Feeling stressed? Unwind with these 10 pottery classes in Singapore!

Feeling stressed? Unwind with these 10 pottery classes in Singapore!

Feeling stressed? Unwind with these 10 pottery classes in Singapore!

Did you know that joining a pottery class can improve your well-being? Engaging in pottery-making has been found to enhance well-being as it serves as a creative outlet, allows you to broaden your social network, and supports self-care and growth!

If you’re ever feeling in need of a new method of stress relief, picking up pottery, even just a one-day class, can do wonders for your mood. Studyramen has compiled a list of 10 pottery classes in Singapore where you can let out your frustrations and find inner peace.

Important pottery terms to know

Most pottery classes in Singapore offer either hand-building or wheel-throwing classes, and these terms will appear often in this article. Here’s a quick guide on these pottery terms!

Handbuilding:

A pottery-making technique where you use your hands, fingers, or simple tools (not a throwing wheel) to create forms with clay.

Throwing wheel:

Another term for potter’s wheel. Fun fact: ‘throwing’ here means to twist or turn!

Wheel-throwing:

A technique where you use a throwing/potter’s wheel to shape-round ceramics. A more advanced technique as compared to handbuilding.

Studio Asobi

Sourced from @studioasobi on Instagram

Location: Blk 705 Hougang Ave 2 #02-265, Singapore 530705

Facebook | Instagram | Website

Pricing

Contact Studio Asobi here for workshop prices.

Studio Asobi is run by a husband-and-wife team who’re both full-time potters. Believing in the rejuvenation that comes from sculpting clay, you can join their pottery workshops and classes to truly relax and be refreshed!

They have a one-day pottery class in Singapore for beginners where you will be taught hand-building and coiling techniques to create your very own cup, bowl, or planter.

Learn how to form handles and other decorative elements! Attendees will also get to try out the electric pottery wheel.

In approximately 2-3 weeks after your session, you can head down to their studio to collect your finished work! Do read their FAQs for more details about the workshop.

The Clay People

Sourced from @theclaypeopleceramicstudio on Instagram

Location: Block 1003, Toa Payoh Industrial Park, #07-1527, Singapore

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Pricing

Muddy Hands (first-time trial workshop): $80 for a one-time 2.5 hours session

Introductory Handbuilding Course: $460 for 8 sessions; 3 hours/session

Introductory Throwing Course: $460 for 8 sessions; 3 hours/session

The Clay People ceramics studio is helmed by veteran potter Teo Boon Gim who’s well-versed in clay sculpting and wheel-throwing. You can be sure you’re getting a bang for your buck with quality classes as many of his commissioned works have been presented to dignitaries and ministers around the world!

If you’re looking to try your hands at ceramics, attend the Muddy Hands trial pottery class in Singapore. This is a 2.5-hour workshop suitable for anyone dabbling in ceramics for the first time.

For beginners, try either the Introductory Handbuilding Course or the Introductory Throwing Course. The former is perfect for those of you looking to take up pottery as a hobby and are just getting started.

If you’ve already got the basics of hand-building down, try out the latter workshop as it teaches you how to throw and form clay on the pottery wheel!

Mud Rock Ceramics

Location: 85 Maude Road, Singapore 208357

Instagram | Website

Pricing

Beginner’s Course: $315/pax for a course of 5 consecutive lessons

Ad Hoc: $83/pax

Did you know that Queen Elizabeth was gifted with a tea set made by the potters from Mud Rock Ceramics for her 90th birthday? If you’re looking for a way to create uniquely Singaporean clay wares for dining or decorative purposes, look no further!

They offer a comprehensive pottery class for beginners in Singapore that will teach you 5 basic ceramic techniques: coiling, slab building, throwing, trimming, and glazing. Join their specialised classes like the Ad Hoc class if you want to focus solely on throwing or hand-building.

Center Pottery × 3Arts

Locations: 394 Joo Chiat Place Singapore 428078 (3Arts) | 97L Lorong Tawas Singapore 639824 (Center Pottery)

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Pricing

Wheel-throwing – Experiential Pottery (3Arts): $83.20 for one 2.5-hour class

Handbuilding – Experiential Pottery (3Arts): $83.20 for one 2.5 hour class

More classes and their pricing can be found here.

Note: Center Pottery is the social enterprise arm of Center Pottery × 3Arts; they have 2 pottery studios in Singapore for Center Pottery and 3Arts each.

Your mental well-being is a top priority at Center Pottery × 3Arts. Get to immerse yourself in clay sculpting to forget the hustle and bustle of the real world momentarily.

What’s special about this pottery class in Singapore is that the curriculum is co-curated with psychologists! Class attendees come out being more mindful and in touch with themselves, which is exactly what the sessions hope to achieve.

Common Touch Craft Unit

Sourced from @commontouchcraft on Instagram

Location: 45 Burghley Dr, #01-08 Burghley Lifestyle Hub, Singapore 559022

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Pricing

Contact Common Touch Craft Unit here for workshop prices.

Common Touch Craft Unit boasts chill and welcoming vibes. Everyone, no matter their age and experience with pottery, can join their classes!

The Hand & Wheel Workshop is a one-time pottery class in Singapore where you’ll be taught the basics of hand-building and wheel-throwing. You’ll get the chance to create 2-3 pieces of pottery!

With 4 participants or more, there’s a group discount available, so do contact them for enquiries!

If you’re looking to take up pottery as a serious hobby, their Rent-A-Wheel Package is for you! It’s great for beginners and those at the intermediate level

It introduces wheel-throwing, consisting of 4 sessions, each lasting 2 hours. Schedules are flexible, so you can book your sessions based on your availability.

Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle

Sourced from @tkpotteryjungle on Instagram

Location: 85 Lorong Tawas, Singapore 639823

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Pricing

Trial Potter’s Wheel Workshop: $75/pax for a one-time 2-hour class

I Love Pottery Workshop: $60 for adults, $50 for children (ages 7-17) for a one-time 2-hour class

Click here for more information about these one-time classes!

Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle is Home to one of the oldest surviving brick-built kilns (also known as the dragon kiln) in Singapore that uses wood firing.

This is a method of firing clay where ashes react with the pottery glaze to form unique and unpredictable colours and textures on ceramics.

Interested in having a trial pottery-making class in Singapore? Check out the I Love Pottery Workshop or the Trial Potter’s Wheel Workshop which is open to all beginners

Additionally, you can take a tour of their dragon kilns spanning 25 metres! More details about the workshops, tour, and FAQs can be found on their website.

Padme Hum Studio

Location: 1090 Lower Delta Rd, #04-15, Singapore 169201

Facebook | Instagram | Website

Pricing

Ad-Hoc Pottery Class: $85 for a one-time 2-hour session

Check out more classes they offer here!

Whether you want to get your hands dirty or hone your pottery skills, there’s something for everyone at Padme Hum Studio with inclusivity being at the heart of what they do.

Let your imagination run wild here because you can create any kind of ceramic ware you want or need!

For a one-time pottery class in Singapore, try out the Ad-Hoc Pottery Class to learn hand-building and wheel-throwing in a safe, friendly space. At the end, you’ll get to walk away with 2 of your very own creations!

ARUDIO

Sourced from @arudioceramic on Instagram

Locations: Nordcom II, Tower 2, 2 Gambas Crescent, #06-26, Singapore 757044 (main), Macpherson (LTC Building C), 14 Arumugam Road, #08-07, Singapore 409959 (secondary)

Facebook | Instagram | Website

Pricing

Couple Wheel Throwing Class @ Nordcom II: $130 for one 3-hour session/2 pax

Couple Handbuilding Class @ Nordcom II: $130 for one 3-hour session/2 pax

Single Wheel Throwing Class @ Nordcom II: $70 for one 3-hour session/pax

Single Handbuilding Class @ Nordcom II: $70 for one 3-hour session/pax

Check out the full list of available classes here!

ARUDIO specialises in offering pottery classes in Singapore meant for couples! Of course, they also offer classes for singles.

The classes are highly customisable as you’ll get to pick which location you’d like to go to, the type of class you want (for singles/couples), and the techniques you want to learn (wheel-throwing trial class/hand-building trial class).

Boon’s Pottery

Sourced from Boon’s Pottery & Art Gallery on Facebook

Location: 91 Tanglin Rd, #B1-01/02, Singapore 247918

Facebook | Website

Pricing

Trial Lesson: $70 for a one-time, 1.5-hour class

Handbuilding: $240 for 4 classes, 3 hours/session

Wheel-throwing: $280 for 4 classes, 3 hours/session

Master Potter Chuan Siang Boon founded his pottery studio in 1998 and had the privilege of having his works be presented as state gifts to many foreign officials!

Besides that, his studio functions as a mouthpiece for Singaporean ceramic artists to display their wares, bringing a dash of local flavour to the pottery scene.

In a 1.5-hour trial pottery class in Singapore, you’ll be taught the fundamentals of hand-building or wheel-throwing—costs include the clay and firing procedure. Get to take home 1 piece of your creation if you choose hand-building, or 2 pieces if you choose wheel-throwing.

Terra & Ember

Sourced from @terra.and.ember on Instagram

Location: 475 Geylang Rd, Singapore 389434

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Pricing

The Mini Potters: $65

Wheel Throwing Experience: $76

For more details on this workshop or other pottery classes in Singapore, refer to their website.

The Terra & Ember pottery studio is a haven situated right in the middle of the bustling cityscape. Come here for respite from the grind of daily life!

It is also the only studio in Singapore that offers a pottery class for mini ceramics (The Mini Potters). Walk away with petite pottery of your own making that’ll liven up any office or home space!

Final notes

Give yourself a break every once in a while by signing up for one of these pottery classes in Singapore! Who knows—you might just pick it up as a serious hobby.

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to our Telegram channel and follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn for more student-oriented content!

Lost in transition: What to do after scoring badly in the A Levels

Lost in transition: What to do after scoring badly in the A Levels

Lost in transition: What to do after scoring badly in the A Levels

It’s the new year and with it comes the sombre reminder that results would soon be released for the batch of students who sat for their A levels. As the days inch closer towards the release of results, a myriad of thoughts and emotions would probably be running through your mind.

Some would eventually attain their desired results – with tears of joy and ecstatic wails on their faces. However, for others, results day might be less of a celebration. If you find yourself staring at your result slip feeling utterly demoralised, fret not. As someone who has lived through the agony of receiving bad A level results, I’m here to tell you that results day is not the be-all and end-all.

In this article, I’ll be sharing some possible paths you can consider if you’re wondering what to do after A-Levels, especially after scoring bad A-Level results.

Looking for a course that meets your rank points

If your score falls short of your ideal course, consider looking for alternative courses that meet your current rank points. Compare your grades to the IGPs (indicative grade profile) for various university courses.

Should your grades be close to the 10th percentile, you still stand a decent shot at admissions. Furthermore, ABA (aptitude based admissions) or discretionary admissions with a decent portfolio can always boost your chances.

While looking through courses you are eligible for, do thorough research about the various modules offered, career prospects and whether the course is something you can see yourself pursuing for 3 to 4 years.

