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Mr Chen's anecdotes.


Summer’s almost here!

Yes, almost. Most of you are still having your heads buried in your notes in preparation for your finals. Finally, after 2 full semesters of readings, essays, and burning the midnight oil, it is finally time for a well-deserved break.

Unlike the holiday in primary, secondary, and JC, the holiday in university is significantly longer. From May to August, you are given the liberty to explore the different facets of life as a budding adult. (Yes, another couple of years more and you will be an adult with bills and stuff.)

Some of you may have a plan already. Some are looking to build towards their future career while others see it as the last opportunity to truly experience life with minimal responsibilities.

Regardless of your goals, here are 3 enriching activities that you could pursue this summer holiday.

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Get an Internship!

In one of our earlier articles, we wrote about what students could do during their post-exam break. One of the many things mentioned was internships. Internships are an eye-opening experience for most students. This is their first experience of what the real world offers outside of classrooms and textbooks. It is a great opportunity for a doe-eyed individual looking to learn more about a business or industry and gain practical work experience to add to your résumé.

The summer holiday (approximately 3 months) offers a sufficiently long time frame for employers and mentors to accept an intern. Furthermore, unlike students who just finished their national exams, university students do possess relevant knowledge regarding the industry. You can now take what you learned in the classroom and apply your knowledge! The pay may not be extravagant but remember, you are only there for the experience.

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I know, I know. All of us are dying to travel especially due to COVID restrictions for the past 2 years. You want to see the world. You want to finally experience the site that you’ve read and seen so much about on Instagram. More importantly, you finally get to post on Instagram a picture of yourself and the tourist attraction with an ever so poetic caption.

"For the likes!"

Traveling is a good antidote for stress, anxiety, and depression. It benefits our mental health immensely. Travelling allows us to experience what other parts of the world could offer but not locally. We explore new places, cultures, cuisines, and other people’s ways of life. Very often, we find ourselves forgetting about our worries, problems, and frustrations back home. We broaden our horizons to move in new directions while being unplugged from our usual daily life. Most importantly, we make memories.

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Summer Immersion Program

Back in 2018, I hosted a group of Indonesian students from Denpasar in Singapore as the tour leader. They were here on a twinning program with another primary school. It was an immersion program where the visiting students are introduced to our local classrooms to mingle and learn together.

I remember telling them that this is an experience that very few companies offer. Most tour groups offer sightseeing and a taste of the indigenous culture. However, an immersion program, of which most are unaware, offers even more.

"Yes, I was a tour leader for them"

Beyond sightseeing and a taste of the local culture, the immersion program shows you the way of life for locals. Just like the aforementioned visiting students, you will never get a chance to enter a classroom in a local school with a commercial tour group. An immersion program would offer you a chance to genuinely inculcate and integrate into the local environment. The program will teach you the language and even bring you on excursions. You will meet people from different walks of life and develop new relationships while attending a language class.

Immersion programs offer you a chance to not only experience a different culture and expand your horizon, but also gain an additional skill that is very valuable in the globalized world – learning a new language. Furthermore, you’ve expanded your network potentially even beyond the location you’re visiting. That would certainly add to your portfolio and open new doors for you in the corporate world.

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Balance is Key

We’ve always reminded our students that university is probably your last stop academically. Your last academic milestone to be achieved before you’re ready to take on the corporate world and "adulting".

"My bus ride cost 95 cents now?!"

Regardless of the option you take, you will benefit. Make sure to recharge and relax this summer. You’ve spent an entire year of learning and it is only fair and healthy for you to rest and recover. You don’t want to burn out somewhere along your semester later on. You want to stay motivated and hungry. Most importantly, you want to be happy.

Plan your summer vacation with a mix of enriching activities, productive endeavors, and plenty of play. Every summer vacation throughout my 4 years in NUS was spent overseas. Even though I wasn’t planning for my corporate future, I never regretted my choice. Make the most of your summer vacation and have fun!

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