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Hello, I’m Samantha, the self-proclaimed happy go lucky girl!

This space encompasses my personal milestones made beautiful in his time. Combining my flair for easy-to-read writing with my love for photography, this is where I share my thoughts on God, travel, food, beauty, fashion and lots more. Daytime, I'm a branding consultant. Adhoc, wedding planner and happiness maker. 24/7, creative juicer behind the bakery I run – Temptations Cakes. Forever & always, a child of God. Through this cozy little virtual haven, I hope each post inspires at least someone out there with my life stories.

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A SMUggers' Thought


Before I start on this super heartfelt and duper uber long post, let me assure you that you’ll reading a credible post; of words from the bottom of the heart of a girl who had close to a perfect poly GPA saying, "GPA in University is actually not that important". I’ve been in the position of being both a “high-flyer” and now in the position of being just another university student. So, let me share with you my thoughts on why GPA is not, will not and will never be the most important thing in your life.
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Last year this time, I was at my crossroads, thinking of what’s next? Fact is then, I'm done with all academics in my poly years and it's been a bittersweet relationship. Graduating from TP, I’m just thankful for the opportunities given to me and am glad that I fulfilled my promise of contributing to the school. Undoubtedly, it’s been one of the best choices I’ve made in my life and I wouldn’t change anything at all.
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Moving on in life, although I was very tempted to dive straight into the working world, I gave in to the choice of enrolling into the local university, especially since I worked so hard to be qualified. Definitely not because I wanted to study more or conform to the fact that we Singaporean students have been moulded into creatures thinking that we need a certificate to survive, but I convinced myself that it may be worth it after all, because of the new friends I’d meet and the global passport exposure and experiences I would get as an undergraduate.

So I’ve got to decide on which course to take. I wanted to try something new, maybe Mass Comm or Law. But then again, take Law for example. I think I’m too nice to be a lawyer, I’ll probably end up helping my client on my own accords instead of being professional. I don’t want to be faced with unhappy cases everyday because I’m easily affected. I don’t want to carry the burden of people's fates lying in my hands. I didn’t want to end up working my ass off instead of spending time with my own family in future when I have kids. Most importantly, I was aware that the real deal of law isn’t quite like the shows on movies. So, end of the day, I went back to Business, play your forte right? Only difference is mindset. I went to TP wanting to be an employee, I'm coming to SMU wanting to be an employer & things I'm studying becomes alot more applicable.
But heck, whatever course you take doesn’t really matter! You just need to choose something that gives you an easier life in university so that you can pursue more important things. Hey look! The grad cert only gets you to that one moment of fame during graduation ceremony and also it may just mean your first job interview (or perhaps not?). I’ve felt that same way before during my own Graduation. Like after receiving the cert then oh errr okay, take pictures and that’s all? So I've learnt, just do something I enjoy and I wouldn’t end up in a common situation happening around me; not working in the field that one has studied.
I’ve always been one who knows what I want at least and try to achieve personal goals that I’ve set. Try. Back then, I scored 9points for O’ Levels but chose the poly route, with that I told myself I must try my best to get into a local uni. Take an extra year? That’s fine! Anyways, high chance I would retain if I had gone to the JC and if that’s gonna take me 3years, I'd rather go poly cause even if I don’t do well, at least diploma's good. Long story short, I got myself into Singapore Management University & so I’m already very contented.
THE DIFFERENCE: My personal goal is no longer to study hard (unlike Poly, there’s a real need to get a good GPA because that’s what gets you to the University) because what’s next like finding a job doesn’t depend on grades but more on whom you know in the industry you’re keen in. Therefore, things are now different. Like what I’ve mentioned earlier on, my goal coming to University is really to travel and to meet more people. See! I guess I’m living up to my own expectations and feeling happy about it. In my first year, I’ve travelled to Laos for Overseas Community Service Project, to the States for ASES Summit and to Canada for 1month of Summer School. And of course, I’ve met groups of close friends of which I thank god for!
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Yup, I skipped 1 full week of school & even my exams for this experience of a lifetime, no regrets! Was a student at Stanford University, stayed with awesome roomies, toured Google, interaction with famous speakers, met many like-minded delegates of which I still keep in touch with. Not forgetting, self travel w my dear ntu girls to Las Vegas and California San Francisco before the entire weeklong programme!