Sample of NUS’s IGP

Here is a table of the links to the IGPs of the various local universities:

NUS IGP

https://www.nus.edu.sg/oam/undergraduate-programmes/indicative-grade-profile-(igp)

NTU IGP

https://www.ntu.edu.sg/admissions/undergraduate/indicative-grade-profile

SMU IGP

https://admissions.smu.edu.sg/admissions-requirements/indicative-grade-profile

SUSS IGP

https://www.suss.edu.sg/full-time-undergraduate/admissions/indicative-grade-profile-igp

SIT IGP

https://www.singaporetech.edu.sg/sites/default/files/2021-01/SIT_Indicative_Grade_Profile_0.pdf

SUTD IGP

https://www.sutd.edu.sg/Admissions/Undergraduate/Application/Admission-Requirements

Considering private universities

For most students who fail to meet the cut off for local universities, a popular alternative is to look at private universities. Well-known private universities include Kaplan, SIM, The PSB Academy, Curtin University, James Cook University and MDIS.

To find out more, check out the 9 best private universities in Singapore.

Retaking the A Levels

If your grades fell short of your dream course, another way forward from bad A level results would be retaking the A-Levels. Retaking requires commitment and dedication from your end as it means taking a year off to study again for the major exam. Here are some steps you can follow to see if retaking is the right choice for you.

Firstly, analyse your current grades and identify where you may have faltered. If you are able to spot areas of improvement, then draft out an action plan that you can follow.

Secondly, check SEAB’s website to confirm you can retake all your subjects and consider changing your subject combination if required. Thirdly, decide if you’d be retaking as a private candidate or going back to your JC.

In most cases, if you fail an H2 subject, then JCs would be open to having you come back and join the new JC2 batch. However, in the case you do not meet the requirements to retake in school, do not be afraid to reach out to your tutors to see if your school could support you (such as by providing consults if needed).

Retaking is a tough choice but with enough determination and consistency, it is a choice worth making in the long run. Find out how this retaker scored 88.75RP.

Applying to a Polytechnic course

Bad A-Levels results might also be an indicator that perhaps the A level curriculum is not suited for you. If you see yourself as more of a hands-on learner and if you have a passion for a certain field, then consider enrolling in a poly course instead.

While it may sound like a longer route, especially if you intend to pursue a university education, the experience you can glean from a polytechnic education would make you more adept in your selected field. Here’s a guide to choosing the right polytechnic.

Taking a gap year to work and upskill

When thinking “what to do after A levels” applying for a gap year might not be the first thing you might think of. However, there are many benefits of taking a year off before going to University – as long as you plan your time wisely and set goals for yourself.

People embark on gap years for different reasons, some might want to work or upskill while others might want to retake the A levels or study something different. To learn more about taking a gap year, be sure to hear from those who did it, such as these 3 students who shared their gap year experience.

Here are some ideas to get you thinking about what to embark on after A levels, should you choose to take a gap year.

Part-time or Internships

If you believe that gaining more exposure in a certain field would be more beneficial, then try looking out for part-time or internship opportunities. Furthermore, taking a gap year to work after A levels and applying for university afterwards can prove to give you a better shot at discretionary admissions.

Contrary to popular belief, there are many jobs for A level students. Do not fear the lack of experience – just make sure to prepare a portfolio and show your passion to learn. A level internships are common especially given that you have 6 months after the release of results before university commences.

Websites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, JobStreet and STJobs are good places to start looking. If you are not sure what to do after A levels, specifically the kind of jobs you want to apply for, you can find out more from 15 online jobs for students.

Upskill

Other than internships or part-time positions, you could also take the time to upskill via various online courses. Course sites such as Coursera, Google, SkillShare and Udemy have various modules you could consider. Having skills would make you stand out for others applying for A level internships.

Students may also use this time to pursue a side hustle. If you have a passion for entrepreneurship or have a skill that can be monetizable, then consider starting up your own business. Find out more tips from 3 students who found success with their side hustles.

Always a way ahead

We hope this list has been helpful for all those considering different paths after the results. Remember, bad A level results does not define your ability or skills and is simply a redirection for the next step ahead! Believe in yourself and trust the process.

In the meantime, should you want to learn more about how you can maximise your opportunities as a student, give Study Ramen a follow on our Instagram, subscribe to our Telegram channel for updates and connect with us on Linkedin.

30 ways to spend the school holidays improving yourself

30 ways to spend the school holidays improving yourself

30 ways to spend the school holidays improving yourself

30 things to do during the school holidays to improve yourself

School’s out, and now it’s time for a break.

But if you are getting bored of doing nothing and binge-watching Netflix shows all day, then why not look for some ideas to make your holidays more productive?

To help you with that, we’ve put together a list of 30 things on how to spend your school holidays more effectively!

It includes things to do that are suitable for students still in lockdown, or for those who prefer to spend their holidays at home.

Read books

Reading books is a productive way to spend your vacation, and it’ll be good to read both fiction and non-fiction books from a wide range of genres.

If you’re not sure about which book to start, check out our list of recommended self-improvement titles!

Learn a new language

Head over to websites like DuoLingo to learn another language like Korean, Japanese, French and more!

You can also check out these flashcards applications that could help you with your language learning journey.

Take a online course

For a productive way to spend your holidays, you can look to start online courses!

There are plenty of free courses on various topics available on websites like Coursera, Linkedin Learning and Udemy.

Volunteer for a good cause

Spend your holidays doing something for a good cause by volunteering! Not only would you be able to help others, but it would also provide you with a meaningful experience.

You can help out at animal shelters or participate in programmes that help migrant workers, or look at our article to find more places to volunteer at!

Find a part-time job

Apart from being a productive way to spend your vacation, it helps you gain working experience, useful practical skills and earn a little bit of pocket money!

If you are keen on spending your summer vacation at home, you can search among the variety of online jobs available for students for a suitable one too.

Start on a side hustle

If you’ve always wanted to try being your own boss, unleash your inner entrepreneur and start up your own business during these holidays!

To get some inspiration and motivation, you can read this article on three students sharing their side hustle experiences.

Increase your vocabulary

Having a wide vocabulary range would be useful for students, so why not do so during school holidays!

You can visit websites like Vocabulary.com or search for other resources that’ll help with building your vocabulary.

