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Thread: Gap Years (Gappers)

  1. #1
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    Default Gap Years (Gappers)

    I read this excerpt in The Straits Times today and it infuriated me greatly.

    "It may not be a coincidence that all the gappers quoted in The Straits Times report are young women. Males have to go for full-time national service. The NS years, are in effect, valuable gap years."

    Did the author write this paragraph in jest? I hope she did because it sounds like a joke.

    By taking a gap year, pre-undergraduates are able to take part in activities which might either
    1. Broaden their perspective
    2. Increase their work and company related knowledge
    3. Help some unfortunate village in another country
    4. Improve their CV
    5. Take a break from their studies and find their passion

    In all honesty, the concept of a gap year is great and I would love to do it too.



    --

    Is grovelling to a uneducated Sergeant who probably has had less education than you for two years considered helpful in any reasonable sense?

    Is following every single order without question a valued attribute in this era?
    (though no doubt, following orders without question is a necessity during war. So herein lies a conundrum)

    Is the sad but necessary process of learning how to "keng" of any use in the real world?
    (we all know the quote act blur, live longer)

    Will going to Taiwan/Thailand/India for exercises broaden our perspective in any real way as compared to a charity trip to the same places?
    (you know what we do when we're overseas)

    --

    My point being, NS does not in any way, act as a gap year.

    In fact it is the very existence of NS that guys in Singapore are unable to take gap years as we are already 2 years behind our female counterparts.

    And in this calculative society the Singapore government has created, every year counts.

    So get your facts right Straits Times.

    --

    Sorry, I just needed to rant. haha.
    Last edited by Clown; 30th June 2009 at 09:04 AM. Reason: removed offending remarks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Gap Years (Gappers)

    Sad to hear guys who deem their NSF period as a waste of time. Mine was fruitful and it served me well even when I'm still currently in Uni.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Gap Years (Gappers)

    Quote Originally Posted by germ_boi View Post
    I read this excerpt in The Straits Times today and it infuriated me greatly.

    "It may not be a coincidence that all the gappers quoted in The Straits Times report are young women. Males have to go for full-time national service. The NS years, are in effect, valuable gap years."

    Did the author write this paragraph in jest? I hope she did because it sounds like a joke.

    By taking a gap year, pre-undergraduates are able to take part in activities which might either
    1. Broaden their perspective
    2. Increase their work and company related knowledge
    3. Help some unfortunate village in another country
    4. Improve their CV
    5. Take a break from their studies and find their passion

    In all honesty, the concept of a gap year is great and I would love to do it too.



    --

    Is grovelling to a uneducated Sergeant who probably has had less education than you for two years considered helpful in any reasonable sense?

    Is following every single order without question a valued attribute in this era?
    (though no doubt, following orders without question is a necessity during war. So herein lies a conundrum)

    Is the sad but necessary process of learning how to "keng" of any use in the real world?
    (we all know the quote act blur, live longer)

    Will going to Taiwan/Thailand/India for exercises broaden our perspective in any real way as compared to a charity trip to the same places?
    (you know what we do when we're overseas)

    --

    My point being, NS does not in any way, act as a gap year.

    In fact it is the very existence of NS that guys in Singapore are unable to take gap years as we are already 2 years behind our female counterparts.

    And in this calculative society the Singapore government has created, every year counts.

    So get your facts right Straits Times.

    --

    Sorry, I just needed to rant. haha.
    Frankly ... i think you are just ranting for the sake of ranting ...

    I do not know which stage of life you are in at the moment ... but your perspective of things are really way off ... and you are not looking at the whole picture but just a small cross-section of your life at this stage compared to your female counter-part that are of the same age.

    1) NS is indeed a very valuable experience that could help you later when you come out to work. The networking that you make in NS will always be stronger than any gap year networking .... So i truely don't understand why you are so negative in your views towards NS.

    2) BTW who says that gap year has to be done pre-undergraduates? I work in an organisation that does gap-year placements and there are so many professional the are taking gap year now ... These are people who have a few years of working experience and want to take a re-look at their life ... Believe me ... a gap year at this stage of their life will help them more than a pre-undergraduate gap year.

    3) Talking about financials ... after serving your 2 years in NS , you get a lifetime of tax rebates ... What does your female counterpart have after a gap year ... ?

    There are so many more things to talk about ... But i think you are just looking within your small slice of NOW ... and not what is beyond.
    Last edited by Clown; 30th June 2009 at 09:04 AM. Reason: removed offending remarks
    Touch the Moments ... Hold the colours of Joy

  4. #4

    Default Re: Gap Years (Gappers)

    Quote Originally Posted by Long Thai Bean View Post
    3) Talking about financials ... after serving your 2 years in NS , you get a lifetime of tax rebates ... What does your female counterpart have after a gap year ... ?
    I'm not siding anyone, but base on current economic situation and with the influx of FT, do you think potential employee prefer to employ a man who need to serve reservist (maybe on average 3 weeks per year for the next few years) which will cause disruption to his work or someone who don't need to serve reservist?

