Ask Me Anything! (An FAQ about Life, Love, Studies, and Adulting)

Hello! I started an initiative inviting students to ask me anything about life, studies, friendship, and love – well, anything under the sun, really! After all, how often do you get to interact with a university lecturer, or for that matter, a philosopher? I’m happy to share with you my thoughts, insights, and even life experiences about a variety of matters.

Feel free to ask a question by clicking on one of the buttons below:

Below are some Q&A (mostly advice about life, love, adulting, and studies) that I have curated for your reading pleasure. I wrote them as advice for my students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS). Even if you are not my student, I do hope that you’ll find the thoughts and advice useful and insightful. :)

Feel free to share this page with your friends. This page is updated regularly, so do check back from time to time for new Q&A! :)

Table of Contents

I. Questions about Me

II. Questions about Undergraduate Student Life and Studies

III. Questions about the Honours Thesis and the Honours Track

IV. Questions about Graduate Studies

V. Questions about Adulting: Internships and Work After Graduation

VI. Questions about Adulting: Personal Financial Planning

VII. Questions about Personal Struggles and Challenges

VIII. Questions about Struggles with Parents and Family

IX. Questions about Friendship and Love

X. Questions about Philosophy and the Study of Philosophy

I. Questions about Me

(1) Would you consider yourself quite an open person?

(2) Would you rather give or get bad advice and why?

(3) What is happiness?

(4) What’s your view on the meaning of life?

(5) Have you done something you really regret? If so, how did you recover from it?

(6) What’s the best decision you’ve ever made? And what’s the riskiest?

(7) Do you think more with your heart or with your mind?

(8) Why do you use the username, @autumnfloods? What’s the story behind it?

(9) Do overly desperate students ever annoy you so much that your mood to teach or guide them in the right direction is ruined?

(10) What is your teaching philosophy? What are some lessons you have gained as an educator?

(11) Would you restart your life again if you could?

(12) Would you say that it’s important to read a lot?

II. Questions about Undergraduate Student Life and Studies

(1) Are there things undergraduates should know or appreciate more?

(2) What advice would you give to your students? (About Studies)

(3) I struggle in my studies. Does it mean that I’m not good enough?

(4) Is it normal to feel so lost when taking a new module?

(5) What do I say to people who ask me, “What do you want to do in the future?”

(6) How do you respond to annoying relatives who look down on you when you tell them you’re studying in the Arts and Social Sciences?

(7) Do grades matter after graduation?

(8) What differentiates A+/A students from the rest, especially in your module?

(9) Is it true that it’s easier to score an A for some modules?

(10) How do I know if what I am doing is enough to do well academically?

(11) How do I get better grades in school?

(12) What are some tips to do well in exams?

(13) I don’t have any friends in my major. Is it good for me to stay this way or should I change and try to befriend people?

(14) Why do we have to write so much in the Arts and Social Sciences?

(15) Is it a norm for students to be close to their profs?

(16) I thought I had plans for the future but life got disrupted by COVID-19. What should we do if we’re unsure about our future?

(17) How should I make use of my Unrestricted Electives (UE) requirement? Is it worthwhile to pursue a Minor, or should I instead use the time to explore modules from different faculties?

(18) How does one become an undergraduate Research Assistant?

(19) Are polytechnic graduates inferior to junior college graduates in University?

(20) When is a good time to start doing level 3000 modules in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)?

(21) Will I be losing out if I don’t go on the Student Exchange Programme (SEP)?

(22) How much would peer review affect one’s own final grade?

(23) How do you deal with an uptight group project mate who’s difficult to work with?

(24) Is it a bad thing to be so focused on schoolwork or other endeavours like hobbies/work in general that I sacrifice having a vibrant social life or a romantic relationship during University? What if I continue being this way when I grow older?

(25) Is it common to have feelings of inadequacy when comparing myself to my peers?

(26) For an open book exam, is there still a need to make notes? Or is it enough to simply read the textbook/readings?

(27) How do I deal with having to do compulsory core modules for my major that I may not have much interest in? My grades are affected because of my lack of interest in those modules.

