A fast-paced industry that plays a pivotal role in shaping society, having a career in the media is both a challenging yet rewarding one. Just ask Vanessa Soong and Aiden Mar – currently enrolled in the International Foundation Diploma in Mass Communications at Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS), their education has given them valuable insights for what’s in store. 

For Vanessa, it took dipping her toes in another route to find out her true passion. “I was initially studying tourism at a local polytechnic. However, it wasn’t the right fit for me,” Vanessa revealed. Having had an avid interest in media and the way it is used to influence and spread information, she rationalised, “The media is very much integrated in everyone’s lives, and to be realistic, there are a lot of opportunities within the industry – it will continue to grow.” 

Vanessa’s search for a tertiary institution offering mass communications led her to MDIS. “Apart from the course syllabus being very structured, MDIS is one of the private institutions which offers television and radio studio facilities to further supplement their media programmes.” Swayed by that advantage, she enrolled into the course. 

Vanessa (far right) pictured with her classmates on an industry visit to the museum

“My friend, who studied mass communications in polytechnic, was looking through my course book and she mentioned that there were certain aspects which she had not learned in poly,” Vanessa shares. “Even though the course is only eight months, it is very condensed and loaded with information.” Aidan concurs. 

Photo: Aidan Mar

The 19-year-old is an aspiring sports journalist whose lacklustre academic results gave him limited choices when it came to the polytechnic route. “MDIS is quite a reputable private institution, so I decided to enrol in the course.” Initially, he had assumed that the course load wouldn’t be as intense as compared to polytechnic. “There were a lot of assignments, tutorials and group projects,” Aiden shares. Throughout the course, he realised that there was more to the job than writing articles, “There’s a lot of work and time consumed, and you have to make many sacrifices in order to be the top player in the industry.”

This observation came after hearing their lecturers relate personal stories from years of being in the media. One lecturer stood out to them. “Our lecturer from the TV & Radio Production module shared about his journalistic experience while covering the Vietnam War.” Vanessa shared with a tinge of pride, “He is really quite cool. He was sharing with us about how he attended protests. He was also at one of the late Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s speeches and he kept the microphone from the event at home.” Aiden adds, “We are able to imagine what really happens on ground, rather than just living through the textbooks.” 

Coincidentally, both Aidan and Vanessa’s favourite module is TV & Radio Production, where they had a chance to get hands-on through an assignment which required students to produce a talk show. Interestingly, each chose a different role.

Vanessa pictured in the MDIS TV studio

Comfortable in front of the camera, Aidan secured the role of popular musician, Kanye West, where he was interviewed in a talk show format. In contrast, Vanessa, who enjoys watching Korean variety shows, rose to the challenge of being a producer. “You have to be very alert as there are many things going on at once. You have to take note of which cameras are rolling, make sure your equipment is working properly – especially when you’re going live.” The experience helped her realise what her desired next step was: to work in media production. Already making plans for the future, Vanessa reveals that she would work towards scoring a relevant internship in the field. 

So what words of advice would Vanessa and Aidan share with those who are thinking of joining the media industry? “Be prepared for what it takes. The world of media can be quite cut throat and it won’t be as easy or straightforward. There are many career options in the media, and you have to be prepared to experience all of them.” Aidan concludes, “If you would like to secure your education in a practical and time efficient manner, come to MDIS! It’s really an enriching experience.”

This post was brought to you by MDIS.

Intrigued by Aidan and Vanessa’s experiences? Find out more about MDIS’ Mass Communications programmes here

Going through a tough day? You need to read what Dan Harmon has to say.

It’s an understatement to say that depression isn’t easy to deal with. When Twitter user reached out to Dan Harmon, Rick and Morty co-show runner for advice on coping with it, she definitely didn’t expect a response from him. 

@Chojuroh shared that she asked Dan Harmon “because I wanted advice from someone who suffers, but is not a professional.” It was the right move to make, because Dan’s powerful words helped not only her, but also other fans around the world. 

Other users jumped in onto the Twitter thread, thanking Dan for his inspirational words, sharing their own experiences and words of solidarity. 

As Dan said, the most important thing is not to deal with depression alone. Having a good support system in the form of your friends and family will go a long way in helping you cope. Communicate, acknowledge your feelings and own it. 