    You only get your tax rebate if you can get a job.
    My 2 cents of input.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Gap Years (Gappers)

    Up for TS.

    I don't see how NS would benefit me other than the mentioned boost to my social network.

    Therefore, I have decided to keng with the aid of a tried-and-tested method and become a driver instead of slogging it out.

    IMO, NS is a waste of time for men and it WILL hurt our job prospects. What do you think would convince a HR guy to hire you? A first-class honors cert or the ability to run 3.6km with a rifle on you?

    Lastly, many NS guys lose their girlfriends while in the rural island of Tekong. Many say that if a girl can last the 2 years with you, can prepare to get married to her already.

    Is following every single order without question a valued attribute in this era?
    Definitely not. This is called being a conformist. Continued to be led on by the invisible hand!
    Last edited by Cartman2000; 29th June 2009 at 02:29 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Gap Years (Gappers)

    I got into a local university (ntu) with a crappy gpa (3.2) from a business diploma to a mass communication degree without the need for NS. How so? I showed I had drive and was actively pursuing design and photography during my polytechnic years and had a good understanding of the advertising industry even though I have never worked in there before because I read widely. There is no need for NS to secure a place in any university, local or otherwise.

    I do not think the purpose of a gap year is to get drunk or go crazy before serious studying. I find the concept of gap year enticing, because I can explore passions and perhaps work or help people overseas.

    My main point in my rant is essentially to say that NS should not be considered Gap Years as the skills gained in NS could be learnt anywhere, and not at the expense of our youth and we certainly don't need 2 years to learn these skills.

    On another level, I do feel NS is necessary for national security, but in no way should we consider national security and gap years as similar.

    Maybe I have this narrow, wayward view of Singapore or the world, but I have read widely enough, and I think I know what skills employers would value. What I have seen so far in army, is nothing special.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Gap Years (Gappers)

    seriously, i haven't been able to put my administrative skills into to use since i ord and it doesn't help especially when i don't have a relevant dip in business.
    taking part-time courses or go take up driving during that 2 years, will at least help a bit in reducing the career gaps between women of the same age...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Gap Years (Gappers)

    I think the NSF life validity as gap years is largely dependant on the type of life you led in NSF.

    For me, I was the the only 3SG in my company (lull period) and all the "sai kang" on the various specialist's roles like armskote and admin is on me. SO die die will have lots of experience and will learn lots.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Gap Years (Gappers)

    Quote Originally Posted by germ_boi View Post
    I read this excerpt in The Straits Times today and it infuriated me greatly.

    Is grovelling to a uneducated Sergeant who probably has had less education than you for two years considered helpful in any reasonable sense?
    hehe, i think you have to think twice on this one.


    Is following every single order without question a valued attribute in this era?
    (though no doubt, following orders without question is a necessity during war. So herein lies a conundrum)

    Is the sad but necessary process of learning how to "keng" of any use in the real world?
    (we all know the quote act blur, live longer)

    Will going to Taiwan/Thailand/India for exercises broaden our perspective in any real way as compared to a charity trip to the same places?
    (you know what we do when we're overseas)

    Sorry, I just needed to rant. haha.

    Let's just say going to NS, you can learn how to passively resist, and yes, how to keng. The best way, learnt by many of our FT, is to pretend not to understand the english language in the first place. During overseas exercise you can also get XMM xp but i think lately there's no rnr that will allow you to do that. Even so, it's nothing like a gap year. It's all just propaganda.

    Rant away. Only those singbots can fall for that article.
    Last edited by shojibake; 29th June 2009 at 01:21 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Gap Years (Gappers)

    couldn't help to notice that all who cited the goodness of NS claimed that it enriched them in a way,
    n 1 claimed that its essential for our national security.

    - we don't spend billions for youth enrichment programme here n
    - i will be more wary of an army thats not conscript based.

    yrs wasted that no amount of tax rebates can bring back

  11. #11

    Default Re: Gap Years (Gappers)

    Imho, NS plays a very important role in the very survival of Singapore. Remember what you cant protect is not yours.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Gap Years (Gappers)

    Gap years can be taken at any point in your life. Offhand, you'd be surprised at the positive reactions that other nationals of certain actually give upon learning that you have been in the military.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Gap Years (Gappers)

    NS played an important role in me forming new friends.

    people are so intrigued that I was an ex soldier that that in itself is a pick up line. guys find it awesome that I was a tankie, and girls find it awesome that I'm.... awesome.

    win win.

    if only the mice I work with were equally in awe of me as well.



    although that being said, Australians tend to be a little bit star eyed when you tell them that you did NS.
    Last edited by terryansimon; 29th June 2009 at 10:51 PM.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member redstone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gap Years (Gappers)

    The 2 yrs spent in NS is a waste of time and youth. We're better off spending this time pursuing further education, our interests or an employment.