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To me, acceptance into SMU is already proving academic achievement; so really guys, just don't hang out with your grades! In reality, people will only ask ‘Oh, what school are you in? How are you doing?’. Just say a local university name, they will be like ‘oh good!’ They surely won’t be so direct as to ask ‘So what’s your GPA?’ I mean, even if they ask, then just answer them, but you can learn from me, normally I’ll just change the subject and say things like ‘Oh I’m in SMU. Yeah it’s really good, we have a different learning style…’ I don’t really care what people think so long I’m happy, that’s fine. Whilst it’s true that certain highly paid prestigious jobs will be close to me because of my grades, I think it’s fine. Because firstly, I’m sure there’re other ways to get in if I really want to but more importantly, I don’t want those jobs either. I know I wouldn’t enjoy it because I know myself best and I think there are other people out there more suitable than me to do those jobs. Plus, hey, if companies reject me based on my grades, then I would probably not like their culture since they are so grade-oriented. FYI, I’m not saying this as a cover up just because for example, I can’t get into a bank. Like who cares, if it's meant to be, it's meant to be.
So it’s important to take time out to ask yourself what you want to do, and what your talents are. It is impossible you can’t excel in anything, after all you got into a local university already right which means someone saw something in you, and gave you the chance to get in. You'll excel in something, if not academically, then something else, maybe something even better. That, I thank my interviewers for my place in SMU and I’d definitely treasure it. Thankyou from the bottom of my heart. Most importantly, thank you god for making all this possible.
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A lot of my friends think SMU’s very happening because they see me enjoying myself and having so much fun especially with pictures on facebook. They’re like ‘Wah Sam, you got exam no exam like the same one leh’… Well, the issue isn’t the school, it’s just me. When it comes to exams, I take it as a chance for me to bless others when everyone suddenly turns into SMUggers, which makes me hate exams even more. I'd rather prepare welfare packs for others rather than to spend time studying more. Is it because I don’t care about my studies? NO. In fact, I studied way harder in Uni than I did in Poly YET I always seem to screw up my finals, don't even ask me why. So I came to a conclusion that even if I study more, I can’t do it, so might as well I bless others, do something that I can do right and do well. This is what I call INVESTING IN PEOPLE'S LIVES rather than INVESTING IN GRADES, because I'M INVESTING IN WHAT'S ETERNAL NOT TEMPORAL.
Moral of the Story? Well, I can only say, you only live once, enjoy while university lasts. The way I approach life is by asking myself: do I have any regrets? I surely don’t want to regret things that I’ve not done just because I’m studying. If I can only regret one thing, it's probably not travelling and enjoying my university life rather than not studying.
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If you ask me, how’s SMU been? I would tell you this.
As cliché as it sounds, your university life is unique to you and you define how you want it to be. It’s all about choices you make. I’ve been in this school for a year and it was a decision I chose on my own accord. I’ve had my fair share of complaining and ranting here and there, getting used to the school and its culture but end of the day, I’d rather be here than any other schools. Many people rumour that my dear city campus is havoc, full of clubbers, competitive and full of fluff. I don't deny that but then again, ask yourself, which school isn’t? *laughs* I see people hanging out in library for the entire study week like a common meeting place. 2 types of students that irks me? 1. Desperate students who would do anything just to get into prestigious foreign firms or the clubs they are running elections for. 2. Students who participate in school activities just for resume sake. I see so many of my fellow freshmen getting internships and joining school camps and activities this summer. There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact, I join these summer commitments as well (because I have passion for it, laoniang's resume so full until idk how to squeeze into 2pages please!) but it irks me when they tell me their real reason is for resume. Worst part, these people don't know how to do their jobs right. Some are not even orgcomm material, I'm always very tempted to bring them to TP and show them how we do things there. And, fyi, if I’m your employer, I wouldn’t be impressed with your impressive list of CCAs if you can’t do your job as well as an average person.
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The question is does all these things affect me?Well, no, because I choose not to be affected by it. Let them be caught up in the rat race. I don’t want to be sacrificing my sleep & time for work. Culture is who you hang out with & it's the community that shapes your life; I’m so blessed with many close knitted cliques and a SMU Ministry in Hope Church. Generally, within SMU there are so many people who are more than willing to share notes and even help each other out with schoolwork. That, I've got to thank my seniors and friends for!
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SMU Hope Ministry!
Children of God! The ones I know I can count on no matter what (: Because we love God, love People. Glad to see that we're expanding which means more people have come to know Christ. Gonna be a harvest filled semester, I'm quite sure! Through we see each other at least once a week at service, I'm really glad that our church works in the way that we have school ministries thus I'm so glad to have you girls and guys around school too. All the best for the upcoming semester!
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Scarlet Shopaholic Girls! #SSGs
(not that we're in scarlet just that we're in business, #forallwhowantedtoknow, hurhur)
Thanks for being my beloved pillar of support! These girls keep me sane when school gets tough and serve as reminders for all activities! We're all working hard for summer commitments yet we always make time for each other. So so glad to finally be able to take mods with y'all next sem and in the future. Ownage kissass projects, here we come! Cheers to sisterhood, stay strong and united my dear girls! Looking forward to creating more fond memories together!
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Project Sunshine 4!
Best OCSP experience with a great team I call ohana. Wanna go Back to December all over again. You know it's great especially when you can live without social media for that full 2weeks, hurhurs. Will blog about the entire experience in a separate post! Freshies if you happen to be reading this, please join an OCSP and obviously, sign up for Project Sunshine 5 k, I guarantee you'll have an experience of a lifetime!
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MUSHU!
#ftbrun2 #wonbestclan #wonbestgroup One of my first few SMU friends | Some friendships started and bloomed at FTB and are my bestest friends till now (: Glad that we still see each other around school!
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Best things from some of my modules are not what I've learnt but meeting the clique of friends in the photos above! I'm sorry I can;t possibly post every single friend's pictures here but I love you all equally much!
