Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece and is in no way intended to be taken entirely seriously. Facts have been checked and attributed to the relevant sources as much as possible.
It is not difficult to get a sense of what your friends are up to nowadays, what with the advent of social media websites like Facebook and Twitter – the former providing a convenient avenue for friends to share snapshots of their lives and the latter giving rise to a disturbing culture of voyeurism as friends, and perhaps even yourself, update ‘followers’ hourly on the happenings in their lives.
Law school is no different. This writer has therefore religiously undertaken hours of research (read: cyber stalking) to uncover the top three things that law students get up to during the school break.
Be it for study trips, exchanges or personal holidays, it seems that the students of BTC have just about had enough of our sunny island during the semester, that upon the release from their final paper, plans could be overheard discussing trips to far-flung islands or nearer to home, humble Johor Bahru.
It’s not all play and no work though. For some of the students from LSIRC, they had the opportunity (or burden, however you want to think about it) to participate in a study trip to Bali, which, in the words of Charmaine Chew (Year 1), “was really awesome because we got to mingle with la w students from neighboring countries and basically had tons of fun there!” So not all that true on the work thing there, it seems.
At least one other student (who requested not to be named) opted for a solo reprieve from the hustle and bustle and embarked on a self-drive trip up our neighbouring state of Malaysia:
“I spent a part of my holiday after Christmas on a self drive holiday up to Bukit Fraser, Pahang, Malaysia. A total of 11 cars drove up in convoy with me as the only solo driver on the trip. The drive took us all the way from Tuas Checkpoint along the North-South Highway all the way towards KL. Traveling along in convoy at speed with the country-side zipping by sure is relaxing.
Stopping at Machap and Sg Buloh for a little snack and a splash and dash, we arrived at the foot of Bukit Fraser just shy of 1400H.
Our drive up was exhilarating as the undulating terrain, coupled with twists and turns along the mountain road tested both the skill and performance of both the drivers and the cars.
We stayed the night at Shahzan in and made a day trip into Rawang Town the next day, shopping for local goodies and savoring what one considers as the best Durians ever, the Maoshang Wang. This was followed by a round of golf on the 9-Hole gold course and a scrumptious BBQ buffet dinner to end our stay.
Early next morning, we began our descent along the winding mountain road. As we bade farewell to Bukit Fraser, another day of highway driving greeted us as we proceeded towards Malacca for lunch.
I arrived back in Singapore, rested, rejuvenated and very satisfied.”
Of course, there are those who have gone further, like to the winters of Europe or to sunny Mauritius. But that’s for another article altogether.
The hardworking among us have taken the time to go for internships or jobs for experience and pocket money respectively. Others have chosen to occupy themselves with projects involving the organization of various activities, for school or for various groups.
For example, Shermon Ong (Year 2) was involved in the organization of the NUS Students’ Community Service Club Day. For this event, he spent almost the entire holiday period in school preparing for the event, which will involve beneficiaries from various voluntary welfare organizations.
Others have indulged in hall activities for the duration of the break. Though to Ching Meng Hang (Year 1) of Eusoff Hall, ‘indulged’ is unlikely the word he would choose. Day in day out of “training all the way until night, then just sleep” does not in fact, to this writer, sound very appealing at all. Possibly the reason why I chose not to apply to the NUS Halls of Residence. Brrrrr…
Easily the most apparent, this writer did not in fact conduct any interviews to come to this conclusion. Some might argue for this point to be placed first, but such advocates are likely to have come to the conclusion that they just could not be bothered. Unfortunately, due to there merely being anecdotal evidence, this cannot be declared so, however much this writer believes it to be true. However, be it hearsay or heresy, it is the learned opinion of this writer that a large majority of us students have dedicated our days to “SKYRIM”, “9gag” or whatever manner of internet or non-internet based entertainment that cannot reasonably be classified as a ‘pragmatic usage of time’, due in part, possibly more so for the first years, to ‘readers’ fatigue’, or the condition that is derived from excessive reading of finely printed text. No doubt immunity to the condition improves with time or prior genetic resistance to the illness.
Notably, there seems to be a taboo about the idea of one having studied over the semester break. Truthfully, the very idea of a semester break should be a break from the semester, i.e. a period in which one is obliged not to involve oneself with semester-related activities. Whether this silence is a true reflection of our law students will perhaps never be known. However, with each passing semester, the realization that eventually, the idea of a vacation period longer than your quota of two weeks in a year will be but a dream gets clearer, and perhaps, what we should be doing is preparing for the time when that happens. To this writer however, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
Article contributed by: Jezer Goh (Law 1)