Written by: Lye Jae Vir (22-I1), Nur Khairunnisa (22-I1), Tan Ken Shin (22-A2), Hao Rui (22-A4), Ignatius Lee (22-O5)

Designed by: Alexia Teo (22-U1)

Welcome back to another edition of our monthly summary of the happenings around the world! From China’s successful satellite launch to changes in adoption laws, we have various interesting news summaries in store for you! Read on to find out more!


Britain’s Prime Minister 

Surely, you have come across the internet joke of a lettuce outlasting Liz Truss’s term as prime minister. Nonetheless, how much do you really know about the issues that she brought to the United Kingdom (UK), as well as what is to come? 

To start off, Liz Truss was appointed as prime minister by Queen Elizabeth II, after winning the elections marginally. Truss planned to boost the economy through various initiatives as well as cutting taxes.

After Kwasi Kwarteng, Truss’ finance minister, announced the biggest tax cut in the UK in half a decade, it was revealed that she had not consulted the Bank of England before proceeding. She had just put the UK into a greater fiscal deficit. 

She then proceeded to fire Kwarteng, stating that he had ‘serious misconduct’. Less than a week later, she delivered her famous ‘I’m a fighter, not a quitter’ speech. 

She announced her resignation the following day. 

As of now, Rishi Sunak, the UK’s first Asian prime minister, has been formally appointed by King Charles III. He has great responsibility ahead of him, especially the looming economic crisis. 

Who knows? Maybe Rishi Sunak is the answer to the UK’s instability. 

Bayonetta 3 Helena Taylor news

The highly-anticipated video game Bayonetta 3 has become embroiled in controversy after Hellena Taylor, the star voice actor of Bayonetta in the first two games, says she was offered just $4K to reprise her role in the upcoming instalment, which she called on fans to boycott.

On October 15th, Taylor posted a video on Twitter, a renowned social media platform, which detailed her experience with Nintendo and PlatinumGames, the lead game-developing companies of Bayonetta 3. She revealed that they offered to only pay her a measly $4K for her role in the game, and that Taylor’s appeal for a higher pay was rejected. Taylor also called on fans to boycott the release of the game.

This has made the issue of employee exploitation by large corporations even more prominent, and has encouraged many workers and voice actors to speak out about their experience with being underpaid, and convinced the masses to fight for higher wages. 

In response, PlatinumGames responded by showing legal documentation regarding Taylor’s actual pay, $15K,  which was much higher than the amount Taylor stated. Unfortunately, it was eventually discovered that Taylor’s statement was indeed false, which was also admitted by Taylor herself later on.

This sparked rightful outrage against Taylor on the Internet, with many accusing her of making speaking out against unfair treatment of workers a lot harder for the masses due to the distrust of victims. 

Despite PlatinumGames still offering Taylor a one-time cameo in the game, Taylor declined, and stated that she was going to move on from her voice acting career. As a result, PlatinumGames has now hired a new voice actor for Bayonetta, Jennifer Hale. 


20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party

At the close of October, the 20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party concluded. This was set against the backdrop of the removal of the two-term limit put in place by Deng; a check on power to prevent a return to the chaos during the Cultural Revolution under Mao’s dictatorship. With Xi Jin Ping set to take up an unprecedented third term, the Congress saw a greater centralisation of power in the upper echelons of the Chinese government. The Chinese Politburo Standing Committee, the very core of government, has seen Xi’s loyalists fill up its seats, replacing many potential rivals.

On top of that, the Congress saw constitutional amendments that placed Xi and his ‘Xi Jinping Thought’ at the core of the party. Yet, with rising opposition to his zero-covid policy and a faltering economy, it remains unknown whether these actions will ensure Xi’s political supremacy. Till the next 21st National Congress. 


MAS Proposed Measures on Trade of Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency, also known as Digital Payment Token (DPT), is a digital, encrypted, and decentralised medium of exchange. It is a vital part of the development of Web 3.0, and has been made increasingly well-known to the public as technology giants are rushing into the market. The high profits in trading cryptocurrencies have attracted a huge volume of investors.

The local government has been very concerned with the trade of cryptocurrencies. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) referred to trading of cryptocurrencies reiteratively as ‘highly risky and not suitable for the general public’. After issuing guidelines to limit cryptocurrency trading service providers from promoting their services to the public in January, MAS wants to further tighten its regulation on the retail of cryptocurrencies to protect the public. It published two consultation papers this month regarding regulatory measures to reduce the risk of consumer harm from the trading of cryptocurrencies. One noticeable measure proposed is that retail investors may have to go through a risk awareness assessment before they are allowed to trade. The use of credit cards in the trades will also be disallowed in the trades once the proposed measures are put into force.