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    Default Re: Gap Years (Gappers)

    Quote Originally Posted by terryansimon View Post
    NS played an important role in me forming new friends.

    people are so intrigued that I was an ex soldier that that in itself is a pick up line. guys find it awesome that I was a tankie, and girls find it awesome that I'm.... awesome.

    win win.

    if only the mice I work with were equally in awe of me as well.



    although that being said, Australians tend to be a little bit star eyed when you tell them that you did NS.
    try that in sg and you'll find that the girls here hardly even bother...is like is no big deal being a diver or cdo, to them is pretty normal for guys to serve ns...
    kinda felt like super taken for granted.

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    Default Re: Gap Years (Gappers)

    And this will degenerate into yet another argument on whether NS is worth the time or not. NS equals gap years or not is subjective to each person's experience during the two years spent. To bring this further, is having a gap year such a big deal?

    NS equals waste of time? Ha. Time is what you make it out to be. SUMO.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Gap Years (Gappers)

    NS wise, I think everybody will have their own thoughts to it, positive or negative.

    But to comment on the main point of the thread...
    To the TS, I didn't read the article on the papers but from the excerpt you quoted, it seemed to me that the writer might have meant, rephrased in my own words, "If the men didn't have to go NS, the two years could have been used as valuable gap years."

    At least that's how I understand it.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Gap Years (Gappers)

    also, whether or not singaporeans take gap years has nothing to do with ns.

    it has everything to do with mindset, blaming it on something else is just being plain silly and grabbing at air to justify your own lack of an ability to wish to break free of a mold.

    you need to talk more to people from overseas who are more than willing to just waltz off for periods of 6 months to 2 years to backpack for a bit. they didn't think, they just did it. no justification to self, they just felt like it, they did it, and they lived with their decision. no nambypambying and thinking "oh, this might affect my future" or "oh, this will result in no pay for a bit".... they just did it, and therein lies the difference.

    zilch to do with ns.
    Last edited by night86mare; 30th June 2009 at 05:19 AM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Gap Years (Gappers)

    personally, I am actual in agreement with the TS. I don't think there's much comparison because
    1. Gap year is a choice. NS is not
    2. What you do within gap year is a choice, what you do within NS is not.
    3. Just because you enjoyed NS doesn't mean everyone else does. There's no option to cut short the duration of NS, while you can do so with a gap year.

    I can understand the TS frustration. Having gender specific conscription is extremely unfair and conveys a negative message to my daughter that she gets to assumes certain privileges such as citizenship simply because of her gender. If she want singapore citizenship, i would expect her to serve NS like the males rather than spending 2 years off on some extended vacation.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Gap Years (Gappers)

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon_84 View Post
    try that in sg and you'll find that the girls here hardly even bother...is like is no big deal being a diver or cdo, to them is pretty normal for guys to serve ns...
    kinda felt like super taken for granted.
    ahahaha I suppose that is the case. but one must not rule out the possibility of being able to impress people from other countries, no? I know it sounds shallow, but... at least I got to make good friends that way. (=

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    also, whether or not singaporeans take gap years has nothing to do with ns.

    it has everything to do with mindset, blaming it on something else is just being plain silly and grabbing at air to justify your own lack of an ability to wish to break free of a mold.

    you need to talk more to people from overseas who are more than willing to just waltz off for periods of 6 months to 2 years to backpack for a bit. they didn't think, they just did it. no justification to self, they just felt like it, they did it, and they lived with their decision. no nambypambying and thinking "oh, this might affect my future" or "oh, this will result in no pay for a bit".... they just did it, and therein lies the difference.

    zilch to do with ns.
    you have to remember the concept of a gap year is something that is almost part of the national psyche of kids in other countries. in Australia, it's as common as schoolies week and getting pissed drunk. people do it regardless of whatever obstacles are placed in their way (army reserves, school, uni, work, etc) and they just do it.

    but you also have to remember the mindset of students overseas can be slightly, if not very different. in my mingling amongst the Aussies I realised a lot of them chose to study what they are studying or have studied because they have a passion to do so, not because they realised that it could secure better job prospects. in that case, they do it because they want to do it, with little regard to external situations. it can be viewed as reckless, but it also can be viewed as seizing the moment. this might be extrapolated into their views of gap years as well.
    chicken fight!

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