my dad called me a few weeks ago while i was on the train. he asked me why i’d turned down a scholarship for a double degree in law and business. “they have to pay me a lot more than that to stay on this stupid island for five years!!!!”, I raged, then cringed when heads turned.
NUS Law’s welcome tea session was held last week. the campus is beautiful. (unlike the main one at kent ridge.) pretty quadrangles and neoclassical, colonial-era architecture. right next to the botanic gardens, its strangely tranquil. or perhaps that’s just me thinking any appearance of serenity in this country unexpected.
the grass is always greener on the other side? no, we have fat green grass, but not on farms, and no cows.
everyone was impressed by how eloquent and charismatic the Dean was. the vice-dean, too; law academic and high-fashion photographer? talk about multi-talented…
but the student presenters were a different story.
ive always wanted to be able to express myself well, articulate my thoughts in a coherent manner - not like i currently do. the welcome tea convinced me that NUS Law is not where i will learn that life skill. (there have been numerous prior events leading me to that conclusion, this was just the last straw.)
why is it so prestigious? not that misplaced prestige is uncommon phenomena, but.. most people i know who were accepted didn’t get straight As. oh wait. i don’t know anyone who was rejected at all.
well. it was a lovely afternoon! chocolate eclairs aside, i met an old friend who was also
there for the food and equally unimpressed with NUS headed for UCL. finally! someone I know and like in the same cohort. we’ll watch cheap musicals and travel europe and graduate with first-class honours together! *confetti*
it helped that an NUS prof we spoke to said it would be alright choosing to study Law at Oxbridge, LSE or UCL, over NUS. so I went ahead to apply for expensive accommodation and dreamed of unmelting half the world away. set aside all doubt at last, no more hesitation. no more agonizing over the cost, or potentially lost opportunities, or people saying only dumb kids who can’t get into local universities go overseas.
until SMU offered me a heck lot of money to study here, then all the insecurities came flooding back. four years, no strings attached, so the opportunity cost of me going to london is now ridiculously high.
after all in the legal industry, firms would prefer graduates trained purely in local law. having spoken to senior lawyers - seems like they don’t see much difference between NUS or SMU grads, except perhaps that the latter tends to be more eloquent.
“it’s SMU. problem solved,” one friend said. (said friend is headed for cambridge)
another friend was a lot more explicit in her disapproval.
i don’t know. UCL promises an entirely different life. one i hoped would help me figure out what i want. pretend my parents aren’t always at each others’ throats, think with a clearer head. stop being so bored of everything, miserable for no reason, with nothing to look forward to…
SMU is the logical, practical choice, and i am neither logical nor practical.
either way i’ll end up where most people hopefully aren’t stupidly arrogant (how can they be? when largely filled with oxbridge and nus rejects, respectively.)