Sustainability Action Package

Officials in developing countries will be able to tap on Singapore’s experience in areas such as water resources management and food security through a series of courses she is introducing to address sustainability and climate change issues.

The courses in the newly introduced Sustainability Action Package will come under the broader Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP), which celebrates its 30th anniversary in October 2022.  Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said that, “The package aims to help countries decarbonise and will include key areas of sustainability. By working collectively, we strengthen our ability to deal with the immense shared challenges of the future. And none of us can address these successfully alone.” At an MFA event, Dr Balakrishnan also mentioned that Singapore will also sponsor longer-term advisory projects in Southeast Asia, to deepen capabilities on sustainability in the region.

The SCP has been an important platform to enhance capacity-building and exchange development experiences over the last three decades. Globally, more than 150,000 government officials from 180 countries have attended workshops or courses under the programme set up in 1992 to bring together Singapore’s technical assistance efforts. About 88,000 are from ASEAN member states.


Baptista, E., & Yew, L. T. (2022, October 22). China’s XI further cements power as party congress closes. Reuters. Retrieved from

Davidson, H., Graham-Harrison, E., & Yu, V. (2022, October 23). In Mao’s footsteps: Xi Jinping puts himself at core of China’s government. The Guardian. Retrieved from

Kit, T. S. (2022, October 26). Retail investors to take risk test before cryptocurrency trading as part of proposed rules by Mas. CNA. Retrieved from

Mas proposes measures to reduce risks to consumers from cryptocurrency trading and enhance standards of stablecoin-related activities. Monetary Authority of Singapore. (2022, October 26). Retrieved from

Autism in Singapore

Written by: Alexia Teo (22-U1) , Vernice Tan (22-U1), Jovielle Bruto (22-A2), Naja Thorup Kristoffersen (22-A6), Yam Lok Sum (22-A1) , Lok Qi Ern (22-O1)

Designed by: Hao Rui (22-A4)

What is autism? 

Autism, also known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition affecting brain development that can be severe or mild. People with autism can find it difficult to communicate and form relationships and may show repeated or limited patterns of thought and behaviour. 

People with ASD may also have different ways of learning, moving, or paying attention. Symptoms include difficulties with eye contact, not responding to their name, lack of gestures and facial expressions as well as getting upset by minor changes.  

Marginalisation of those with autism

People who have autism deal with discrimination and obstacles that deny them their rights as well as access to help. As a result, individuals with autism face marginalisation and poverty at disproportionate rates as compared  to others. 

The general public may have difficulties understanding the challenges faced by those with autism. For instance, people with autism may find it difficult to communicate their feelings and needs. This causes them to have seemingly extreme reactions to stressful situations. Hence, Singaporeans, who do not understand those with autism, often label them as “weird” and ostracise them from activities or groups. 

This form of discrimination, stemming from ignorance can stretch beyond social situations, affecting their opportunities  at school and work on a systemic basis. 

Employers, teachers and people with authority may discriminate against the label of autism without understanding the full extent of the individual’s capabilities. Employers may choose not to employ someone with autism due to the stigma attached to that label. 

Moreover, teachers may misunderstand the intentions of autistic students due to their lack of familiarity with the way they communicate and thus end up punishing them unfairly.

Processes like job interviews heavily favour those who are neurotypical. As a result, the chances of those with autism landing a job is often  determined by their ability to mask their autistic tendencies and appear as non-autistic as possible.

What structures are in place to help those with autism? 

In light of such difficulties, there exists  a need for external support. An example of this would be the measures in place for children diagnosed with autism. There are a variety of educational options available, mainly catering to children who can choose to attend customised curriculum or the national curriculum. 

Opting for the national curriculum would mean that children attend a mainstream primary school. Alternatively, children can choose to attend Pathlight School. Pathlight School is the first school in Singapore that specifically caters to the needs of those on the autism spectrum. Not only will students be taught the mainstream school curriculum, but they will also learn essential life skills and methods to overcome their differences. 

Pathlight school in Singapore 

Apart from the above measures, there are also other organisations in Singapore that assist children with autism. For example, the Autism Resource Centre Singapore is a charity started by a group of professionals and parent volunteers dedicated to serving children and adults on the autism spectrum to  lead meaningful and independent lives in society.

Other organisations  also include THK Autism Centre in Geylang Bahru and Eden Centre for Adults in Clementi and Hougang.

When it comes to integration into the workforce,  the Employability and Employment Centre (E2C) by the Autism Resource Centre offers services to assist people with autism to integrate more successfully into the working world. It also offers services for employers who are interested in hiring people with autism in their companies. By easing the hiring process of those with autism, employers are more motivated to them. 