Truthfully, I’ve overestimated myself a little and underestimated university life. I factored in the fact that I’m schooling alongside the top JC kids but I had sheer hope that I would have an advantage because I’ve done Business course for 3years. But to my dismay, in my first semester, I had to do compulsory University Core mods like Calculus and Academic Writing - those are things I’ve never come across before. Like whut, Graphic Calculator? I have never touched it before, yes I didn't even take AMath. In fact, the JC kids have an advantage because they are armed with GP knowledge and whatsoever. So, obviously I didn’t do as well as I wanted to and I felt a little part of me dying, but trust me, I was still very contented. Can survive first semester leh, woah happy already! Then, I told myself, really, it’s important to take it easy and be positive. I’ve done my best and God will do the rest. The results are out, there’s nothing more I can do besides accepting this fact.
Let me share something with y’all. I guess most parents want their kids to graduate from university and secure a good job. But I thankgod my parents are not the traditional kind. For an average student like me, getting into Uni is already worth celebrating. My daddy's super cool, when I told him my grades for my 1st semester, he was like wow, no Cats & Dogs, good what! hurhur. And for my 2nd semester, sadly I got a C grade of which I kinda expected, yet guess what, he laughed and replied it’s okay cause C grade student makes money. And, if I lament I don’t do well for something, he will say 'Please la change topic, you go to the university not only for grades so don’t talk about grades. Just pass can already ah'. Feel so blessed with parents who support me in my school life and let me do things I want because they believe I would make right choices. Eh basket, I'm quite a good kid, I don't drink don't smoke don't take drugs k! ^^
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I’m an extrovert and naturally, the interactive pedagogy in SMU suits me well. That’s what I thought. I was super excited to class part... But, in my first semester, I realize that this class part system only works well for me in subjects that I’m familiar with. For classes I have no idea what’s going on or have no interest in, I think I’ve become more introverted. Seriously. Somehow, I can't find it in me to speak up as much as other people during class and in fact, I find it intimidating. Back in poly, as much as I hated lectures (I end up eating/sleeping in them) but when we had tutorial classes, I miss our small class size of max 25, because I am more open to speaking and after all, my class was close knitted and no one would judge the questions you ask. Now in University, there’s no standard class, classmates and when you speak, you are speaking around people you are unfamiliar with. Not that I’m afraid they would judge my words, but I’m just afraid I’m not contributing anything. See, I can't stand it when people hog the ‘air-time’ and speak for the sake of speaking, sometimes just rephrasing what the previous person said. What the heck? I always believe people should think before they speak, and value-add to the discussion. That’s why like what I said above, for me if I don’t understand what’s going on, I just keep quiet because I have nothing to contribute. That sucks, but I rather keep quiet and listen to what others have got to say than to waste everyone’s time acting smart and repeating what’s being said.
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So old friends I’ve met up with have asked me, how does it feel to be an all-rounder in TP to being a normal kid in SMU?
I can only say I’ve been there, done that and Thank God for that defining life chapter.
It's time to move on and I will. Because there are greater things waiting for me to do.
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Graduated with a Diploma with Merit in Business (Corporate Communications & Tourism) & dual diploma in Psychology. President of Business School. Temasek Scholarship Recipient. Directors Honours List. CCA Merit Award. I’m just very thankful & contented.
Now, let’s let other worthy people experience what I’ve experienced before, shall we? All that I've achieved above is possible only through God. He taught me a real lesson. What he can give, he can also take away. What I'm experiencing now is him stripping all these away from me. But instead of feeling sore about it, I'm perfectly fine because without these things in fact, I've gotten closer in my walk with Christ. I've learnt to depend on him more instead of telling myself I can do all things by myself.
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Remember we shine the brightest when you are in your darkest
I could say I started SMU on a wrong footing, but by choice. I rejected my chance for a LCKSB Scholarship because I booked a trip to Taiwan already plus I was very sure I didn’t want to do a double-degree just for the sake of the scholarship. omg, why add trouble to myself when I have no interest in it right? I rather give it to someone else more capable than me. (okay) But on hindsight, maybe I should have gone for the interview at least cause I could stand a chance for the SMU Scholarship. No regrets, moving on… Point is, maybe if I had gotten the scholarship, I would chiong more for my studies but since I’m just like any other student, then let’s just see what the university can offer me (and vice versa) in my stay here.
Minus the studying part, in fact, I’m enjoying it and am feeling very thankful about things on my plate
Check out the events I've participated in this entire year!
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Bondue Week 2013; Sponsorship
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Bizcom; Programmes Director for Merchants' Appreciation Night 2013
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Bondue Camp 2013; Sponsorship AD and Facilitator
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Convocation 2013; Operations Director
And the list goes on...
As for studying, trust me I’m very chill! If you see me in any of your class, don’t worry, I’m not your competitor. I won’t steal you’re A+ position from you (no idea how that bell curve thing works). I just want to learn from my prof and classmates. I just want to work on projects with awesome project mates because the process is more important and trust me, I’m a good project mate *trying to sell myself #okcan*. Say real, project mates are super duper important, and I’m saying this with my good 3 years of experience from poly especially. When I got to SMU, I told myself don’t need to tank so much for project already cause everyone here in uni shd be very smart and people will do work. But I was brutally wrong. I've had project mates who don’t know what’s teamwork at all. Let me quote someone from Facebook “How did those good-for-nothings survive in SMU until now without getting bashed up is one of life's greatest mysteries.” Having said that, I’ve also met awesome groupmates, people whom I’m willing to slog my guts out with, just so our presentation will be the best. Don’t you know, presentations in SMU are all about creativity and I sure got that covered! ^^ All I can say is, ahems reputation of doing work is important.
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So what’s the gameplan? God's Plan will be my plan.
All I want is to wake up in the morning and feeling happy to go to work. Whether is it because of good colleagues or simply having passion for the work I do. I want to do work that feeds the soul not only one that pays the bills. Like what I have been taught, do what you love, and the money will follow. Follow God, put him in the center of your life, and your life would be secured in his plans.