Need someone to talk to? You can call these helplines. Remember, you’re never alone! 
Samaritans of Singapore: (24-hour hotline) 1800-221-4444
Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788
Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
Care Corner Counselling Centre (in Mandarin): 1800-353-5800
Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222

More related stories: Stressed-out Netizens Share Their Personal Tricks To Getting RelaxedQuick Tricks To Stop Yourself From Feeling Anxious8 Tips To Love Yourself Better

There are a dozen textbook ways to deal with stress, but everyone ultimately has their own unique ways of blowing off steam. Here’s what the Internet does to relax, according to Reddit! 

Using their imagination

“I like to Google restaurants and bars in other countries to look at their menus and see what I would get if I were there. It relaxes me and also helps me kill boredom sometimes.” – -eDgAR- 

Make themselves laugh, literally. 

“Stand up comedy. Laughter helps the most [in my opinion] and even when you’re super stressed or pissed off, a comedian can catch you off guard and bring you back down to earth with a fit of the giggles.” 

Patrick, is that you?

“Believe it or not, it’s stopping what I’m doing, laying down on the floor and spreading my arms and legs out. Really makes you feel at peace with everything.” – renacotor

Get it out of your mind

“I get a piece of paper and write down what is bothering or stressing me out, and maybe organise it or write what I’m going to do about it – then forget about it. When the thought comes back I think, “Hey, what I’m worried about is on that piece of paper and that is where it lives now, not in my head”. So I can relax and start thinking about something else. I keep that paper and use it or add to it until I can use it to get the job done. I even sleep better at night.” – BareFootWilliams

Feel the ‘rain’ on your skin, no one else can feel it for you

“I take a shower. Water does help me a lotttttttttt whenever I feel like I am just a useless human.” – nhien2711

Binge-watching their favourite TV shows

“Watching TV… like a TV show that I️ love. I’ve been anxious lately, so I️ started rewatching Game of Thrones and Vikings, which are my two favourite shows. It really helps clear my head and calm me down.” – NotUrAvrageFish

Eliminate stress by stressing themselves out?

 “When I’m stressed at work, I️ look for a new job. Within five minutes I️ remember how much interviewing and starting all over sucks. It helps me realise that I don’t really hate my job, I’m just having a bad day.” – _Sweater_Puppies_
Do you even lift bro?

“Going to the gym. The physical activity makes me feel better and makes me better physically. Plus, when the world is overwhelming, weights are the only thing that make sense.” – Lord_of_the_Dance

Colour me relaxed 

“I go through phases where I colour adult colouring books, every day, for at least an hour or two, sometimes longer. It zones me out for small chunks of time where that’s the only thing I’m thinking about, so the temporary relief from those pesky automatic thoughts is kinda nice.” – terrasaurusrex

The one who loves long walks

“Exercise, particularly in nice outdoor settings. I hate gyms, but I do love going out to the mountains and riding my bike or hiking. Even just going for a walk around the neighbourhood. You focus on your environment and your activity, rather than what is bothering you. The exercise itself gives you some nice endorphins as well, and it helps get/keep you in shape which is always a good thing.” – mtb39 

“People panic for no reason a lot” 

“Consciously deciding not to care. Being mindful that most stressful situations have happened before and the world didn’t end, that at the end of the day I went home and watched Netflix and life went on. People panic for no reason a lot, I don’t fall for it anymore” – afreelunch

Sleuthing one out

“I like to put some soothing nature or space documentary or just some old MST3K (Mystery Science Theater 3000) on my laptop and then read about unsolved mysteries on my phone. r/UnresolvedMysteries is great for that.” 

Book-worming their way to relaxation

“Reading an enthralling story. I can read narrative or classic books on a normal day; but if I’m stressed about something I don’t need to get done at that moment, I’ve found a sci-fi, action, or just a short story to help.” 

Done, done and done

“Crossing things off of lists. When stressed, I subdivide each task into mini-tasks to get that little buzz of relief more often. I only make lists when overwhelmed.”– honorarybelgian

Get neat, get stress free

“Cleaning works the best for me. Every time I am stressed, I get a lot of cleaning done. You get to rip paper, throw old junk out, and watch your room transform from a filthy bachelor pad to a relaxing abode. It’s like killing two birds with one stone.” – GreenBasil

Not all heroes wear capes

“This is a little weird, but it always helps me. I pick a product that I use and love, I call the customer service number, and I tell them what I love about it. Talking to a person is a great stress-reliver for me. The customer service reps rarely get positive phone calls, so they’re usually very excited and engaging. Recounting all the things I like about something has a positive effect on my mood. The only frustrating part is waiting on hold to talk to someone.” – Jeffreymark

Put yo’ game face on… real slow. 