What more can we do to help people with autism?  

Although there are currently some measures in place to smoothly integrate those with autism into society, there are still more ways in which we can further support them. 

Firstly, if we are in an appropriate position to give counsel – for instance, as a family member, or a friend, – we should make sure that they consult an appropriate specialist that is able to cater to their specific needs. This is because ASD  is a spectrum and people’s needs can vary from one person to another. 

For example, someone with autism may have difficulty communicating via speech. In response, these individuals are brought to specialists such as speech-language pathologists, who help them develop the ability to vocalise their thoughts. 

On the other hand, another person with autism could have virtually no issues with communication. However, they may have difficulty understanding social cues, which would require a different approach from a different set of specialists. 

Secondly, to accommodate a friend or family member with autism, we must strive to implement a predictable schedule and structure. This creates a sense of safety and stability that minimises feelings of anxiety or irritability, which may arise from inconsistency. This can offer great comfort to someone with autism.

Lastly, we should be wary of methods to help ease the burden created by sensory issues. People with ASD are hypersensitive and can get easily overwhelmed by the 5 senses. As a result, while in the presence of someone with autism, we must be conscious of how the environment around them may affect them.

Here are some ways to mitigate the effects of sensory overload: 

  1. Provide earphones to someone with autism when entering a noisy environment
  2. Install dim lighting 
  3. Refrain from using strong smelling perfumes or scents 

Overall, it is evident that those with autism face great difficulties in performing even normal daily activities, like moving around loud spaces or navigating social situations. Hence, it is essential to be aware of their needs as well as take action to accommodate for their differences to create a more inclusive society. 


Oxford Learner’s Dictionary. (n.d.). Autism. Retrieved from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, March 28). Signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorders. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from

Goh, Y. H. (2022, May 27). Living with autism: She loves social media and make-up but struggles with talking to herself. The Straits Times. Retrieved from

Hoo, L. (2021, August 18). A complete list of schools for children with autism in Singapore. A Complete List of Schools For Children with Autism In Singapore. Retrieved from

Menon, M. (2022, April 3). More can be done to support adults with autism, says parent. The Straits Times. Retrieved from

Autism Resource Centre (Singapore). (2022). Retrieved from

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Autism spectrum disorder: Communication problems in children. National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Retrieved from

Sick Beats – Christmas Edition

Written by: Angelica Chiw (22-I6), Ashley Chean (22-O1), Benedict Keng (22-U3), Brandon Ng (22-E4), Cheng Zhi Shan (22-U1), Chloe Tan (22-I6), Darius Chen (22-E4), Eris Kek (22-I6), Rebecca Yap (22-O1), Sophia Chiang (22-O1)

Designed by: Angelica Chiw (22-I6), Benedict Keng (22-U3), Brandon Ng (22-E4), Cheng Zhi Shan (22-U1), Chloe Tan (22-I6), Darius Chen (22-E4), Eris Kek (22-I6), Rebecca Yap (22-O1), Sophia Chiang (22-O1)


Ho Ho Ho! Christmas is just 12 days away and what better way to celebrate than with Christmas carols! As we celebrate the season of giving, we are giving back to you, our beloved readers, an advent calendar of Christmas jingles. Featuring both classic and modern tunes, we present you with 12 tunes for each day leading up to Christmas. 

December 14th – It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

Originally written in 1951 by Meredith Wilson, It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas prompts listeners to immerse themselves in the merry sights and spirits of a town preparing for Christmas. From descriptions of ‘candy canes and silver lanes’ to ‘toys in every store’, one can delightfully imagine themselves being transported to a winter wonderland, all the while anticipating the start of Christmas. As a song that can put you in the mood for festive celebrations, we hope that you will tear yourselves away from the dreariness of rainy seasons and enter a new season, with hot chocolate in your hands!

December 15th – Last Christmas

Upon its initial release in 1984, “Last Christmas” spent five consecutive weeks at number two on the UK Singles Chart. Although it was never number 1, it is the number 1 Christmas song in my heart. Earlier in 1984, Michael had broken Wham! free of their exploitative recording contract. He then began taking complete creative control of his musical output. From synths to sleighbells, he wrote, played, produced and recorded every note of “Last Christmas”. Its groovy and danceable instrumental along with its lyrics detailing a Christmas heartbreak makes it a certified classic. 

December 16th – Joy

Joy is a digital single released by NCT Dream in 2017. Combining classics like Joy to the World and Jingle Bells, NCT Dream seamlessly weaves together these songs to form an entirely new and unique song, with rap elements in place as well. If you feel like listening to old-time classic Christmas songs with added twists, or if you are a huge fan of K-pop, this song is definitely for you. The upbeat melody and catchy lyrics of this song is sure to hook you in, and we hope that your Christmas (and the rest of the year) is filled with joy!