Learn about new study techniques

Make use of the holidays by reading up on ways to up your study game for your next semester.

Our articles on revision techniques like the Pomodoro techniques and active note-taking methods would be great to start from!

Reflect on your previous performance in school

Think about what you have achieved in the previous school semester and what you can improve on from now on. This would be helpful in setting and working towards new academic or personal goals.

Plan for future career or school options

Consider potential job options or academic routes that you’ll like to take in the future.

You can spend time during the school holidays to research extensively for industry insights or possible education paths.

Or you could also reach out to people like school ECG counsellors or network on platforms like LinkedIn.

Join school programmes or competitions

Look for events that your school offers in which you can participate, for example, Hackathons or exchange programmes. By doing so, you’ll be able to gain memorable experiences and new knowledge.

Additionally, you’ll gain perks like being able to build your portfolio and gaining new connections.

Attend career fairs, workshops or events

You can search for upcoming career fairs and events held during your school vacation on career development websites to attend like SkillsFuture and WorkForce Singapore.

These events would motivate you on your future career goals and give you more information on industries you are interested in.

Brush up on your Microsoft Office skills

Having good technical skills in using Microsoft Office would be beneficial for school and for future professions.

Spend your time during the holidays by enhancing your skills on excel sheets or powerpoints, which you can learn from here.

Learn creative skills

You can even work on your creative skills by learning more about photography, photo and video editing or using graphic design software like Canva.

Learn how to code

Another interesting and useful skill would be coding!

You can sign up for physical holiday coding camps and workshops like at SGCodeCampus.

You can also look for online resources available like Codeacademy and freeCodeCamp to learn different coding languages, for example, Python and JavaScript.

Explore new places

Take yourself outside to visit new places with a curious mind.

For example, you can check out these unique vintage shops, or head over to museums to gain some knowledge and creative inspiration.

Improve your physical health

Take care of yourself by spending your holidays working towards your health or athletic goals.

Keeping up with a constant exercise routine and working on eating healthier would be good for improving your general well-being.

Even if you are a student still in lockdown or prefer to stay at home during this vacation, you can also stay productive with home workouts available online.

Pick up new hobbies

A productive way to spend your free time during the holidays would be to learn something new.

Take up a hobby that you’ve always wanted to try, like learning a new instrument, a new art form or others to cure your boredom.

Declutter and clean your study space

Prepare yourself for the next school semester by keeping your study space organised.

It would also be good to sort out all your school notes and materials as well as to tidy up your desk.

Start a personal blog or website

Sourced from Wix

Starting a blog or website is a fun and interesting way to exercise your writing and creativity skills.

Write about your passions and interests on blogging platforms like WordPress and Tumblr, or design websites and portfolios on Wix.

Improve your financial literacy

It is important to improve financial literacy which would be extremely beneficial now and in the future.

You can spend this school holiday picking up this valuable skill by learning about money-saving tips as a student or about investing in Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Read the news

A good practice to have during the school holidays is to keep yourself updated on current affairs, and you can do so by reading the latest news.

National Geographic and Channel News Asia are some examples that offer great articles to acquire new knowledge.

Watch educational documentaries and Youtube videos

An engaging way to learn would be through educational videos, and it’ll be good to spend your holidays productively watching and gaining learning insights.

You can head over to websites that offer collections of free documentaries or search up for videos on YouTube channels like CrashCourse or AsapScience.

Listen to educational podcasts

Podcasts are a great way to gain new insights on a whole range of subjects and topics while on the go or when you have free time at home.

Check out these lists of 13 Singaporean podcasts for youth and 10 educational podcasts that you would definitely want to listen to this school holiday!

Play brain games

Apart from being able to have fun while playing games, brain games help to refine your cognitive skills, like memory, problem-solving and many others.

You can use apps like Lumiosity or play board games like Chess and Scrabble that would help train your brain.

Fix your sleeping schedule

Busy schedules during the school term might have caused you to lose out on sleep, so you can spend the school holidays adjusting your sleeping times.

Ensure that you are having ample sleep with sleep trackers like Sleep Cycle. You can also read our article to learn more ways to aid you!

Go out and enjoy nature spaces

A study by the University of Exeter suggests that spending more than 120 minutes outside in nature increased the likelihood of experiencing good health and higher well-being.

With that, after being cooped up indoors studying for your exams, a great way to unwind during your school vacation would be to head out into nature!

Participate in environmental activities

With the increase of environmental issues like plastic pollution, take small actions to help the environment by trying activities to educate you about being eco-friendly.

You can start by checking out upcycling DIY projects online or looking out for more informative environmental events on LepakinSG during the school holidays.

Catch up with friends and family

During your free time while on school vacation, it is good to spend more time with your friends and family and bond with them through various activities.

Start journaling

Journalling is a good activity when staying at home during your school vacations. It provides many mental health benefits and is a good habit that helps you organise your thoughts.

You can learn how to start a physical journal here, or turn to journal apps like DayOne.

Final Notes

We hope that this list of ideas would give you some inspiration on how to spend your holidays.

Holidays are meant for you to recharge before school resumes, so remember to strike a balance of being productive and taking a well-deserved break.

We hope that you’ll have a fruitful and enjoyable school vacation! Be sure to follow us on our Instagram, Linkedin and Telegram Channel for more content.

100 Deep questions to ask your friends for meaningful conversations

100 Deep questions to ask your friends for meaningful conversations

100 Deep questions to ask your friends for meaningful conversations

deep questions to ask friends

Being with our friends never gets old. It’s an excuse to get out of the house and do something fun like going to the movies, riding roller coasters or having group picnics, etc.

But talking about the same things over and over again can get boring. Perhaps you’d want to try asking deep and meaningful questions for a change.

Deep meaningful questions are great segways to learning more about one another.

