With 2019 just around the corner, it’s that time of the year to start setting resolutions for the year ahead. Here are 19 easy and totally doable ideas that should make your list.

#1 Kickstart a positive change

Kickstart a positive change

What better way to start afresh than making positive changes to your life? But instead of making drastic shifts to your daily routine, start off by adopting better lifestyle habits. Streamline your wardrobe by clearing out anything you haven’t worn in a long time, sneak in bouts of exercise when you’re in the classroom, or simply sitting up straight to maintain good posture. It’s all about taking baby steps!

#2 Make a new friend in school

Make a new friend

Trying to fit in as the new kid in school? Making friends in a new environment can be nerve-wrecking, but you’d never know who comes along unless you put yourself out there. Don’t be shy to strike up a conversation with the person who sits next to you in class, or ask to share a table with someone who’s eating alone during lunch – you might just discover that you have more in common than you think!

#3 Be more environmentally conscious

Be more environmentally conscious

Going green doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It can be something as simple as bringing along your own tumbler on your next coffee run, opting for E-tickets when purchasing tickets for a concert, or having an eco bag handy for your shopping loots. In addition to doing Mother Earth a huge favour, it’ll save you a couple of extra bucks from the takeaway charges as well.

#4 Acquire a new skill

Acquire a new skill

It’s important to equip yourself with the right skillset that is relevant to your desired course of study. Not only does it allow you to discover a new hobby, it can also give you a competitive edge over your peers. Have an eye for design? Sign up for creative classes to keep your style fresh. Interested in other cultures? Pick up a new language to hone your fluency. Learning doesn’t have to come with a pricey fee either – there are tons of online classes that you can take up, FOC.

#5 Take a break from all things digital

Take a break from all things digital

No, this doesn’t mean going off the grid completely. But rather, making it a point to turn off any digital distractions when you’re working on something important. Put your mobile away, suspend your email notifications and unplug from social media for a bit (but still remain contactable to your peers just in case). This helps you to stay focused on the task at hand, thus increasing your productivity levels and improving your overall performance.

#6 Refine your social media presence

Refine your social media presence

While you’re at it, find the time to polish up your social media accounts. In today’s digital age, having a clean and sparkling digital presence can serve as valuable additions to your admission applications. While most institutions don’t usually dig into every nook and cranny of your online profiles, one can never be too cautious. Misspellings, offensive wordings and inappropriate content could reflect badly on your personality and jeopardise your chances of getting into your desired school, so make sure to review your postings before uploading them!

#7 Get rid of toxic friends

Get rid of toxic friends

Have a friend who’s constantly bringing you down? Chances are, these so-called pals care mostly about themselves and little about anyone else. If your relationship has reached a point beyond repair, it might be high time to cut the ties once and for all. Losing a friend you once cherished can be hard at first, but your mental wellbeing matters more than anything. Start filling your life with positive vibes and surrounding yourself with those who help you become a better person!

#8 Save up for rainy days

Save up for rainy days

Between the hefty school fees and day-to-day expenses, being a student in today’s economy isn’t cheap. If taking up a part-time job isn’t an option with your busy schedule, an easy trick to save up for more pocket money is to collect your loose change. Make a conscious effort to empty your wallets of spare coins and put it into a piggy bank once a week. It may not look like a huge amount, but you’ll be surprised how much it can add up to at the end of every month!

#9 Read more books

Read more books

Let’s be honest: how often do you pick up an actual book as compared to clicking on articles that pop up your newsfeed? In an era that tends to favour short pieces on the net than thick paperback reads, it’s imperative that we get back into the habit of reading. Besides helping you to unwind after a long day of learning, it also allows your eyes a much-needed break from the screens. Time to hit up the school library!

#10 Increase your water intake

Increase your water intake

As cliché as it sounds, most of us don’t always drink the recommended amount of water daily. Keeping your body well-hydrated doesn’t just contribute to better performance, but also helps to boost your mood and can even aid in weight loss. Cultivate the habit of drinking water by keeping a jug nearby and downing a cup after every bathroom break. There are also apps like Daily Water and iDrated to monitor your intake so there’s no excuse to skip a sip!

#11 Join a club in school

join a club in school

Part of the fun of starting life in a new campus is the plethora of clubs and activities available. From photography to arts, sports to coding, the possibilities are endless. Joining a club is a great way to meet like-minded people with similar hobbies, all while garnering new experiences. If there isn’t an existing club that suits your interests, you can even take the initiative to start one and build your own community!