December 17th – Feliz Navidad

Feliz Navidad. Surely you sang that out loud, right? Released in 1970, this timeless classic needs no introduction. Comprising only 4 lines and 19 words, the joyful, upbeat melody coupled with the heartfelt vocals of Puerto Rican singer, José Feliciano, delivers the message that is the song’s title, Feliz Navidad, which means Merry Christmas in Spanish. The song birthed from Feliciano’s loneliness and homesickness, as he spent Christmas away from home, reminiscing times when he would spend the holidays drinking and carolling with loved ones. Singing along to this song will have you wishing your loved ones a merry Christmas from the bottom of your heart!

December 18th – Christmas Wrapping

A Holiday Spotify Single from jawny, Christmas Wrapping is a modern Christmas song. With just over a million streams on Spotify, it is a Christmas beat that many have not heard of. However, the upbeat and exciting melody of the song is guaranteed to hook you in for the whole duration of the song. Reminiscent of the melody of Christmas Classics, it also ties in a modern element to it, making it a unique Christmas tune. “Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, but I think I’ll miss this one this year.” While it may not be Christmas yet, we hope you have a memorable Christmas!

December 19th – Christmas Saves the Year

Their first Christmas single, Twenty One Pilots released Christmas Saves the Year in 2020, in the midst of the global pandemic and major hardships that had occurred throughout that year. The band sings of how everyone longs to be with family and friends during Christmastime, referencing typical Christmas traditions with the lyric “everybody’s got somebody who’s got their name on a shelf”, referring to the practice of hanging a stocking with your name on it on a shelf during Christmas. Ultimately, the song talks about how Christmas brings joy with it no matter how difficult the year has been, and that the celebration is a source of comfort in trying times because of its message of hope and family. As you listen to this song, we hope you cherish the time spent this holiday with friends and family!

December 20th – Baby It’s Cold Outside

The jazzy, relaxed feel of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” paired with the smooth, thick vocals of Idina Menzel and Michael Buble is the perfect welcome to the joyous, bubbly Christmas season, as we draw closer to Christmas. The classic, well-loved Christmas singers collaborate together on this romantic, deep red piece, perfectly complimenting each others’ warm, luscious tone. This song is perfect to curl up in an armchair and fantasise about an icy cold, cosy Christmas that unfortunately, we would probably never get to experience. We hope you enjoy this light, flirtatious piece as much as we do!

December 21st – I’m Gonna Be Loved – This Christmas

Although one tends to associate Christmas with winter and snow, this isn’t a reality for most of us, as we spend our Christmases in sunny Singapore. Local favourites The Sam Willows thus present a Christmas song with a Singaporean twist, singing of a Christmas we are all too familiar with, including lyrics such as ‘you dreamed of snow but you were born where snow is on TV’. The lyrics also talk of a simple Christmas with little physical gifts, but filled with dreams, magic, hope and love, conveying what the band believes is the true meaning of Christmas. We hope as you listen to this song you learn to love Christmas on our sunny island nation as well, cherishing the time you spend with family and friends!

December 22nd – Christmas Tree Farm

Christmas Tree Farm is an upbeat yet heartwarming Christmas song which is made relatable to many people as they can connect to it on a more personal level. Written by Taylor Swift, this song reminisces the nostalgic memories of a childhood Christmas. In the music video, viewers are taken back to the past through the lens of Taylor Swift as they witness the festivities of her childhood and understand her Christmas experience on a more intimate level. This song embeds musical elements of pop and seasonal tunes that keeps you wanting  more! With this song to listen to so near Christmas, you are for sure to get into the festive Christmas mood! 

December 23rd – Underneath the Tree

Despite the wide range of Christmas tunes in Kelly Clarkson’s catalogue, Underneath the Tree is a classic Christmastime staple. Especially with its upbeat chorus and catchy high notes throughout the entire song, which is different from most traditional Christmas songs, this hit has charted on the Hot 100 every year since its release, further cementing Clarkson’s status as a singer with true vocal prowess and with the ability to release hit after hit. Here’s hoping you sing your heart out to this song, and have all your wishes fulfilled underneath the tree! Have a very merry day before Christmas Eve!

December 24th – Rockin Around the Christmas Tree

‘Rockin Around the Christmas Tree’, a classic released in 1958 by Brenda Lee brings cheerful holiday fever every December. Did you know that it is often mistaken as a Justin Bieber single as his cover of this two-minute hit song went viral? Even after around six decades, this remains as Brenda’s signature song. It is a chart-topper and the appeal energises listeners, making them feel like dancing. She was only 13 when she recorded this song and made one of the most famous Christmas hits of all time. It is surely one of the best Christmas songs that immediately encompasses you with warmth and spirit! You should definitely listen to it this Christmas! 

