Florence Yuen: A Scholar's life

 Kursus                             : Sains
 Negara Pengajian           : Amerika Syarikat
 Program                         : Program Asas Kejuruteraan
 Tempat Pengajian           : University Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN)

UNITEN!!!??? Kejuruteraan????

What has it got to do with science course? And why UNITEN but not INTI??

Yes, initially that was in my thoughts. Although UNITEN is nearer to my home, INTI is much better in terms of science courses. UNITEN is an engineering school!! I am supposed to study science NOT engineering!!!

I started to weigh the pros and cons. If I reject the scholarship, I need to continue my matrix course, which I seriously dislike and I can only further my studies locally in the future.  But if I accept it, I can go overseas!!! AND receive monthly allowance. Obviously, the pros win!!! So, I accepted this once in a lifetime opportunity. I followed the current and went with the flow.

First semester was torturous. Classes are expected to be from 8 am to 7 pm with only an hour break!!! Can you imagine that? When my seniors told me that, my jaw literally dropped. That was what really happened. And not forgetting that I have Saturday classes too. With all the finals, TOEFL and SAT exams coming at the end of the semester, your life will only revolve around your study table.

English classes lasted for hours a day. SAT Writing. SAT Critical Thinking. TOEFL Writing. TOEFL Listening. TOEFL Reading. TOEFL Speaking. (Unlike Science and Math, Language is not a subject that I master…. till now) And of all these English classes, it is the SAT Writing class that I feared the most. I need to complete an essay of 250 words in just 25 minutes!!! Nevertheless, it is this class that impacted me the most. It wasn’t just a writing class; it was a philosophy of life class. In this class, I learned many lessons and guidelines which I can rely on when I am in times of hardships. It’s no fun telling you what I have learnt. The fun part is you must figure it out yourself. You must extract the meaning behind the words, understand them. And don’t just treasure them deep down in your heart, practice them!

As time goes by, thanks to the SAT Writing classes, I realize that no matter which university that you attend, it is the experience and journey that counts. It is how you utilize the time you have spent there. It is the priceless knowledge that you have gained from the experienced lectures. It is the new bonds that you have created with your peers and lecturers; some may even turn out to be closer than those formed in high school. But of course, don’t forget the old bonds formed. They are the ones that shaped you into who you are today.

During classes, you get to listen to the lecture’s life story. How he survived studying abroad in Oxford years ago. How her schooling life was with the nuns back in her days. You get to listen to lame and cold jokes too. According to En. Rahim, my Physics lecturer, the formula for circumference is “squirrel r”. The whole class went “HUH???” “Betullah”, he said. Squirrel. Tupai. 2π. Hahaha!!! Lame right?? You also get to learn breathing techniques too!! This technique works extremely well to avoid sleepiness after lunch breaks. Thanks to Madam Ong, my SAT Writing lecturerJ.

Last but not least, you will meet various kinds of people in university. Lecturers which are strict in marking. Tutors which are always helpful nearing exams, giving tips!  Friends with have profound perspectives on world issues, philosophies of life and politics. Don’t be surprise, when in the middle of nowhere, in one corner of the class, there will be an intellectual discussion or debate going on. You can expect all imaginable topics to be discussed. Though, I gained a lot from the discussions just by listening. You will also meet friends whom you don’t click with and can talk non-stop for several hours. Just keep in mind that these people are humans too. Don’t expect them to be perfect because humans are not perfect and they make mistakes. When they do, remember this and it will be easier for you to let it go and forgive them.

So, this is my life as a scholar. It is not defined by which university you go to, which course you are going to major in or how many digits will be on your paycheck once you graduate.  It is defined by the journey which you have been through and the experience that comes with it. Just as Dons Williams Jr, said, “The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.”

Florence Yuen Sook Kuan | University of Washington, Seattle(Class of 2015)

No comments:

Post a Comment