Anyways, I’m definitely focusing on other things besides school. Things like being consistent in blogging, managing my own bakery business & probably looking into doing something floral-ish and doing outside school courses. I’m not too concern about finding a job or whatsoever as of now, because I prefer running my own show unless a good opportunity comes along. In terms of internship, not being proud of this, but I’ve about 3 opportunities opened for me to choose from already. Not exactly my ideals, but I believe if I apply to the companies that I want to, they would take me in not looking at my grades but other things I’ve got to offer. Even tho I may not have faith in myself, I have faith in God so just keep calm and trust in the Lord! Nothing’s impossible with God!

I’m just hoping for more travel opportunities that come my way as well as being able to go on overseas exchange with my friends (and to all you kiddos, I won’t compete w y’all for a spot to Europe for exchange so don’t worry). Europe is just good for a picturesque holiday, not to stay for long. I still prefer Asia or USA. Yup, and I wanna spend time knowing God more and reading his word. Also, I love kids so much that I wanna volunteer for kids organizations so I’ll probably spent time in those areas as well. Seeing the kids smile simply melt my heart. I CAN JUST GO BE A NANNY AND PLAY WITH KIDS!
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After this whole long post of mine, if y’all still not convinced that GPA is not everything, then I can only enlighten you with the hope that has always been in me. JUST DON’T LOSE HOPE. As a freshmen going on Year 2, there’s still 3 more years to go. Try to improve your grades but let me tell you, don’t be too hopeful also because your GPA will not improve by leaps and bounds. But for me, I’m more confident of doing well in Year 3 and 4 because that’s when we get to choose our majors, something that interest me more ^^
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Comparing grades make me a little inferior but hey, at least I got a degree! In the end, what really matters at the end of 4 years is that I made the best of my university life. Here’s a little takeaway, remember to be contented, be happy and in all things, give thanks to the Lord.