#12 Be a volunteer

Be a volunteer

If there’s a cause you feel strongly for, becoming a volunteer is the perfect opportunity to give back to the community. Volunteering can be a highly fulfilling experience, but bear in mind that it also requires a huge deal of commitment, so be sure to realistically evaluate your schedule before signing up. Even if you can’t help out regularly, there are other ways you can get yourself involved such as manning the reception, giving out promotional flyers, packing for goodie bags etc. Although these duties may seem menial, you’ll feel good knowing that you’re making a difference, no matter how small that may be.

#13 Pay attention in class

Pay attention in class

We know how hard it is to pay attention to long lectures in the early mornings, but that’s not a reason for you to slack off. If you find yourself easily fidgeting or losing concentration in class, try to refocus your attention on taking notes, asking questions or joining in group discussions. Not only does it keep you engaged, it may even score you a few bonus participation points too!

#14 Find your own method of relaxation

Find-your-own-method-of-relaxation-

Not everybody has the same way of relaxing. Some like to pamper themselves with a warm bubble bath, while others may prefer singing their hearts out at a karaoke session. Regardless, it’s important to find an outlet that helps you to release the tension and cope with your emotions in a healthy manner. This way, you’ll be able to tackle the next day with a clearer, refreshed mind.

#15 Get an adequate amount of rest

Get an adequate amount of rest 

Been sleeping at irregular hours due to late-night cramming sessions? Newsflash: pulling an all-nighter can actually be more harmful than helpful. Instead, stretch the hours you have in the day to complete your work so it will not hinder your bedtime, and leave the night to catch up on your sleep. It’s recommended that you clock in at least eight hours of snooze time every night!

#16 See the world

See the world

It’s a great big world out there! Even if you’re tight on a student’s budget, there are plenty of affordable vacations that allow you to travel far without breaking your bank, so it’s best to do it at this point in life when you have little to no heavy responsibilities. You’ll get to learn about different cultures and meet people from all walks of life – truly an experience that will last you a lifetime.

#17 Try your hand at journaling

Try your hand at journaling

Rather than airing your frustrations via angsty 280-character tweets, why not pen down your feelings in a good ol’ diary instead? Keeping a journal can benefit your overall wellbeing in many ways – be it helping you to stay organised, manage your stress, or get your creative juices flowing. Who knew keeping a record of your thoughts can have such a big impact?

#18 Don’t go to school on an empty stomach

Don't go to school on an empty stomach

You might not notice it, but there are a lot of people who would forgo their breakfast when they’re rushing off to school. Meanwhile, those who fuel up in the morning tend to have more energy and are able to concentrate better throughout the day. If you don’t have time to eat a full brekkie, grab a granola bar or a pack of cookies to munch on while on commute. This will help to curb your hunger pangs till lunchtime and keep you energised in class.

#19 Make 2019 a year of experiences

Let 2019 be a year of experiences

The next chapter of your life should be one that’s filled with a boundless amount of experiences that would only fuel your desire to learn and grow. As you embark on your tertiary journey, be ready to seize the opportunities that come your way and make the best of them. Take the time to soak into the vibrant campus life and get yourself involved in as many activities as possible. 2019 is your year to shine!

This article was adapted from Teenage Passport To Your Future 2019.

What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2019? Share with us in the comments below!

It’s no secret that Singaporeans love our food. As much as we enjoy scouring for the latest cafes in town or the fanciest restaurants to hit up, you can’t go wrong with a traditional plate of good ol’ chicken rice (nasi lemak, laksa, chilli crab… the list goes on). That’s why this emotive short film produced by 21-year-old filmmaker Lucas Ashwin Clamence can easily strike a nostalgic chord with local foodies.

Titled Sappudu, Makan, Chifan, it revolves around the story of three unassuming locals and how they’ve bonded through food in the multiracial, culturally diverse society we call Singapore. With the help of his mentors from MDIS School of Media and Communications, Lucas’ hard work paid off as it deservedly clinched itself an honourable award at the Singapore Heritage Short Film Competition 2018.

Ahead, we talk to the aspiring filmmaker on the inspiration behind his award-winning passion project and the importance of preserving the tradition of culinary heritage through film.

Hi Lucas, how did you first come to discover your passion for filmmaking?

