In this edition of #SeniorsTalk, we have the privilege of inviting Shaun, aka Dame Time, from the National University of Singapore (NUS), to talk more about his 1 year of experience in Computer Science (CS). In recent years, CS has become a very popular and lucrative course that plenty of students are looking to enter upon completing their tertiary education. Yet, many do not know the rigours and expectations that comes along with it, as there are plenty of elite and talented individuals in the course, especially in a well-acclaimed university like NUS. Without further ado, let Shaun tell you more about his experience in Computer Science..
(1) Why did you choose to undertake NUS Computer Science (CS) as a degree?
I initially I had a difficult time deciding a course I was interested in studying cause I wasn’t sure of my interest. I wasn’t even aware that CS was available as a course. I discovered about it only till my elder Cousin, who had previously graduated from NUS, told me about CS and how it had a promising prospect to find a good job in the future.
(2) What are the best and worst things about your course?
Good thing about CS is, I feel like I am able to get a head-first experience into learning about coding and algorithms at a very fast pace. Being surrounded by plenty of passionate individuals, it forced me out of my comfort zone to have to study a lot harder to keep up with them. The best thing about this course so far has to be the work ethic and wealth of knowledge that I have acquired.
However, the worst part about the course is having to deal with the stress and competition with other students of my cohort. I struggled heavily with coding tests, and my results have not been terrific so far. So while I am able to learn something new, my grades have to take a huge hit because of the competition around me.
(3) What is one thing you discover about your course only after entering university?
I’ve learnt how independent you have to be to survive in NUS. Unlike in primary, secondary (schools) and Junior College, there is no spoon feeding and honestly, you have to fend hard for yourself in order to score well for your modules. So I quickly learnt that you have to take initiative in everything you do. Otherwise, you definitely cannot thrive in this course.
(4) What advice would you give to juniors who are considering NUS CS as a degree?
My advice would be to acquire as much prior knowledge of CS, programming knowledge and coding languages as possible. The competition is tough and no matter how prepared you are there are people much much much better than you. So prepare yourself as much as possible before entering the course or else you will find the learning curve to be extremely steep.
(5) What made you choose NUS Computer Science over other local universities?
Simply the living and studying expenses, and also the fact that I can be closer to my family. I went for the open houses of other local universities that offered CS as a major, and I felt the Computer Science Programme that NUS provided was more diverse and opened up more opportunities. Also NUS has a grade free scheme in year 1 which others don’t, which allowed me to study new things with less stress of grades
(6) Last but not least, what would you consider your biggest takeaway from university thus far?
My biggest takeaway thus far had to be the friendships I have forged throughout the semester and really, good relationships are essential for you as much as your own hard work. Unless you are some genius, you will need help from your friends and peers to understand the high level of content university has to offer.
With that, Seniorsays.sg would like to thank Shaun for his insightful contribution and we hope his experience provides you a glimpse of a typical NUS Computer Science student's life. Ultimately, we hope this will help you make better university decisions as you transition into adulthood. Should you also wish to contribute, do feel free to click on the Contribute section on think.seniorsays.sg and write in to us today! 😉