Looking to earn some extra pocket money during the June holidays? Instead of rolling around in bed all day (jobless culture, anybody?), here are some unconventional part-time gigs to help you earn easy money on the side with little effort. Don’t say we bojio!

Get Paid To Shop

Sounds like a dream? Well, it sort of is; except you’ll be shopping for someone else. But if you’re looking to indulge in retail therapy, this is definitely the job for you as there are apps like HonestBee that actually pay you to load up your shopping cart. You’ll not only be able to work on a flexible schedule – which means you can choose to shop for your customers after school, over the weekends or during the school holidays – you can even opt to work close to home for convenience. Some apps pay by hourly rates while others pay by the number of items, so do compare the different options available before settling on one.

Free Up Your Luggage

Likewise, if you’re travelling abroad for the holidays and have extra luggage space to spare, consider being a personal shopper for strangers through platforms such as Airfrov and Tompang. Based on your travel location, you’ll be paired up with a shopper who wishes to purchase a particular brand or item that is typically not available in Singapore, such as local snacks, beauty products or newly- launched gadgets. In return, you get to make a decent service fee in exchange for flying back the goods. Earning extra cash while satisfying your wanderlust? Sign us up please!

Run Errands

If you don’t mind running around for errands and patiently braving long queues for that extra buck, sign up for apps like The Butler or LaborMe. Simply complete simple tasks such as buying coffee, delivering lunch and picking up dry-cleaning, and get paid after finishing it. Most of these apps operate on a bidding system whereby you have the freedom of bidding for the type of jobs you want. What’s more, this ad-hoc job lets you state your own rates and work on flexible hours so you can work whenever you want to!

Be A Pet-Sitter

Attention all animal lovers – pet-sitting is actually a job! With apps such as Pawshake and PetBacker, you get paid to be a companion for your new furry friends while their owners are busy or overseas. Duties usually include feeding, cleaning and walking them. Start off by taking on the more short-term jobs that will only last a few hours at most. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can then choose to house-sit over the school holidays if time permits. The best part? You don’t even have to be a pet owner to register as a pet-sitter!

Join A Focus Group

If you’re outspoken and have a few hours to kill, why not participate in a focus group? Essentially, you’re getting paid for your focused feedback on consumer products that often require some tweaking before being released into the market. On top of that, you’ll get to make new friends with whom you share a common interest while expanding your social network. Similar to surveys, some companies may choose to give out cash vouchers instead of dollar bills so be sure to check with your point of contact before applying if you’re particular about that.

Complete Surveys

This would be a great option if you want something that lets you work in your pyjamas all day. All you have to do is give your opinion on certain brands or products via short surveys, and your job is done. However, do keep in mind that most of these companies prefer to pay in terms of shopping vouchers or free samples rather than cash, so you won’t exactly be raking in the ka-ching. It’s also important that you do your research on the company issuing these surveys beforehand to make sure they are credible, before giving out your address, bank account details or other confidential information.

This article was adapted from Teenage Vol.30 Issue 2, out on newsstands now.

More related stories: The Best Paying Part-Time Jobs in SingaporePart-Time Jobs That Will Let You Have Fun While Working12 Jobs Celebrities Had Before They Were Famous

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Get your passports ready, because it’s time for that long-overdue graduation trip to reward yourself for all the hard work you’ve put in for the past years! But instead of simply jet-setting to a faraway destination, why not make your getaway a more meaningful one? Here are some alternative ideas to make the most of your vacation days in the most fulfilling way ever.

#1 Save the animals

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If you happen to be an animal lover, then you’re in for a real treat because there’s a host of international animal welfare projects waiting for you to sign up for! Not only will you be channelling your passion into a worthy cause, you’ll also get to meet like-minded people and interact with all kinds of wildlife creatures, ranging from the cuddliest of mammals to the most exotic of reptiles. Whether you wind up protecting sea turtle nests in Mexico or rescuing wildlife in Armenia, there’s nothing more heartwarming than helping these precious animals get better lives.

#2 Nurture new generations

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If you have a flair for reading and writing, you may wish to travel to places where English isn’t their first language such as Japan or Hong Kong, and volunteer to teach the kids there. Being equipped with the necessary skills to communicate in English will be incredibly useful for their future, allowing them to venture out of their country and seek greater opportunities in the future. What’s more, your heart will be warmed knowing that you have helped these little ones gain a lifelong skill!

