Young, Wild, And Free!

 

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Congratulations! You’re finally liberated from the shackles of education – at least for the next few months or so. But hey, who’s counting?

Whether you’re a JC student who’s barely made it out of the tortuous A-level journey alive, an IB student who can finally kiss EE goodbye forever, or a poly student who hasn’t the slightest clue if you want to follow through with your course, you deserve a huge pat on the back and the best break of your life.

To squeeze all you can out of this long break, we’ve come up with 32 fun-filled things you have to do before you hit the books again. It’s the only time you’ll ever have such a long, mandatory break, so be sure to make it one big adventure!

 

1. Movie marathon

 

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Now’s the best time to catch up on all the movies you’ve missed as a child, and to rewatch all the movies you loved. With so much time in your hands, there’s no more excuse for you not to know the difference between Dobby and Yoda, or be well-versed in all 492 Disney movies.

Recommended movie marathons:

  • Harry Potter
  • Star Wars
  • X-Men
  • Marvel
  • Disney
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Back to the Future
  • Indiana Jones
  • Star Trek
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Chick Flick Marathon

The list is not exhaustive, and it’s up to you to source for more great movie series to get hooked on!

 

2. Cafe Hop

 

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Gone are the days where you go to cafes for the sole purpose of studying. Now that studying has been brought to a temporary standstill, it’s time you immerse yourself in our cafe culture and cafe hop purely to enjoy the food, ambience and good company.

If you haven’t a clue where to start, you can check out these 33 ultra unique themed cafes, or 45 cafes in Singapore to visit at least once in your life.

 

3. Go on an adventure with friends

 

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You’re young enough to have endless fun, yet old enough for your parents to trust you to travel without them. When else to travel with your crazy friends but now?

Travelling with your friends rids you of many boundaries. You no longer have to worry that your mom hates hiking or that your dad couldn’t care less about Disneyland. With your friends, you are game for anything and you’ll end up doing things you never thought you’d do.

My trip to Chiang Mai for Songkran with my friends was one of the craziest adventures I’ve ever had, and we did everything from bungee jumping to trying raw pig’s blood soup. If you haven’t gone on a trip with your friends, it’s time to start planning one!

 

4. Revamp Your Room

 

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How many times have you promised your mom you’d clean your room, but it’s still a huge mess? It’s time you do both your mom and yourself a favour by not only cleaning it up, but giving it a full revamp!

Your bedroom should be the the place where you find solace and comfort – so get your walls a new coat of paint, buy some decorations, and fill your room with thingamabobs that are truly and uniquely you.

Here are a few decor ideas to suit different styles:

a) The Beach Bum

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b) The Minimalist

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c) he Rocker

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5. Revamp Your Wardrobe

 

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After you’ve revamped your room, why stop there? Clean out and revamp your wardrobe as well and you’ll be on a roll!

Dig out all the clothes you no longer wear, and organise them according to those you wish to donate and those you want to sell. Donations can be dropped off at Salvation Army donation bins or donated straight to organisations and charities of your choice, while you can put your clothes up for sale at flea markets and on Carousell.

 

6. Pick Up A New Instrument

 

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If you’ve always dreamed of drumming to your favourite song, creating that eargasmic riff on the electric guitar or playing the sexy saxophone, do it now! There are tons of tutorials on YouTube, and if you’re more serious about it, you can sign up for lessons at music schools like Thunder Rock and Play by Ear.

Once you’ve started, stick to it. The feeling of accomplishment once you’ve learned to play your favourite song will make all that time and effort worth it.

 

7. Draw Up A Booklist

 

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If you’re a bookworm like me, drawing up a booklist is a great way to keep track of the pile of books you’re dying to read. Use this time to be adventurous and venture into genres you never thought you’d like. You might be pleasantly surprised.

For those who aren’t into reading, maybe it’s time you enter this magical world. Not only does reading make you more knowledgeable, it can bring your fantasies to life.

If you don’t know what books to start with, here’s a list of recommended readings:

  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • Looking For Alaska by John Green
  • The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver
 

8. Get An Internship

 

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Use your break to gain some work experience in an established firm or the government sector. You’ll be able to earn some cash, get a glimpse of what the working world is truly like, and maybe even find your calling!

Even if your internship only requires you to do admin work, use this chance to be inquisitive and proactive. Find out more about operations and how things work in the office, especially if you’re interested in joining the firm as a full-timer after uni.