If you’re thinking right now, “what kind of questions should I ask then?”. Here’re 100 possible deep questions to ask for more meaningful conversations.

Questions about who they are

These conversation starters revolve around their life and experiences, including the past and present. Asking deep meaningful questions about their life invites new insights into your friendship.

  1. What’s your favorite memory from your childhood? What’s the worst?
  2. How do you spend your free time?
  3. What’s your guilty pleasure?
  4. What’s your preferred genre of music? And Why?
  5. What’s your choice of poison? (“poison” refers to alcoholic drinks)
  6. Do you like and play any sports? Why?
  7. What is the best thing you’ve ever eaten? What’s the worst?
  8. What’s your favorite movie? Why?
  9. If you were to get a tattoo, what kind would you want?
  10. What was the last book you read? How did you feel about it?
  11. Do you have any pet peeves? Why?
  12. What’s your favorite app? And why?
  13. What’s the best thing that has ever happened in your life?
  14. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? And why?
  15. What’s your dream vacation?
  16. What’s your favorite cuisine?
  17. Do you have a daily routine? What’s your favorite part of it?
  18. What do you do when you’re stressed?
  19. How would you describe the “perfect meal”?
  20. What is your best moment growing up?

Questions about their work/careers

Plans about the future, their current career, or goals are an incredibly important aspect of everyone’s lives. So there’s nothing wrong with asking deep questions in fear of things turning awkward. What’s important is that you should also be ready to answer the same questions or/and build conversations from their answers.

  1. What is your dream job?
  2. What job would you never do?
  3. What annoys you the most about your career/field of study?
  4. In ten years, do you see yourself in your current job/field of study?
  5. What made you interested in pursuing this career/field of study?
  6. Where do you think your career is going?
  7. What’s the best memory you have in your career?
  8. Do you have any goals in life, besides your career?
  9. What is your best memory so far in your job/internship?
  10. What was your first internship like?
  11. Was there anything holding you back from your chosen career?
  12. Ten years ago, would this be your dream job?
  13. What does an average day at work look like for you?
  14. Do you like working from home or spending the day in the office/ at school?
  15. What’s been the most challenging experience you’ve had at school/work?
  16. Do you wish you were earning more in your career?
  17. Do you have any regrets about your career/field of study?
  18. How are you balancing between free time and work/school?
  19. What gets you through a day at work/school?
  20. Is there anything in your resume that isn’t true?

Questions about connections

These questions refer to the relationship with friends, partners, and family. Deep questions on relationships with your friends can reveal aspects of your friendship unbeknownst to both of you and open up conversations about their thoughts on their relationships and marriage. While discussing familial relationships with your parents or siblings is sure to bring a whole new perspective to the table.

  1. What do you do when you have a crush?
  2. When was your first relationship?
  3. What do you love most in a relationship?
  4. What’s your “ideal” first date?
  5. How long does it take until you decide you’re ready for marriage?
  6. Do you think it’s hard making meaningful friendships?
  7. What’s the most important thing you find in a friend? And in a partner?
  8. Do you have any deal-breakers when meeting new people?
  9. Do you find it hard to trust someone?
  10. What do you do when you have a fight with your partner? Friend? Family members?
  11. Is there anything you want to work on to be a good partner?
  12. How did your parents show love and affection to you?
  13. Are you close to your parents or siblings? If not, why?
  14. Do you have a favorite in your family?
  15. What’s the best memory you have with your family? The worst?
  16. If you could change anything about your family, what would it be?
  17. Do you think growing up with your family affected your future relationships?
  18. What was it like growing up in your family?
  19. What would you tell your younger self about growing up with your family?
  20. Do you want to have your own family? Why?

Questions about values

These questions refer to a person’s ethics and moral values. This isn’t meant to be controversial as it is a core aspect of one’s personality. Therefore, it’s important to start meaningful conversations about this with the people who matter. Doing so with an open mind fosters trust and builds stronger connections.

  1. If you were to die tomorrow, what would you want your last memory to be?
  2. If you were omnipotent for a day, what would you do?
  3. What values have you learned from your parents? Relationships? Career?
  4. Have you ever made a life-altering decision? What was it?
  5. When do you think a person’s ready to open up to someone?
  6. Do you believe in true love?
  7. What do you believe is your purpose in life?
  8. What is your biggest fear?
  9. Do you value money over well-being?
  10. Do you believe your zodiac/horoscope sign perfectly represents who you are?
  11. Do you think you can be easily influenced?
  12. What are some ethical dilemmas you’ve encountered?
  13. Would you rather die happily young, or grow old with regret?
  14. What do you see as “success”?
  15. Who would you prioritize first: friends, partner, or family?
  16. What do you do when faced with tough decisions?
  17. Do you believe in life after death?
  18. In a life or death situation, would you save a friend over five strangers? (“The Trolley Problem”)
  19. Do you think lying is “always” wrong?
  20. Would you risk your life to save another?

Questions about topical content

Photo by Yasin Yusef on Unsplash

These questions refer to important events and topics that are around us every day. Think meaningful conversations about social media, the latest news, technology, and current affairs.

  1. Do you think social media affects us more than it should?
  2. What are your app rankings: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.?
  3. How do you feel about the public education system?
  4. What do you think are the reasons for a decline in Unemployment?
  5. What is your opinion on drug consumption?
  6. Are there any current events that are affecting you? Your friends? Family? Career?
  7. Do you trust the information you see on social media platforms?
  8. What are your thoughts on racial issues and discrimination in [Country]?
  9. What do you think of cancel culture?
  10. In 10 years, where do you see [Country]?
  11. Do you like politics? Why or why not?
  12. Is gender identity environmental or biological?
  13. Do you stay up to date with current events?
  14. What does it mean to be environmentally friendly?
  15. Do you “act” differently online versus offline?
  16. What do you think of “anti-vaxxers”?
  17. What are the three most important issues facing this world right now?
  18. What do you think is the best thing about social media? The worst?
  19. Do you think social media can affect political views?
  20. Do you think social media has made real-life boring?