#3 Follow your (he)art

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For all the budding artists out there, travelling to a new destination is the best time to put your creativity to the test. Make the best out of your newfound freedom by using your voice to shoutout for a good cause. For instance, you can support independent art scenes by visiting their galleries, or participate in art shows that help fund research to fight diseases such as cancer and AIDS. In addition, you can aid in promoting these businesses by spreading the word on social media, so as to encourage your fellow graduates to follow suit. Once you’ve step out of your comfort zone, you’ll find that there are no limits to your artistic endeavours!

#4 Check in, help out

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Many modern hotels are beginning to adopt methods of sustainable tourism – a campaign that has become crucial in light of our ailing resources. From luxury hotels to chic boutique hotels, some of these establishments have pledged to use eco-friendly products and contribute a portion of their profits to charity. This way, you’ll feel less guilty lounging on plush sofas by the pool or ordering extravagant room services, because you’ll know that whatever you spend will find its way back to the less fortunate.

#5 Get in touch with nature

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While living in the bustling concrete jungle is exciting, we are often so caught up in our own realities that we forget to appreciate the simple things in life. Farm stays in rural spots like Melborne and Perth will provide you with boundless opportunities to give back to the environment whilst enjoying a slower pace of life. You may be tasked with chores such as picking apples, milking cows and sowing seeds. Besides helping to support agriculture businesses, this little getaway will allow you get back in touch with nature and stop to smell the roses (maybe even literally).

#6 Run for a purpose

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Now that you’ve graduated, you’re finally able to embrace being young, wild, and free. And what better way to celebrate your youth by participating in a cross-country marathon with your BFFs? If you’ve always enjoyed the thrill of adventure, this would be the perfect way to unwind while doing it for a cause. Bored of jogging along the same old parks in Singapore? Gather your squad and head to scenic places like New Zealand or Europe for a more refreshing charity run experience!

#7 Rebuild lives

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Lend a helping hand to organisations that aim to rebuild homes for families whose houses have been destroyed by war or natural disasters. If you’re a first-timer, fret not – you can start by searching for outreach programmes in third-world countries such as Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, and then sign on with the organisation that has a vision that speaks to you the most. Not only will you come to appreciate your home, you’ll also get the satisfaction of seeing the fruits of your labour at the end of it all.

Image credits: Pexels

This article was adapted from Teenage Vol.30 Issue 2, out on newsstands now.

More travel related stories: 6 Unconventional Internships That Will Allow You To Travel AbroadItinerary Ideas For Your Week-Long Grad Trip (Part 1)Itinerary Ideas For Your Week-Long Trip (Part 2)

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With 28,000 followers on Instagram and an up-and-coming name in the Wah!Banana YouTube family, local actress Sofia Dendroff seems to lead a picture-perfect life – but there’s a lot more to Insta-fame than what meets the eye.

While the Internet culture has created a platform for people to openly express their opinions, it has inevitably given rise to an army anonymous keyboard warriors lurking behind their screens. Sofia is no stranger to the damaging effects of cyberbullying, having suffered her fair share of malicious comments through the years. But she is ready to speak up for justice, using her voice to advocate for cyber wellness as part of the Better Internet Campaign 2018. In a no-holds-barred heart-to-heart with Teenage, the social media darling opens up about online harassment and shares her personal tips on how to rise above the negativity.

Hi Sofia! How did you get involved with the Better Internet Campaign?

I’m with a YouTube channel called Wah!Banana, thus I had the chance to be part of this campaign through them. But after hearing more about it, it resonated a lot with me as I’ve gone through cyberbullying myself. I felt like I had a story to tell. I feel like people who are going through cyberbullying tend to feel that they have no voice – and I guess using somewhat of my influence, to speak up about it and share my experience, might help them to get through it as well.

 

So I had the privilege to be on the Media Panel for the Better Internet Campaign 2018. A campaign promoting cyber wellness. Something I feel very strongly about as I’ve gone through Cyber bullying myself back when I was 18 and a blogger. Being on the media panel and sharing my story with everyone in the room only reminded me how much I wished I had handled the situation differently. I didn’t know who to talk to back then. We live in a world today where technology is everywhere and is a part of our lives. It’s important that the younger generation and parents today are aware that Cyber bullying is a very real problem. It could happen to you or someone you know. So it’s crucial that in the event it does, you’d know what to do. #SID2018 #SaferInternetDay​ ​#BetterInternetSG

A post shared by Sofia Dendroff (@sofiadendroff) on

People tend to underestimate the effects of cyberbullying. Are there any stigmas you would like to set straight?

