10 Things All University Students Should Try Before Graduating!

If you thought you left your fears in junior college, you’re in for a shock! In your mid-twenties, ready to graduate, your nightmares escalate from, “will my A-level scores be good enough for university?”, to “I’m finally at the end of the road and I’m still not sure where I want to go.” Of course, you might know exactly what you want to do, but the moment you step out of the safety net of the university campus, the real world still has the potential to throw new hurdles at you. It is for this reason that people often say finishing college is equivalent to breezing through one of the easiest chapters of your life. But it doesn’t feel like it when you’re burdened by tests and a million reading assignments right? 

Yet it doesn’t have to be that way! College is the time for you to make the most of your youth and try new things you’d never think about otherwise! So to honor that, we’ve put together a list of top 10 things you should definitely do before you graduate!

P.S- you will definitely be smiling at the end of your four years, and not just through the blood sweat and tears of pursuing a degree. 

1. Go On Exchange
Most Singaporeans who pursue tertiary education locally are usually born and brought up locally. This means that despite “moving out” and living away from your family on a university campus (or in Malaysia, in the case of NTU), you’re still never too far from home. So when you’re feeling low on a Friday night, you can always hop on a train back home, or ask your mom to drop off the detergent you forgot to buy. 

But going on an exchange can change this. You’ll get the experience of truly living alone, either on the other side of the world or a few countries over, while making friends with people you might not generally encounter in Singapore. You can make the exchange experience whatever you want it to be; a cultural awareness trip to understand the world or even one driven by personal motive to meet other people and understand yourself! 

2. Attend a University Home Game
Supporting the home team at an athletic’s meet, netball game or any sporting event is not as big a tradition in Singapore as it is in other parts of the world. But you can help change that! Start by attending an inter-faculty match and donning your department’s colors, and work your way up to watching your university’s team play against others. This can be a great way for you to get more involved in your university’s athletics scene while also boosting your school spirit. Find a way to get your adrenaline pumping for reasons other than finally getting that perfect GPA, and let loose for an hour or two. When you’re in that packed stadium screaming your lungs out, we’re sure that final assessment is the last thing on your mind! 
[source: http://blog.nus.edu.sg/nm3211/2016/10/13/schoolings-victory-reignites-foreign-talent-debate/]

3. Bid For A Class Alone 
In perfect upkeep of the modern bandwagon attitude, students tend to bid for modules purely on the basis of the number of known people also bidding for them. While this ensures that you’ll never be stuck on a group project with strangers who slack, you’re also depriving yourself of the chance to work with the many other talented and innovative students who were admitted to the university. So next time bidding season rolls around, take out the time to pursue a module where you don’t know anybody from high school or another class. For the first two days, you might feel lonely and not have anyone to joke about the material with, but you will definitely find other people on the same boat as you. More importantly, when working on group projects, you’re also more likely to be in a team with people you haven’t met before. Don’t write this off before you try it, because their new perspectives could be the very things you and your friends might have never stopped to consider before! 

4. Learn A New Language 

In the multi-cultural economy that is Singapore, the more languages you know, the better. The fact that there are 4 official languages in our country gives you plenty of incentive to pick up something other than English and your mother tongue to kickstart your future career! But if you have another destination in mind after graduation, make use of your university resources to prepare you for that experience too. Universities offer the most popular foreign languages- Japanese, Korean, French and Spanish- and you can sign up for these classes if you think you’d need that language wherever you go. Yet even if you don’t have a concrete reason, learning a new language is never waste of time and always an asset if you’re trying to impress that cute exchange student! 

5.  Pull An All-Nighter And Watch The Sunrise From The Highest Roof On Campus
University students are used to experiencing high levels of stress on a regular basis, leading them to pull a lot of all-nighters. But you can switch up this pattern and turn such prolonged periods of sleeplessness into something worth staying up for the sunrise! By incentivizing yourself, you can steer clear of the 3 AM breakdowns and mental blocks and have a night of dedicated focus. Just remember to reward yourself by watching the sunrise from the highest accessible vantage point. We’re sure all that painful cramming will turn out to be worth it! 
[source: https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-best-places-to-watch-sunrise-at-NTU-Singapore]

6. Visit Other Universities 
I’m sure everyone has friends who go to other universities, but instead of using the incidents they tell you to make memes, experience their university life with them! Pop by NTU halls or grab a quick bite at the infamous NUS food courts. If you’re sick of being so far from civilization, head down to SMU’s downtown campus and enjoy being 5 minutes away from all the action. Not only does visiting other universities give you crucial experiences that your university alone cannot offer, it also makes you more forgiving of the things your university didn’t let you experience because you now have a way to make up for it! Hannah Montana probably didn’t know what she was talking about since it’s you experiencing the best of both worlds! 

7. Go On Weekend Getaways To Explore Asia
[source: http://travelquaz.com/aisa-travel.html/travel-asia-beautiful-vietnam-travelmap1-com-2]

Singaporean students have one of the biggest assets at their disposal: that infamous red passport. With unlimited access to some of the most beautiful cities in Asia, there’s nothing stopping you! Hop on that plane to Indonesia or get away to Batam for a weekend. If you have longer breaks, you can even afford to escape to Japan and Korea. So take some of your pals along and plan what could be the greatest Asian adventure yet! 

8. Get Involved With A Cause You Believe In
University is the time for you to explore your identity, and if you figure out something worth fighting for, there’s no time like the present! Join an activist group or volunteer for a cause that’s close to heart; your university is sure to have a hoard of resources to cater to your interests. So put yourself out there tomorrow and fight for what you believe in, be it cheaper fried chicken in the food courts, or minority rights!

9. Thank Your Favorite Professor
If you’ve managed to make it so far in your pursuit of a degree without failing, there’s only one group of people you have to thank for it: your professors. Instead of trying to delete the trauma of everything that was an annoying hardware lab, chat with your professor at the end of your course and express your gratitude for having successfully completed it. Just remember, that beyond making their day, such a gesture is also setting you up to ask for their help in the future. This sounds endlessly selfish, but you’ll thank yourself when you need a recommendation letter and you have a happy professor willing to provide it on your side! 

10. Sleep Out Under The Stars 
It goes without saying that university students tend to take on a lot of stress. This last thing you should try is similar to the other point addressing this (number 5), but the cramming and studying are optional. Take a mental health day and just lie under the stars with your friends for hours talking about deep things (because where else would you do this?) or just staring at the sky in silence! Not only is this a good way of channeling all your anxiety, but your chance to have that soul-searching movie moment. This will also be a great way to appreciate the nature on your university campus! So grab that speaker and a few choice friends and head down to look at the stars!
[Rising Milky Way at Sentosa. Source: https://sg.asia-city.com/city-living/news/these-amazing-views-singapore-night-sky-will-blow-you-away]

So there you have it, 10 things you can do to make the most of your university life! Think you can make it through all of them?

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