You can browse through a long list of available internships on InternSG. Or read through what life is like at an intern at TheSmartLocal.

 

9. Have A Part-time Job

 

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If you’ve never had to go through the backbreaking work required of the F&B, retail or any other service-oriented industry, your teenage experience is yet to be complete.

It might not be as intellectually challenging as some internships, but working in retail and F&B exposes you to all different kinds of people. You will come across many customers who are just impossible to handle, but that’s when you’ll be able to learn and grow the most.

 

10. Help the needy

 

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Put your time to good use by reaching out to the community. You have all the time in the world now, so invest make someone else’s day a little better. To aid you in your search for volunteer opportunities, we have come up with a list of 36 places to volunteer at in Singapore.

Find a cause you strongly believe in or an interest group you’d really like to help, and offer your time and to make a difference. Some employers like to see volunteer experience as well, so if you’re lucky, your good deeds may earn you a job in the future too.

 

11. Volunteer Overseas

 

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“Voluntourism” is a contentious subject these days, with critics claiming it does more harm than good to the communities the volunteers are supposed to be helping. But as long as you’re well-informed and hook up with the right organisations, volunteering overseas will empower both you and the community overseas. Do your research, and read articles such as how to ethically volunteer anywhere in the world.

Volunteering overseas is an eye-opening experience that you’ll keep close to your heart for life. The plight of many in other countries is incomparable to even the poorest in Singapore, and that will push you to make a change.

 

12. Party In A Club

 

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If you’re already a party animal, just skip to the next point. For those who’ve never stepped foot into a club before, be sure to experience it at least once before uni starts! There’s a high chance you’ll end up going after entering uni, so get a little headstart.

Clubbing may not be for everyone, but you’ll never know till you try. Just remember to go with your trusted friends, not overdrink, and just let your hair down and have fun!

 

13. Organise A Chalet Barbeque Party

 

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This brings us back to our early years of secondary school, when we’d often have class chalets at Aloha Changi or Aloha Loyang. Though it’s only been a few years, it feels as if it all happened such a long time ago.

Relive the good old days and gather your ex-classmates for a chalet barbeque party. It’ll be a great way to catch up, and you can do all the fun and crazy stuff you used to do together like cycle for 6 hours straight through the night.

 

14. Get A New Hair Colour

 

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Now’s the best time to go a little crazy and experiment with your hair. It’s the first time you can have a ‘BOOMZ’ colour and not be subject to a discipline master’s wrath or a boss’ judgemental stare.

Contemplate no more and just go for it!

 

15. Explore Singapore’s Best Hidden Gems

 

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Singapore has many hidden gems that are just waiting to be explored. It’s time we stop lamenting that there’s nothing to do in Singapore, and drag our bums off the couch to seek out what lesser-known joys our island has to offer.

To aid you in your exploration of Singapore, we have numerous helpful guides to hidden gems such as The Projector, Lorong Buangkok, Sisters Islands, Bollywood Veggies and Bukit Brown Cemetery to name a few. You can also explore the 10 hidden farms in Singapore and 10 forgotten Singapore islands to explore.

 

16. Face Your Fears

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_image01_20150608-014419_1.jpg“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it” – Nelson Mandela

Think about your deepest, darkest fear. Be it a fear of heights, spiders, public speaking, clowns or the dark, now’s the time to muster your courage and face it.

Facing your fear does not necessarily mean getting over it – I know that I’ll be terrified of clowns for the rest of my life. What counts is that you put yourself in the situation where fear and terror chills every last bone in your body, but you’re brave enough to go through with it anyway.

In the end, it’ll be a wondrous and fulfilling moment of personal growth that you’ll take with you to uni with pride.

 

17. Rough It Out

 

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It’s incredible, the things you learn and experiences you gain from leaving the comforts of home and roughing it out.

Before uni starts, go on an adventure that tests your mental strength. Whether it’s staying in a relative’s kampong hut in Malaysia, hiking up to the hill tribes of Thailand, backpacking across Europe from one dingy budget hostel to the next, or simply setting up camp by East Coast Beach, there are many ways to step out of your comfort zone for an experience of a lifetime. All you have to do is take chances and embrace whatever comes your way with an open mind.

 

18. Attend A Festival. Any Festival.

 

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Whether it’s a music festival or a cultural festival, losing yourself in the spirit of festivity is a pre-uni must.