When I was 14, I was part of the Media Communications club back in secondary school and I was asked to act in a sports safety video. I got hooked onto acting and then went on to pursue the various aspects of production after joining the club.

Lucas Clamence

Congratulations on being awarded the Merit Award at the Singapore Heritage Short Film Competition 2018! What was the entire experience like?

It was amazing! Having to shoot during hectic situations and chasing sunlight was quite a challenge, but we pushed on nevertheless. New members of the media club were also asked to come down and contribute to the production, thus there was a lot of learning for the new members and enhancement of skills for the older members.

Singapore Heritage Short Film Competition 2018

Your short film Sappudu, Makan, Chifan features three Singaporeans across different races and how they have bonded through food. How did the idea come about?

I remember back in secondary school, I was filming a documentary when an interviewee made the comment that “food is not food, food is the relationship”. That got me thinking – every time we eat with someone, we are bonding over food. Regardless of the race, religion or food, there is a common bond that we share with everyone, which is that we all eat together.

What do you hope people will take away with them after watching Sappudu, Makan, Chifan?

I hope they realise that the everyday chores of eating are actually moments spread across time for us to cherish. Food is one of the most prominent aspects of our daily lives, be it a good breakfast to fuel you up for the day ahead, or a warm Sunday dinner at home with your loved ones. These moments are not just meant for nourishing our body, but for motivating our souls and ending the day with gratitude.

It’s heartening to see youths getting in touch with cultural heritage and traditional cuisine. What’s your take on that?

Indeed, I strongly believe that more teenagers need to learn and embrace our cultural roots that provide them with a sense of identity wherever they go. Singapore’s unique identity comes mainly from cultural diversity. I hope that my work inspires the audience and helps them to strengthen their bond with our cultural heritage.

What are some ways you think the younger generation can do to help keep heritage food alive?

Eat! The origin of where a particular dish is from is always, and will be, an interesting story to tell. Whether it’s a dish you’re dabao-ing from your local coffee shop or your grandma’s cooking at home, find out what’s the story behind it.

Sappudu, Makan, Chifan

Recommend three of your favourite heritage food spots!

Newton Food Centre, Leong Yeow chicken rice down Waterloo Street, and D’Rubinah Restaurant in Sembawang.

One of your inspirations includes the story of how two teenagers fell in love over air batu (ice lolly). We love a good ol’ love story – tell us more about it.

This part of the story was about creating an impression and connecting two individuals through food. Here, it was air batu that bridged this connection. People always feel the need to complicate love and the aspects surrounding it, but what we fail to recognise is that love can be conveyed through many aspects – and in this short film, it was through food. Food gives us sustenance, and with that, love does too.

What’s a piece of advice you would give to aspiring filmmakers like yourself who’s hoping to pursue a career in the film industry?

Failure doesn’t mean life is against you. Every hurdle you face is to teach you that what you want is attainable. The world is not out to get you down, but to help you. Never hold back on your ideas, and allow your creativity to take control! A senior lecturer of mine always used to say “Be bold, never rude” and that sentiment has echoed with me through many situations.

Watch Sappudu, Makan, Chifan below:

More related stories: Behind The Lens Of A 22-Year-Old Filmmaker With A Cause8 Classic Singaporean Films Every True Blue Local Should Watch

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For those with a penchant for design, particularly in the field of jewellery, you’ll be glad to know that there’s now a whole range of jewellery design courses for you to take up at Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS).

A collaboration between MDIS and the Jewellery Design and Management International School (JDMIS), this joint venture introduces a new set of diploma and advanced diploma programmes which range from fine jewellery design to precious metal arts, gem trade practices to jewellery entrepreneurship. 

MDIS JDMIS

Situated at the MDIS campus, the freshly renovated jewellery school is fully equipped with state-of-the-art learning facilities including four dedicated classrooms, two specialised jewellery manufacturing workshops and even a computer-aided design lab that hosts 3D jewellery software. In between classes, students can take a break at the Designer’s Lounge, which serves as a co-working space where you can practice your craft and mingle with likeminded peers.

MDIS JDMIS

What’s also worth looking forward to is the exquisite collection of more than 1,500 gemstones collected over 38 years by award-winning designer and founder of JDMIS, Tania Sadow. As one of the largest educational collections in Singapore, it’s truly a stunning sight to behold.

You can choose to enrol in an intensive two-month diploma programme, or take up individual certificates over a longer period of time.

To find out more about the JDMIS courses, head over to www.jdmis.edu.sg for more information.

