Mon, May 31, 2010
The Straits Times
Should I stay or should I go?

Examine cause of conflicting feelings

MR WEIWEN Yang wrote about his dilemma on whether to return to Singapore or to remain in Australia after graduation ('To stay or return home?', Thursday).

Perhaps a question he could ask himself is why he chose to leave in the first place. I assume he would also consider that a life-changing decision. What were the factors that led him to make the choice eight years ago? Might those factors still be relevant today?

A psychology major myself, I will be leaving Singapore to pursue my postgraduate studies in social psychology, with the intention of becoming an academic in future.

I chose to leave because I believe there are more opportunities out there for me. While undertaking postgraduate studies in Singapore would allow me to live relatively comfortably in the short term, I do not think that it would be the ideal choice in the long term.

Like Mr Yang, I am passionate about my chosen profession, and the work adds meaning to my life. Like him, my parents are also supportive of my decision.

Nevertheless, a certain amount of guilt accompanies this decision. Many of my peers have strong familial concerns and some have chosen to place these concerns above all else. This is not surprising, given the values that our culture cherishes.

If there is any advice that I can give Mr Yang, it would be to examine the source of his ambivalence.

He has stated the reasons that make him inclined to stay in Australia, namely, a more developed clinical psychology environment and higher pay. The reason why he feels ambivalent are, however, unclear.

I believe the answer lies in the values that have been inculcated in him while he was growing up in Singapore. It might be helpful to think about them.

Oliver Sng

>> Next: Grass not always greener on other side

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