I think that cyberbullying isn’t something that people should take very lightly because just like physical bullying, cyberbullying can be just as damaging as it really messes with a person’s emotions and their psyche. Especially since we’re living in the digital era, you can just throw out a negative comment to someone without thinking it could actually hurt them when you’re hidden behind an online persona. If you’re someone who’s being harassed, you should never feel ashamed or embarrassed about going through it – speak to someone about it. You’re not alone in this.

What’s the nicest and meanest comment you’ve ever received?

People can be really nice you know? (Laughs) Sometimes you get so taken aback because you don’t expect strangers to be so kind, but they exist! Just people saying how I inspired them, helped them to get through hard times and all. I’m always very grateful and I hope to be a good role model as best as I can.

When I got my first acting gig in Malay, I remember having this anonymous blogger slamming me in his/her blog – saying how my Malay was terrible, I couldn’t act etc. It really hurt my feelings at that time, but I used that negativity to spur me on to improve myself. I made sure to practice Malay every single day, and sit down for hours going through my script.

How do you deal with the negativity?

At first, it didn’t go very well. It was a difficult point of my life because I just didn’t understand why I was getting all this hate. It affected my love for blogging and I ended up shutting down my blog. I started doubting myself and stopped myself from fully chasing my dreams of becoming a radio DJ as I felt like I wasn’t confident enough. Through time and a lot of self-growth, I started to love myself and decided I need to live the best life that I possibly can. I know that at the end of the day, if I don’t try, I’m going to be the one who’s feeling sorry – not the haters. It was tough, but I did it anyway!

 

A post shared by Sofia Dendroff (@sofiadendroff) on

What made you overcome your fears and gave you the confidence to be the Sofia Dendroff we know today?

I read a lot of self-help books! Right now, I’m reading this book called ‘How To Calm Yourself In A Busy World’ by Hyemin Sunim. I feel like if you surround yourself with positive vibes, you’ll think positive too. If you’re struggling with self-esteem issues, don’t be afraid to seek refuge in a self-help book and be inspired by their words. They’ve helped me, and they could help you too. 

Who’s your greatest role model in life?

I really like Ellen DeGeneres. She’s such a sweet, kind and genuine soul, and at the same time, she’s very confident in what she does. I don’t know how she can host a talk show in front of thousands, especially at the Oscars. I hope that I can be just like her one day, but for now, I’m still a work in progress.

What’s an important lesson you’ve learnt from your personal experiences?

You’re a lot braver than you think you are. It’s scary in the beginning, but if you actually push yourself to do something, you’ll realise that the only thing that’s stopping you are the thoughts in your head. It all comes down to self-love; if you believe you’re not what people say you are, everything gets a lot simpler. Don’t let it get to you – ignore the naysayers and work on loving yourself. It’s your life, who cares what other people think?

What kind of changes do you hope to see at the end of this campaign?

I hope that people can be more thoughtful of what they say and have more empathy for others. Like come on, we’re a team! We shouldn’t bring each other down; we should be there for one another. If you’re not doing it for the other person, do it for yourself and make yourself a better human being.

 

A post shared by Sofia Dendroff (@sofiadendroff) on

Lastly, what’s a word of advice you would like to give people who are going through cyberbullying?

I think it’s very important to have a support system. Confide in someone you can trust, be it a friend, a counsellor or a teacher. Of course, if you’re getting very mean comments, always save the evidence of whatever that’s hurled at you, report the message and get the other party blocked immediately.

If you or know someone who is going through cyberbullying, please seek help at TOUCH Byber Wellness (1800 377 2252), Coalition Against Bullying for Children and Youth (6223 3122, [email protected]or Community Health Assessment Team (6493 6500/6493 6501, [email protected]).

For more tips and resources, visit the Better Internet Campaign 2018 website.

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What does an IT boss, a frisbee coach and a ballroom dancer have in common? They are just three of the notable alumni who were awarded at the Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) Alumni Contribution Awards Ceremony on 9 March 2018. These new awards recognise alumni who have actively contributed in various fields such as arts, culture and sports. While they might’ve since graduated from NYP and made their mark in society, these inspiring grads have not forgotten their roots and are always willing to give back. Read on as Alan Kuik, Benjamin Ho and Muhammad Azri share their NYP experiences. 

Alan Kuik, Diploma in Information Technology, Class of 2000

Alan Kuik

Meet Alan Kuik – the 39-year-old self-made boss of IT business firm, Infospace. For the School of IT alumnus, Alan’s relationship with NYP didn’t just end at his graduation. Not only has Alan been involved with the campus events and happenings, the self-made entrepreneur has also taken on the responsibility to nurture his juniors’ skills by offering internship and part-time placements within his company. Through his mentorship and guidance, one of his former employees – Amos Tan, a graduate from the Diploma in Infocomm & Security – was even inspired to start his own company!

