It’s been a while since I was a NUS freshman, given the chance, I think I would have done my college years very differently right from the start.
1. I wouldn’t have gone for the modules because I wanted to try something new/do something different/stuck with the old. The decision to major in Psych and wanting to do Econs 1101E killed my CAP pretty quickly.
2. It’s technically correct that honours is not useful in the private sector because no one gives a shit about your CAP but CAP is important because it gives you the access to the exchange programmes. Without a good CAP, you can’t even apply for exchange.
3. Go for local exchange + an overseas exchange. This will maximise your exposure.
4. Go for freshman camps – I think the two main ones you should go for are the faculty camp + your major camp. I was one of those who didn’t go for any camps and witnessed first hand what it meant to have no friends to take modules or group with.
5. Make that two to three friends that you will take classes with. It’s really helpful to have someone to look out for you and copy notes off when you’re away/busy.
6. Join CCAs/clubs/societies that you’ve always wanted to try out, go alone if you must, take advantage of these activities that are funded by NUS because they will cost a bomb after you graduate.
7. Be consistent on your school work. I bucked up in my 3rd semester onwards but my first few sems kind of screwed me over, making me miss a lot of chances which I should have been eligible for.
8. Don’t party too hard, just don’t. It must be liberating to be free but at the same time, be smart. Alcohol and zouk are fun for a couple of times but weigh in your sacrifices (hungovers during morning classes, cab fares, drinks costs).