top of page
Making Sense of Life (finally?)

Making Sense of Life (finally?)


This book, the third in a series, Making Sense of Life, comprises papers submitted as a final assignment for a course on business classics and Asia. The course encompassed big themes of global significance—the role of the state, luck and success, income inequality, gender, political and business culture, migration, and power of belief.

Essays in this book reveal a diverse mix of views and experiences. The voices come through their words—at once, affectionate and affecting, dutiful and determined, intense and idiosyncratic, plain and plaintive, rooted and restless, self-assured and self-satisfied as well as zestful and zippy. Together, they give readers a varied picture of how students cope with their quest to make sense of a world drastically changed by the COVID pandemic. Reading their reflections, one cannot help but feel optimistic about the future. Realistic and pragmatic, they also display universal values coupled with a sensitivity to group cohesion and individual autonomy, a difficult balance hard to maintain given the division social media engenders all too easily and quickly.

SKU: 978-981-18-5693-8

    The editor, Pang Eng Fong is Emeritus Professor, Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB), Singapore Management University (SMU).

    He was assisted by SMU graduates Abbas Ali Mohamed Anas and Samantha Teresa in this publication.


    If you want to understand young people living in this VUCA world, read this book of 60+ essays by SMU. The essays reflect the life of modern youth in Singapore and offer a deeper understanding of their inner world.
    —Carol Ma
    Associate Professor & Head of Gerontology Programmes
    Singapore University of Social Sciences


    It is possible to be ‘good’ at something one isn’t passionate about. Even if one is able to convincingly play the ‘role’ and by all accounts appear successful, this can prove to be a pointless exercise.
    Do so can lead to a missed opportunity of living a life true to oneself. This book of essays by SMU students reflect their search for such a life.
    —Wong Joo Seng, Venture Capitalist
    Founder and CEO
    Spark Systems Pte Ltd


    This volume of essays provides a rare insight into the lives of SMU students as they grapple with issues related to their goals in life and the expectations of family and friends.
    As one writer notes, “success in life need not be defined by academic performance… We must gain contentment in each moment of effort, without fear of a seemingly ‘unsuccessful’ outcome. Another realises that ‘lifelong learning is more than a catchphrase; it is an approach to life that should be embraced/ Readers will draw inspiration from the stories students share about how they overcome setbacks and develop resilience.
    —Chan Kay Min, Ph.D, Senior Lecturer
    Lee Kong Chian School of Business
    Singapore Management University


    Have we often stopped and asked ourselves the three questions—Being You, Becoming You and Where you Belong? The collection of essays by young Singaporeans seeks to answer that. These essays are beautifully written, raw in their purest form and go deep into their personal space and reflection.
    When you begin to make sense of life, you also begin to make sense of the world around you and the relationships between the world and ourselves. The stories we read are also about the stories of ourselves—that of our grandparents and us, between our parents and us, and between siblings and us. Some stories moved, gripped, and even made me more aware of ourselves.
    This volume of essays will undoubtedly give us more insight into the world of today’s undergraduates- a generation many have labelled as the strawberry generation. But at the end of the day, this volume will allow many to reflect on every one of us.
    —Jason Chiam, Senior Lecturer & Head of Programme
    SR Nathan School of Human Development, SUSS


    We grew up amidst the proliferation of social media, spending countless nights in bed scrolling Instagram feeds till our phones fell flat on our noses. While we profess that these technologies brought us closer to our friends and peers, how much do we really know behind the charade? Making Sense of Life Vol. 3 offers a glimpse into the private lives of the everyday students we meet along the corridors—an intimate sharing of their adversities and successes alike; a celebration of the human spirit, which remains unyielding in strength despite all odds.
    —Bryan Tay, 4th Year Undergraduate
    Singapore Management University

bottom of page