[LEARNING THE BEAT: Communication studies undergraduates (from left) Rachel Ang, Ho Sie Sie, Quah Chin Chin, and Christopher Ong. ]
FOR many students, nightlife is all about getting away from their school work.
But this group of final year students from Nanyang Technological University decided to study it.
For their final year project, titled After Dark, they chose to do feature writing, exploring various forms of nightlife in Singapore.
The project, which is made up of seven articles, covers activities such as late-night poker, house parties and prawning.
The group consists of Christopher Ong, 25, Ho Sie Sie, 25, Rachel Ang, 23, and Quah Chin Chin, 23, who are all communication studies graduands.
Miss Quah said they wanted to do something 'fun and exciting' for their project.
They considered focusing on illegal activities in Singapore but dropped the idea because of the inherent problem of not being able to go in depth, said Miss Ang.
But Mr Ong said they still had their share of difficulties when they settled on this topic.
For one of their stories, they had to interview transvestites at Orchard Towers.
Mr Ong said: 'When we went to Orchard Towers, we didn't know what questions to ask (the transvestites), or how far to go.
'We had to get used to getting rejected and learn to be thick-skinned.'
And they admitted to having prejudices initially as well.
Said Miss Ang: 'We had to change the way we addressed our interviewees. For example, we realised that ladyboys would find the term ah gua insulting.'
Mr Ong added: 'We were advised to call them 'sisters' instead. That would be a term of respect to them.'
Besides changing their mindsets, the group also had to alter their sleep cycle.
Said Mr Ong: 'We would go out at 9pm and come back at 6am.'
But the nature of their project made it all worthwhile.
Said Miss Quah: 'If your topic is interesting, then you'll be passionate about it.'
- Joanna Hor Peixin, newsroom intern
This article was first published in The New Paper.