“I love to do my makeup when I get stressed. For some reason, dragging out a 10 minute routine for an hour or so just relaxes me and prepares me for whatever it is that I’m stressed about. I think it’s the feeling of the soft brushes, the gentleness of blending concealer with a ring finger and the final dusting of highlight that makes it calming.” – Louise_Sophie

Get ripped

“If you’re having a panic-attack induced by stress, ripping up paper can be a good way to release pent up stress.” – Libbeast

Nothing boulders him anymore

“Rock climbing/bouldering. If I’ve had a bad day at work I’ll pop into my local gym for a quick session on the way home. Something about being totally focused on what my body is doing really clears my head.” – llamaesunquadrupedo

The maestro in-the-making

“I write music. It takes too much emotion and energy for me to focus on anything else, including stress. Also, something beautiful is the end result, so it’s both worthwhile and calming.” – Slyfoxfitness

A manicure a day keeps the stress away
“Painting my nails. I don’t know how to do any fancy [designs], but I cut my nails, file them short, buff them so they’re smooth and paint them a beautiful colour. I then use a super shiny top coat. I love looking down at my beautiful nails tapping away at the keyboard when I’m doing soul-crushing, creativity-robbing law school assignments. I used to paint and draw a lot when I was younger, and this feels like the one chance I get to be ‘creative’ and make something look beautiful, even when I’m really busy.” 
Cuddles are a win-win situation

“There’s a no-kill dog shelter not far from my college (maybe a 15 minute drive) that I volunteer at. I go over and walk some dogs, throw a ball for them in the play room, or simply pet them. There are a few older ones that don’t want walks and just want attention, so I’ll sit in their little kennel and let them curl up in my lap (or against me if they’re bigger), and pet/scratch them for a solid 20 minute block. It’s my haven away from campus and I manage to help lonely dogs in the process.” – Superherosam

Little drummer boy

“Drumming. Anytime I am stressed or frustrated, I smash on my drum kit. I find it to be the most therapeutic activity I can do. It combines the therapy of music (especially angry punk) and the therapy of a strenuous activity. If I play my ass off for an hour or so, I will become super sweaty and too tired to care about anything anymore. The physical activity releases endorpines in you brain, thus relieving the stress.” – kickass_and_chew_gum

Indulge in distractions, just for a little while

“I give myself a day, or a couple hours, or whatever time frame is realistic, to do what I want to do – sleep, watch TV, maybe go out for an evening, play video games, whatever. In that time, I don’t allow myself to think about what is stressing me out, but just focus on enjoying what I’m doing. It may not be the most healthy, but it works for me. Once the allotted time ends, it’s back to reality for me, and in a new mindset to deal with problems/stresses.” – misscalculates

Explore to create

“Photography – models, people, urban exploration (when I need to get out of the house) – and the occasional riot here and there. It has saved my brain on more than one occasion as it is something to focus on for four to five hours taking the pictures, then the processing comes in, I can’t help it, I have to look at every picture and colour balance, modify it someway. Totally love it, keeps me occupied, and keeps me sane.” – danmorrill11

He lets Pikachu come through

“Pokémon any time I get incredibly stressed out over school or family problems I sit down get one of my various Pokémon games spend a little time on my Pokédex and the stress kind of just pauses.” – Legodude293 “A specific thing I do is longboard around the campus. I don’t know tricks, and I honestly don’t care. It’s just me, my board, and my music. I ride until all the energy is out of me. I feel more relaxed when I hit the shower, which makes me more relaxed when I hit the bed.” – blacknumbers “I was so bummed yesterday I just made myself a human burrito out of blankets and binged Parks and Recreation. That show makes me ridiculously happy and I have no idea why, I usually hate sitcoms.” – how1

Me, myself and I

“My only secret is that I try to offer myself some me-time ever so often, taking a walk back from the office instead of the bus, going to a park and sitting on the grass alone for an hour looking at people. But it’s very important for me to be off the grid during that time. Being a programmer I spend enough time on the internet, hooked to a large quantity of information, much more that the human brain is used to, so when I take these breaks I try to cut off any connection to the internet.