A part of me ain’t exactly looking forward to back to school due to the fact that everyone would be back to the real world; caught up with themselves and their books coupled with the fact that that there are quite a few math-related mods to clear still. Plus, I haven't even gotten any textbooks (actually most of the time, I don't buy them unless it's openbook test) or even more jialat, don't know where my classes are (normally i'll just call friend on that day itself). I bet everyone else is prepared for school, some even started mugging during rehearsals. Ohwells, anyways I foresee that it’ll be an extremely hectic semester with 5mods & never-ending upcoming activities I'm planning: UniVanzaar, Freshmen Bash, ACF Awards Night, etc; then again, what’s new right! Just gonna do my best, be a salt & light to shine for God!
Real Faith for the Real World!
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So should you choose SMU? I can’t guarantee that your university life would be interesting but if you’re game to try new things and dare to be different, then SMU is likely to be your cup of tea! At SMU, we are incorporate to be different and there's always something magical about the school and its awesome students.
oh, and you can see me in school too!
Hope you had a Happy Summer 2013!
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Wishing you all the best till Graduation,
Your fellow SMUGGER

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous8/22/2013

    an opinion from a fellow smu student: great piece! though i disagree with you on one part, the part on choosing your course or mods to give yourself an easier life.

    for me right now, it seems i'm doing the exact opposite. i enrolled into social sciences with the mentality of learning more about the world and the interactions between people and society. (i was a science student up to JC) the road has not been easy (my gpa isnt great) but i still choose to stay on this path. every sem i look forward to taking all kinds of mods that are on offer: world politics, social stratification, chinese philosophy, social networks. my mods never fail to excite me before the beginning of each sem.

    education should not be dry and boring, and it should never be the case where one takes easier or simpler mods just to get a better grade. as you have highlighted, the world is out there to explore, and that should be the case your learning and education should be.. try something new with the books, you never know how much a time of excitement awaits you. :)

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