Meaningful questions brings better connections

Whatever situation we’re in with friends or family where the conversation has turned stale, these meaningful questions are meant to liven up the mood and make for an optimistic and interesting day. They’re simple questions that can lead to deeper conversations that reveal new things about the people who matter.

If you’re interested in similar topics on friendships and connections, check out our article on the science behind why you vibe with certain people by one of our talented writers.

If you liked this article, go ahead and subscribe to our Telegram channel and give us a follow on our Instagram and LinkedIn. We have tons of articles written by our amazing writers over a variety of topics that I’m sure you’ll love to take a look at!

How can we skip the small talk and have more meaningful conversations?

How can we skip the small talk and have more meaningful conversations?

How can we skip the small talk and have more meaningful conversations?

How to skip the small talk and have more meaningful conversations

“What school are you from?” “Have you finished your exams?” “How have online lessons been?”

These are some of the typical questions we find ourselves answering and recycling when we meet new people, or acquaintances we have not seen in a while. Regardless of whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, this kind of small talk can seem rather shallow and rather brain-numbing at times.

Sometimes we just want to skip perfunctory exchanges to get to learn more about the other person. For instance, we wish to have meaningful conversations for interpersonal relations or to network with others.

Mastering meaningful conversations is tough, especially so when we live in a pandemic where online interactions are preferred. So how do we hold a meaningful, deep conversation with others?

This article will delve into three important sections; why is it hard to have meaningful conversations, why we should have meaningful conversations and 10 ways we can do so.

Why is it so hard to have meaningful conversations?

It can be hard to approach someone to start a conversation; we may be introverts, or face difficulty connecting with someone over online platforms. Even if we physically meet someone, it can be hard to navigate a meaningful conversation.

Some people may even find it hard to have a deep conversation with their friends. For instance, you may often discuss school or homework with certain friends, so bringing up a “deep” topic might seem out of place.

Since engaging in meaningful conversation seems so nerve-wracking, what is the point of such conversations? I completely understand the occasional (or frequent) urge to pull a Patrick and hide under a rock to shut out the world.

Season 7 Growth Spout GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants - Find & Share on GIPHY
via GIPHY

Nonetheless, deep and meaningful conversations do have their merits.

Why should we have meaningful conversations?

According to Dr Nicholas Epey, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, “connecting with others in meaningful ways tends to make people happier”. He conducted a series of experiments to see the effects of small talk vs deep conversations on people who were strangers to each other.

His results showed that people who discussed shallow topics (i.e. discussing the weather) and deep topics (i.e. describing the last time they cried in front of someone else) both tended to overestimate how awkward they thought the conversation would be.

Although this overestimation was greater for those who discussed deep topics, they tended to feel stronger connections to their conversation partners.

Humans are social creatures; we all crave interaction and intimacy to varying degrees. Forming strong connections with others allows us to healthily express our emotions while creating a support system for our well-being.

Having deep and meaningful conversations with others allows us to expose ourselves to new perspectives while voicing our own thoughts. Such experiences can be cathartic; in our moments of vulnerability, we tend to be more empathetic towards others and ourselves.

That being said, let us look at 10 methods we can use to engage in meaningful conversations.

10 ways to have meaningful conversations

1.) Be a lighthouse

Georgie Nightingall, founder of Trigger Conversations, an organisation that helps people engage in deep and meaningful conversations, says that being a lighthouse helps such conversations. Like a lighthouse, we should emit a light and warmth that draws others towards us.

She points out how infectious a smile can be, or how reassuring eye contact can be in a conversation. If you are awkward or standoffish in your regular interactions with others, chances are, they will be hesitant about connecting emotionally with you.

A simple way to “become a lighthouse” is to ask yourself: How do I want to feel? How do I want the other person to feel?

You likely want the person to feel comfortable and open to talking to you. To do so, maintain positive emotions and let your intentions be reflected in your body language. Maintain eye contact, nod at relevant moments, and smile at them before reaching out to them.

2.) Watch their body language

While your own body language is important, you also have to watch the facial expressions and body language of your conversation partner. If they avoid eye contact, or look uncomfortable while broaching certain topics, it is best to avoid them and change the subject.

Gauging the other’s body language to navigate deep topics allows for a more comfortable sharing.

3.) Ease into the conversation

We know small talk can be tiring; however, in certain circumstances, it may be inappropriate for your first question to someone to be “Tell me about your most recent existential crisis”.

Start the conversation with lighter but interesting questions such as “What are your favourite TV shows? What do you think your TV preferences say about you?” before delving into deeper topics.

Sometimes, it helps to establish intentions at the beginning of the conversation; be honest at the start and explain that you are looking to have a heart-to-heart meaningful conversation with that person because you appreciate their perspective, or wish to learn more about them.

4.) Create a good atmosphere

Engaging in a deep conversation might be easier if the atmosphere is suitable. Find a quiet spot where you can hear the other person clearly, and maybe even talk over drinks to help the vibes.

Finding a scenic spot also helps create a more personal atmosphere to encourage deep conversations.

If you are concerned about potential awkward lapses in the conversation, you could meet the person for a low-intensity shared activity. That way, if the topic gets too heavy, or you or your conversation partner see the need to change the subject, you can quickly talk about the activity you are both doing.

For instance, you could bake with that person, or go for a chill board game or even go golfing.

5.) Be empathetic

Since the subject matter of the conversation could get rather personal at times, we must keep an open mind and be empathetic in such exchanges. After all, the person is opening up to us, and vice versa.

Mutual empathy is important to ensure that such conversations are well-received and will occur again in the future.

A possible way to express empathy is to convey your thanks and appreciation to the person for willingly sharing their personal thoughts with you in a post-conversation text.

