What is Digital Senior?
Going to University is a major event in life and of course, we should make the most out of it….. but how exactly do you do so? As the saying goes, Ask senior lah!
With Digital Senior, you will no longer will be at an unfair disadvantage because you don’t know a senior. Here, you will find everything about Singapore university from choosing one to being happy in one. Yay!
Preparing for the working worldStudents who have gained some industry experience stand a better chance of finding employment upon graduation. Many university students seek internships during their school holidays, since individuals with relevant work experience are highly valued by employers. SIT’s vision is to integrate learning, industry, and community by ensuring students gain hands-on experience through industry projects and work attachments. The university understands the value of industry experience, so it encourages the integration of work and study through its signature Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP). During the IWSP, students get to gain real-world experience by deepening their skill sets, so they can hit the ground running when they graduate and embark on their new jobs. Students are also able to complete their capstone and final-year projects in partnership with their IWSP companies. Each work attachment can last up to 12 months, so students can benefit from multiple exposure to medium- to long-term industry projects.
The importance of work experienceFresh graduates who scour job boards often come across advertisements that require jobseekers with ‘at least two years of relevant experience’. Having some form of work experience through internships or work attachments is something many employers value in fresh graduates. SIT’s programmes are designed in consultation with industry partners, so students will gain valuable practical and transferable skills. For example, ICT programmes are co-designed and co-delivered by both SIT and industry partners such as Group-IB, Dell Technologies, and Kaspersky. ICT students are also exposed to real-world projects in their second year of study through a three-month Integrative Team Project (ITP) that requires them to work on industry projects in teams. One example of a successfully implemented ITP is a productivity mobile app done for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit team at the National University Hospital. Meanwhile, Health and Social Sciences students are required to complete 30 weeks of clinical placements in various healthcare settings throughout the course of their studies.
Pursuing your passionsA 2015 study published in Annals of Behavioral Medicine reveals that being allowed to pursue your passion not only lowers stress, but also contributes to overall happiness. Being able to attain a degree in your chosen field and building a career in a job you love is one way to fulfil your passion. SIT offers applied degree programmes that produce talents for targeted growth sectors of the economy. The degree programmes are grouped into five academic clusters – Business, Communication and Design (BCD), Engineering (ENG), Food, Chemical and Biotechnology (FCB), Health and Social Sciences (HSS), and Infocomm Technology (ICT). Each academic cluster offers a wide range of specialised programmes that allow students to study what you’re truly passionate about. For example, someone interested in engineering can choose to take Aircraft Systems Engineering, Marine Engineering, or Electrical Power Engineering. Furthermore, as part of the IWSP, students get to take part in multiple industry projects and immerse in the realities of working in these industries. Given the opportunity to work on meaningful work projects with key industry partners, students can learn from experienced mentors and grow their skills and knowledge.
The importance of interdisciplinary skillsIt has become important for graduates to learn how to work in multidisciplinary teams to solve increasingly complex problems at the workplace. SIT prepares its graduates to meet such challenges by helping them develop interdisciplinary skills, regardless of the fields and industries they wish to specialise in. As interdisciplinary skills relate to more than one branch of knowledge, these skills are critical to boosting the employability of fresh graduates. Every SIT student completes a foundational module titled ‘Critical Thinking and Communicating’ as well as two Design Innovation courses. These modules enable students to work with those from other academic clusters and programmes, and they are required to conceptualise solutions for different complex problems. SIT students also complete a Social Innovation Project that they embark on with community partners in order to create social impact in the community. These learning opportunities help students strengthen their skills and stay competitive in the workforce through applied learning and exposure. SIT students learn valuable interpersonal skills and become team players who can think critically and make impactful contributions.
The importance of transferable skillsAccording to a 2021 survey by LinkedIn, employers in Singapore prefer to hire jobseekers with communication skills, problem-solving skills, and strategic thinking skills. 39 per cent of companies prioritise technical skills in their hiring while 31 per cent emphasised transferable skills. Only 8 per cent of hiring decisions were based on paper qualifications. SIT has introduced a new framework into its curriculum – the Industry Ready Skills Framework (IRSF), which aims to empower students to become masters of their own learning journeys and careers. The framework allows students to track the transferable skills they’ve picked up throughout their studies and allows them to plan their progress. It will remain relevant beyond the formal learning curriculum and includes skills and knowledge gained at school camps and networking sessions. There are 18 skills identified under the framework, and they are categorised under five competency areas: Thinking Agility, People Agility, Digital Agility, Professional Agility, and Change Agility. The skills range from Creative Thinking to Digital Data Literacy. This framework will benefit students who wish to stand out when they are looking for a job after graduation.
ConclusionSIT’s applied learning pedagogy and industry-focused degree programmes aim to equip students with deep skills and experience required to be future-ready for the new world. Learn how SIT’s applied degree programmes can make a difference to your future career. Find your path by visiting SIT’s Virtual Open House 2022 or browse SIT’s website to learn more. Admissions is open from now until 19 March 2022.
