01 October 2010

Closing the loop~

Three months of studying as a Foundation in TESL student in UiTM Shah Alam wasn’t easy. I have never thought that being a Foundation in TESL student would make me as busy as an ant. I just can’t stop sitting in front of my laptop. Please don’t misunderstand what I said just now. I can’t stop sitting in front of my laptop means not surfing the Internet or chatting online with friends, but I have to sit in front of the laptop every day to complete my assignments and presentations which are abundant.

Yeah! That’s my life for these three months. Actually, I had no idea that I would be so busy compared to my life as a fifth former in the school. I thought of just having fun and interesting moments here, but then again I was wrong. It’s not as easy as the life in the secondary school. I could still remember that time when I was busy doing reports and homework. But those weren’t so difficult and complicated because my teachers provided all the information and all I needed to do was to get the paperwork done as instructed. However, when I stepped into this university life, I realised that our lecturers will explain to us what we have to do and it’s up to us to complete whatever tasks according to the requirements set. There’s a vast difference between life in the secondary school and life in the university. I’m experiencing it but I’ve already get used to it. I love the university life because it helps me to be more independent and helps me realise that procrastination is not something to be proud of. University life is everything about my own hard work. If I didn’t work, I won’t get the result I want. So, I’m trying my best to study and work harder in order to achieve my goals.

Throughout these three months, I went through a lot with my friends. I did some mistakes along the way. However, I tried my best to stand up and face the challenges bravely. For example, in order to complete my Computer Literacy mini survey, I was careless as I didn’t get the details of the business involved in our survey and made an appointment to visit the venue. As a result, I wasted my friends’ time, money and energy on that day. We woke up early and were very excited to complete the mini survey but we were all disappointed when we reached Serdang to find out that the owner didn’t use computer in their work. Due to the mistake that I’ve done, I learnt that I have to be more careful and thorough in managing my work. On the contrary, I’ve spent a great time with my roommates. Although I’m the one who is always missing during weekends, they are hoping that I can be there with them and have fun with them. They are great roommates. We share our secrets and the relationship with our families is good. Because of that, I have more parents and that makes me very happy. Sometimes, when I thought that the semester is going to end, I feel sad because I’m not sure whether I’ll get the chance to be in the same room with my current roommates and also be in the same class with my current classmates. All of them are very nice and fun to get along with. I hope that we’ll be together again next semester but everything seems to be so uncertain!

Actually, when thinking about what had happened to me, I feel frustrated too. One semester of the Foundation English course is less than 6 months. It was fast, really fast. There are too many things that I’ve learnt, done and faced in this short period of time. I’m quite stressed out as I didn’t expect so many things to happen so fast. However, now, the pressure that I’m facing changed me into a ‘monster’ if I could say it that way. The burden is really heavy. At first, I was happy and my ideas poured freely and easily like the rain when I needed to do something. But now, unfortunately, I have to force myself to think and keep on thinking to get my work done perfectly. Being a perfectionist isn’t really good. Now I understand why my friends keep on saying that to me. I thought that being a perfectionist is good but I’m only undergoing mental torture as I have to really squeeze my brain juice more until the last drop. Without enough idea, I have to stop doing my work and thus spend longer hours staring blankly into my computer screen in search of ideas.

Talking about the challenges that I faced, I would say that the most challenging thing that happened to me is my College Study Skills final project. I was chosen as the assistant project manager and I came out with the idea of going to HUKM to cheer up the cancer patients there. So, we proceeded with our preparation but unfortunately something came up along the way. The proposal that we did for about a month wasn’t sent to the management of the HUKM. I was very disappointed because that was the only problem that stopped us from going there. I was frustrated and sad. However, our group project manager and his personal assistant tried their best to come out with another idea to fulfil our final project. Finally, we had a joint venture with the seniors to organise a one day activity which included a talk, breaking fast and performing our prayers. Somehow the event turned out well. I was glad that we managed to do well in our final project. It’s all because of our teamwork and our trust in our project manager. I’m glad that I have such a good leader in my group.

