I remember being really excited and quite nervous on registration day. I was worried that I wouldn’t make any new friends or that the others wouldn’t like me! Yeah, I do worry over stuff like that. I was comforted by the thought that at least some of my old school friends would be going there too although they’re doing different courses.
Well, all my worries were for nothing. I did make friends with wonderful people who have helped me a lot and we’re still friends now. I also met so many new faces during orientation week that I couldn’t remember all their names. But as time went by, I’m getting to know them one by one. The seniors were really friendly and helpful too. Indeed, they were so kind and nice that I grew a little bit suspicious. Why were they being so nice? Why go through so much trouble in guiding us newbies? But then, they really were genuine and sincerely wanted us to feel at home in university.
USM is known as a “university dalam taman” or a “university in a garden” (??). It does look like a huge, massive garden or park indeed. You can see tall trees along the roads in campus and there are a couple of lakes there. So it’s quite cooling there when the sun isn’t shining that much. However, it’s advisable to carry an umbrella along with you wherever you go as you don’t want to get caught in the rain or get sun burnt. If possible, invest in a sturdy umbrella that can last for a long time. Some of my friends kept buying new umbrellas because they became spoilt from frequent usage.
The campus is huge and it’d take you a while to get used to your surroundings. During orientation week, a friend and I lost our way when we were supposed to go to the DTSP (Dewan Tuanku Syed Putra)! We kept walking and referring to the map in our Buku Panduan but still we haven’t reached our destination. Luckily we met another group who were heading in the same direction so we followed them!
Anyway, some of the lecture halls are extremely cold. Brrrrr……. Remember to bring along a sweater when attending classes. You can’t pay attention when you’re busy rubbing your hands together to heat yourself up. Some lecturers are kind enough to allow 10 to 15 minutes of break for students to go to the toilet or just stretch themselves. That’s the time when I’ll immediately rush out to escape from the winter-like temperature.
The food in the campus is all right too. As of now, the cafeteria that serves the cheapest food would be the one in Indah Kembara. But then if we’re starving, we’d just head off to the nearest cafeteria. If we’re sick of the food in campus, we’d just go to the restaurants at Sungai Dua. There are fast food chains nearby too like KFC, Pizza Hut, and MacDonald’s.
As for joining clubs and other extracurricular activities, there’ll be loads to choose from. You’ll be tempted to join them all! It’s all very new and exciting. But then make sure you don’t join too many or you’ll have no time to study. You still need to make studies your No. 1 priority.
The one thing that frustrates me is that students aren’t allowed to drive in campus unless they have the car stickers. The stickers are hard to get because only those who are actively involved in clubs or organizations or who have health problems are qualified to have one for their car or motorcycle. Those without stickers would be illegal drivers. During road blocks which the Pegawai Keselamatan people diligently set, cars without stickers should avoid them. If not, you’ll be slapped with a RM30 “saman” (fine). It sucks, I know.
Well, that’s my experience in USM. I’ve only been there for three semesters and I have definitely learnt new stuff each day. It was my first choice of university as it’s close to home. I’m happy to be studying there and would not wish to be anywhere else. Anyway, if I have missed out anything, fellow USMers can add your own thoughts in the comments section!
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