Being busy = being productiveThis has got to be the most popular myth that virtually everyone believes. Somehow, we feel that by being occupied throughout the entire day, we are accomplishing many things and moving one step closer to our end goal. However, I’m sure you would have realised that while there were days where your schedule was packed to the brim, you might not have cleared much important work at all. Tim Ferriss, the author of “The 4-Hour Workweek”, once said in his book that “being perpetually busy is a kind of laziness” and I couldn’t agree more. This is because it takes much more effort to sit down and identify what is the most efficient way to complete your tasks and what tasks should be cleared first (i.e. the most important tasks) compared to just trying to do a bunch of random things with no real strategy throughout the day. So what is the lesson here? One, we should focus on working smart before working hard so that our efforts will get us the most bang for our buck. If you’re a student, working smart could mean things like replacing passive study techniques with active ones! Two, we should carefully dictate our priorities for the day, the tasks that will, upon completion, move us much closer to our end goal. We can utilise certain frameworks like the Eisenhower Decision Matrix to help us with this decision-making process. The Eisenhower Decision Matrix. Photo by Luxafor. By using the Eisenhower Decision Matrix, we are able to categorise our tasks based on whether they are important or not and whether they are urgent or not. From here, it is clear how we should spend the majority of our time: on tasks that are important, especially on the ones that are urgent as well. We then try to delegate as much unimportant and urgent work as possible while eliminating tasks that are neither important nor urgent. By focussing more on the important tasks and less on the unimportant tasks, we would be able to get more meaningful work done in a shorter period of time.
Waking up (really) early automatically makes us productiveIf you’re like me and you enjoy watching “A Productive Day In The Life Of…” YouTube videos, you would soon come to realise that many YouTubers advocate waking up early to seize the day, some even waking up at 330AM! Hence, it is can be easy to be led to believe that waking up early is the KEY to productivity and success. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth! According to this BBC article, waking up early only makes you productive if you have an adequate amount of sleep and when your energy levels are naturally high in the morning. And that makes perfect sense! If you are only sleeping four hours a night and attempting to wake up at 4AM every morning to be “productive”, your brain wouldn’t even have time to consolidate the memories of the day which will make absorbing and recalling new information extremely difficult. You would have also realised that while there are some people who are naturally more focussed and alert early in the morning, there are also others whose “prime time” is in the afternoon or even in the evening. So don’t just blindly follow the advice of others! Instead, experiment waking up and working at different hours of the day to find out when exactly do you have the most energy and concentration. Double down on your work during this period so that you can go a little easier when you are not as energised.
To be productive, we should avoid resting/taking breaksIf I would to ask you to think of a productive study routine, the following image might pop up in your mind: a student hunching over his textbook and working on his/her Ten Year Series (TYS) for hours on end. Many of us may think of taking a break as taking one step back. But let me offer another imagery instead. It is more accurate to say that taking a break is like taking a momentary step back so that we can move three steps forward later, instead of taking one step forward. Research gathered by The Wellbeing Thesis has found that breaks can help one better cope with stress, maintain or even increase energy levels, and boost imagination and creativity. Simply put, breaks are beneficial and could even be the most productive thing for you to do after working or studying for a long period of time. Why is this so? Breaks offer a chance for us to refocus on our work, retain any information that we have learned so far, and even find relief from sitting all day long! Hence, take your short (5-15 minute ones) and long breaks (like your lunch breaks) and detach yourself from work! It will help you to perform better and produce higher quality results. And that’s about it! Here’s a quick recap of what productivity is NOT:
- Being busy
- Waking up very early
- Not resting
1. Join Freshman Orientation CampsSign up for as many Freshman Orientation Camps as possible. These could include those of your major, faculty, and even hostel. These Orientation Camps will help you get accustomed to university life and even get to know new people who may help you navigate your university life. One key aspect of joining Orientation Camps is getting to know seniors who will share with you tips and tricks of choosing your Y1 modules (some of which allocated), and which CCAs to join. Some Freshman Orientation Camps require you to pay a small fee, but along with it are school merch, T-shirts and goodies that may come in handy in the upcoming semesters. 10/10 recommend. You never know who you know in the FOPs will come in handy in the future! *wink*
2. Choose the right modulesMake sure you know the required modules for you to graduate, choose the modules required for you to fulfil the general education pillars, and decide if you want to take a minor or second major in addition to your workload. Check your course website for specific details. There are so many unrestricted electives you can choose from NUS and before you take a module, make sure to check up on the relevant module reviews and overviews on websites like nusmods.com. When in doubt, always remember—Google is your best friend. So is Reddit.
