Sunday, August 29, 2010

Growing Up in the University

"Once you're in the University, you'll be fine, you'll graduate." My mom said that to me countless times when I was studying hard to get full As during my secondary school time.

Back then, I didn't know what University entails, why is it so cool to be in one. I just got the conception that if I will certainly graduate, it should be easier than right now. It wasn't until High School that I realised that studying and learning is just going to be more and more packed and tough the more you advance.

The first semester in NUS is a heaven of playing for me. I stayed up late to the wee hours of the morning just to catch up with gaming and batman episodes that I missed before. The advantage that I had of having a silver medal in the International Physics Olympiad

And indeed, every semester of trying to avoid the hectic stress of deadlines during week 11, 12 and 13 fails every single time. I suppose it's also the attitude during the normal weeks that counts too. Also my involvement with so many academic programmes certainly should make me realise that I more so than most should be burdened with more than normal amounts of stress.

Lucky for me, one of the programmes I joined in is SPS, Special Programme in Science. I had to explain this to many people when I mentioned SPS room. It's a room, bigger than most homes of Singaporeans, and it's air-conditioned, with permanent seats for the students if they wish to have one.

It's a study haven, with many seats on the tables complete with power sockets for laptops; friends around complete with seniors of various majors in science that you can ask questions anytime; computer clusters complete with Windows Vista or Ubuntu and free printing; seminar room complete with projector and seats for 50, a lounge room and even a library complete with books from all disciplines of science.

It was also SPS that takes up a lot of my time too. Being a research intensive course, it exposes us to the skills of writing a review paper during our year 1 semester 2 itself. And we had to work in groups of 3. It was a taxing experience, what with the weekly lectures, interactive sessions, group project meeting and reading up papers on our own, and for me taking seven and a half module for that semester. Days and nights of sleeping in the SPS room and for 4 hours per night helped me gone through this period. I bent so much on studying that I spend over 100 hours per week just studying. In the end, I managed to score a Dean's Tea SAP and pulling my CAP up to the first class level.

So there you go, the story of my first year in University. Thanks!

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