December 25th – All I Want For Christmas is You

And finally, for the grand day itself, we recommend the all-time classic — ‘All I Want For Christmas is You’! Released in 1994 by Mariah Carey, it has since become a staple for every Christmas playlist and has made the charts every single holiday season. Honestly, if you haven’t heard of this song, you’ve probably been living under a rock! Starting with an iconic series of xylophone notes chiming, the song opens with a soulful tune from Carey that would make even the meanest of Grinches want to sing along. The song continues with a catchy beat backed by the jingle of sleigh bells, immersing everyone into the spirit of Christmas almost immediately. In fact, this song is so hypnotically Christmas-y that it has broken the Guinness World Record in 2020 for ‘Most streamed track on Spotify in 24 hours’! Although overtaken by Adele’s ‘Easy On Me’ in 2021, with the help of our wonderful readers (yes, you!) we could help rocket the queen of Christmas music to the top once more! Merry Christmas!


With that, we have come to the end of our 12 Days of Christmas! We hope that you’ll have a holly jolly Christmas listening to our songs and have a Happy New Year!

Chinese Diplomacy: A Short History

Written by: Zuo Yuning (21-A1)

Designed by: Hao Rui (22-A4)

Introduction: What is Chinese Diplomacy?

What is the first thing you think of when I say ‘Chinese diplomacy’? Well, I guess there are many ways Chinese diplomacy can impress you. Do you recall the phrase ‘Ping-Pong Diplomacy’, where players from the U.S. and China famously built a friendship and facilitated Nixon’s rapprochement with Mao’s China through a ping-pong match? Does your mind come up with an image of an adorable panda, which seems quite harmless but actually has the strength of a bear? Do you think of a scary dragon, or a scary wolf, that threatens to swallow the entire world and establish Chinese dominance? Well, you aren’t quite far from the reality of Chinese diplomacy at various stages of its history! Let me bring you through it.

Some time ago: China’s opening up and initially benign posture

China used to be a pariah state. It overthrew the ruling Nationalist government under Chiang Kai-Shek which was pro-west, and it was diplomatically isolated from the West. But in 1971, the rapprochement between the US and China finally allowed China to establish diplomatic ties with the West.

After Deng succeeded Mao as China’s supreme leader, he undertook a market liberalisation programme termed ‘reform and opening up’. Since Deng’s China prioritised economic growth, diplomacy was seen as a means to promote a stable international relationship conducive to trade and investment. Therefore, he made sure to stay on friendly terms with western nations with a ‘hide your strength, bide your time’ strategy, where China sought to establish the impression of a ‘peaceful rise’ of China rather than a forceful or destabilising one.

His successors Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao continued with that principle, and they seemed to achieve tremendous success, as Foreign Direct Investment skyrocketed, and China’s reputation improved tremendously. In 2001, China successfully joined the World Trade Organisation, and in 2008, it hosted the Beijing Olympics for the first time in Chinese history.

But that did not last long. Even at the Beijing Olympics, the nationalism of the Chinese public was already apparent. This nationalism will come to shape the next stage of China’s diplomacy.

Back to the present: Xi Jinping and the new assertive diplomacy.

But what is nationalism? Well, nationalism usually refers to a sentiment of confidence and pride in one’s national identity, and it can be expressed in various ways. When one sings the national anthem, one is expressing their affirmation of the ideals and values of the nation. When citizens defend the culture and heritage of their nation, they demonstrate just how highly they think of the intangible aspects of their nationhood. 

As you can probably see, nationalism does not have to be hostile or ‘toxic’. Rather, it is usually a natural and pretty justifiable sense of belonging to the imagined community of one’s nation.

Nonetheless, nationalism can take a dangerous turn. While ‘healthy’ nationalism defends the ‘us’ but respects the ’them’, ‘toxic’ nationalism capitalises on the division of them and us and provokes suspicion, hostility and even outright conflict.

Perhaps this may cause you to start thinking of populist leaders in Europe that have used nationalism to pursue their domestic and foreign policy agenda. However, there is an important distinction to note between European nationalism and Chinese nationalism: while European nationalism is chiefly onset by the 2014 refugee crisis and the following rise of xenophobia, Chinese nationalism has more complex origins. You see, Chinese nationalism is not targeted at a specific group of people, like the Muslims in Europe. Since China has had the historical experience of being the fallen ‘Middle Kingdom’ that came to be bullied by all sorts of foreign entities, like the British during the Opium War and the Japanese during the War of Resistance against Japan (as Chinese people call it), its nationalism possesses a deep sense of insecurity and resentment against the outside world in general. This means that the US, European countries, Japan and even South Korea and the Philippines (the Philippines!) can be a target of hate for Chinese nationalists.