Now, the semester is coming to an end soon. Once we come back after the Eid Festival break, we will be busy with our final examination and then we will head back to our own respective hometowns. I feel excited but sad to face the coming weeks. However, I hope that my friends can be happy always and I hope to see them again next semester with a big smile. I love all my friends and lecturers here.

Challenges so far.....

I am a college student. Now, I am in the second month of my studies. Being a college student isn’t as easy as what others think. There are lots of challenges and we have to overcome them with great patience.

Asasi, which is also known as the fast track for the SPM leavers consists of a short period of study time. This is because the courses that usually take 3 years are shortened to only 1 year. In this one year, we are expected to perform at par with the Diploma students where they have to complete their courses which are the same as our courses in 3 years. So, the main challenge that I face so far is time management. As I am a student of the Faculty of Education which is placed at INTEC in Section 17, Shah Alam, I have to wake up as early as 6.00 a.m. in order to board the earliest bus early as I am scared that there will be not enough buses provided for us. Besides that, my classes start as early as 8.30 a.m. and end as late as 6.00 p.m. So, the only time for me to rest, complete my assignments and homework will be at night. Sometimes I even sleep at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning in order to finish up my homework, assignments and revision. In order to overcome this problem, I came out with a time table which helps me to manage my time wisely to complete all my work on time as well as do revision.

In addition, another challenge that I have to face is waiting for the UiTM bus. On the first day here, I was told by the seniors that the UiTM bus service from the Mawar College to INTEC which is called the E bus operates from 7.30 a.m. until 8.30 a.m. So, whether my classes start at 10.00 a.m. or 2.00 p.m., I have to take the bus between that hour. I remembered the day that I was going to take the Malaysian Studies test. My friends and I were early as usual but we were fuming as the bus did not appear on time. It was really frustrating and we finally complained to the guard in charge of the bus service. He contacted the bus driver and after 20 minutes, the bus finally arrived. I was quite upset with what had happened that day and I intended to complain to the students’ affairs department. However, after that unfortunate incident, I am quite satisfied with the bus service although sometimes they do not provide enough buses to cater to our needs.

The other challenge that I face is group work. Some of my assignments need to be completed in groups. Once I formed my group, I tried my best to cooperate and do my best so that our assignments will be perfect. Unfortunately, some of my group members do not really show their commitment. For example, some of them did not show up for discussion and some of them did not even contribute anything in the initial stage of doing the assignments. After realising this problem, I called my group members and we had a heart to heart talk. We accepted each others’ opinions and my problematic group members started to change for the better. This made me happy and at the same time we share the burden of completing our assignments. Now, my group is a strong team and we look forward to more assignments to be done together.

Besides that, I also face the challenge in gaining access to the Internet. I love to surf the Internet. I love face booking, blogging, and watching videos, dramas and music videos from the YouTube. When I came here, I was quite disappointed as the wireless Internet is not available in my college. Thus, I was unable to surf the Internet and do the things that I love most. However, this helps me to concentrate in my studies and thus I am able to complete my assignments on time. This taught me that surfing the Internet will not ensure the success in my studies. Surfing the Internet is just a waste of time and energy if I were to do the things that I like. Despite that, sometimes the Internet helps me in providing the information that I need for my studies. In addition, surfing the Internet sometimes reduces my stress and provides entertainment in my mundane daily routine.

In a nutshell, the challenges that I face really help me in building up my confidence and patience. Now, I am able to stand up with my own feet as I realise the importance of concentrating in my studies. Besides that, the challenges I face will make me strive to work harder in order to achieve success. Moreover, I am able to control my desires and be more focused in my studies. I am happy that I have succeeded in overcoming the challenges that have taught me to be strong and remain calm in whatever difficult situations. I am looking forward to the end of this semester and I hope that I am able to see the changes in myself. On top of that, my family members will be proud with what I have achieved so far. Finally, this quote “challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful” by Joshua J. Marine has touched my heart as I am able to relate it to my own life.