3. Make friendsFriends are essential in your university life. I repeat, friends are essential for your university life. Believe it or not, they would be your greatest saviours when you are stuck on a difficult tutorial question or assignment question. They make tough days manageable. They keep you accountable on days when you just don’t feel like getting out of bed and go for physical lectures and tutorials. They are people you hop by the café with after class ends. Make sure to make tons of friends from your own major and CCAs. They are the people that help you get through life. Ask for the telegram handle of the kid who sits next to you in your lecture or tutorial. Form groups to discuss tutorial or assignment questions together! Get friends to keep yourself accountable!
4. Join CCAsThere are three types of CCAs you could join in your University life.
a) The CCAs you join for fun b) The CCAs you join for portfolio/connections/relevance to the career you want to pursue c) The CCAs you join to make friendsThe three could be subsets of each other, but it’s best to join one of each.
5. Have a study schedule that you abide byUniversity is not all about studying, but your CAP will follow you throughout your life. You don’t need to get a super high CAP, but you need to make sure you do sufficient to not get mediocre grades that your future employers see. Use a paperback planner or a digital one like Google Calendar. Planning out your days by putting in the lecture and tutorial timings, along with your external commitments will help you be much more productive. As a university student, time is everything. You only have four years, eight semesters to accomplish whatever you want to in your university life. Make sure to spend each and every semester wisely.
6. Have funGo out with your friends often, even those not from your course, faculty or university. It’s always good to get out of the study zone and get some fresh air when you need it. Taking a break once in a while is crucial in giving you the strength to move farther in your university journey. So don’t feel guilty when you rest. Your body needs it. May all NUS kids have a great winter and a fresh start to Semester 2! All the best in beating the bell curves and making friends!
There is often a guilt factor playing a part in friend breakups.We feel ashamed that we could not make it work. As teenagers and adults, we often feel that we should have everything in check. We often assume that we should have everything figured out, just like how others seem like they have everything figured out. We feel a sense of uneasiness. We are afraid of seeking help—it makes us feel weak and inadequate—but this often makes us feel more isolated. Humans are innately social creatures. We crave affection. We crave attention. We crave social contact. Losing contact with friends just goes against all of the things we want.
We take things too personally.It’s common for us to anticipate that a romantic relationship won’t last forever. But the same isn’t propagated for friendships. We all have a psychological immune system that defends and preserves our emotional wellbeing—one that is similar to a physical immune system that protects us from germs, bacteria, viruses and diseases. When we feel strong, our psychological immune system is fortified. We feel self-assured and balanced. But our psychological immune system is often not as strong as it seems due to childhood traumas, lingering feelings of self-inadequacy, low self-esteem levels or even a misplaced sense of self. As such, a friend breakup could be a heavy blow dealt on us. Since we don’t often take time to fortify our psychological immune system, we could become easily disturbed, exhaustingly sensitive and especially susceptible to self-doubt and fear.
We need to be our own best friends.To deal with relationship crises properly, we need to consistently put in the effort to be our own best friends. We need to trust ourselves, believe in ourselves and forgive ourselves. When we have a hard time befriending ourselves, the idea of self could shatter, sometimes even yielding irreversible damage. Self-love does not just mean eating a chocolate chip cookie or taking a bubble bath. Self-love means radically changing your relationship with yourself. It means calming anxious thoughts, healing depressed minds, and decreasing eating disorder behaviours. It means being kind, and being consistent in swiping away our inner “mean girl”. The critical parts of ourselves, our inner “mean girl” are meant to help us survive. They are aspects of ourselves that created strategies for our safety and survival. They function as an advanced neural network of a computer system that is built for purely two reasons—connection and safety. When distressing events or traumatic scenarios occur, our brains create an understanding or belief of how the world works. And these beliefs or expectations are merely reinforced as we grow up, though they are often outdated and sometimes even get in the way of our successes and happiness. These memories and images are permanently stored in our hard drive, with the only solution being befriending ourselves, even the critique, wounded and protective parts.
It is often profound to befriend ourselves.Our inner critiques will begin to calm down, the wounded parts heal while the protective parts realise they don’t need to work as hard anymore. Being our own friend entails being more understanding and kind to ourselves. It has a lot of positive benefits as well! Neurobiologically, when we understand ourselves, it is one way for us to calm down. It means listening to our inner, intrusive thoughts. And it means being a friendly ear to ourselves, and being in touch with our own thoughts and feelings. Friends come and leave. Not all friends are good friends. We need to normalise being friendly to ourselves before we can be good friends to others.
How do we (actually) get over friend breakups
- Time heals everything. It often takes time for us to actually get over someone, especially one that we used to be very close to. But coming to terms with that will help our lives go back to normal.
- Reflect and do a post-mortem. Though a relationship hiccup is always due to problems from both parties, it is always time to reflect on what you have done right, things that you have done wrong and could have done better.
- Make new friends!!! They always say that starting new relationships heal finished ones. And this could be one of the ways you could forget about your frienemy.