Ironically, the undemocratic Communist government of China has readily adopted a more nationalistic, aggressive foreign policy strategy. Taken from a popular movie about how the Chinese military was able to protect overseas Chinese in troubled lands such as Somalia and Central America, this strategy has been aptly termed ‘Wolf Warrior Diplomacy’.

Since Xi took power, the wolf warrior seems to have become ever more assertive. Chinese diplomats have used strong, uniquely undiplomatic language as they hit back at the West over Hong Kong (Associated Press, 2019), forcefully defended their legacy over Xinjiang (Mai, 2021), spread wild conspiracy theories on Covid (Kinetz, 2021), clashed with Western media at press conferences amidst a war-like atmosphere (Fok, 2021). Such instances are getting more and more prevalent, and an aggressive China has already taken shape.

Conclusion: What about the future?

What about the future, then? Will China become more and more aggressive, or is the present aggressiveness in Chinese diplomacy temporary like the passing flu?

Well, there are a few factors to consider here. China’s decision-making is still heavily dependent on the top ranks of its leadership, but since Xi is widely expected to continue to be the leader, there likely won’t be much change there. Furthermore, the public sentiment toward nationalism only seems to be rising, as the perceived success of the Zero-COVID strategy has boosted Chinese patriotism and nationalism despite significant discontent. China’s economy is going strong, so there is no immediate incentive to back down. Thus, the future may change, but aggressive Chinese diplomacy isn’t going anywhere yet.


Associated Press. (2019, July 29). China blames Hong Kong violence on western forces, defends police. Retrieved May 13, 2022, from

Fok, P. (2021, March 22). Chinese officials stifle, expel foreign journalists for doing their job. PBS. Retrieved May 13, 2022, from

Kinetz, E. (2021, February 15). Anatomy of a conspiracy: With Covid, China took leading role. AP NEWS. Retrieved May 13, 2022, from, J. (2021, April 30). China says Xinjiang sanctions are an ‘industry genocide’ targeting businesses. South China Morning Post. Retrieved May 13, 2022, from

Up Your GRINDSET: Student Side Hustles

Every student reaches a point in their life where their days just feel… repetitive. Ask our very own student councillors (the seemingly busiest people) and even they will agree that after all the zest of school activities die out, student life does get boring. After all, the only true constant for students is studying, right?

Soon enough you find yourself on TikTok, listening to Sugaresque talk about her busy life. Something tells you that there has to be more than just academics. Maybe it’s time you invest in yourself. But learning new hobbies takes up energy and you don’t exactly have the bandwidth to start a business either. Well, there is a sort of ‘in-between’ to those two options, and it’s none other than a side hustle

P.S. Side hustles are a trend now. 

Do you know those classmates who have another account tagged in their Instagram bio? A little something like this: 

That’s what we call a side hustle. While the traditional definition of a side hustle is a side job, for the sake of us students, we’ll be defining a side hustle as more than a hobby, less than a job. 

That said, a student side hustle can take many forms. From small businesses to review accounts or even poetry, let us take you through some side hustles started by our fellow Eunoians!

Small Businesses, Big Bucks 🤑

While side hustles aren’t full-time jobs, that certainly hasn’t stopped these intrepid entrepreneurs from making some bank from their talents! We have interviewed a few of our budding entrepreneurs located right in the heart of Eunoia. 

1. @bracelet w****s in the house

After scouring for hours on Telegram, Chu Ting found herself sliding down the rabbit hole of small crystal businesses. She finally understood that beneath the tame and seemingly uninhabited user base of Telegram, there was a thriving community of entrepreneurs! Hear more about her experience as a self-acclaimed crystal seller below.

Q1: It’s quite interesting that you chose Telegram as a platform to sell your bracelets! May we know why Telegram instead of perhaps Instagram?

Initially, when I first started my business, my cousin was the one who pitched the idea of owning a Telegram channel to me. I didn’t think much about it, because I barely use Telegram. But in hindsight, I can totally see why Telegram is a more popular option among small business owners rather than Instagram as we don’t have the required resources to promote and advertise our products. This is why it’s very important that we have platforms for interaction, and Telegram is a much more interactive platform compared to Instagram. 

The mechanisms of Telegram are also especially helpful. Say, for example, our customers view the listing products in the main channel. Now, if you were to click on the title of the main channel, it could lead you to a sort of ‘monitor icon’, where it will direct you to a separate discussion channel that is linked to the main channel. So this built-in feature allows small business owners to interact with customers and ensure that we build a connection to secure a loyal customer base! 

