Life in NUS: The Highs and the Lows

Locking up your dorm room for the last time, you wave your friends goodbye. You lug your luggage out of your residence, and in to summer break. Thinking back, while the semester might have been a tough one, you have made some pretty good memories too. Whether you are leaving campus for good, returning to campus next year, or have yet to live in NUS, reflecting on the stage of life that has just passed is always a good habit to practise. In this article, we have invited a few students who have stayed in different parts of NUS to reflect on the highs and the lows of their semester here. Read through each of their reflections to get some bonus advice and learning points too! 

Hey guys! I’m Jing Yi and I’m currently residing in Tembusu College (since AY2021/2022).

Source: Jing Yi

To me, the greatest highlight of my stay cannot be conflated down to a singular activity, but rather it is the friendships formed and the company kept that has truly shaped a fantastic college experience. What strikes me is that most people are always willing to help despite being total strangers. At the start of semester 1, one memorable way I met the others living on my floor was when there was a wasp in the toilet and the heroes down my corridor came flying to help in response to my desperate cries for help in the level Telegram group chat. As the college provides many resources to build on existing passions and also find new interests, I got to try new things outside of my comfort zone such as roller-blading with tBladers and new crafts at Yarn & Doodles. Through these experiences, I was also able to meet more people –  acquaintances and close friends alike. 

Rollerblading Cosmic Night (Source: Jing Yi)

Jing Yi and friends at craft sessions from Yarn & Doodles (Source: Jing Yi)

I think it’s important to find a group of people that you can resonate with. Truthfully, when I first entered the college, it did feel lonely at first and a tad awkward to be sharing communal spaces with complete strangers then. But at the end of the day, it’s all about adapting to a new environment and one good way to do it is through forming connections with others. With a community to laugh with, even downsides like the mediocre Dining Hall food and late-night mugging sessions can be replaced with delightful supper jios and sunrise watching. 

Lastly, a shout out to all matriculating freshies! A word of advice would be to keep an open mind and heart to social interactions and make full use of Tembusu’s resources and opportunities to explore your passions and interests. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and I hope to see you around!

Hello everyone! Revanth here and I currently reside in Cinnamon College (since AY2020/2021)!

Source: Revanth

Cinnamon, also known as CinnaHome, is more than just a residential college. As the name says it all, it’s a home where a family is born. There are uncountable memories of highs staying on campus and it’s just impossible to pick one of them. However, if I had to pick one of my favourite highs of staying on campus, it would be starting a basketball Interest Group (IG) for Cinnamon and the Inter-College Games (ICG) period. When I first started basketball IG, I didn’t know what to expect and how to organise everything as it’s fairly new to me. We started as a friendly session IG and as time passed by, we became a team and a brotherhood. Nearer to the ICG period, the boys took initiative and organised training sessions and came up with offensive and defensive schemes. We looked out for one another, had fun during training, and gave our best with the never-give-up mindset in all our games amid the tough competition we faced. Likewise, for the girls’ basketball team, it was great to see both the two teams grow together and become bonded as one family. Just wanted to tell them, GO USP BASKETBALL and I will always look out for y’all.

Revanth with USP’s boys’ and girls’ basketball teams (Source: Revanth)

Being in University, lows are inevitable. They are bound to happen. What matters is how we cross these hurdles with a positive mindset and come out stronger. A common time when the lows hit, would be during examinations and the submissions period. I still remember how I had three mid-term exams during one of the semesters. But that’s what makes CinnaHome special. People and friends are always on the lookout for each other, giving welfare snacks with notes to cheer me up and encourage me to push myself to the finish line. Just a shout out to my Suiteboys (those staying in the same suite) and all my friends, thank you all for all the encouragement and looking out for me, especially planning suppers after a tough day just makes me relax my entire mind and takes off the stress. Thank you and love you guys!


Revanth with his suitemates and floormates (Source: Revanth)

Before I give some parting advice to my juniors and the batches that are to come, I would just like to say thank you to everyone who made my stay in CinnaHome special – my support system, weekly study sessions at Starbucks, or engineering. You all know who you are! I didn’t even realise two years of my life just flew by, but thank you all for CinnaHome, an experience that is very precious and priceless.

Revanth with USP’s Captain’s Ball team (Source: Revanth)

Revanth with his USP classmates and professors (Source: Revanth)

To my juniors and new batches ahead, CinnaHome or any residential college is a valuable experience. The friends that you make here, will go a long way in your life. Never hold yourself back from anything you want to do or experience – in terms of doing events, staying up late at night and chit-chatting, or trying up new roles and responsibilities. When you look back 10 years later, make sure you don’t regret not doing anything that you wanted to do because you can never get back the time. Live your life, enjoy your stay, and most importantly, have fun. As one of my seniors once told me, “Cherish your time here because it will be over before you know it!” So every second counts! All the best everyone and hope y’all have a great experience too!

Hello everybody! I’m Roydan and I resided in PH in AY 2021/2022.

Source: Roydan

Staying in PGP is just like staying anywhere else, it has its ups and downs. One noteworthy ‘up’ that PGP had to offer during my stay was the food. I’m sure that everyone can agree that food is something that most of us look forward to daily. Had a rough day? Being able to eat a good meal would brighten up your day. Although there is no meal plan in PGP, you can buy food from the various stores in PGP. I remember always buying the fish soup on campus and enjoying the freshly cooked fish. As a bonus, the staff are nice and friendly too, they would interact with you and have a friendly chat with you whenever there isn’t a long queue. In addition to this, you can get food any time of the day, even at 3am if you happened to be pulling an all-nighter, since there is a western snack store open till 2am, and a 24-hours digital supermarket. 

Of course, as mentioned earlier, every residence will have its downsides. In the case of PGP, it would probably be the lack of bonding opportunities. To be accurate, there are bonding events available in PGP, however, students are often too busy to take part in these bonding events, given how they have their academics and other commitments to focus on. In addition to that, it’s not always easy to find people that you vibe with, so even if you do partake in these events, you may not find anyone who you can connect with. Of course, if you’re an introvert that gets tired from talking to people quickly, then this would be fine for you, so it’s a very subjective downside. 

Some words of advice for anybody who wishes to stay in PGP, or any hall in general, would be that you don’t have to force yourself to blend in with the crowd, just to get along with people and find a clique that you can get along with. It’s better to find people who you are comfortable with hanging out with, whether it be in a residence or even in school, it’ll feel liberating. Remember, it’s your own personal stay in a residence, so do try to make yourself as comfortable as you can, and try to experience what you really want to experience for yourself.

We hope that honest sharing by these students have provided you with meaningful insights into the diverse living experiences that one could have on campus. Being a student in university and living on campus is never a straightforward journey– while it is always a perfect walk through the rose garden, there are definitely going to be memories and takeaways that you will cherish for life. That is, after all, the beauty of living in a home away from home, and trying out new experiences. If you have your own residential life stories and reflections to share, feel free to post them on Instagram and tag us @nusresidentiallife too! We would love to hear what you have to say.


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