Should you join a CCA when studying in University?

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So some people have been asking me,

“Is it important to join a CCA in university?”

CCAs (Co-curriculum Activities), at least in my school, are not mandatory. This is certainly a refreshing change for some people who attended schools that made CCA compulsory. There is now so much more time to pursue your hobbies and things that interest you.

However, herd mentality kicks in. When you see your friends spending their hours on a CCA and also being popular for that, you start wondering if it is important to be active in school apart from studies.

Therefore the abovementioned question.

These are some reasons why you should actually join a CCA while in University, based on my own experiences.

  1. Friends

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The first obvious reason to join a CCA is that you’ll make friends. When you join a CCA that isn’t mandatory, you’ll easily find friends with similar interests as you. If you join the soccer club, you’ll find friends who like soccer. If you join a club where people learn how to invest, and you’ll definitely find not only friends with the same interests but also mentors who will teach you as well. Compared to a classroom where people mostly fight for grades, a CCA is a relaxing place where you can find like-minded friends to do projects and undertake games and activities together. It’s a respite in school itself.

  1. Skills and Experience

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Moreover, participating in a CCA and some other related school activities like fund-raising, events, etc, can equip you with the practical skills and experiences that no class can teach you. In class, you learn theory. While that is useful, you will still learn the most when placed in the deep-end of the pool and are asked to swim. You can learn the specific skillsets, such as learning how to play pool in a Pool club, and also the soft skills such as interpersonal relationships (like making friends) and teamwork. In short, participating in a CCA teaches you many real-life skills that can’t be learnt in class. It provides you with an avenue to make mistakes and learn from them.

  1. Employers

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Increasing, employers are not only looking out for GPA/CAP anymore. They now look at what you do in school, and whether you have pursued any leadership positions. I once asked an ex-HSBC Manager, and she says that, “Nowadays, people are getting so smart. It is common to have 90% of our applicants having a full score in their GPA/CAP. You need another differentiating factor. That’s why we look at CCAs.”

CCAs allow employers to differentiate students more easily. It shows that apart from studying, you’re a three-dimensional person who is fun, interactive, and can work in teams. You have the capacity to perform well when it matters and also to pursue other activities that makes you a fun and engaging person to hire. Imagine reading though 100+ resumes and they all say the same thing: Same grades, same school, same interests, etc. A CCA can actually get an employer to think, “Interesting, I’d probably want to know more about this person.”

  1. Leadership

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Having leadership positions are also a huge plus as people can have an idea of what type of leadership positions you go for, and how open you are when it comes to leading people. Leadership opportunities come frequently, especially in schools where most events are student-led. This extends all the way to Community Service Projects. There is no excuse of not having an opportunity to lead!

Building on from the previous point, leadership experience helps your employers to know what kind of leader you are, or if you can even lead. This certainly sets you apart from someone who is applying for a Management position.

Building on from the previous previous point, you can definitely learn a lot along the way when you’re placed in the hot-seat of decision making. You need to think fast, act fast, and work with people fast. This is certainly something different from many other projects in school.

  1. Acing the interview

I’ve heard from my own seniors how they spent more time during an interview talking about what they did in their CCA instead of what they studied.

An interview is a story-telling session. Everybody says that they’re committed and hardworking. Rather, it is much more entertaining and credible if you had a story to back it up. A CCA gives you an opportunity to create these stories (realistically, of course!), allowing you to impress your interviewers.

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In case you haven’t noticed, this is also a recruitment attempt on behalf of SMU Broadcast and Entertainment. If you’re interested to find out more, do visit our Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/smube?fref=ts

Interested in joining our family? Visit:

http://www.smube.com/recruitment-portal/

LOTR: Shadows of Mordor

What happens when you combine the already-awesome Lord of the Rings (LOTR) franchise, a fluid combat system (from Batman Arkham series), a fantastic stealth system (probably even better than Assassin’s Creed) while killing Uruks in an open world (like Grand Theft Auto) and plenty more? You essentially get LOTR: Shadows of Mordor (SoM).

The storyline, as always, is great. You play Talion, an undead revived by a Wraith after his bloody death by the hands of the Black Hand (see what I did there), and you are set between the timelines of ‘The Hobbit’ and the LOTR trilogy (because seriously, they’re running out of timelines already). Admittedly, my LOTR lore isn’t that good, but the game doesn’t handicap you for that. They still thoroughly explain each and every character (like Saruman being the ‘Great White Wizard’ and Sauron being the ‘big bad guy’). There’s even the star appearance of arguably the most famous character of the show: Gollum, who appears in the early quests.

I still think he’s one of the strangest and scariest character I’ve even come across.

Expect to play in an open world gameplay, where you play in 2 maps: Mordor and the Sea of Núrn. You can run around completing side quests to level up and gain skills, or just stick to the main missions.

