Finding my footing on Campus

February 19, 2018

in Academic Year 2017-2018, Olivia Smith, Singapore, Spring 2018

Transitioning from school life in the states to school life at NUS was much smoother than expected. I’m not sure if it is because of the familiarity of dorm life that I’ve grown so accustomed to in states or just myself trusting the process with more confidence than the first time around. I approached tasks day to day, to avoid feeling too overwhelmed here. I give sizeable credit to my smooth transition to the welcoming environment living on campus cultivates for local and non- local students. I live in Residential College 4 in University Town, which is an educational hub that provides residences, study and food facilities. It’s the newest edition to the university so it’s quite the popular spot on campus. I stay in a 6 single bed room suite. My roommates have been so sweet! They showed me around campus, suggested some great eating places, and are constantly feeding my snack addiction by introducing me to some local snacks. One my roommates, Li Shan, even sat down with me to help plan out things for me to do in Singapore for the next 3 months. She even surprised me by taking me to one of the places on the list. We went to Haji Lane, which is a very popular street spot known for its colorful building and murals. It just little things like this that has made my stay feeling more like home.  The rooms are quite spacious, which I was so surprised about. In my mind, I kept thinking about my dorm experience at Witte, reminded of why it was the last time I ever stayed in a dorm.  Nonetheless, here it’s such different atmosphere. Every three floors is considered a house; I’m on the fifth floor which is in the House of Aquila. In addition, each “house” has a professor who stays on the floor. It was different to say to least, but I live in a majority freshman dorm, so the professor addition is to help students with navigating campus and just someone to talk to about academic and nonacademic problems.  The residences also host plays, dance productions, coffee club, cooking club and list goes on and on. These clubs and events are in every residence in University town!

My roommate Lishan and I in the middle of Haji Lane

Haji Lane

The residents always has some sort event going on that allows exchangers to get involved.  So when I saw that my residents was recruiting players for the volleyball team to compete in the Inter-College Games, I knew I wanted to join! Although, I haven’t played competitively in about 4 years and was beyond rusty, it was just great way for me to meet locals and play a sport that I love.  What a great decision it was too! The group was beyond fun, savage, and welcoming.  Practice was sometimes grueling 3 hours blocks, but I had so much fun that time seem to fly by so fast. I was able to open up and be myself so easily because of how welcoming they were. At times I didn’t feel like an exchanger. Then there were times when they spoke Singlish, which brought be back to reality.  Most of the squad had very little volleyball experience, so we went into the games with expectation of just playing our hearts out and most importantly have fun. Which I think we did just that. Although the games ended, I decided to join a recreational volleyball team to continue on playing. Some of the volleyball squad also participate, so it nice seeing familiar faces. I guess the phrase “Ball is life” can finally apply to me!

Residential College 4 Volleyball team 2018

Someone probably said something shady or cracked a joke.

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