“There is a fire and this is an emergency-please evacuate immediately”-I had just turned off my lap top and was about to turn in for the day when these words started reverberating around my apartment. My drowsiness disappeared instantly as a wave of shock engulfed me. I ran down the stairs along with scores of others. On reaching the huge lawn that overlooks the Graduate Residence Towers, I saw crowds of students looking around anxiously. I even saw one resident tugging along a suitcase with him!
Within a few moments though, our anxiety disappeared, as we were told it was a fire drill. Although a major anti-climax, the entire affair became an impromptu socialising session. Students from all nationalities, varied educational streams and backgrounds were mingling, joking, laughing and having a good time. The MBAs distinguished themselves by finding a golden opportunity to pounce on unsuspecting students with their semester end statistics and marketing surveys! All in all, the entire scene encapsulated the essence of what U Town has come to mean for me-zest, youth, fun, camaraderie and togetherness.
Since its opening in August 2011, University Town (or U Town, as it is popularly known) has become the cynosure of all eyes both within and outside NUS. With three residential buildings (two being the Residential Colleges for the undergraduate students and the third for the Graduate students), the largest Starbucks in Singapore and the state of the art Education Resource Centre, U Town is truly the place to be in. Very aesthetically and imaginatively constructed, U Town is home to NUS students from all educational and national profiles, thus facilitating rich intellectual and cultural exchange.
There have been several events and activities for the U Town residents-The Supernova Rock Concert, Kite flying festival, Sports Meet, Seminars and Career events. Always buzzing with activity, the vibe of youthfulness can be felt every moment. It has become routine to pass by the lawn and watch a group of students leisurely playing a game of Frisbee, run in to classmates at Cheers and Koufu (the food court), giggle at frantic girls in their 4 inch stilettos and chic chignons run towards the bus stop to make it to the waiting shuttles, or work with group members in the spacious and comfortable rooms of the ERC in to the early hours of the morning.
U Town has not just changed the skyline of the Kent Ridge Campus- it is a socially and culturally vibrant habitat, with 2,400 undergraduate students, 1,700 graduate students and 1,000 researchers working, living, and learning in close proximity. Having resided here for 3 months now, I can honestly say that I have “lived, learnt and discovered” at the universe of U Town.
Shailia Pandia (Indian)
Full Time MBA Student, Class of 2013