Also no music, or podcasts. It’s nice to hear my steps on the pavement and the city living around me. It calms me to know that my problems, no matter how big they seem to me, are insignificant when compared to the size of city, planet, universe, whatever sound nicer to you.” – Potecuta

Featured image: Andre Benz on Unsplash

What are some of the things you do to relax? Share your tips with us!

More related stories: Quick Tricks To Stop Yourself From Feeling Anxious8 Effective Ways To Deal With Frenemies8 Tips To Love Yourself Better


7 Essential Steps To Getting Over A Crush

27 Nov 2017 by Johanna Teo

Moving on from that crush in 3..2..1.

That sickening dread that fills your tummy upon finding out that the subject of your affection ain’t interested at being more than friends, or when they start dating someone else – there’s little more torturous than the crush of unrequited feelings (that’s why they call it a “crush” right?). Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Which is why we’ve created this mini guide for when you know it’s time to cut your feelings loose. 

#1 Commit to the process of letting go 

Honestly, this crush ain’t going nowhere unless you’re fully committed to getting over it. It will take time (perhaps lots of it) but it will eventually fade as long as you’re willing to do the work and let go of your feelings. Understand that there’s nothing romantic that’ll come out of your efforts and accept the situation for what it is. And it’s not personal; you can’t compel someone else to have feelings for you any more than you can force yourself to have romantic feelings for a person you don’t like. Calm down, and let loose. 

#2 Let your feelings out 

Whether it’s talking to trusted friends or close family members about your feelings, creating a good support system where you’re able to vent your feelings will help tremendously. Speaking out loud about your feelings, why you’re so into this person, how hurt you are, etc. is a cathartic process that can also help you gain clarity of the situation. 

#3 Be sad for awhile 

Grab some ice cream, put on a playlist full of breakup songs, or watch a tearjerking movie – set aside time to just… wallow in sadness. But after that session is up, pick yourself back up and continue the process of getting over that crush. 

#4 Unfollow Their Social Media 

If you’re crushing on a class/schoolmate, chances are you’d see them everyday. But why make it harder for yourself by staying connected even on social media? With all the stalking you’ve been doing on their Instagram/Snapchat/Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr accounts, your feed is probably full of their updates – posts that you shouldn’t be looking at. Allowing yourself that option of being able to constantly check on them isn’t healthy and will only further your misery. Unfollow, unlike, unsubscribe, out of sight and out of mind. 

#5 Create distance 

With that being said, it’s best to give yourself space from your crush and minimise any interaction. It might be difficult (and awkward) especially if they’re in the same school/class or even share mutual friends. But perhaps it’s also a good opportunity to branch out socially and make new friends. 

#6 Keep yourself busy 

Keeping busy will naturally steer your mind away from your crush, so as much as possible, try occupying yourself with things you enjoy. Whether it’s redecorating your room, or going rock climbing, or spending more time with your friends, distracting yourself with different activities will keep you from obsessing over what could’ve been. 

#7 Focus on yourself 

It definitely sucks to be the one having unreciprocated feelings, but know that it doesn’t take away from your awesomeness. You were incredibly courageous by allowing yourself to be vulnerable by having feelings for someone else; just because it didn’t work out the way you wanted it to, doesn’t mean you’re not good enough. It’s their loss! From now on, constantly do things that empower and remind yourself of how great you are. Whether it’s indulging in your favourite hobbies, or stepping out of your comfort zones by trying out new activities, start focusing on yourself instead of on someone else. Your future self will thank you! 

Featured image: Anthony Intraversato on Unsplash

What are some of your go-to activities when you’re feeling down? Share ’em in the comments section!

More related stories: 6 YA Books About Mental Health Every Teen Needs To ReadQuick Tricks To Stop Yourself From Feeling Anxious8 Effective Ways To Deal With Frenemies

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What started from peddling nail polishes door-to-door has flourished into a booming beauty venture. Daryl Chew, the brainchild behind Nail Deck, spills it all. 