Q2: Do you have any interesting stories to share? 

​​I have a very close relationship with my regular buyers and I really appreciate them for constantly returning to my channel to purchase things during my launches. I’d say that my relationship with my buyers has moved beyond buyer-seller to friends! We’ve even considered meeting up in real life to go crystal shopping as a group. If you were to use Instagram and Facebook, you’d probably be afraid to meet up with strangers due to safety reasons. But in the Telegram crystal community, at least the one I’m in, everyone is extremely open. Major telegram channels would go out in person to shop for crystals, or even just hang out! So I’d say that the crystal community is an especially close-knit space, which remains a very interesting thing to me.  

Q3: Do you think your business has changed the way you organize your life?

My business has definitely changed the way I organize my life. I think, prior to the setting up of my business, I’m a person with no work-life balance. I haven’t really considered how much I want to achieve on my own out of school, and in life in general. But I can safely say that my business got me thinking about how much importance I should place on our kids and how much it actually affected my life. 

As of now, I can safely say that I have a work-life balance because I no longer treat my academics as my only source of validation. I find that starting this business has really helped me find a sense of purpose other than being a student and just purely studying and being successful in our future and whatnot. It is fulfilling, and has also taught me better time management and how I should and when I should detach myself from unnecessary responsibilities and worries. 

2. @forthememoria (Instagram)

Making use of their handy crocheting and beading skills, this group of girls decided to handcraft a variety of fashionable products that are as functional as they are adorable! We’re glad to have been able to interview one of them to find out more about their unique handmade products.

Q1: Your products are incredibly cute! (not sponsored) How do you decide on item ideas for selling?

I think our team of three came together wanting to do a business but we all had different skill sets, such as knowing how to crochet or having an interest in making beaded items. I think from there we managed to craft out our business plans and decided that we should first push out some items that were easier to make to sell as many as possible and set up a strong support base. 

We then targeted special occasions like Valentine’s Day to sell our crocheted flower bouquet and our day edition necklace. We will also just come together to brainstorm ideas on what we can make next.

Q2: When and why did you start crocheting? 

I started to learn how to crochet when I was in primary school, but never really had the patience to finish a proper project. Until Covid-19 caused the circuit breaker and I was searching for new hobbies to pass time and decided to adventure into crocheting! I remember one of the first projects I finished was a bag. I then became more passionate about crochet and made gifts for my family and friends on special occasions.

Q3: How do you juggle between your side hustle and schoolwork?

I think this was the hardest part of setting up our business but we always told our customers that products could not be delivered immediately and to give us a one-week buffer period to prepare the items. We would aim to finish schoolwork first before overloading on our business and we made sure that whenever we pushed out a new product, it would be during a period where we weren’t too caught up in our studies so that we were able to squeeze out more free time to manage the business. 

Creativity and Self-Expression 🎨

Next, put on your arts appreciation sunglasses as we gaze upon the blinding creativity of these artists!

1. @breadbestcarb (Instagram)

Meet our resident food reviewer Zhi Qi, who has as much of an appetite for culinary delights as she does describing their taste in words. With over a thousand followers on Instagram, Zhi Qi has been ready to share her love for food in succinct reviews. 

Q1: Your side-hustle is considerably unique! How did you discover your love for writing food reviews? 

To be honest, I started reviewing food on Instagram because I saw someone getting sent free food for them to advertise, so yes, I started it for mercenary reasons. But after writing up some reviews, I realized the whole process is so rewarding! From adding a place to my to-eat list to getting lost trying to find the place and taking countless pictures, I love savouring the food slowly while crafting a review in my head! 

I also feel this sense of accomplishment after finally posting my review and getting all the supportive comments. I must also say that the food community is super supportive and wholesome so that encourages me a lot to improve myself as well!

Q2: We’ve noticed that you usually review food outside EJ! Is this something tough to commit to?

Nope! A lot of people think that I should ‘take a break since it’s my A-Levels year’, which puzzles me because my reviews don’t take long to write. Writing about food comes as naturally to me as eating the food, so I have never had the problem of a lack of time. 

I do experience creative slumps occasionally though, (as of right now, I am in a slump…). When that happens, I don’t force myself out of it, instead, I’ll just come back when I’m ready. This way, my reviews won’t feel forced and insincere!

Q3: Do you see yourself doing something related to food reviews in the long run?

I’ve been considering (for a year now) doing an internship at Eatbook after A-Levels! I do watch their videos frequently and the premises of their videos always seem fun and fresh.

Q4: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to anyone running a similar side hustle?

