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Students launch campaign to tackle ‘quarter-life crisis’

SINGAPORE — In a move to address the financial and career-related concerns their peers could have upon graduation, a group of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) students have initiated a campaign to provide stories, tips and resources to help young adults navigate their “quarter-life crises”.

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SINGAPORE — In a move to address the financial and career-related concerns their peers could have upon graduation, a group of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) students have initiated a campaign to provide stories, tips and resources to help young adults navigate their “quarter-life crises”.


Launched on Dec 20 last year, the campaign, called The Next Stop, links students with internship opportunities and online education tools such as DBS Remix’s WhyMoolah mobile application, on its website (http://www.thenextstop.sg). The website also features stories of youth undergoing the same phase.


“Instead of the usual financial literacy programmes, which is a more top-down approach, we wanted to add an element of human touch into our project,” said team member Ms Agnes Ho, 22.


“From the stories for instance, we want youths to feel engaged and identify with the campaign ....  We wanted people to feel connected and form a community of quarter-lifers through this campaign, and provide them with support.”

The other members are Ms Vinnie Quek, 22, Mr Shawn Choy and Mr Chan Long Teng, both 24. The campaign is their final year project.

In preparation for the campaign, they also surveyed 390 students, aged 18 to 25 years old, from local universities and polytechnics.


They found that two-thirds of the respondents felt anxious about life after graduation. Eighty per cent of the respondents felt concerned about finance and career-related matters while 72.5 per cent were afraid of making wrong choices in life after graduation.


“The stress, doubts, fear, and anxiety associated with an unclear future might be more complicated and intense among Asians because of their stronger emphasis on family — it is very important not to disappoint one’s parents by making bad career or life choice,” said Dr Albert Lee, assistant professor of psychology at the NTU.


“The mere thought of failing the expectations of significant others is itself a huge psychological and emotional burden to some.”


Speaking at the NTU ministerial forum on Jan 28, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had also acknowledged concerns among Singapore’s youth that they might have a tougher time than their parents. Mr Lee had pointed out that young Singaporeans are growing up with higher aspirations and becoming better educated, but he also urged them to see their concerns in context.


As part of the team’s effort to engage young adults, The Next Stop will launch its outreach programme on Feb 10, featuring more tips on finance management and career planning.


A forum-style event named A Casual Cuppa will also be held on March 15 in which financial experts from DBS and career-planning professionals will be present to offer advice to young adults to address their quarter-life concerns.

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