In 2011, a university student took the plunge into entrepreneurship amidst all odds – selling nail polishes door-to-door and running pushcarts on campuses, before evolving into a hardware startup which was forced to cease productions due to lack of funds. Today, 29-year-old Daryl Chew is the owner of his very own custom cosmetics empire known as Nail Deck, where they specialise in creating bespoke nail lacquers. Innovating the beauty industry in ways previously unimaginable, Daryl is painting his own rules for success.


A post shared by Nail Deck (@naildeck) on

Tell us the story behind Nail Deck.

It all started when my then-girlfriend (now wife) wanted to buy a specific brand of colour-changing nail polish from the United States, but it doesn’t ship to Singapore. Back then I was under an entrepreneurship programme in the National University of Singapore, so I thought it was an interesting product from a male’s point of view.
I contacted the company and became the brand’s official distributor – I ordered a few thousand bottles but didn’t know what to do with the leftovers, so I peddled a backpack filled with nail polishes and sold them to salons. After graduation, I opened pushcarts to reach consumers directly and it took off from there.

If you could describe yourself as a nail polish shade, what kind of colour would you envision it to be?


A post shared by Nail Deck (@naildeck) on

I would be a dark vampire blood red, and there’s a story behind it. When I was running pushcarts, I had people requesting for specific colours and there was a customer who asked for a “dark vampire blood red” but I couldn’t find the exact shade she wanted so she got frustrated. Over time, I received more and more requests. I don’t know who the woman is and I’ll never know the exact shade she envishioned, but that was what gave me the light bulb moment to go into nail polish customisation.

As a male in a largely female-oriented industry, what are your thoughts on the stigma surrounding men and beauty?

For me, I wear nail polish and all, but I’m not concerned with the comments. On the contrary, being a male in the field of cosmetics has allowed me to be more objective when it comes to business aspects. As I’m not a direct user, I go by consumer data instead of being emotionally invested in a product.

How does the entrepreneurial landscape differ from the past and now?

When I first started the business back in 2011, it was the beginning of the start-up craze and the industry has matured very quickly over the years. There are government organisations coming together to foster a strong ecosystem where they provide mentorship, fundraising initiatives, grants etc. You now have all these resources to leverage on – all you need is a good idea, determination and a leap of faith to make it happen.

What were the challenges you had to face and how did you overcome them?

Dealing with self-doubt. You see friends bringing in five-figure salaries, and you’d wonder whether you’ve made the right decision. But at the end of the day, nothing beats the satisfaction of being an entrepreneur. It’s a rollercoaster ride, but that’s what makes the ups better. I am also fortunate to have the support of my family and friends to keep me going.

Have you ever thought about what you’d be doing if you weren’t an entrepreneur?

The idea of working for another company has crossed my mind, but I love what I’m doing. I enjoy creating a brand that can carry on the legacy. 50 years down the road, I still hope to have my products on the shelves and continue bringing happiness to people.

What has been the most memorable moment for you thus far?

Not giving up on entrepreneurship and jumping back into the game. I put my business on hold for about two years. I enjoyed what I was doing, but I didn’t know how to grow the business and lost a lot of confidence, thus I wanted to gain more experience. I worked at an investment company and ended up doing well at it. I thought it was the right career path, but once you’ve had a taste of being your own boss, that sense of satisfaction will always be there.

How do you find the balance between work life and me-time?

I usually end my days earlier to spend time with my family. In the past, I had the belief that I should be working nonstop, but I realised that while businesses can always be built up again, relationships with your loved ones can’t be gained back easily. I also place a lot of emphasis on having a healthy lifestyle, so I would run on the weekends and train for marathons.

What’s a piece of advice you’d give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Being an entrepreneur is not a career choice, but a lifestyle choice. You’ve got to be mentally prepared that a lot of things in your life are going to change, and you have to embrace the changes if you set your mind to becoming one.

Watch Daryl introducing Nail Deck to Xiaxue! 

Download the Nail Deck app on iOS to find your perfect shade or purchase a Lacquer Kit from www.naildeck.com to DIY your own nails!

This article was adapted from the November 2017 issue of Teenage.

More related stories: Local Artist Shares About Pursing His Passion Beyond SingaporeA Millennial Globetrotter Shares His Backpacking TipsMeet One Of Singapore’s Only Professional Male Pole Dancers

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