Be genuine! It is enticing to write only good remarks about a place so as not to offend anybody. However, the point of reviewing is to allow the reader to have an objective idea of the food/place (of course, don’t make extremely vicious remarks either). Also, be concise. I realized that a majority of people who aren’t diehard foodies won’t be inclined to read a lengthy review. It’s ultimately up to you to develop your style. Lastly, don’t be too obsessed with numbers! Your follower count/likes/impressions will always fluctuate due to social media’s algorithm! But your resilience (consistent posting) WILL beat the algorithm. Really.

2. @poofy.doofus (Instagram)

Presenting a contemplative photo gallery of captured memories, Tricia crystallizes nostalgia with a pristine visual flair!

Q1: What exactly goes into creating each finished photo?

Hmm… step one is taking the picture itself. My photos usually involve me venturing out to places in SG that I don’t commonly visit or places I find more scenic (like Tiong Bahru)! Afterward comes the editing, which is simpler than it looks. I didn’t want to turn editing into a chore, so I’ve never really bothered investing in proper equipment or software like Adobe. I use an app called ‘RNI films’! It helps me create the film aesthetic in just a few minutes. Finally, I use the app ‘White border’ to literally… create a white border. I guess I do this because I want my feed to appear in a gallery format, like photos sitting on a wall ready for viewing!

Q2: From urban environments and art pieces to cats, what influences the choice of subject matter in your photos? 

I don’t have a sophisticated answer to that, unfortunately. It’s just going with my gut feel I’d say. I realize that when I take pictures, I don’t exactly have an audience in mind so I’m just trying to showcase what I find more memorable! So, the TLDR answer would be : my sporadic desire to preserve a certain memory.

Q3: When curating photographs, what is your aim for your audience and how do you achieve it?

I think that taking a picture on its own isn’t enough to convey how I felt then? (i.e. taking a picture of the sakuras doesn’t convey how deeply in love I felt when I set my eyes on them) 

So that’s where the editing comes in. I might add more warm hues, or blur the background a bit more, all to get my audience to understand exactly how I felt through a series of edited pictures. 

3. @ashleykohyuxi (Instagram).

As a confident poet, Ashley infuses vivid emotions into the page (screen), crafting words that sear, heal and chuckle.

Q1: It is quite interesting how you combine visual elements with your writing! How do you merge the two, creatively and practically speaking?

Practically speaking, I literally just go to Canva and find some nice aesthetic drawings and just put them there. It’s just design, there’s nothing much to it. 

As for visual imagery, I think it’s just a writer’s craft honestly. I feel like I tend to do it because it makes the poetry more accessible if people can kind of visualise what they’re reading as opposed to everything being so abstract.

Q2: Based on your experiences, what would be your advice to other aspiring writers trying to put their work out there?

The first thing would be that you need to have a very clear vision of what you’re writing. For example, if it’s something supposed to be very emotional, you need to try and make sure that you bring that across in your writing, you need to make sure that you touch people’s hearts, and you make it something that everyone can relate to.

You need to be realistic about how far the reach of your writing is going to be. Maybe it’s only going to be one or two people at the start, maybe there isn’t even going to be anybody. And if you’re trying to get published, maybe your work isn’t going to get picked up by publishers for a very long while. But I think it’s almost necessary that you have to realize all that, and you need to make sure that it doesn’t degrade your self-worth. Maybe you just haven’t met the right partner to work with, or you haven’t met the right audience yet. It’ll come. Because writing is always going to be in demand. It just depends on, from who?

Q3: Why did you decide to share your poetry?

Okay, if I’m being a hundred percent honest, it’s because of my mom. I have to admit that this whole journey, a lot of it is me being propelled by her. My drive is admittedly not as strong as hers. 

Also, it does feel good to get recognition for works you have written that are acknowledged by people. It kind of reinforces your self-perception; that you’re not too bad of a writer, that your work will get appreciated by people and that people will recognize what you’re writing for. I guess because of that I decided to keep posting. 

Another reason why I wanted to share my poetry is also that I feel like, for some of the stuff I write, some people actually can relate to it. My poetry can help people to express what they can’t feel.


If this article fires up your entrepreneurial and creative spirit (and if you desire an escape from the hustle and bustle of student life), then it’s time to start a side hustle and start bustling! Happen to possess a skill or talent? You can brainstorm ways to turn it into a fruitful side hustle! With that said, you don’t need any pre-existing skills, either—most of the people we’ve featured in this article aren’t pros, yet they’ve taken their projects far simply through interest and perseverance.

Of course, a side hustle isn’t the only way to brighten up your student life, but it sure is extremely meaningful and rewarding for those who want to invest themselves in it. To all side hustlers and aspiring side hustlers out there, we support your efforts!