I’d recommend festivals that are more cultural in nature, as your eyes will be opened to the world and how different people celebrate life and heritage. You can check out our list of 13 greatest festivals in Asia to party at in your lifetime.

If you’re homebound, here are some festivals in Singapore that you can’t miss!

  • Dragon Boat Festival, June
  • Singapore Food Festival, July
  • Singapore Night Festival, August
  • Grand Prix Season, September
  • ZoukOut, December

For more information on our local festivals, visit YourSingapore.

 

19. Try A New Sport

 

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Even if it’s just something simple like rollerblading, if you’ve always wanted to try a sport but never had the time to, this is the best time for it.

Trying out a new sport may spark a new passion within you. You may discover your forte for throwing a frisbee, balancing on a surfboard or scaling a rock climbing wall, and you’ll have a better idea of what sports groups you may want to join in uni. Here’s our experience with stand-up paddling in Singapore.

 

20. Start Living A Healthy Lifestyle

 

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How many times have you poked and glared at that pudge in your stomach, ever-determined to get rid of it, only to be munching on chocolate cake the next minute?

Most of us have been there and done that, so now’s the time to pull yourself out of this conundrum by strengthening your willpower and injecting some self-discipline into your life.

Cut down the junk food, add more greens to your diet, take up yoga and pilates, and embrace the lifestyle of a health nut. It’s not going to be easy and results are going to take some time, but that bangin’ body that’ll come eventually is going to make everything worth it!

 

21. Get Your Driver’s License

 

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Just imagine yourself at the wheel, cruising down a coastal highway with the wind ruffling through your hair and sea salt kissing your lips. Sounds like a fantasy, but it can turn into reality once you have your driver’s license!

With a license, you can finally go on that road trip with your friends you’ve always been dreaming of. It’s better to get your license now that you have the time, rather than to keep putting your dream trip off.

 

22. Get Hooked On A TV Series

 

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There are so many amazing and addictive TV series out there for you to discover! Now’s a great time to fall deep into the black hole of American sitcoms, Korean dramas, and British sci-fi series.

Once you fall in, it’ll be nearly impossible to get out. But one thing’s for sure, you’re going to love every single second of being embroiled in the story.

Here are some TV series that had me and some of the TSL team completely hooked! 

  • Sherlock
  • Doctor Who
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Game of Thrones
  • F.R.I.E.N.D.S
  • Breaking Bad
  • Arrested Development
  • 90210
  • Supernatural
 

23. Work And Travel

 

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Work and travel programs are available everywhere. They allow you to live and work in the country of your choice for extended periods, and you’ll get to meet fellow participants from all over the world.

It may be a foreign concept to many Singaporeans, but it’s actually very doable. There are many work and travel programs in Australia, New Zealand and the US which you can easily sign up for online on sites such as STA Travel Singapore and Immigration New Zealand.

Not only will it be an immersive experience, it’s a smart way to fund your travels as well!

 

24. Do Something Sweet And Unexpected For Your Loved Ones

 

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This bucket list activity was inspired by a very sweet friend, who wrote long and beautiful letters to the whole class and sent it to us via snail mail. The sincerity of a handwritten letter is so tangible, and such a sweet and unexpected gesture made my entire day.

Use this break to tell your family and friends how much they mean to you by going the extra mile. Be it a simple handwritten note, baking a cake, putting together a scrapbook of memories, or getting them a thoughtful gift, there are endless ways to say I love you with a mini surprise.

 

25. Purge Yourself Of Electronics For A Day

 

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Choose a day to leave your phones, tablets, laptops and iPods at home and go out and enjoy what life has to offer. Yes, even your iPod.

Take it up a notch and have all your friends do the same as well! You’ll finally enjoy the full company of one another without getting distracted and bogged by the need to update social media.

It’ll be a refreshing change, doing things the old school way such as setting a time and exact location to meet, and not having to care if anyone’s trying to reach you all the time. Learn to live in the moment!

 

26. Catch A Local Gig

 

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The local music scene is getting more impressive by the day, and you should get yourself well acquainted with some of our local bands. There’s some incredible talent in Singapore just waiting to hit the big time!

Here’s a list of some up and coming local talents to keep your eyes peeled for. Also check out our article on 50 years of Singapore music.

 

27. Go Snorkelling

 

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If you’ve never swum among coral gardens and millions of colourful fish, you’re missing out on a whole lot of life.

The world under the sea is breathtaking and magical. You may not be able to check this bucket list activity off in Singapore, but there are many affordable holiday options to nearby islands!

