the animals and a passion for animal welfare in volunteers, the Pawlunteer project also seeks to illuminate the importance of adopting instead of shopping for pets. “We hope that our volunteers will be able to share their experiences at the shelter with their friends and families, and shed light on the issue of the many abandoned dogs and cats in shelters that need a forever home. Even though they may not be the purest of breeds, that is no reason for these animals to be deprived of a loving family,” Parisi emphasised.

“Adopt, don’t shop!” says a cute rescue dog from Animal Lovers League

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These three community engagement projects we have spotlighted are but a drop in the ocean of other incredible projects that are occurring in the different residences. If you would like to make a difference in the lives of others and grow in the process, check out the community engagement projects in your residence and see if there are any that pique your interest. Together, let’s cast some stones across the waters, create many ripples of good, and make the lives of others a little brighter, one person (or animal) at a time.

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Know any other community engagement projects we should cover? Tell us in the comments or DM us on our IG @nusresidentiallife!