I’ve finally completed my FYP presentation and final tests in NUS. All that is left now is 3 finals and I’ll become an NUS graduate. This would be an appropriate time to look back on my four-year stint in Singapore’s premier university.
Right from the beginning, I’ve never considered going abroad for my undergraduate studies. Perhaps I was too attached to Singapore and didn’t want to have to be so independent. Furthermore, I believe that being a Singaporean, it’s only right that I at least complete the basic part of my education (which to me means up to a Bachelor degree) in Singapore. I’m not trying to act patriotic but it is really a big part of why I didn’t pursue my undergraduate studies elsewhere.
Four years is definitely not a short period of time. There are definitely highs and lows and fortunately the highs out-number the lows. So, I’ll recount the lows before the highs.
There are minor low periods such as after the 3292 paper (big thanks to Jeff who was willing to go out with me in the middle of the night even though we had OM the next day). But the biggest low has to be my Honors year, aka FYP. I blame myself for making a very bad decision right from the start to do Organic. I have been reminding myself that I don’t have to excel in the Final Year and that I shouldn’t do Organic as it was the field with the most toxic and dangerous stuff. In the end, I still chose the wrong path. There are many confounding factors but I do not wish to blame anyone for my bad decision. I feel that it’s an experience that I have to go through so that I can grow “stronger”. I sure hope that I have done so.
Enough of the unhappy stuff (That was rather fast wasn’t it?), now for the happy moments of my years in NUS. The first highlight would have to be SEP at UCSD. I was skeptical at first about going as I have never been alone for such a long period of time. (Yes, I’ve been living a sheltered life) Eventually, it turned out to be a fantastic experience. Got to know a lot of friends from all over the world (Ӧzgün, Ahmed, Emanuele, Way to name a few). Experience the life of an American college student, which is much less stressful that life in NUS. Plus I got to visit many beautiful places of interests and beaches. In the end, I actually wanted my SEP to be longer. =)
The next highlight would have to be EURIP in June 2008. First time in Europe and I was there for a whole 3 weeks. The visits to Universities, Research Institutes and Companies were eye-opening and the leisure visits to places of interests were icing on top of the cake. Most importantly, we had a fun-loving group of people. Got to know people from different levels that I would not have likely gotten to know. A perfect example would be Stephanie, whom became my bestest over a 12 hour flight from Munich to Bangkok. I would never have gotten to know her since she would have graduated after the trip. I’m also very glad that I got to know my group members (Jasmine, Shu Ann, Fang Yi, Peng Wei and David) and experienced this wonderful overseas trip with them.
Another thing I enjoyed a lot was my forensic courses. I think I’m kinda fated to take the modules since the minor started right at my final semester in NUS. Usually, they start minor programs at the start of academic years but this minor had to be different. The basic course was interesting but it is the Evidence in Forensic Science course that gave me the most enjoyment. We get to be CSIs and lawyers, plus get to visit HTA (where not many laypeople could visit) and have lessons at the Science Center after operational hours. This course is definitely the thing keeping me sane during this final semester.
Last, but definitely not least, I got to meet and befriend many wonderful individuals during my course in NUS. The most important group of people has to be G6 – CK, Jeffrey, Kelvin, William and YY. Although we became closer only after Year 2, l’m very happy and blessed to have gotten to know them on a more personal level. Life in NUS wouldn’t be as fun if not for all the jokes cracked among G6 (With the exception of Jeff whose jokes I can never find funny). And I learned many things from them, such as how to play CS. =D
Another important close friend is Yaw Sing. I got to know him during Combat Medic Course but we weren’t that close since we were in different sections. Now he’s my gossip buddy and I love telling him about all the wild rumors I create. I also keep him from falling asleep during Inorg lectures with my not-so-funny jokes. I know that after we graduate we can still continue sharing with each other the various interesting anecdotes in our post-graduate lives.
A final group of friends that I have to mention would be my lab mates - Si Si, Xiu Yi, Lin Lin and Susanto. I must thank them for being around during my lowest times in lab and preventing me from drinking thionyl chloride. Haha. Hope I have not irritated them too much in the one year we’ve known one another.
Pardon me for the long entry but graduating marks the end of an important chapter in my life. The next time I blog about NUS would probably be about commencement. I look forward to the start of the next phase of my life and hope for many more good things to come while I try to “Make a Difference”. =)