In this new edition of SeniorSays, #SeniorStays, we invited Brian of NTU Crescent Hall to narrate about his experience living in a cluster commonly regarded amongst as the "Scholars Hall" amongst NTU students. 📚 What most of us currently know about Crespion area is their amazing Yong Tau Foo, Thai food, and maybe, its proximity to Extension.. but are there more qualities that we ought to know? And is it really true that Crescent Hall is all work and no play? Without further ado, let's get Brian to help answer all the questions and myths of Crescent Hall now. Take it away! 🙌🏼🤓

1) What made you join Crescent Hall and did you initially experience a culture shock? How has your hall experience change over time?

I was assigned Crescent Hall based on my course in NTU and I honestly did not have a good impression in the beginning. I had seniors from NTU that told me that Crescent Hall was a ‘scholar' hall or a ‘mugger’ hall and basically no fun and no culture. But I’m really happy to say that NONE of that was true at all. In fact, I can’t imagine being in another hall and wouldn’t want to either. 😊

There wasn’t much of a culture shock when I first started but initially, it was difficult having to learn how to do everything on my own but I’m really glad I had my OG mates to help me out. From figuring out hall procedures or learning how to register for courses, to operating the laundry and learning how to cook, my seniors got me covered! Life in hall is a lot of independence where you really have to learn to do everything on your own and manage your time too, but with the right friends around, you can ace your studies while having the best time of your life. I personally really enjoyed the supper culture because who doesn’t love food and we have a really great supper place that we can walk to from Crescent!

2) Why should I choose Crescent Hall and what kind of experience can I expect here?

There are some very special things about Crescent that only we have. Our location is great, not only is our hall extremely beautiful because of the ponds and the layout, we have a great canteen and you can walk to a really great supper place, Extension, at night too. We’re also super close to Canteen 1 & 2 so you’ll never run out of food choices. You can even head down to Giant nearby to buy your essentials or cook on your own! For fitness enthusiasts, we have a gym and you can walk to the Wave/SRC from our hall which means you have access to the swimming pool and bigger gyms.

The culture here is really amazing. It’s a very good balance between fun and relaxed. It’s pretty laid-back and that means it suits everyone. You can choose how much you want to take up and you will have fun either way no matter what. I think as a Crescent Hall resident you can expect to have lots of fun, make lots of friends and forge deep meaningful friendships. At Crescent, we have a circular wooden structure that we fondly call The Donut and is the home of many late night heart-to-heart talks and holds many of our secrets and tears. To many of us here, we have found a second home and family that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.

3) What are some misconceptions that people have of Crescent Hall and how different is it from reality?

The first misconception that most people have about Crescent Hall is that it is a “scholar” or “mugger” hall which means that everyone’s just studying all the time. This is not true at all. While it is true that scholars from multiple scholar programmes reside in Crescent, that doesn't mean we do not know how to have fun. I would like to think that at Crescent we study hard, but play harder. We all have plenty of fun. There are plenty of events and activities to take part in, and late nights that are integral to hall culture as well. At the end of the day, hall is really what you make of it so the choices you make will define your hall culture.

Although we are very young and only 5 years old this year, we have our very own unique identity and traditions and a strong culture that you can find out more about when you join our orientation or different activities!

Lastly, a misconception that people have about Crescent is that all we have is Thai food. Our Thai stall is super famous because it’s super tasty and affordable so people from all around NTU come to our canteen to eat the Thai food. However, we have plenty of really other good stalls as well, like Yong Tau Foo & Korean food. So come on down and try them out! 😬

4) What can I expect out of Crescent FOP and what are some of the year-round activities that Crescent Hall has?

Crescent FOP is a yearly highlight for both seniors and freshmen because it is when we get to welcome freshmen into our hall. We carry through with traditions that we’ve had over the years and always put in our best to have more innovative and fun games that everyone can enjoy. We take a lot of pride in planning this camp because it’s our freshmen’s first entry into hall and creates their first impression as well. Many people here make friends that they will be with for a long time. This year's freshmen can expect the usual elements most university orientation camps have along with some new additions and twists but you’re going to have to sign up to be a part of the fun.

There are many activities that we can choose to join throughout the year. Crescent Hall offers an extremely wide range of sports like swimming, hockey, netball, volleyball and more. You can get the opportunity to represent Crescent Hall in the Inter-Hall Games every year if you want to! We also have hall dance, jam band, Acapella, as well as recreational games such as boggle and scrabble, hall council and so much more. We also have committees for ad-hoc events such as orientation, as well as our annual Dinner & Dance. There is something for everyone. You can pick and choose to join whatever you want based on your interest level and how much you can commit.  We also have plenty of events happening such as Cultural Night and Back-To-School where everyone can come down to participate and have fun.

5) What are some advices you would give to freshies or anyone who is interested in hall life? Advice in general as well about life in NTU.’

The first piece of advice I would give is to be open-minded! Being open-minded is really important when you first come to university. You’re going to meet a lot of new people from different backgrounds and experience and learn a lot of new things.

You should also try and step out of your comfort zone. At university you get to start afresh and you also get so many opportunities to do so many new things. It is the best place to try everything  and trust me when I say everyone will be really welcoming. Just go and do! There’s nothing to be afraid of. Something really good about university is that nobody expects you to commit all four years in a particular CCA/club, you can feel free to change your CCAs and commitment levels based on what you prefer.

This brings me to my next point about doing what works for you! University is the best place to try out new things. There are so many different people and so many different things to do. There will definitely be a place for everyone, so fret and just try out everything. Don’t worry about conforming, as you’ll definitely fit in somewhere in the right place.

Lastly, have fun! It sounds cliche but I’ve had the most fun in university. I got to learn what I liked, take part in things I liked and made lifelong friends. Hall is like having a sleepover with friends every day. People are always around when you need their company and you also get time to learn and grow as an individual. The overall university experience is truly unparalleled and has made me into the person I am today. You won't regret joining Crescent Hall trust me! 😎

With that, would like to thank Brian for his insightful contribution and we hope you have learnt more about Crescent Hall after this! Ultimately, we hope his experience provides you a glimpse of the life of a typical NTU student that will help you make better university decisions as you transition into adulthood. Should you wish to learn more about the other university-related contents that we have OR contribute, do feel free to explore and write in to us today! 😉