“NYP is still is very much a part of my life,” Alan shares. “I want to help to train our next generation and make internship a meaningful learning experience.” His dedication in giving back to his alma mater has earned him an Alumni Contribution Award, becoming one of the 11 recipients recognised for their honourable efforts.

Benjamin Ho Zhi Hao, Diploma in Business Management, Class of 2005

Benjamin Ho

On Monday and Wednesday evenings, Benjamin Ho spends his time coaching at NYP’s Ultimate Frisbee club. The 32-year-old has been doing this for the past 14 years, regardless of rain or shine. But that’s not the only reason that scored him the Alumni Contribution Award – it’s also his sense of purpose, duty and responsibility that makes him a winner in our books.

He first founded the club as a second-year Diploma in Business Management student in 2004, and has since built a tight-knit community of passionate players who excel both on and off the field. His personal coaching motto? “Better player, better person”. He adds, “I was taught to serve, and would like my players to remember to serve others as well.” The club has been on a winning streak, having been crowned as the eight-time reigning champion for the Polytechnic-ITE Games and the seven-time champion for the Inter-Varsity-Polytechnic Games.

Muhammad Azri, Diploma in Electronics, Computer & Communications Engineering, Class of 2010

Muhammad Azri

“NYP was where my passion for dance started,” says Muhammad Azri, and he’s never looked back. Despite graduating from NYP about eight years ago, one can still expect to see him on campus at least twice a week. The dedicated alumnus comes back to NYP as a volunteer coach to mentor his juniors in the La Ballroom En Masse CCA, which specialises in latin ballroom dancing.

Even with his hectic schedule, Azri still makes sure to take time off for coaching. “I’ve made many great friends in NYP,” Azri shares. “I hope to continue to mentor more juniors in dancing. It’s the most natural way of paying it forward to others who see value in what I can contribute most.”

More related stories: How These Local Polytechnic Graduates Got Into The Top Universities In The World9 Tertiary Graduates Share Their Biggest Regrets From School

 

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What does a 21-year-old and a 42-year-old have in common? For MDIS students Angelyn Rachel Fletcher and Ailene Tan, it turns out that they have plenty of similarities with one another despite being two decades apart.

With a mutual love for psychology, 21-year-old Angelyn and 42-year-old Ailene both decided to enrol in the International Foundation Diploma in Psychology at MDIS. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a freshman hoping to jumpstart your career, or an adult learner interested in fine-tuning your craft –  these two aspiring psychology professionals prove that age is no barrier when it comes to pursuing your passion. Not only do they get along well with each other, the unlikely classmates also share similar views on issues they care about. We speak to Angelyn and Ailene to learn more about their unique perspectives and eye-opening learning experience at MDIS.

What made you decide to pursue a Diploma in Psychology?

Angelyn: I was curious about what made a person tick and what made them do what they did. I was very into the world of criminology and my police officer dad couldn’t have been more overjoyed. But upon hopping onto the psychology train, I realised that it wasn’t as easy as I had thought and there are so many more sides to it – gerontology, clinical, educational, etc. From there, I decided to pave a path for myself and pursue a diploma in the field.

Ailene: Similarly, I was curious about people; I wanted to know how a person behaves and what their thoughts are through interaction and communication. Psychology has always been my passion since I was 25, but I wasn’t brave enough to step out of my comfort zone due to financial concerns in the past. Having been in the supply chain business for 20 years, it became too much of a routine and I felt like there wasn’t anymore room for personal growth. I’ve been harbouring this thought for more than a decade and there was an inner voice that kept saying “never try, never know”, so why not? Now, I realised that nothing is impossible as long as you put in effort.

What first sparked your passion for psychology?

Angelyn: I’ve always had the knack for helping others, so I thought that teaching would be a strong start to my education journey. However, after working in a childcare centre for six months, I realised that there was so much more to learn about the children there instead of just teaching them. There was a particular kid who caught my attention – he had ADHD so the students were separated from him as parents would complain if he disturbed the children. I couldn’t disagree that his behaviour would’ve caused discomfort to the others, but I felt that it was unfair. Hence, I researched on courses related to the situation after I left the job, and stumbled upon the MDIS School of Psychology. Neglect can have severe consequences on anyone, regardless of gender, race or religion. I hope to make positive changes in their lives, no matter how small.

MDIS Angelyn

Angelyn Rachel Fletcher, 21 years old, MDIS International Foundation Diploma in Psychology

What was your initial expectation of the psychology field and how did it differ from what you thought it would be?