My 1st month journey of being a pre-degree student

I can still remember vividly that hot afternoon on 2nd May in my grandmother’s house in Ipoh. I shouted with joy when I received news from my mother that I was offered to pursue my studies in Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Shah Alam for the Foundation Study in TESL course. I was amused with Opah’s bewildered look when she heard me shouting. I hugged my Opah tightly as I could not believe that I got through the interview and I have been given the opportunity to pursue my favourite subject, English. I waited patiently for my parents to fetch me and once I got home in Tanjong Malim, I started to look for information about UiTM Shah Alam. I had the privilege to learn about UiTM through its website. Moreover, with my mother’s help, I successfully filled in the information needed in the forms obtained online as preparation to enter this established university. I felt excited waiting for the registration day.

Finally, on registration day, I was among unfamiliar faces except my accompanying family members. Once we boarded the bus to the college, I saw a girl holding a pail with a pair of sports shoes and I realised that I have forgotten to pack mine. My mother assured that she would buy a pair of new sports shoes for me. Then, we reached Kolej Mawar where the girls would be placed for the whole semester. I walked nervously to the registration counter to get my room key. It was my first time staying away from my family. I hoped that the room was comfortable. After I had registered, I walked to my room on the second floor of block 1B. Once I opened the door of Room 9, I was shocked because the room was quite small for four, but it was simple and nice. Then, we started to arrange our clothes and things in the room. Finally, our family members had to leave us. So, I said goodbye to my family members and rested in the room while waiting for the time to gather.

From that day onwards, the orientation week started. I got to know all my 3 roommates. They are law students and I am the only one who is taking the TESL course. Hani is the oldest in our room, Ika is the second, while I am the third, followed by Ami. We bonded together and are like sisters in the short moment of our meeting. Although the orientation week was not as fun as I thought, but, I learned that life as a university student is very different from the secondary school life. I learned to be more independent as I started to live on my own without my family.

The following week in UiTM Shah Alam, was a fun week. Although I was not really used to the freedom of being a university student, but I tried my best to adapt and adjust to my new environment. My classes are in INTEC, Seksyen 17. All the TESL students have to take the UiTM bus from the college to INTEC. I got my timetable and I am happy with it because there are no night classes and most of my classes will start at 10.30 a.m. However, I was informed that busses will only be available from 7.30 a.m. until 8.30 a.m. So, whether I like it or not, I have to wake up early everyday to catch the bus. Thanks to the bus schedule, I have to be ready early every day.

Once I reached INTEC for the first time, I was shocked because of the environment there. Everything looked familiar to me. The buildings, the structures and the colours looked like a school! Even the tables and chairs in the class are set up exactly like in a school. But, the similarities do not change the fact that this is a university. So, on the first week, I got to know my new classmates, lecturers and ways of studying in a university. We discussed the learning outcomes and tests that we will have throughout this semester. Since then, I learned to be more punctual and hardworking because these are crucial for a student. The second week in UiTM taught me the importance of family. When I was down, as I heard my mother’s voice, it will automatically make me feel relieved. I was glad that my family encourages me and I will definitely work hard to achieve my goals for myself and my family as well.

On the third week, many classes were postponed as the lecturers were busy with their meetings and courses. Now, I know how it feels like not having to attend classes when we are ready and eager. Replacing classes is another headache! All these are totally different from my secondary school life, but I do enjoy the classes as I love to learn English. During this period, I have discovered new friends and I hang out with them every day in campus.

Now, it is the fourth week which is a hectic week as we have a lot of replacement classes due to the absence of the lecturers last week. We do not even have time to rest because we have as many as 4 classes on certain days. Now I know how tired it is to be a university student. But, with the encouragement from friends and family, I stood up to face life here bravely. I am glad that I managed to finish all the homework given by the lecturers and I managed to revise and do my own notes too.

As time flies, it is now the end of the fourth week. As usual, I have to go to classes but now I am used to the university life. I enjoy being a university student. Most importantly, I learned lots of things during the first month here. I learn to save money and budget my expenditures, I learn to be independent without my parents, I learn to be strong, brave and I build up my confidence. I hope I can be a successful student and I hope I can master English as I hope I can be a good interpreter in the future.