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Fancy picking up a new skill during the Poly holidays? From coffee-making to pop-locking, make the most of your break with these quirky workshops.

Lose Your Marbles

Naiise

Feeling artsy? Head down to The Bare Collective’s Marbling Workshop ($65) hosted at Naiise, which lets you get crafty with designs and patterns. Under the mentorship of art mavens Zoey Wong and Joan Quek, you’ll be exposed to different marbling mixtures and learn how to apply it in colours, forms and textures. Not only will you get to pick up marbling skills, you’ll also go home with your very own customised masterpiece at the end of the two-hour session!

Naiise
www.naiise.com
The Cathay #B1-08, Singapore 229233

Let’s Dance

O School

If you’re interested in dancing but not sure where to get started, we’ve got you covered. Gather your squad and sign up for O School’s Open Classes (from $14) at *SCAPE! This dance studio cum performing arts centre offers lessons on different genres of dance such as hip-hop, lyrical jazz and even K-pop. Each class will be split into four bite-sized sections: warm- up, technique drills, dance routine and performance. Just come ready to dance, and let the O School instructors do the rest!

O School
www.oschool.com.sg
*SCAPE #04-04, Singapore 237978

Drop The Beat

Zouk

Calling all aspiring DJs: Zouk Singapore is offering one-on-one introductory courses for those keen on working behind the decks. An individual lesson ($130) will pair you with one of Zouk Academy’s very own resident DJs, who will then teach you the ropes of music production. Trust us – you’ll be spinning tunes and making sick beats like a seasoned pro in no time.

Zouk Academy
www.zoukclub.com/zoukacademy

3C River Valley Road, Singapore 179022

Coffee Fix

CMCR

Fancy whipping up a cup of coffee as skilfully as a barista? Sign up for Common Man Coffee Roasters Academy’s Fundamental Barista Skills class ($190), which covers everything from basic coffee knowledge to espresso preparation techniques – all within a three-hour session. Whether you’re simply a caffeine enthusiast or an experienced connoisseur, the CMCR maestros will equip you with all you need to know to brew that perfect cuppa.

Common Man Coffee Roasters Academy
www.commonmancoffeeroasters.com
22 Martin Road, Singapore 239058

Green Fingers

The Plant Story

For those who have a green thumb, why not get your hands dirty at The Plant Story’s Miniature Garden Workshop ($88)? Perfect for the time-starved gardening enthusiast, you’ll learn how to build a personalised terrarium within an hour. You’re allowed to choose your desired terrarium design, be it an exotic oasis of succulents or an air garden filled with avant-garde plants. After the workshop, don’t forget to grab a bite at their garden sanctuary – food and drinks are available at $15 for all participants.

The Plant Story
www.theplantstory.com
PAssion WaVe @ Marina Bay, Singapore 427440

Fight Club

The Saber Authority

Embrace your inner Star Wars geek at The Saber Authority’s Combat Saber Experience ($25). Held at The Deck on Wednesdays and Sports Hub on Sundays, master the art of sparring at this adrenaline-fuelled class. Armed with your very own saber, you’ll go through drills for footwork, striking and defending like a true Jedi. You can even challenge someone to a duel if you’re up for it!

The Saber Authority
www.thesaberauthority.com
The Deck, Singapore 187937

100Plus Promenade @ Sports Hub, Singapore 397629

This article was adapted from Teenage Vol.30 Issue 3, out on newsstands now!

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Not all heroes wear capes. Meet the unsung heroes of our millennial generation who remain in the shadows, but are making a difference in their own unique ways – whether it’s defying gender roles in traditional trades, starting an eco-friendly movement, or contributing to a cause they deeply care about. These are their stories.

Lyn Ng, 26

Lyn Ng

“Woodworking is a tough skill to learn and many people may think that it’s a trade mostly for males. But throughout my time in the industry, I’ve come across many female customers who enjoy the hands-on experience of woodworking just as much. It’s like breathing new life into pieces of wood that people don’t want anymore, and that to me is the beauty of upcycling.

There are bound to be disadvantages being in a male-dominated field where machines and furniture may be deemed too heavy for us to handle. As a female carpenter, we just have to approach woodworking from a different angle and explore ways to ease the process of doing things. Taking on woodworking is definitely something I will never regret doing.”

