Lim Shi Min

Year 1, Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies

NUS Global Merit Scholar

Why did you choose to study at NUS and why the interest in nursing?

I wanted a university close to home as I am a rather family-oriented person. Of all the local universities, NUS was the most attractive as I really liked the inclusive, welcoming and vibrant school culture. My first visit to the university was when I got the opportunity to tour one of the residential colleges and I immediately developed a liking for this place. My second visit reaffirmed my decision to study at NUS, and that was during the open house. The place was jumping with vibrancy, altogether so welcoming and encompassing. I could really see myself learning, growing and developing as a person in this nurturing environment. Working in the healthcare sector has always been my passion. Personally, I feel that I am someone who enjoys the company of people and caring for others. Contrary to popular belief, nursing is not a career where nurses only help patients to maintain their personal hygiene and merely serve as doctors’ assistants. The role of a nurse is far larger than these perceptions. Nurses are the ones standing by the patients, providing physical, emotional and mental support, and providing them with a holistic form of care for the patients. I feel that nursing is too much of an underrated job and the public is still entrenched in the mindset that nursing is not a desirable career option. I chose nursing because other than being a patient advocate, I also want to become the nurses’ advocate, promoting nursing as a career. I want to show that nursing encompasses so much more than one can ever imagine.

 

Tell us more about the NUS Global Merit Scholarship and how it has assisted you?

Receiving the Global Merit Scholarship has been an incredible yet humbling experience. I took up this offer without hesitation because of its bond-free nature. It provides the scholar with so many opportunities to grow as an individual and it does not restrict you in terms of the type of activities and programmes you want to join. This scholarship allows me to fully utilise my undergraduate years to explore all the opportunities available for nursing degree holders before I finally set my sights on what I truly want to do, and where I want to be. The scholarship also helps to ease my financial worries.

 

How has NUS helped in your overall development?

There are so many programmes that NUS offers which are outside of our undergraduate courses that sometimes I am overwhelmed! I strongly believe that learning should not only take place in the auditorium or tutorial room; rather, it should occur every minute, every second of our lives. As long as there’s an opportunity to learn something new, seize it. The programmes offered by my school alone, regardless if it’s student-initiated or faculty-led, have all been so attractive. Most of the programmes are centered around community service (because in medical school it is about the heart of giving) and those I joined really helped in shaping me to become someone who can empathise more and feel for others. Empathy does not come easy, because we would tend to sympathise with others rather than put ourselves in their shoes and see from their perspectives. These programmes taught me things I would never have learnt in school, and I feel that together with the nursing skills I have picked up, they will really shape me to become a better nurse, a nurse with both “hard” and “heart” skills.

 

Have you been inspired by any faculty member during your time here in the university?

Indeed I have, even though it is only the first semester! I have met some amazing lecturers during my first semester at university. One of them is Dr Shefaly Shorey. She has been such an encouraging and inspiring role model. Her enthusiasm and constant desire to learn really motivates me to adopt a positive outlook in life and keep alive the spirit of learning. One day, I hope to become a nurse researcher and also take on the role of educating nursing students, to be proud of the work they are doing. Hopefully I will get to see the day when nursing becomes a respected and recognised profession.

 

Do you stay on campus? If so, which hall?
What do you like about living on campus?

Yes I do! I am currently staying at Tembusu College! It is such an incredible and amazing place to live in. Convenience aside, staying in a residential college enables me to learn so much everyday. My favourite part of staying in Tembusu is attending the tea sessions organised. Every week, there is a talk on an area of interest and often, renowned speakers will be invited to share their thoughts and experiences on their area of specialty.

 

 

These tea sessions have served to broaden my perspective of things and some have even challenged my worldview. Perhaps the things we perceived to be true might not be true after all. I feel that there is no way that every one of us will get to experience everything in a single lifetime, and it is good to be able to hear from others, to share their experiences, thus I particularly enjoy these tea sessions. Also, I enjoy the company of my friends living here, especially the conversations we have. They range from simple and comforting, to thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating. There is never a day wasted living in Tembusu.

 

What are some of the activities you took part in during your time in NUS?

As I am only in my first semester of study, the activities I am currently involved in may not be as comprehensive. Nonetheless, I enjoy everything that I am currently doing. In my faculty, I participated in several community programmes such as being a supervisor for the Public Health Service, where we went down to Clementi to conduct free health screening for the public. I also volunteered in the ‘We Will Dance’ dance marathon that was jointly organised by the University Scholars Programme and in which I had a chance to help out. I am also part of the Rotaract Club in NUS, where I head down to a community centre to conduct weekly reading activities for the kids to promote good reading habits. In my college, I am part of two interest groups, namely Urban Gardeners, which comprise nature enthusiasts, and Yarn and Doodles, where we gather to do art and craft activities. I am also in the midst of preparing to start a new interest group next semester!

 

How do you juggle your university commitments with your other commitments?

I think striking a balance between both is important. As a student, I have a responsibility to do well academically so as to fully maximise my university education. At the same time, I am also obliged to take charge of my other university commitments since I was the one who expressed interest in the first place. Time management is essential in achieving a good balance of both. I guess it helps to have a weekly schedule so as to better keep track of things, as it may get quite busy at times!

 

What advice will you give to prospective students?
Don’t jump to sign an offer letter so soon, just because the benefits are really attractive. Evaluate your options and prioritise what matters to you most. Ultimately, it lies in your own interest and how you envision yourself to be in 10 or 20 years’ time. Always be open-minded when deciding on a university to study at and if you are lucky enough, your scholarship offers, because in the end you will be the one living your decision.