To Uni or NOT to Uni
A feature piece on four different perspectives about university and studying in it
written by Melinda Janika | photographs by Sathar Drusilla, Lim Jing Wen, Luke Li, Zhang Yuxiang
The idea of university is daunting to many. For some, going to university is a must. For others, university adds uncertainty to their lives. Read the different perspectives of university students and university graduates.
Enrolling into University
“People kept telling me I got empathy and everything, so I decided to try my luck on psychology. As cliche as it sounds, I really prayed and asked that if it’s God’s will, sure, whichever works,” explained Drusilla on her choice to study psychology.
“I had a lot of options in mind, like I found a lot of things interesting. In JC was when I decided to take food science. In JC 2, I had really bad acne and I didn’t want to rely on antibiotics. So, I decided to search online to find out why diet affects acne. That’s when I started cutting dairy from my diet and realised the change. It was then that I got interested in working with food,” explained Jing Wen on her decision to study Food Science.
From National Service to Uni
“In the army, I never really had to use brain. They say what, you do what… cause the more you think, the sadder you get. In uni, and suddenly back to studying, mugging for exams, it is quite different,” explained Yuxiang on the cultural difference he faced from National Service (NS) to university.
It was a different experience curating friendships in university. The students needed to choose the modules they’d want to take, so having the same classmates throughout were quite minimal. Yuxiang commented that if one wanted to be in the same class as their friends, they’d need to plan.
“You share life stories rather than doing life,” said Drusilla as she recalled her time during her course. As she was in a part-time course, she was surrounded by people of different ages and walks of life.
Taking Part in Orientation Programmes
“Orientation programmes basically help everybody to loosen up and to get to know one another. It’s a good time for people to make new friends. These friends are the same ones they’ll see for the next couple of years in uni life. At times, things may go a little overboard and end up having a negative impact on us. So, it’s important to take a step back and internalise what is trying to be done and see if you want to be a part of it,” explained Luke on his perspective and experiences from orientation programme.
Advice for Those Entering Uni
“They should think about the next five to 10 years where they want to be and what they want to do and see if going to university will be aligned to their goals,” advised Luke.
“Uni culture is very different in that you can get exposed to a lot more ‘wild’ things. Stand your ground in your own values and not get influenced by people just to fit into the crowd,” said Jing Wen.