On the 21st and 27th of august, our Big Brother Big Sister Programme together with the Secondary school students part of the Sailing and Sustainability Programme were given the opportunity to visit NTU as part of the second Phase of the camp. Here’s what our organiser, Chee Yi Ren (NTU Undergraduate – Philosophy) of the visit on both days has to say about his experience:

It was the first week of Year 3, Semester 1 of being an undergrad in NTU. First week of semesters usually involve running around the campus trying to attend first lectures and tutorials of classes. However, this first week was different. I was organising a visit to NTU for secondary shool students as part of BBBS SSP 2018 Phase 2.

Students led by BBBS member, Yi Ren on a tour around some hotspots in NTU’s Campus.

The visit was meant to last from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. At 2.30pm one of the four schools reached NTU and I had to pick them up. Being a student in NTU for 2 years had made me forget how difficult it was to navigate the campus if you are not a student or staff. It took awhile but I managed to bring all the schools into the designated lecture theatre.

The program began with a talk from Yvonne who is not only an adult mentor of BBBS but also the career counsellor in Nanyang Business School. Her talk delivered the message that it is possible for the secondary school students to get into university and the fun of being part of NTU. It captivated the attention of the students who in turn asked a series of questions; including silly ones such as “do I have to do well in my mother tongue to get into university?”. It sounded silly to me and perhaps many of the grown ups but it shows their concerns. This creates an opportunity to answer all these queries that they have and really assure them that university is really achievable. Yvonne also shared how one can take up many scholarships and affordable loans to fund their tertiary education. This gave the students for lesser privileged backgrounds hope that admission to university after their Pre-University education is possible.

 Ms Yvonne speaking to the students from secondary schools part of SSP 2018.

The talk was then continued by Uncle Jevan who talked about his personal story of getting into university – telling the students again that an university education is important and at the same time really really possible.

Uncle Jevan speaking to students from secondary schools part of SSP 2018.

After the talk, the tour around NTU campus began. I designed the tour route to be really simple so that my other volunteer guides can focus on talking about the place of interests rather than navigating the maze like campus. I myself took a tour too. I was bombarded with questions regarding university and I tried really hard to explain to them how university works. It was really fun to see their amazed faces when I told them “no, there is no detention in university”.We took them around the campus and showed them some of the hotspots of the university .

                    

Students led by BBBS volunteers on a tour around some hotspots in NTU’s Campus.

At the end of the whole event, I was enlightened by Uncle Jevan that the whole point of the visit was not about the actual visit. This visit was meant to let the secondary school students interact with university students to show them that we are really just older versions of themselves. To show them that ordinary people can become “extraordinary”. The moment they start getting comfortable with us and play a fool with us, shows that they start seeing us as them.

All in all, I believe we have achieved the intented purpose of the visit and it ended smoothly. As such, I would like to be involved in future visits and perhaps try to even make it better.