Written by Dennis Tan
Everyone’s reaction to the title. Source
Yes, the title is correct and you’re not going blind.
Despite NS being a dreaded two years for most, there is still some good that if you look hard enough, is there. Here are some things that may make NS not so bad after all.
- It’s an extra two years for you to discover your passion
Avoiding hard life choices. Source
For most people enlisting, life after NS is a huge question mark. NS offers that two-year long ‘pause’ button for one’s life that those people will complain about but secretly know they’re better off with it. With such little time to yourself, you’re forced to learn to prioritise and do the things you really want to do. Even in camp, there’s always quite a bit of time at night to take stock of your life so far and think about where your passion lies.
As for those who already know what they want to do in life, there’s always the 9th core value…
- Growing in confidence
Being put through so much physical and mental training gives you a special kind of confidence boost. I often hear my friends in combat vocations saying how if they could go through the training they receive every day, they can face anything life throws at them!
Of course, being in a logistics vocation also increases your confidence in the form of skill sets – from driving trucks that are twice a man’s height to learning to craft carefully-worded emails to superiors (it sounds silly, but trust me, the clerks are the most important people you will meet!) – that will benefit you way beyond NS.
- You get a taste of the working world
- Learning to save money
I feel you bro. Source
There’s little room to manoeuvre with the allowance of an NSF, so learning to save money is must. Want to save money on food? Eat at the cookhouse. Adult transport fees too expensive? Staying in may be an option! Admittedly, these options may not be the most appealing and require a heapload of self-control, but we are definitely provided with a plethora of opportunities to fatten up your bank account for university or your next Steam purchase.
- Filling awkward conversations
Somehow you find yourself with the time to meet long-lost friends or new people… but your brain has been dulled by the lack of use the past few months, and you haven’t found the time to do anything interesting recently to talk about: panic strikes!
No worries, NS talk saves the day! Be it a guy or girl you’re meeting, the first thing that they’ll ask is, “What are you doing in NS now?” You can then proceed to yammer on about whatever goes on in camp, hopefully without lulling them to sleep… but problem solved!
- Making lifelong friends
True brothers cover you from every angle. Source
It may be clichéd, but spending two years together slogging your guts out together forges a unique bond amongst you and your buddies. Be it doing stupid things that only soldiers stuck in camp would do, or being screwed by our superiors for doing stupid things that only soldiers stuck in camp would do, you get to see who is there to cover your back – brothers who will stick by you for life.
Before you dismiss this article as ‘more government-sponsored propaganda’ (which it is not), take a moment to reflect and think about the good aspects of NS, and consider how you can make the best out of your situation. Remember, it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.