It's almost the last month of the year, so it can only mean two things: Christmas and you've completed (yet) another semester of your academic year in university.
There is no better time than now to look back and reflect on your fleeting moments spent in NUS, NTU, SMU or SIM -- places where street smarts sometimes go to die -- and recall meeting a bunch of different characters, some you may like, some you may not.
Here are 17 kinds of people you cross paths with in university, who have, in some manner, shaped you as a person (e.g. more judgmental, prejudicial, grateful etc.)
Regardless of whether you like it or not.
That's why this is a list of people, not friends.
1. Year 1 girls
YEAH! Selfies in school!
How to spot them: They attend lectures as if they're going to a club.
And that's cool! Ogle all you like boys and girls.
2. Decent, knowledgeable student guy
High-spirited and ready to help!
How to spot them: He or she does all their readings and attends all tutorials.
It's cool to have a friend like that because they're pretty helpful. They'd most willingly help you with your studies.
3. Annoying nerd
How to spot them: The annoying nerd is most likely at the library or at a random study bench with a pile of library books and thesis. Do you need these books for your essay? Alas, they're lost in the selfish hands of the nerd. You'd have to either befriend them or make do with another book for your research.
You can also spot them in tutorials as they ask tough questions nobody cares about during your presentation.
4. Investor/ Start-up guy
Not part of the curriculum!
How to spot them: These guys are most likely reading books on Forex trading or on marketing. It is also very likely they're already picking up golf.
Such ambition! It's pretty neat to meet and talk to someone who wants a head start in life. But it can be pretty annoying and douchey if that's all they ever talk about.
Relish their friendship, for they may drop out anytime to concentrate on their business.
If we calculate how often a slacker goes for classes, the head on the right is proportionate to his attendance.
How to spot them: You can spot them during... oh wait, you can't see them at all during the semester. You just have to wait for the final paper where the slacker would gloriously bless the exam hall with his or her presence.
It's a rare sight. Take a picture if you will.
Side note: The slacker can be a responsible student and even a good friend. He or she should not to be confused with the next person below.
6. Totally useless idiot
How to spot them: It's that guy in your project group. That one who doesn't do a thing and doesn't show up for any project meetings. He contributes very little, if anything at all. He's a complete pain as he would most likely screw up the group's presentation.
The only thing you can do is to get back at him with the peer appraisal form! Yeah! Take that!
7. PRC scholars
How to spot them: Oh you will spot them. No hating or anything like that, just saying you'll spot them.
Best advice? Don't judge them. Be their friend. Start buying into the crap that ALL PRC scholars are annoying students and you'll be annoyed yourself.
8. Hall Folk
How to spot them: They usually walk around in FBTs and singlets. Because you know, the entire school is pretty much their home. They are also generally more tanned since they're always indulging in their sports, Flag Day or whatever.
Definitely do yourself a favour and make friends with a Hall Folk. You can sleep in their rooms during your long breaks.
Awww this is THEIR JAM!
How to spot them: They usually come in groups! Run! Just kidding. You can spot them in their baggy track pants, XL tee-shirts and caps worn on backwards. If their jam is on, they may start popping and locking to the music.
Also, you'll hear them. They'll be performing here and there.
10. Pioneers of the new club
How to spot them: They'd have their booth set up somewhere as they try to promote the new club or CCA for everyone to join. During my time, it was some DJ-cum-electronic music club thing and a Bboying club.
They may be obscure and somewhat hipster-ish, but it's cool to check out others' passions. Diversity and culture y'all!
11. Your JC female friends
How to spot them: Guys, your female companions of pre-army days are now two years ahead of you. Sadly, some of them may not really care about you, as they're busy with their new friends or boyfriends.
And get this, some of them may end up being your tutor since they're super smart and stuff.
12. Exchange students
How to spot them: Erm... their genetic makeup is different from yours. They also have an accent when they speak.
Sign up for exchange yourself. Grab this chance in your young adult life when you can.
13. The one who stirs sh*t online
How to spot them: I'm not talking about Facebook man.
Log in your school network (IVLE for NUS), go to your module and click on the forums link. There's an off chance someone would decide to post something controversial, or in my time, call out the whole class on how we didn't ask any "intelligent questions".
Sit back. Relax. Prepare popcorn. Watch.
14. Gym junkie
Don't be surprised to see one of these.
How to spot them: He or she walks around with their gym, sling bags while holding a protein shake.
Arms may be really big, while head may be unusually small.
15. Your BMT mates
How to spot them: This is actually tough! It's been two years since you met these guys in Pulau Tekong, and surprise, surprise! The clumsy, blur dude who nobody liked is actually a pretty cool person to hang out with.
And your officer who had authority over you? He's a loser with no real friends. Without that rank, he suddenly doesn't look that charismatic at all, if ever.
Strange how things work out eh? Such is the stark difference between army and civilian life.
16. The friends who just came back from exchange
How to spot them: They will tell you two key things.
One, they will tell you how much fun they had over there and were so reluctant to come back.
Two, they will say the culture is so different compared to here. Like duh.
17. Your newfound friends-for-life
How to spot them: They're just those who's going to hit it off really well with you.
Stay cool. University is a fun time. Don't rush to grow up to start working and stuff. Have all the fun you want. You got your whole life ahead of you.
And prepare Ang Bao money. Before you know it, you'll be attending one of their weddings.
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Top photo from here