Should you go for NTU freshmen camps?

Hello AY16/17 freshies! Welcome to a new chapter of your lives! No matter what you’re here for (a piece of expensive paper called The Degree Certificate, a learning experience in a subject you’re passionate about, a stepping stone for further educational pursuits, etc.), you’ll probably ponder over whether or not you should go for club/faculty/hall camps.

So allow me to help you make your decision with this flowchart!

Flowchart (Camp)

This flowchart is not meant to be the sole determining factor; it is merely based on my own humble opinion and experiences.

Allow me elaborate on a few more points here.

1) Expectation and preparedness

Expectation and preparedness

Every camp has a different culture and vibe. Every camp has different traditions and ideas that they want to “impose” upon the freshies. Every camp has a different events and activities in stall for you.

That’s why it is important to know what to expect and thoroughly prepare yourself physically and mentally before the camps. If you have any seniors in NTU, do ask them to share some information with you. And if you do not have connections to tell you what to expect, you can always search for the particular club/faculty/hall’s Facebook page or Instagram page to get a general feel of how it’s like.

On a side note, hall camps are generally much……wilder/intense. So it’s best to know what type of hall you are getting into (For example, hall 3/6 have a strong sporting culture).

2) Personality

Personality plays a great part in determining how much you’ll enjoy camps. A good way to gauge how your personality works with camps is to think back to the times of your JC/Poly orientation camps. Did you enjoy your time there or did your energy drain out very quickly? Did you keep the friends that you’ve made during those camps?

Personally, I’m a reserved person, so I interact more comfortably withnew friends when I’m in a classroom environment rather than camps. And if you’re like me, but still want to try out camps here are a few tips for you:

  • Try out milder camps instead. Eg. faculty and club camps
  • You’re not the only reserved one in camps. Befriend those who give out similar vibes as yourself
  • Small talks can be tiring. So if you desperately need personal space, a long toilet break helps
  • Snacks are good ice breakers. They may also provide comfort to you when you’re stressed out
  • Maintain constant communication with your group leaders about how you’re feeling
3) Peer pressure, comfort zones, and limits             

peer pressure

You know what to expect and you know about yourself. Now, what you need to know is how to deal with peer pressure, comfort zones, and limits.

Not just in NTU, most university camps can be quite… extreme in their activities. Usually not enough to make you feel violated, but just enough to make you feel uncomfortable and feel that thrill.

However, if you do feel that some activities makes you extremely uncomfortable or that you’re pushing your limits for too long or that the peer pressure to continue an activity you simply can’t endure is too much, just tell the group leaders (GLs) about it. GLs don’t bite. They are very nice.

Remember no one can force you to do any activity, everything you do is voluntary.

Have fun!

Well, I hope you have fun in your first year in NTU whether or not you choose to go to camp in the end! Everything will work out fine. You’ll be alright.

(Note: There has been a recent Straits Times article regarding the changes in NTU’s camps. I would just like to add a disclaimer here that you take that article with a pinch of salt. It does not entirely reflect the feelings on the ground. Discussions are still going on regarding the planning of camps, and different clubs/halls/faculties seem to be enacting these “new changes” to varying extents.)