Some of the clearest waters and most diverse marine life can be found in Bali, Phuket, Redang Island and Boracay. So take the plunge into the crystal clear ocean, and I guarantee you’ll fall as deeply in love with the sea as I did.

 

28. Go Skiing

 

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If you have the means, skiing down a snowy mountain is a bucket list activity you need to check off before uni!

The exhilarating thrill of zipping down a blanket of powdery white snow, feeling the icy winds against your skin as you admire the magnificent views of mountains and valleys all around – it’s a wondrous sensation.

You don’t have to travel all the way to the Swiss Alps to hit the slopes. Some of the world’s best ski resorts can be found here in Asia in Japan, Korea, China and the Himalayas.

 

29. Take A Hike

 

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Hiking will always be a fun-filled adventure, and you get great exercise too! Savouring the stunning views along the way can also be extremely therapeutic and healthy for the soul.

For the more adventurous, go on a hiking trip with fellow thrill-seekers this break. Hike through a rugged forest trail, hike up an active volcano, or maybe even scale a mountain if you’re up for it!

Here are some great hiking trails in neighbouring countries you can’t miss:

  • Mount Batur, Bali
  • Mount Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu
  • Gunung Rinjani, Lombok
  • Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal
  • MacLehose Trail, New Territories, Hong Kong
  • Hilltribe Trekking, Chiang Mai
  • 100 Waterfalls Trek, Laos
  • Inle Lake, Myanmar

You can also read about how we scaled the most terrifying trail in the world at Mount Huashan, Xi’an

b2ap3_thumbnail_image17_20150608-043229_1.jpgIf you’re planning on staying home, there are many local hiking trails for you as well. Read our MacRitchie TreeTop Walk Guide and Sungei Buloh Guide for some inspiration.

Here are some other local hiking trails to spend a fruitful morning trudging through. 

  • Bukit Timah Hill and Nature Reserve
  • Labrador Nature Reserve
  • Pulau Ubin
  • Changi Boardwalk
  • Pasir Ris Mangrove Boardwalk
  • Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail
 

30. Pick Up A Cool Hobby

 

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Whether you’re a music lover, Marvel fanatic, animal lover or sports junkie, there’s a way to take your passion to a deeper level.

For the Marvel fanatic, take this time to start a comic book collection and explore different publishers. If you love animals, horseback riding and birdwatching may appeal to you. For those who like to work their brains, sudoku and crossword puzzles may just be your thing, and for the more active ones, you can always try breakdancing or kickboxing.

My love for old music pushed me to start vinyl collecting, and it’s an investment I’ve never once regretted. Though niche hobbies will burn a huge hole in your pockets, It’s all worth it if it’s for something you love.

 

31. Indulge In A Cuisine You’ve Never Tried

 

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Most Singaporeans are foodies by nature, but no matter how much food you’ve tasted, there will always be a cuisine you’ve yet to try.

Give your tastebuds an adventure by trying out new and exotic cuisines. It may take a little bit of getting used to, especially if you dive straight into the exotic spices of Middle Eastern food. However, once it grows on you, you might just find your new favourite cuisine.

Here are some interesting cuisines you can find in Singapore that are sure to guarantee an interesting dining experience. 

  • Persian food
  • Lebanese food
  • Tibetan food
  • Mexican food
  • Mediterranean food
  • African food
  • Mongolian BBQ
  • Portuguese food
  • Spanish food
 

32. Spend Some Time With Yourself

 

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Amidst the exciting flurry of catching up with old friends, making new ones, spending time with family and running from place to place trying to check off bucket list activities, be sure to save some time for yourself. Yes, just you alone.

The thought of going out for a meal alone, watching a movie alone, or even taking a long stroll alone may be daunting to some people, but many don’t realise how therapeutic it can be. Once you get past the fear of people judging you for being ‘lonely’, you’ll reach a new level of confidence that’s going to shine through.

The more time you spend with yourself, the more you get to know what kind of person you are and the kind of changes you want to make in your life.

Find comfort in being with just you alone, and you’ll be surprised at how much more you’ll discover about yourself.

 

The Break of A Lifetime

 

With all these fun and enriching ideas on what to do this wonderfully long break, you’re in for the time of your life! Take this time to learn and grow, and most importantly, be sure to squeeze as much fun as you can out of everything you do.

If you have any more ideas for what to do before uni starts, be sure to share them with us in the comments below!

 

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