As you face a break in your studies, or have a few months free, you’re probably wondering how to fill the time. And those with an eye on a scholarship will be full of ideas. Maybe you should sign up for an internship, or take up a relevant course? There’s also volunteering with a worthy organisation, or networking events both on and offline.
In all the hustle of prepping your scholarship application and polishing up your skills, rest time can quickly fall by the wayside. However, it would be good to also listen to the words of our Education Minister, Ong Ye Kung. Speaking about people who use their SkillsFuture credits on hobby or leisure courses, he was supportive of these endeavors as well.
“What is (considered as) leisure by me may be a profession to another… What to me may be a language to understand a drama series, may be a work requirement for somebody else. So I don’t want to prejudge,” Mr Ong said.
As you work and study towards your goals, his words are an important reminder about learning the right skills, for yourself. While your career track or study plan may demand a certain certificate, there is also value is following your heart and exploring your passion for botany, art, or music.
Indeed, many of the older generation are using their SkillsFuture credits to explore hobbies they never had time for in the past. Everyone has an aunty of uncle eager to show them their latest watercolour painting, carved soap in the shape of an animal, or some other such curio as the reward for a couple hour’s work.
And ultimately, these pursuits bring happiness and a sense of fulfillment. They also can contribute a valuable change of perspective. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to memorise formulas, a course in meditative thinking might show you a new way to approach your problems and life.
Another value in so-called “leisure” pursuits is that they have a way of benefitting you in more holistic ways. A language you studied to understand a certain drama series may end up being useful when you entertain clients from that country. And the news is dotted with stories of people who turned their hobbies into successful businesses – from clothes, to watches, to 3D printing.
So when thinking of a course to take in your free hours, by all means list all the pros and cons… but listen to your heart as well.