6.) Let the conversation be a two-way street

It is important for all parties involved to have a somewhat equal sharing of their own thoughts and experiences. Continuously letting one person talk may prevent them from opening up again in the future as they could think that they have overshared.

On the other hand, going on and on about yourself would also come off as self-centered.

7.) Ask (interesting) follow-up questions

You have probably heard of the card game We’re Not Really Strangers, which presents interesting questions you can ask to start a meaningful conversation. Research beforehand to find some engaging questions you could ask.

You can also ask follow-up questions when your conversation partner shares their perspective; this signals your interest in what they are sharing, making them more inclined to continue talking. Here’re 100 questions that might be useful for this purpose!

8.) Be a good listener

Being a good listener does not mean merely nodding along to whatever someone is saying. You need to occasionally ask relevant follow-up questions, convey the right facial expressions and try to remember the gist of what has been shared.

This also means not interrupting the person while they are talking, and to listen with an open mind. When responding to what the other person has said, avoid comparing their experiences to your own as this seems to invalidate what they have gone through.

Signs of good listening boost the other person’s confidence and willingness to engage in meaningful conversations with you.

9.) Share the real you

Engaging in a deep and meaningful conversation usually means a degree of vulnerability is involved. Since you expect your conversation partner to be truthful and vulnerable, it is best if you do the same too.

Share your own experiences (according to your comfort zones) and open up to others. Emotionally confiding in or sharing our dreams with others, can be beneficial for our own mental health.

10.) If all else fails… don’t push it

If you have tried all these tips, but feel like certain people just do not wish to engage with you, don’t let that bug you. Some people have their own reasons for not wanting to open up, or some just don’t really vibe with you (and that is perfectly ok!).

In such situations, we can just reach out to others to form connections with.

Final thoughts

Trying to engage in meaningful conversations may be difficult in the beginning, but with time and practice, they will be easier to handle.

We hope this article is useful in helping you navigate such conversations! In the meantime, do check out our other articles on why you vibe with certain people.

For more student-related content, check out our Instagram, LinkedIn and Telegram channels!

13 Interesting Singapore Podcasts for the Young at heart

13 Interesting Singapore Podcasts for the Young at heart

13 Interesting Singapore Podcasts for the Young at heart

Interesting Singapore podcasts

Want to make better use of your Spotify subscription?

Besides listening to music, Singaporeans have been starting to use podcasts to learn, catch up on the latest news and for entertainment! There are also Singapore podcasts that answer taboo or controversial questions that you can listen to in private without needing to feel awkward.

This article presents Singapore podcasts that are currently topping the local Spotify charts. In this list, you can find 13 podcasts relevant and beneficial to students!

Let’s talk CPF

Let's Talk CPF podcast

The first podcast we think will be relevant to students is Let’s Talk CPF, a Singapore podcast that educates on Central Provident Fund (CPF) and financial planning, to help Singaporeans prepare for their future.

Did you know the best age to buy life insurance is when you’re in your 20s? Don’t worry, I’m not trying to sell you insurance. The point is, knowledge in financial planning is important from a young age!

Useful episodes for you:

  1. Starting early in financial planning

Great Eastern’s Head of Agency Business Development, Glenn Yong explains why people wish they started earlier and share financial tips for young adults in Singapore through this podcast.

  1. Money Tips for Millennials

In this podcast episode, CEO and CIO of MoneyOwl, Chuin Ting Weber, dishes out financial tips for Singaporean millennials on how to save better like having a Bad Mood Fund and a good ratio of your income to keep for rainy days.

The Financial Coconut

First Financial literacy Podcast

Another podcast on the Spotify charts teaching financial planning is The Financial Coconut. With content curated uniquely for Singaporeans, this podcast shares the best financial practices and strategies you can adopt!

If you want to earn passive income but don’t know where to start, this podcast is the perfect place. Need money to invest? We got you too: 15 online jobs for students in Singapore

Useful episodes for you:

  1. The Easiest Way to Start Investing:

With an extensive list of options out there, investing could be overwhelming. This episode discusses good investment choices and factors to consider when investing.

  1. How to Eradicate Impulse Buying Once and For All

How often do you regret splurging on an item? This episode offers solutions to help eradicate the root of impulse buying!

The Woke Salaryman Podcast

The Woke Salaryman Podcast

Hosted by Ruiming and Wei Choon, the same team behind “The Woke Salaryman” webcomics, this podcast discusses personal finance, investments, careers and more. With just 4 episodes to date, they are already topping the Singapore Spotify Podcast charts!

Perhaps owing to their comic-writing background, this podcast aims to make personal finance easy and entertaining for everyone. This makes it a great podcast for Singapore students who wish to pick up financial literacy with a splash of fun.

Useful episodes for you:

  1. Our analysis on Netflix’s Squid Game, as two personal finance enthusiasts

[ Spoiler Alert! ] In Squid Game, Gi Hun the winner, brings home 45.6 billion won but as we know, pretty much left it untouched. This podcast offers him advice on how he can better manage his money for season 2!

  1. The FIRE Movement (Financial Independence, Retire Early)

Through this episode, you can learn how you can retire as early as in your 30s or 40s.

Sex & Singapore City

Sex & Singapore City Podcast

Moving on from financial planning, the Sex & Singapore City podcast provides resources and answers to relationships, sex and love.

We may have many unanswered questions related to relationships because it is not in our culture to discuss them. Not to fret, we can trust Nixalina Watson to tackle the unspoken in sex and relationships in Singapore, through this unfiltered podcast on Spotify!

Useful episodes for you:

  1. The Recovery & Road to Happiness After a Toxic Relationship

Nixalina shares her personal experience in a toxic relationship and tips she learned from her journey.

