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Alumni Stories > Alumni Stories > Life after graduation: Vedaant on NS

Life after graduation: Vedaant on NS

What lies beyond graduation? It’s a question that inevitably weighs on the minds of every Year 13 at Tanglin as they navigate exams, university applications, and chart their future paths.


Vedaant J | Cohort 2023

Vedaant, who graduated from Tanglin in 2023, is following the well-trodden path of many Singaporean citizens or permanent residents as he fulfils his national service obligations in the 3rd Singapore Guards Battalion.

"I was born in Mumbai, India, but I moved to Singapore when I was four months old, so I feel like I'm practically Singaporean now,"


What was your Tanglin journey like?

I started Year 7 at Tanglin in 2017 and it was such an amazing experience. I got to explore everything I wanted to do, especially during my A levels when I had the opportunity to pick the subjects that really resonated with me such as Film Studies, Drama and English Literature. I chose these subjects because I plan to take Film & TV Production in university. In fact, I’ve applied to five universities already!

Which universities did you apply to?

New York University (NYU), University of Southern California (USC), University of California (UCLA), LMU School of Film and Television, and Chapman University. I was eventually accepted into NYU, which was my first choice.

How did you make the time to do your university applications despite your busy NS schedule?

I woke up at 3.30am every morning and utilised the devices we were provided for online learning. Although I didn’t get much sleep, it felt really great when I managed to complete my applications! Getting accepted into NYU was especially cathartic because I was rejected on my first application in Year 13. I hope this will motivate students currently facing rejection from their dream universities because they will have another chance to reapply during their NS or gap year like I did. This gives you a second chance to present yourself as a strong candidate and improve your chances of acceptance!


Why didn’t you choose to defer NS?

I wanted to get it over and done with, because I didn’t want to go to university, have a really good time, do all my things, build my career, and then have to go back to fulfil my NS obligations. I’m still quite young so it doesn’t really disrupt too much of my life.  

NS is known for being physically demanding. How did you prepare for it?

During my actual A levels, I’d go to the Clementi stadium every alternate day to practise for my Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) because if you pass it, you get two months shaved off your NS. I was confident of passing the sit-ups and push-ups, but I hated running my entire life, so I decided to train for it. I slowly reduced my running time over two months and eventually passed it. Fun fact: two of my sergeants are also Tanglin Alumni serving their NS currently. They are Yash P and Kieran S from the Class of 2022. Given its size, it’s so incredibly rare to find three Tanglin graduates in the same company!

What about the mental aspect?

I watched Ah Boys to Men and it’s actually incredibly accurate! Even the funny stuff that happens in the movie – things like if you mess around with your buddies in the bunk, you’d all get into trouble. I also chatted with my friends who were still doing NS.

What kind of advice do you have for someone who is preparing for NS?

Talk to your friends if they are still in NS and train yourself physically. If you haven’t been doing sports etc, then start now because you get to shave off two months off NS if you pass. Just imagine how much you can do within that time! I, for one, spent it doing a couple of internships at Tanglin and a local film production company. You can also watch videos online to see what NS guys do to prepare themselves mentally. Another tip I have is to try fulfilling your external commitments as much as possible before you enter NS. For example, you’d want to complete your university applications beforehand because NS is already strenuous enough; you don’t want to add more stress to yourself.

I’d also encourage people to keep up their optimism because it’ll really help you get through the tough times easier. Reframe your negative thoughts by seeing the positives in your experience such as getting fitter, building mental toughness, learning the value of camaraderie etc, and you’ll be happier. You may not be able to change the inevitable, but you can definitely change your perspectives about it. Your buddies will also be influenced by your optimism, so it’s beneficial all around. At one point or another, you might feel super sad or annoyed that your freedom has been taken away but remember that it’s not your entire life. NS is just a PART of your life. Make post-NS plans that are related to your passions, so you have something to look forward to unless you plan to sign on. For example, I hope to join a theatre company after NS, so I’ve been emailing people and gotten some replies.

In other words, prepare yourself as much as you can!


Tanglin Trust School Singapore has a long tradition of providing British-based learning with an international perspective. At Tanglin we strive to make every individual feel valued, happy and successful.

Find us at 95 Portsdown Road, Singapore 139299

Tanglin Trust School Ltd
Registration number : 196100114C
Registration period : 7 June 2023 to 6 June 2029

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