Friday, June 8, 2012

Remembering My Alma Mater

By Julian Abraham Chua

I still remember the sterile smell of the computer labs and tutorial rooms. I recall those busy corridors packed with students going for their next class and lecture halls filled with students. Hanging out around tables and benches outside lecture halls and corridors was somewhat a favourite pastime for my friends and I. Those were the days when I was at NYP. 

Alongside those vivid memories were exam periods, presentations and project assignments that caused us much stress. It was during those times that I lost some sleep, burned the midnight oil and gulped down Brand’s Essence of Chicken plus caffeine drinks to keep the “last minute study marathon” going (I’m sure the term sounds familiar to many students).

Adding to the hectic schedule were CCAs that took up a quarter of my time in school. I joined Kendo, Piano Ensemble, Mindsports, NYP Ambassadorial Team, StageArts, Photography, Students Union, just to name a few. Crazy as it sounds, I signed up at so many CCA booths during Club Crawl that I lost track of which CCAs I was in!  


It can be ironic how you look forward towards graduating from school but once that day beckons, you start to lose the “Graduation Day” enthusiasm when you realise you are leaving school for good.

I had taken up some part-time jobs while waiting to serve National Service (NS) to build up my work experience. Since I was a business student, I decided to start my own business in the distribution of gifts and stationery. It helped that I studied business in NYP and the modules and knowledge acquired during school were useful in avoiding pitfalls and pointed me in the right directions.

Next came NS.  When I started serving NS, I was able to put some things which I learnt in NYP to good use, like knowledge on organisational and management skills, negotiation skills and motivation tactics. All these came in handy where working relationships with people and workplace challenges are concerned.

Polytechnic life was quite a fulfilling journey for me. It was definitely a worthwhile experience. All in all, there was no denying NYP has taught me life skills that I could apply to future jobs. I also enjoyed making new friends along the way and participate in memorable activities and events. Furthermore, it provided me with a writing platform that opened doors to exciting publications like Straits Times and Timeout Singapore.

Looking back, I wish I had better appreciated my polytechnic experience in NYP. Initially 3 years seemed like a daunting prospect, but time just flew by, and I cherished all the things NYP offers. I wish I had taken the time to connect with staff, explore the entire campus, record my lectures and tutorials, and read the books in the library.

These things actually become significant after I have graduated. I do appreciate the holistic education NYP has given me. To all current NYP students: the poly years can become the best years of your life.  Do make the best of it!


Julian Abraham Chua is an NYP graduate from School of Business Management (SBM). His passion for writing was ignited when he completed an overseas UK writing course and started contributing to the portal while he was still a student on the campus. He has since written for various magazines and publications including Straits Times, SG Entrepreneurs, Spin Asia, TimeOut Singapore, NTUC lifestyle, Campus magazine and SPCA newsletter. Besides writing, he adores soccer, has his own online business Stationaire and performs with his metal band Grottesca around town.  

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