(28) Do you have any advice for someone who doesn’t mind studying but hates doing assignments, especially when they are more difficult and outside my comfort zone?

(29) Am I considered inadequate if I fair poorly in school? A lot of people around me seem to be doing very well academically except for me and it takes a hit on my self-worth.

(30) How do I go about choosing my major or what field I should specialise in?

(31) Some people tell me that university is the last time for us to be carefree young adults before entering the workforce, but shouldn’t I be studying for my future instead?

III. Questions about Honours Thesis and the Honours Track

(1) How essential is it to graduate with an Honours degree?

(2) Do you think doing Honours is necessary?

(3) What’s the difference between choosing to do a thesis and choosing to do modules for Honours? Which one is better?

(4) What would spur you to encourage a student to take the Honours track?

(5) I’m thinking of doing thesis but I’m not sure how to get started

IV. Questions about Graduate Studies

(1) What advice do you have to give to someone who wants to pursue a Masters in the future?

(2) What are the costs associated with pursuing graduate school?

(3) Do you think it’s possible to be an academic if my best is still an A-?

V. Questions about Adulting: Internships and Work After Graduation

(1) What is the most important life advice that you would like to give your students?

(2) Is adulting as unforgiving and scary as people make it out to be?

(3) Is it true that I will be at a disadvantage if I lack experience from internships?

(4) I’m struggling to find an internship. What should I do?

(5) What are your thoughts on students trying to find internships with their friends?

(6) Do you have any advice for those who are interning for the first time?

(7) What advice do you have for a fresh graduate looking for a job?

(8) Would you advise going to graduate school first before applying to teach?

(9) Any advice on joining the teaching profession?

(10) What if some of us can only do humanities well and enjoy doing humanities well?

(11) Does a second major bolster my standing for employment?

(12) Do you think it’s too ambitious for one to want to make a difference to Singapore’s cultural scene?

(13) How do I know if I have a good job?

(14) How do I begin as a freelance writer?

(15) Would you rather have an easy job working for someone else or work for yourself but work incredibly hard? And why?

(16) As someone who’s presently looking for a job, can I still apply for a job if it asks for a specific degree that I don’t possess?

(17) Any advice for someone who takes a very long time to adapt to a new idea or a new work environment?

(18) Is it advisable to seek internships and jobs through recruiting agencies if I am unsuccessful in my internship search?

(19) What should I do when all my friends have internships or job opportunities? I can’t help but feel very anxious and scared for my future.

(20) Are there any FASS majors that you think are at a disadvantage at getting employed after graduation?

(21) How can I boost my CV/portfolio while studying without exhausting myself in the process?

VI. Questions about Adulting: Personal Financial Planning

(1) How do I start taking charge of my savings?

(2) When is a good time to start looking for insurance for myself and what types of insurance should I prioritise?

VII. Questions about Personal Struggles and Challenges

(1) Do you have any advice for people with low self-esteem and who always think that they are not good enough?

(2) How do you overcome fear of uncertainties, and the shame and guilt of past failures?

(3) How do I stop being scared of failure?

(4) How do I deal with imposter syndrome?

(5) I’ve been working on something for a while and it doesn’t feel like I’m making any significant headway. At what point do you decide it’s no longer worth pursuing?

(6) Do you have any advice for dealing with loneliness while chasing one’s dreams?

(7) How do you stay motivated chasing your dreams (while also dealing with loneliness)?

(8) How do you deal with people who are passive aggressive (paggro)?

(9) How would you deal with passive aggressive people who refuse to apologise even when they are in the wrong?

(10) How do you welcome changes in life?

(11) What are your thoughts on suicide and its implications?

(12) I want to step out of this negativity and find my own happiness. Do you have any ideas on how I can do so?

(13) How do I deal with loneliness?

(14) Can I ask if there’s ever a time you felt very annoyed but feel like there’s no way to resolve it? How do you calm yourself down? And what do you do after that?

(15) How do I get motivated when my motivation normally rides on adrenaline?

(16) What do you do when you’ve tried many times but you still fail every single time, even though it’s something that you really like and want to be good at?