  1. She said, He said – We Need to Talk About Contraception

Nixalina and her guest inform the pros and cons of each contraception and the dangers of Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

Something Private

Something Private Podcast

This next Spotify podcast caters to a female audience, featuring stories from gynaecologists, experts and host Nicole. Nicole strives to remove the stigma surrounding sexual wellness and focuses on topics usually avoided at dining tables.

Through her chart-topping Spotify podcast, Nicole empowers and offers beneficial advice to young women.

Useful episodes for you:

  1. The Elephant in the Room Isn’t Me, It’s Your Fat Shaming

In this judgmental society, learn how we can deal with body image issues and not let unwarranted comments from relatives during the holidays break our festive mood.

  1. On Adulting, Love and Health with Narelle Kheng

Joined by the singer and mental health advocate Narelle Kheng, Nicole discusses adulting, relationships and how to take care of ourselves.

Hush Podcast

Hush Podcast

Singapore Radio DJs Germaine Tan, Hazelle Teo and Azura Goh gather at Hush Podcast to discuss relationships, health and wellness. Going beyond Singapore’s Spotify charts, Hush is popular in New Zealand and the Philippines too!

Their episodes dig into topics pertinent to our stage of life including relationships, mental health and career decisions.

Useful episodes for you:

  1. Keeping our mental health in check during this pandemic

This episode dives deeper into mental health and shares how we can take care of ourselves better during this pandemic.

If you are feeling stressed and need someone to talk to, counsellors are available at affordable rates.

  1. Career choices – what we want to be versus what our parents want

Singaporean parents are known to have a rigid concept of a “successful career”. Listen to how the hosts dealt with their parents’ expectations and how they got to where they are!

Supernatural Confessions

Supernatural confessions podcast

Hosted and produced by SPH radio personality Tim Oh, the podcast spooks their Spotify audience with true ghost stories and superstitions from Singapore and South-East Asia. If you fancy spooky stories, this one’s for you!

Useful episodes for you:

  1. The Teacher who wouldn’t believe

Are ghosts real? What happens when we dismiss the existence of spirits?

  1. Possessed and the Phantom Colleague

A Taoist priest is invited to share what the Chinese 7th Month is all about while other guests recount their experiences of being possessed.

The More Better Podcast

the more better podcast

The More Better Podcast invites guests from all walks of life, from Singaporean politician Dr Chee Soon Juan to Ah Boys to Men star Tosh Rock. Hosted by your trusty Singaporean stand-up comedian Fakkah Fuzz, this is your go-to Spotify podcast for some laughter.

Useful episodes for you:

  1. Dr Chee Soon Juan

Dr Chee talks about his challenges and his life story aside from politics

  1. Tosh Rock

Tosh Rock enlivens the studio with talks on music, Netflix, boxing and personal growth.

Yah Lah But…

Yah Lah But podcast

Branding their podcasts as “ the most uncensored conversations and interviews to ever come out of the much-censored country of Singapore”, Haresh & Terrence from YouTube Channel Ministry of Funny bring to you discussions on the latest buzz in Singapore.

Useful episodes for you:

  1. Opposition MP Raeesah Khan admits to lying in Parliament & Elon Musk ends world hunger

Listen to how Singaporeans are reacting to MP Raeesah Khan’s case and together with Yah Lah But’s hosts, investigate whether Elon Musk was serious about his tweet to end world hunger!

  1. Healthcare workers to receive $4k reward & F45 studio posts racially-insensitive video

This podcast episode delves into the pay of Singaporean healthcare workers and addresses the recently surfaced racially insensitive gestures.

IMO

In my opinion podcast

Whether it is light-hearted trivia or serious events, IMO sparks questions and conversations around them. Although the Singaporean podcast hosts have admitted that the heavy topics sometimes take a toll on them, they believe these topics need to be brought up.

Useful episodes for you:

  1. Answering Love Questions on NUS Whispers

The IMO hosts read love questions on anonymous confession pages and share what they would do if they were in their position.

  1. Stories From A Sexual Assult Survivor

A personal favourite of the hosts, this podcast episode aims to educate Singaporeans and allow other survivors to find solidarity.

City Music Singapore

City music podcasts

The City Music Singapore podcast will help you discover obscure local talent to spice up your music playlists. They are also joined by guests who teach listeners how to make their own music!

Useful episodes for you:

  1. Coming up with Coming Up Roses

For those interested in composing, this episode features local band Coming Up Roses, who shared their secrets on how they write their tracks.

  1. Ableton Lesson with Syafiq Halid

For those who want tips on Ableton, check this episode out!

CNA Heart of the Matter

Heart of the Matter Podcast

Keeping up with the current news and knowing how to make sense of them can support your learning in school. The CNA Heart of the Matter podcast dives deeper into Singapore’s headlines and offers their take on news developments.

Useful episodes for you:

  1. Schools and stress: A tangled web involving parents, academic pressure and so much more

Talk about mental health has been in the spotlight since the death at River Valley High School, but are the suggested solutions sufficient? What are some ways you can relieve school stress?

  1. Singapore Taxi drivers: A front row seat to life in a pandemic

COVID-19 has disrupted the lives of many, but some are affected more than others. This podcast episode delves into how Singapore Taxi drivers approached their challenges.

The Daily Ketchup

The Daily Ketchup Podcast

Leave CNA to tackle the official headlines; The Daily Ketchup podcast catches us up with saucier everyday news in Singapore!

Useful episodes for you:

  1. Is ITE Really Worse than Poly and JC?

This Spotify podcast discusses some causes of stigma surrounding ITEs and if grades are really important.

  1. Is Singapore Exploiting Domestic Helpers?

In this episode, The Daily Ketchup discusses the rights of domestic helpers in Singapore. One of the hosts also shared an experience of his domestic helper being kidnapped!

I hope you will find these local Spotify podcasts enjoyable and informative! For more educational resources, subscribe to our Telegram and check out our Instagram and LinkedIn!