Similar to all typical hall-is-life undergraduates, hall life was - and still is - a major part of my first year in NTU. Many unforgettable memories were being forged over the course of the semester, new friendships were made, and bonds were strengthened over shared experiences. However, going into my Freshie year, I wished there were some things I knew prior to matriculation, so that I didn't have to endure as much "Freshie Stupid" remarks from my hall seniors 🙄
As a nice senior myself (shot's fired?😏), these are 5 things I experienced during my first year in hall that will hopefully, give incoming freshies a better idea of what to expect, before orientation commences in August.
1. Have the best time of YOUR LIFE during Hall Camp
First and foremost, trust me, Hall Camp is definitely an experience you DO NOT want to miss out on. If your hall is one that is filled with plenty of traditions, you will definitely have the time of your life conquering various "initiation processes". It will be tiring as hell, but all your fellow freshies will also be going through the same thing as you so at least there will be others (especially seniors) around to push you through hall camp. 😬
In all seriousness though, hall camp is REALLY FUN and a good way to make new connections, so to those who are having reservations about it, PLEASE sign up for it as this may be the last time you get to have fun before turning phantom and focusing on your studies.
2. Stay active and healthy by joining a CCA
After the dust has (kinda) settled from the aftermath of Hall Camp, you will be greatly encouraged to contribute to hall by joining an interest club of your choice. This provides you an opportunity to have an enriching experience within campus, and allow you to meet seniors that are willing to impart their knowledge and guide you through the time spent in school.
Shameless plug ahead, but you can also head on down to SeniorSays.sg to find out more about some reviews of modules or source for study materials that will help you in attaining First-Class for your finals! Don't say bojio, seniorsays offers the most updated module reviews and senior notes that will definitely let you coast through your uni life! Students from all schools are welcomed there so do check it out :)
Some popular sports in Hall include : Basketball, Volleyball, Football, practically any sports that you can think of! To most, this is a time to try out a new sport and hopefully, discover a new talent for yourself! You will be able to also participate in recreational (rec) games that includes Darts, Boggle, Scrabble or even Billiard, and subsequently, represent your hall during Inter-Hall Games. 🏃🏻♂️🏃🏻♀️
3. An Experience LIKE NEVER BEFORE with Cheer/Dance
For those without any elite physical inclinations in sports, aka me, and yet you still want to break a sweat, do consider joining societies like Cheer or Modern Dance. I was part of my hall’s dance society, Bionic, and boy oh boy, did it alter my life (and grades, just kidding) completely. But by far, this is the only thing I have no regrets participating in, so if you are interested in having 7-minutes-of-fame, do consider joining HOCC!
Even with limited experience in dancing, shoutout to Hall 2 Bionic for embracing anyone who wants to step out of their comfort zone and try out something new. Leading up to HOCC, an annual inter-hall dance competition, it is not uncommon to see students waking up late for class or even missing them as a whole. All the hours spent cleaning dance moves, HTHTs and late night suppers at 7-11, is definitely something worth experiencing.
Furthermore, if you want to secure hall points and a placing in your current hall, joining one of Dance/Cheer increases your chance of extending time there. This was an extra motivation for me since my classes are only a mere 7 minutes stroll away.
4. Hall Events that you CANNOT afford to miss
From Dinner and Dance (DnD), Talent Contests to Back-to-School events, these events provides opportunities for YOU to participate and bond with your hall cliques. On top of them, you may get the chance to experience things like Night Cycling or Supper Hopping!
Make sure to attend plays organised by your Hall Production, and when your hall’s JamBand performs, don’t miss out on it as there are plenty of talented individuals around campus. Last but not least, sign up for Overseas CIP (OCIP) programs if you want to give back to society. Not only will you get to travel with your friends, you get to interact with cute, little kiddos as well! With the above flurry of activities and events in hall, you can definitely rest assured that your NTU experience will be wholly exciting and busy at the same time! Unless you are a phantom, of course..
5. 'Degen' Hall Life that will shape your overall Uni experience
Last but not least, your hall experience is definitely not complete without all the Degen (degenerate) activities that will shape your grandfather/grandmother stories in the future. Some of the laojiaos in hall may relate their very own Degen activities to you (an extensive list I’m sure), so my advice is to take good care of your pockets and your liver 😉. Going out for late night suppers at Ah Lian Beehoon, Mookata, or Extension becomes a norm deep into the semester and your clique may even squeeze in a KTV session to unwind from 'mugging' too much!
You can also expect extreme and ‘extravagant’ birthday celebrations, so do get some spare T-shirts and undergarments in case. Try not to be too loud or resident security guards will be hot on your heels to tell you to "DISPOSE" (disperse, sorry internal joke). You can also look forward to studying sessions together with your hall cliques so that you all can work hard and play hard at the same time, without having to worry about a fall in your GPA. 😃🙌🏼
NEEDLESS TO say, hall has become my home away from home. Some of you may be re-evaluating now whether to stay in hall or might be asking around for recommendations for which halls to stay in. But I would like to assure you, your experience in hall depends entirely on the company you choose to mix around with, so make the right group of friends and you’ll be fine.
Still, I wished I had a senior who was able to prepare me for all the experiences above, having a senior that will guide you through the rigors of university curriculum is ever more important in today's context where more emphasis is being placed on attaining good grades and excellent GPA that will separate you from the rest of the pack. Through this post, I hope I have at least introduced to you some of the things to expect in hall life that will be of some help. If you are still lost for uni, do check out some of the other blogpost that we have on our website today! 😄
Seniorsays.sg is a platform that helps undergraduates make better university decisions! If you are a senior and would like to contribute or share similar experiences as well, feel free to visit our website and help out your juniors today!