Angelyn: It’s more than just about helping those in need mentally to achieve a state of normality, but it also requires so much from me as a well-rounded individual – to be patient, understanding, a good listener, and always having empathy no matter what. Ever since I stepped into MDIS, the lecturers have always made me view psychology as so much more than reading people’s behaviour and helping them, so much so that I’ve never been happier pursuing this field of interest. Having received the Academic Excellence Award (Top 3 student) as well being part of countless events in school, it’s so rewarding to see how far I’ve come.

What’s a typical day for you like in school?

Angelyn: For me, I would try to make time for those who are always by themselves before tending to my own tasks at hand. In psychology terms, I have a type-B personality (extrovert) so I’m the kind to put others before myself regardless of the situation. Sometimes I find myself juggling much more than I can handle, but I’ve started to adjust myself to become more attentive in my studies while finding a balance for others.

In class, we enjoy putting ourselves in role play scenarios, where we would research about the facts and sometimes get so engrossed in the topic that time would just fly by. We often help one another out, be it assignments or projects. Without a doubt, there’ve been countless arguments among the groups over the past few months, but I’m glad that everyone can be themselves because it’s the most important to be yourself and not the way others would want you to.

How are the classroom dynamics like between the both of you?

Angelyn: I’ve always seen Aileen as a big sister to me. She’ll be there whenever I need help and the one who keeps me on track and motivated when the deadlines are coming up. In fact, I feel that having people from all different walks of life just makes the classroom that much more lively and unique in every way. 

Ailene: Although we have a two-decade age gap, it’s fun to be with these youngsters. They are an IT-savvy and creative bunch, and I learned heaps of things from them that I didn’t get a chance to be exposed to when I was their age.

For Ailene, what are some of the differences between being a student back then and now as an MDIS student?

Ailene: In the past, learning took place in the classroom and facts were derived from the textbooks we had. Now, we learn and explore new ideas from each other, as well as through books, movies and the Internet thanks to the advancement of technology.

MDIS Ailene Tan

Ailene Tan, 42 years old, MDIS International Foundation Diploma in Psychology

 At what point of your life would you/did you consider yourself as an adult?

Angelyn: I wouldn’t consider myself an adult based on a certain age. Instead, I’ll consider myself an adult when I’m able to be independent in making my own decisions. Being an adult would mean being financially stable and able to balance every other aspect of your life simultaneously.

Ailene: For me, it was when I first started working straight after the ‘O’ Levels. Once you’ve entered the workforce, you can only count on yourself to tackle any obstacles that come your way. From there, you’ll become more mature as you go through the challenges. 

What keeps the both of you motivated when the going gets tough?

Angelyn: My family has always been my motivation. That, and also – grit. It’s a word that I stand by to motivate me again and again, after watching a video of Angela Lee Duckworth talking about it. Just like any other teenager, I found myself always asking the same question whenever I’m faced with pressure during the course: “Do I really want this?” However, ever since that video, I’d remind myself of the lives I could help in the future and the places it will take me after I graduate.

Ailene: I come from a humble family so my parents couldn’t afford my school fees. Hence, I had to juggle between two jobs while pursuing my studies. It was a challenging journey, but through perseverance and determination, I trust that you will meet your goals and objectives. There is no easy route in life so never give up.

From a psychology perspective, what’s the important takeaway you’ve learned about yourself after embarking on this journey?

Angelyn: I can build more meaningful relationships now that I’m able to better understand people and their behaviour. Thanks to psychology, it has helped in my communications skills to be more effective. I’m also able to understand myself better, which resulted in me having more self-confidence as I’m able to identify my weaknesses and improve on them.

Ailene: I began to have a different mindset and better understanding towards others. Instead of seeing the worst aspect of things, I became more optimistic.

What are your personal expectations for the future?

Angelyn: I hope to be able to use my skills in the psychology field and open my own practice someday instead of being pinned down in a 9 to 5 job. I want to have the continuous passion and grit to improve myself along the way no matter what age I may be – be it 21 or 101. 

Ailene: Aside from pursuing a Degree in Psychology, I also hope to contribute to the society by doing more volunteer work.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Angelyn: “If you want to be successful in this world, follow your passion – not a paycheck.”

Ailene: Pursue your dreams and never give up. Bad times won’t last, take it as a journey and you will grow to be a better person. At the end of the day, you will definitely be proud of yourself.

Don’t let anything hold you back from realising your dreams! If you’re interested in pursuing the field of psychology like Angelyn and Ailene, click here to find out more about the psychology programmes available at MDIS.

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