(17) I’m pretty stressed out by my studies, and I feel so conflicted because I don’t want to burden people by saying that I’m not free. What should I do?

(18) How can I exercise more patience with anything?

(19) How do I stop wishing for someone else’s life and learn to love my own?

(20) Any advice on how not to be jealous?

(21) How do we differentiate between someone who needs to change their attitude or us needing to be more accommodating?

(22) Do bad habits die off as one grows older because people mature and grow wiser as they age?

(23) How would you advise someone to deal with stress if they are on a very tight schedule and can’t really go on walks and breaks?

VIII. Questions about Struggles with Parents and Family

(1) How do I become more sensible and mature in order to understand my parents?

(2) How can I communicate better with my parents or at least let them understand my point of view when they don’t want to listen to me?

(3) I want to share my problems with my mother, but she ends up making it all about her. It’s affecting my relationship with her. What can I do?

(4) How do I deal with my mother who says really horrible things about other people?

(5) Do you believe that a person’s attitude with his/her family is reflective of the type of person they are and the type of upbringing they will give their future kids?

(6) How do you survive the tension at home after you’ve had a fight with your parents?

(7) What advice do you have for someone who isn’t interested in dating or marriage in general but faces lots of parental pressure to do so?

(8) How do I cope with the passing of a loved one?

IX. Questions about Friendship and Love

(1) How do I know if the person I’m dating is the one?

(2) Do you have any thoughts on love and relationships in general?

(3) When do you think is a good time to get into relationships?

(4) Is it normal for me to feel that I never feel prepared for a relationship?

(5) Do you have any tips on what to do if I’m interested in someone?

(6) How do I confess my love to someone?

(7) Do you trust someone easily?

(8) What are some important lessons you’ve learnt from your friendships?

(9) Any advice on how to make friends of the opposite gender?

(10) Have you ever kissed your best friend?

(11) Do you think it’s possible to forgive someone completely?

(12) Is it better to be dependent or independent in a relationship?

(13) Do you think a couple that broke up once can come back together to make things work again?

(14) What are your thoughts on couples that have a big “gap” between them? E.g. one is more highly educated than the other, or one is earning more than the other.

(15) What are your thoughts on people who “steal” their friend’s boyfriend/girlfriend as their own?

(16) What’s your take on platonic love vs. romantic love?

(17) How do I reject someone politely?

(18) Do you think it’s good to reconnect with some old friends again?

(19) Do you think it’s wrong to cut off people, even if they were your closest friends, just to protect your mental health?

(20) My girlfriend got pregnant, and we’re both still studying in university. What do you suggest we do?

(21) Why do people who are 17 or 18 years old get into relationships if the chances they can last is unlikely?

(22) What do you think of girls who confess? Since it is more normal for guys to be the ones doing it.

(23) Do looks matter in a relationship?

(24) Is it true that a relationship can only work if two people have opposite personalities?

(25) How far do you think a person can try to accommodate or tweak their habits for their partner before it becomes inorganic or that they are forced to become someone they don’t wanna be?

(26) What do you think of girls being attracted to “bad boys”?

(27) What do you think of couples who take the same major, and they enrol in the same modules and tutorials together?

(28) I’m afraid that I won’t be able to find a partner after graduation because I have no experience in dating!

(29) What advice would you give to a girl whose boyfriend tries to pressure her into having sex even though the girl says, “No”?

(30) What advice can you give to someone who’s never been in a relationship but is looking for someone to spend the rest of their life with?

(31) I’ve never been in a relationship and I’m scared that I have no experience and may not find anyone. Help!

(32) Is it unethical to not tell my partner about previous episodes of anxiety/depression?

X. Questions about Philosophy and the Study of Philosophy

(1) What can students learn from Philosophy?

(2) What do you study in Philosophy? What is you favourite thing about Philosophy?

(3) What is critical thinking? Do you have any advice on how to think critically?

(4) I want to major in Philosophy but I’ve heard horror stories about job prospects. What are your peers who majored in philosophy doing after they’ve graduated?