Once again, we have entered a new year and with it comes the customary ‘New Year Resolutions’ (or goal-setting) that we often flippantly indulge in, and then joke about how all these will be broken or swerved horribly off-course by the time February comes around. Ranging from lifestyle choices to relationship management, we all aspire to make the upcoming year better than the previous one.
In the home of possibilities, there are a few things that we can do to fulfill that mysterious concept of potential and possibility. Here, I suggest 5 ‘New Year Resolutions’ that may or may not bring about a more fulfilling time in your residential life.
1) Eat with strangers in the dining hall
When I first came in to Tembusu, I was told that there isn’t a single boring person here. While I might have had disagreements and conflicts with various people, I have yet to label anyone as boring. With a new intake of students in the second semester, albeit a smaller one, and a new group of exchange students coming under the care of the college’s hospitality, there are going to be more stories and experiences injected into the common spaces.
The dining hall has always been one of the most amazing parts of the Tembusu experience, providing a common space over meals for students to interact with one another. While we might have found our little comfort zones within our cliques, course mates, and friends in the first semester, the joy of engaging with new people, discovering similar interests and perhaps gaining a new friend is still out there.
2) Join a new Interest Group (IG)
Unlike the Co-Curricular Activities we have engaged in during previous schooling years, the IG system in Tembusu allows for a greater space to explore, test the waters and share experiences with other college residents. The best part? Most IGs don’t have the serious commitments that are often associated with the NUS-wide CCAs – meaning you could join a group, say the Tabletops for a board game session one week and then go play Frisbee with the Barefoots on another.
With a new semester and (hopefully!) a better sense of time management in balancing the academic and non-academic portions of student life, space and time will be opened up for joining the various IGs and trying out the different activities – a ‘10/10 would do again’ experience.
3) Organize your own event!
The current IGs don’t suit your interests too well? Fantastic, start your own! Look for people with common interests on the facebook group and gather your fellow partners-in-mischief to create your own event or even start your own IG! While the house committees are busy organizing their own activities, let’s not take this vibrant environment for granted and do our part as well.
4) Leave your door open
All those activities and events too much of a hassle for you? Here’s a simple act we can all do. While we often enjoy the privacy of our little rooms, opening our doors and exposing our little bubbles of happiness to our fellow residents can be quite an experience, allowing people to freely engage in conversation or simply say hi and acknowledge each other’s existence.
Don’t just stop at leaving the room door open while you’re at it – take some effort, decorate the place, and make it feel homely and welcoming too.
5) Actively participate in the Seminar Modules
Academically, we sometimes push our seminar modules down our priority list in preference for our core modules. After all, we’re here to study engineering, life sciences, or whichever course we chose to embark on a university education for, right? Unfortunately, if you’ve been carrying that mindset I think you would’ve missed out on the fun and experience that our own seminar modules offer.
While it might not give the adrenaline rush of a sports activity, it definitely engages us on a multidisciplinary level. Most people will have unique perspectives to share on certain issues, and having a good debate and exchange of ideas is often the most enjoyable part of these seminar-style modules. At the end of the day, active participation will reward you with the satisfaction of having expanded your worldview – even if only in that short 3-hour seminar.
Wherever you choose to focus your efforts on, Treehouse wishes you an awesome semester ahead!
Photos by Mui Kai Yuan
Author: Jensen Goh
Editor: Alison Chew