Combat is one of the best I’ve played, comparable to Batman Arkham series and Sleeping dogs. The moves are very similar to Batman’s with left click to hit and right to counter and then finishing then when they’re on the ground. Hitting consecutively leads to Hit Streaks where you can end off with a Combat Finisher.  However, if you’re a stealth enthusiast like me, you can sneak around and kill Uruks instead.

The satisfaction of killing 20+ Uruks is truly indescribable

Ok, bored of these stuff so far? We’ll get to the fun bits now.

Hierarchy system

This is probably the coolest mechanic I’ve seen to date. SoM keeps track of the leaders in the area. Called Captains (think Sergeants) and Warchiefs (think Officers), like the hierarchy system you can see from above. You can take them down and each and every one of them and they’ll keep track of it. Then it gets more interesting.

The Uruks get promoted by killing each other. If an Uruk kills a Warchief, he gets to be a warchief, simple as that. This gives you a lot of opportunities to invade into these scuffles and kill both of them. This all plays out in the early mission, where you have to help a slave Uruk rise up the ranks by the way everyone knows best: killing all the leaders in sight.

Furthermore, the sound and music before an encounter is pure awesomeness. Before you face a warchief, they chant the name of the warchief before you engage him. Subsequently, before your first strike, you’ll enter a cutscene where they’ll taunt you. The flavour of the game is real.

Real-time updates

I couldn’t think of a better title. Basically, every time you kill or get killed, the hierarchy system updates. The one who killed you probably got a promotion, while those you slay shows that they have been killed. If there is an event that shows that one Uruk has slain another (like the scuffles mentioned above) they update as well. The first mission makes you kill all the Warchiefs anyway, so this takes a long time. However, soon enough it becomes insanely addicted to kill the captains and warchiefs. Some fights are memorable, and others aren’t so, because it can be really easy to kill them, especially in the later stages when you leveled up and unlocked new abilities.

Mind-Control

After the first area, you can transported to the second area where you are instructed to build an army to go against the Black Hand. You then realize with the power of the Wraith you can mind control Uruks to build an army. You then end up mind-controlling warchiefs and captains who end up fighting for you. Needless to say, I ended up mindcontrolling all of them in this map and the previous map. You can also do combat mind-control, and have them fighting for you in the thick of the battle

The Bad

The missions are too short, and the boss fight was seriously anti-climatic. You can probably finish off the main missions in a good 12 hours.

But trust me when I say that you WILL end up attempting to conquer the hierarchy system, because it’s just too darn addictive.

The Verdict

Over-powered enough to make it fun, yet not so imbalanced, which makes you still fear death. Missions are short, but the hierarchy system is too fun to pass on. Combat and stealth system is a huge plus as well. Overall, I had huge fun in this game. This game is probably a strong contender for the best game I’ve ever played.

DC Universe Online comes to Singapore!

Another game that I’ve been playing was DC Universe Online (http://dcuo.playpark.com/en/) especially since now it has moved to Asian servers and is less laggy (apparently). For those who don’t know what DC Universe Online (DCUO) is about, get your head out of the well and prepare to see a game that is bound to set any fanboy’s emotions ablaze.

This is the trailer for the game and I must say it’s pretty awesome, considering its been the game has been there since 2011. Here are some of it’s cooler features:

1. Customisation BEFORE the game What I absolutely LOVE about DCUO is that you can customise a perfect character BEFORE the game itself. You can have a hero exactly how you want it to look like and there is even an option that prevents new equipment from changing how you look. No more endless grinding so as to look cool. You already look cool at the start!

Check out how you can customise your character:

2. Stand together with OR toe-to-toe with your favourite characters

Naturally, you’d get to choose if you wanted to be an iconic superhero or a demented supervillian. This then allows you to fight together with your favourite heroes/villians in raids and instances. You can even get to explore places like Gotham and Metropolis (while flying). Truly a turn on for the inner geek as any action you do makes you feel like one of the important comic book characters.

3. Real-time combat

It isn’t like Superman or Batman to take down a villian simply by hitting the right-click button. Instead, DCUO takes you into the heart of battle by requiring you to juggle skills and also left and right clicks to take down the enemy. Expect to do a lot of punching and rotating skills at the start, especially when your character is a fresh new face.

4. FLY

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Have you ever wanted to fly just like the superheroes of your childhood? In DCUO, you can create a character that literally FLIES. Say goodbye to mounts and balloons as you soar through the skies and leap tall buildings in a single bound. DCUO is truly a game for the kid at heart.

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Overall, DCUO appeals to both the DC fan and the one who just is looking for a WoW alternative. It’s a truly entertaining game to play and for it’s price (free), its definitely worth it.