ORD LOH! Now What?

What Do I Do Now?

Now What? What Do I Do After NS?
Congratulations! Just like that, you have successfully completed your two years of mandatory National Service (NS). However, despite the return of the coveted pink IC, you can't help but feel a tinge of bittersweetness. The absence of the regimental lifestyle and round-the-clock companionship from your comrades has left an undeniable void in your life. Your restored identity as a civilian causes you excitement about life's possibilities and yet apprehension towards the uncertainty of what is next.

Well, fret not. Whether you are waiting for college or for the opportunity to kickstart your professional career, here are 6 ways (besides partying) to really make the most of your civilian life in the meantime.

Community Work
"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

National Service can be described as the epitome of responsibility a man can provide for his country. An NSF must disregard and abandon his own self-interests to ensure that his loved ones can sleep peacefully at night. Having fulfilled your part in supporting our national security, you can now focus on contributing to Singapore in other ways.

You can educate an underprivileged child and empower him to break out from the poverty cycle. You could take part of a refurbishment project to provide suffering elderly couples with the basic living conditions they deserve. You might decide to advocate against unnecessary violence towards animals. You have within you the great power to drive change in society and you must never let your BMT sergeant tell you otherwise.

Giving.sg Giving.sg offers a wide selection of volunteer opportunities across all causes and organizations.
"Sleep is good, he said, and books are better." ― George R.R. Martin

Regimentation, discipline and mundane tasks have rendered your brain mostly inactive for two years. You need to get it whirring again, so take some time off to read the book you always meant to but never got around to starting. Passionate about psychology and classical literature? Become well-versed in the things that intrigue you. NS may have made you physically fitter, but do you know what is more attractive than a man with guns? A man with both guns and brains.

Goodreads.com Deciding what to read next? Goodreads.com offers surprisingly insightful recommendations just by telling them what titles or genres you've enjoyed in the past. Its extensive library of book reviews is also an invaluable resource to reference from before you make your way down to Kinokuniya or purchase that e-book.

Pick Up A New Skill
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." ― Mahatma Gandhi

Whether you pick up a new instrument or decide to learn a martial art, you now have more time than ever to be the well rounded individual you've always wanted to be. If your intention is to equip yourself with industry relevant skills to establish that early advantage in the job market, knowing how to code could be a very useful asset.

Codeacademy.com Codeacademy is an online platform where you can learn programming skills for free.
"Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one's lifetime." – Mark Twain

You have probably saved up quite a few dollars over the duration of your NS journey. Why not pamper yourself and go on a short overseas trip to experience and see more of the world? Research has shown that people who spend money on experiences and not material things tend to be the happier bunch. Afterall, it is not what we own but what we do which best defines us and adds meaning to our lives.

Triphobo.com Triphobo offers inspiration on places to visit and things to do for your vacation.
Skyscanner.com.sg Skyscanner is global travel search engine for flights, hotels and car hire. You can get the cheapest fares with Skyscanner.
Airbnb.com With Airbnb, you can easily find an affordable place to stay during your vacation.
Keep Working Out
"Working out makes me feel strong and energized every time. It's my therapy for my mind and body." - Stacy Keibler

If you did National Service the proper way, your body is probably in the best shape it's ever been. While you pursue your life goals, don't forget to invest some time in a quick workout every now and then to maintain the strong physique. Don't let all of the blood, sweat and tears go to waste.

ActiveSG When you produce your NRIC/Birth Certificate at any of Singapore's ActiveSG Sport Centres, you will receive FREE ActiveSG $100 (valid for a limited period) worth of credits which can be used for swimming complexes and gym admissions.
Work At A Startup
"Rhetorical question: Did you get to where you are by accepting the status quo? I didn't." ― Richie Norton

Startups are tight knit companies driven by ideals, innovation, adrenaline and community. Rather than picking up a random part-time job which fails to inspire you, why not opt for a paid internship at a startup instead? Startup life provides excellent self development opportunities, invaluable industry insights and solid work experience. Having spent 2 years within the boundaries of a military camp, startup life might be the most effective way to accelerate your learning and personal growth.

Grdient At Grdient, students go through a 7 month long program designed to equip them with the necessary skills, tools, attitudes and network to thrive in a startup. They will then be sent for a paid internship at one of the best startups in Singapore via Grdient's extensive professional network. Having gone through a unique pedagogy and program structure coupled with training in the most relevant and in-demand skills for tech startups in the region, graduates will be able to differentiate themselves from the others, take ownership of their career trajectories and remain highly employable in today's volatile job market.