Exam blues? Here’s a pick-me-up

The giving out of free drinks or snacks to boost the morale of university students during the examination period is a familiar sight here. But there were some new twists during the exam crunch time that ended last week.Take, for instance, the While You Were Sleeping project started last month by freelance video producer and film-maker Josiah Ng, 24.

Mr Ng, a former undergraduate of Singapore Management University, told my paper last week that he noticed how university students would get stressed and tired while preparing for their exams.

University exams here typically take place between April and May, and again from November to December.

To help other young adults cope with the stress during the recent exam period, he decided to embark on the project.

It involved simply placing a handwritten card, along with a snack or drink, next to students who had fallen asleep while studying, to let them know that someone cared.

After a video on the project was posted online, its Facebook page received 1,000 likes in just one day. As of 6pm yesterday, it had garnered over 2,600 likes.

In addition to netizens here, some overseas users – such as those from Australia, Canada and Britain – have also pledged to take part in the project.

“I have absolutely no idea how it spread so quickly. I’m still quite overwhelmed, to be honest,” said Mr Ng, who paid for the snacks and drinks out of his own pocket and visited students at three universities here.

Student groups have also upped their game to help students through the exam period.

The National University of Singapore Students’ Union held free yoga classes for two weeks to help students cope with stress during the exam period this year.

Ms Mabel Koh, 21, the union’s deputy welfare secretary, said the four classes attracted over 90 sign-ups and “feedback from the students was positive”.

This was on top of leaving cans of energy drinks tagged with encouraging messages on benches around the campus at night, for students who would pass by the next day.

Students at the Nanyang Technological University’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information also received free food and drinks during the exam period, thanks to a student group’s informal Wee Mug event.

Ms Sophial Foo, 21, president of the Communication and Information Club, said it was “very rewarding” to “keep the tired students going”.

This article was first published in myPaper