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A freshman's guide to the University

07 August 2012

(From left) NUS Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and Provost Prof Tan Eng Chye, NUS President Prof Tan and Yu Qian sharing a light moment

The NUS Choir (front row) was one of the student groups which performed at the ceremony

Move beyond the survival mindset, develop an inquiring mind to ask the right questions and contribute to the increasing sophistication of the NUS community. NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan gave this advice to the incoming batch of students at the Freshmen Inauguration Ceremony (FIC) on 6 August.

Held at the start of each academic year, the FIC officially welcomes newly matriculated students to the University, as well as introduces them to the University's senior management, school administrators and student leaders.

Drawing from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Prof Tan shared his thoughts on the book's three phases of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication in the context of NUS.

Citing the example of Christel Quek, Prof Tan said that she successfully challenged herself to try different things. While she is a Geography student, her interest in social media has led her to her current position as Global Manager of Social Marketing at Havas Media, the fifth largest communications group worldwide. Putting her writing skills to good use, she pens articles for the Huffington Post and SingTel Innovation Exchange.

On sophistication whereby the campus diversity offers a rich learning and social environment, the volunteer-driven non-profit community Ground-Up Initiative is a prime example. Managed by Engineering alumni and University Scholars Programme students, the group set up a sustainable living kampong or village at Bottle Tree Park in Singapore to promote environmental awareness.

Before leading the freshmen through the University Pledge, NUS Students' Union President Ang Yu Qian urged students to "seize opportunities, challenge conventions and build memories".

During the lively FIC, the freshmen caught a flavour of the vibrant arts scene on campus through the entertaining performances from NUS' Jazzband, Dance Blast, Choir, Salsa, Resonance and BreakiNUS.