Day In The Life Of A Life Sciences Student
Wonder what is in the life of a Life Sciences student? Hear from your seniors now! Today, we have Laura sharing with us on her experiences in the faculty!
Life Sciences is a very general degree. To be very honest, the job prospects are not very wide after graduation, and it is difficult to find a job that is directly related to Life Sciences unless you pursue further studies. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that a Life Sciences degree does not have value - if you are keen on preclinical research (especially if you are cosnidering a PhD) or teaching biology, this is the course for you!
I really enjoyed studying the content in my modules and I’m glad I chose a course I am interested in. However, as a final year student, as I look back on my life in NUS, I feel there are a couple of things I think every Life Sciences student should explore to fully appreciate their time completing the course. This would apply especially to people (like me) who were actually very unsure of what they wanted to do in their career; In such cases, exploring is crucial!
First, don’t hesitate to explore the opportunities for you. In Science, we have programmes that allow you to undertake a lab research project or internship during the semester, and earn modular credits while doing so. Learning should not be bound to lectures and tutorials, and research projects and internships are the best way to learn soft and transferable skills that cannot be learned in the classroom. The lab work you do in your modules will not be enough if you want to pursue research, so go out of your way to approach professors if you’re interested in assisting their research. They are also excellent opportunities to network and find a mentor. This is really important especially if you are unsure of what you want to do in the future - explore!!!
Next, join co-curricular activities! Both within and out of the faculty, there are many student interest groups, and I highly recommend going for the student life fairs or taking this opportunity to learn something you’ve always wanted to. There is no better time than in university to do this, especially before starting work full-time where it will be significantly more difficult time and energy-wise to pursue new interests so freely. These are great opportunities to try a leadership position too, if you have never before.
Finally, explore minors and second majors. As mentioned earlier, Life Sciences is a very general degree, and there are not many entry-level jobs that that directly apply Life Sciences unless you want to do research or teaching. This is where having knowledge in other areas of study will be highly, highly beneficial. Some common minors/second majors Life Sciences students take are Psychology, Public Health, or even Business Administration for those that want to enter the pharmaceutical or healthcare consulting industry. Many student clubs also have case competitions that can help you gain real-world and teamwork experience relevant to such roles outside of Life Sciences.
Research projects, internships, and CCAs definitely help you be ready to enter the workforce, but I believe they can also help you grow as a person and become a more mature and insightful individual. As a graduating senior told me when I was just entering NUS - and as I am passing down as I myself graduate - squeeze dry all the opportunities given to you when you’re a student because it’s the best thing ever having all the time you have as a student. If you’re not yet convinced, you will when you’re graduating. :)
Unless you take the exact same modules, everyone’s day in the life will be different. In Science, and most other faculties in NUS, we are allowed to choose elective modules on top of our core modules every semester. You will in a way be able to choose electives that you are interested in, or just fit your schedule. This allows flexibility to work, take on research projects, or pursue your hobbies.
My ultimate tip for studying is study hard, but not more than you study smart. Everyone has different studying styles and don’t be afraid to try different methods until you find one that works for you! I changed the way I studied every semester over my 4 years in university, and it only helped me get better grades while feeling less frustrated when studying. So don’t be disheartened if you study hard but don’t seem to be doing well. Just search online and actively think of what helps you the most - study tips on YouTube are THE BEST, do check them out!
I suppose my last piece of advice for any course in university in general is to have good time management. It might be difficult at first, but it is possible to have a social/hobby life, good grades, and sufficient sleep. Peer pressure will be real, but always do what is best for you, and don’t be hyper-independent: Sometimes a small gesture of help from someone can change your life. All the best!
Done By: Laura Soo