Alt-Welfare Pack

By Claudia Tan and Kezia Tan

Final examinations are around the corner and so are the mandatory welfare packs. While freebies are always a great gesture, we are getting sick of the random coffee packets and dubious product samples. Here are some alternatives that might take a little extra effort to put together, but hey — at least you will use them.


Coffee packets vs Tea


When it comes to coffee packets, it’s Nescafé or nothing. But even then, taking the cup of joe to stay awake is not always good for you. Coffee may keep the eyes open and brain awake, but the large caffeine composition can cause jitters and affect sleep quality.


Try tea instead — which has a lower amount of caffeine, and contains an amino acid that relaxes your muscles, calms nerves and reduces mental and physical stress. In short, it keeps you calmly awake. According to the BBC, tea drinkers get better sleep at night as well.

Sweets & Chocolates vs Vitamin C gummies


A sweet respite from all the bitterness of hard work, these treats are unfortunately packed with too much sugar and cholesterol for you to be snacking on them recklessly throughout the night.


To satisfy that sweet tooth, stock up your finals arsenal with Vitamin C gummies instead. They are great for recharging your stressed-weakened immune system — and they’re equally fun to chew.

Sample Products vs Wet Tissues


At this point in the semester, no amount of face wash and deodorant samples is going to salvage such stress-worn faces.


So just surrender and keep it real — with some good old wet tissue instead. Keep a pack at hand to rejuvenate as you wipe the tears away, or for a quick wipe-down after a study snack. Multi-purpose, cheap and fuss-free — what more could you ask of a weapon for finals?

Soda vs Coconut Water


Sugar rushes never end well — you get the sweet rush, and then crash. A bottle of Coca-Cola contains more than 52 grams of sugar — almost double the recommended daily 25 grams of sugar intake.


For the sugary satisfaction without the guilt, try coconut water. It may seem    overhyped, but it is packed with minerals that hydrate the body, lower blood pressure and keep the muscles working properly; perfect for replenishing water loss from the sweltering heat.

Magazine vs Essential Oils


Let’s face it — magazines are just handy welfare pack fillers. They might prove useful in escaping reality and rewinding once in awhile, but such luxury of time probably is not in the agenda in the sprint towards finals.


Alternatively, relax while studying, with essential oils. Plant-based essential oils are widely used to stimulate brain functions. Pop about 10 drops into a diffuser or a bowl of water for some instant aromatherapy.

Strange Crackers vs Fruit & Vegetable Chips


When will biz mags realise nobody dares touch those strange, unbranded crackers? From bizarre flavoured crackers to sketchy Muruku lookalikes, we’ve seen it all. Even if you do enjoy trying out these unconventional treats, they are often bad for the health.


Munch on dried fruit and vegetable chips instead. If the prices of those in the supermarkets are too steep, make your own in the kitchen. Thinly slice the fruits or vegetables and lightly salt them; for the vegetables, add a layer of olive oil. Pop in the oven until they are browned or crisp, and you’ve got yourself a worthwhile crunchy snack.