Gary Lau, 27

Gary Lau

“Growing up in a single-parent and low-income family was tough. My mum had to work two jobs, thus she lacked the time to supervise me. All my predicaments led me astray and I ended up being part of a gang. Seeing people with tattoos feared me, so I felt that having them would make me stronger. It wasn’t until I was sent to Boys’ Town that I gradually turned over a new leaf.

However, I don’t wish to hide my tattoos. They have taught me many valuable lessons and gave me a meaning to live. They have shown me the ugly and positive sides of the world; how people would see what’s on the outside than what’s on the inside. People tend to discriminate those with tattoos, but I feel that every youth has the right to make their own choices and we should respect that.

I, too, want to be a role model who can connect with people who come from similar backgrounds. Rather than being rooted by the expectations of others, I hope that they can grow as mature individuals and lead more fulfilling lives. In the future, I aim to run my own organisation to better engage youths at risk and create a more gracious, discrimination-free society.”

Melissa Lam, 26

Melissa Lam

“The Bamboo Straw Girl… is what people call me nowadays. My real name is Mel and I sell reusable bamboo straws under the alias @bamboostrawgirl. I was inspired to start cutting waste after meeting people working on organic farms, where they have to be conscious about their usage of everyday essentials like shampoo and detergent as these would directly affect the land they farm on. It made me think: what about us in the city? Don’t our actions somehow affect our land too?

My intention of producing bamboo straws is to get people talking. It’s an amazing conversation starter that gets them thinking about so much more than just straws. When I first started out, there was barely any interest. But gradually, people are getting more aware of environmental issues and I hope they will keep the conversation going.”

Seow Shi Jie, 19

Seow Shi Jie

“Being a volunteer at SPCA has been extremely rewarding for me in so many ways, as I have grown to understand animals so much more. I am also very grateful for the bond and companionship I have with them. When I first started volunteering, it was quite a challenge for me as I had little knowledge of animals and was actually afraid of big dogs. But over time, they showed me how loving and trusting they can be. I have found volunteering my time at the animal shelter very fulfilling and I hope more people will step forward to be part of a team that gives these shelter animals a second chance in life.”

Tan Ming Jie, 25

Tan Ming Jie

“I have always aspired to be involved with music professionally. Prior to this, I spent my teenage years writing and performing with my former bandmates. However, I soon came to the realisation that I am more comfortable writing and producing music for artistes behind the scenes than playing a show in front of a crowd. The downside to braving a road less travelled is that it can be a very lonely one; I often think about my peers socialising with their fellow colleagues while I sit in the studio alone.

Despite that, it never felt like I was sacrificing anything. I was fortunate enough to have found my calling at a young age which allowed me to begin paving my own journey towards a career in music. My family expressed their concerns initially, but with time, I was able to convince them that I’ve created a profitable avenue whilst doing something I love.”

Joshuah Lim, 22

Joshuah Lim

“I loved the whole idea of storytelling ever since I was a kid, which got me into filmmaking. I’ve also had my personal battles with cancer, and as a young man knowing that I might die soon, it really humbled me. Not allowing myself to fall into despair, I’ve come to accept my condition and learned to fight alongside it.

I started working on my first short film Chiak shortly after having my bone marrow transplant, so the concept of not letting a disease define your identity really struck a chord with me. It’s about dementia and how we should accept our loved ones for who they are even in difficult times. The inspiration behind it was a mixture of my own experiences surviving cancer and my grandmother’s battle with dementia.

If I could create another production, I would love to do one that portrays the struggles of a primary school kid. In our society, I find that there are huge pressures placed on the next generation so it would be great to delve into the thoughts of a young mind.”

Amanda Tan, 33

Amanda Tan

“It has always been a natural thing for me to create. It started with doodles as a child, then photography and writings… and I never looked back. As an artist, exploring the idea of self, emotions and mentalism is something that comes naturally to me. “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” “What is my purpose?” – these are fundamental questions we as human beings ask.

I have my own battles with anxiety and OCD. But here’s what I can tell you: it’s a double-edged sword. My conditions make me feel crappy and trapped, but it also makes me detail-oriented, hypersensitive to nuances of human communication at work, and helps me power through all kinds of ways of problem-solving. It’s my superpower. Through my exhibition The Deepest Blue as part of Breaking Waves, I hope to spark a conversation about the states in which life puts you in. We love to live in our own safety bubble; life is hard, but sometimes we just need to converse. Let’s discuss.”

This article was adapted from Teenage Vol.30 Issue 3, out on newsstands now!

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