“Hey, any of your juniors got the Matriculation offer?” One of my friends asked me today, and I was like, OH! Today is the announcement of the Matriculation application results!
How time flies? I was the one made a big mark on the calendar about today like, hmm, two years ago!
If I wasn’t mistaken, the Matriculation application result was announced the same day with the Form 6, however I remembered back Form 6 result was available first. So… my phone showed 12:00am, and I anxiously entered the IC number, “Semak Keputusan” clicked, and… TADA! I wasn’t selected to enrol in Form 6, did that imply I was chosen for Matriculation instead? I was uncertain that time because the Matriculation result wasn’t available yet. So, I tried the SMS approach and tried to sleep…Until the next early morning, jumped out of the bed, grabbed my phone, “Tahniah……” and the rest of it I didn’t remember, but I repeated reading for several times…and yeah! I have got the Matriculation offer! So, I understand pretty much how the juniors are feeling right now, especially for those who have really planned to take Matriculation as the pre-university pathway, Congratulations! So, I am trying to convey some sort of messages and some piece of advice to those who are excited for their new Matriculation life.
Well well well, first of all, you will get like, really excited and exhilarated to receive such offer because most of the applicants will go to Matriculation college which is located in another state, and that means, you need to pack up your luggage and leave home to study! This will be a totally new experience for those who have been schooling in their hometown until Form 5, I myself experienced that, so I looked forward to the brand new life before I entered it. To some of us, it means freedom because you will be far apart from your parents while it is kind of bittersweet feeling to some people as they have to leave their loved ones to further study. Well, that is totally common, so do not worry about your feelings, be it either one.
Secondly, after calming yourself down, you need to be clear of what you have to do next. Frankly speaking I guess the first thing we all did was Google up every piece of information about the Matriculation college we got, it’s like we wish to be there and know everything very eagerly. Hahaha! However, after Googling, do not forget to get serious about the preparation. Get your documents ready, pack up your luggage, try to gain some information from seniors regarding some special rules and regulations in the college, the do’s and don’ts. A reminder here: do not prepare all these at the eleventh hour, because you will not want to be in a totally bizarre state for your new life. Don’t mess things up, be prepared mentally and “physically”, well you get to know why later :P
When you have your preparation done, it’s time for a good farewell with your loved ones. Well, furthering your study for Matriculation doesn’t mean that you will be isolated from home, family, or friends for like ages. However, it will be your very maiden experience of leaving your home for an independent life. So, try to understand how your family and friends will feel. Your parents might already start worrying about your welfare there, and all you have to and able to do is, spend quality time with them. Do not be too excited to leave your parents’ guardian and control because you will DEFINITELY miss them a lot, trust me! Homesick isn’t a great deal but at the very beginning, it sucks!
Be nice with your family, talk to them as much as possible, avoid squabbling with your siblings, because you really want to have a good time with them before you leave. Do your very best to assure and convince them you are well-prepared for the journey. Spend time doing, grocery shopping with your mum, outdoor exercise with your dad, and movie watching with your siblings. These are all luxuries that you will not be able to indulge in after you embark on the journey.
Next up will be friends. Definitely you and your friends will part for respective study path. You are no longer classmates, going to the same school, listening to the same class, studying the same subject, or even seeing the same faces every day. High school has eventually become a history, and a memory. So, bid good farewell to all your friends, who have made your high school life a memorable, awesome, and unforgettable one. Go karaoke, movies, supper, ladies’ talk all night with them, it isn’t crazy, because you just simply do not know when you are going to meet each other. You might be meeting new friends in the matriculation, but never forget your high school friends, who have walked you a really long path during the schooling time. You are definitely going to miss their laughter, voices, faces, jokes, and endless gossips with them. Trust me, it’s real.
The time ticks, and it is time to say a real goodbye with the luggage in your hands. Bear in mind, you might have tears in your eyes when you turn, leaving all those familiar faces behind you, and you know, your journey has started. Be brave, be confident, be tough. Unknowns await but do not lose faith, believe in yourself and embrace the new life.
Well, matriculation is all about hostel life, with no exceptions. So, if you are a beginner, it is definitely no easy. When you arrive at the college, be organised and independent, unpack your luggage, arrange your things as tidy as possible, and get ready for the orientation week, which is just simply one of my nightmares in matriculation life. Times may be hard during the orientation week, where you need to attend and listen to endless talks, waking up in the super early morning (eg 4am) and going to be at super late night (eg 1am). Brace yourself, clench your teeth, and survive the week. Oh ya, orientation week is tough but it will be the best time to make new friends! Do not forget to always have a smile on your face despite your homesick or discomfort, you will be meeting peers from all over Malaysia, with different backgrounds from different states, so be ready for a cultural shock, ha! Here’s one tip: people you befriend during the orientation may be the important ones throughout the year! So, go ahead and explore! You may just find that orientation is no longer bored and you can have fun with all your new friends.
Not to forget you will be having roommates! What an exciting fact! To what I know, normally you will be arranged to have roommates of different races, so take the opportunity to befriend them, understand their culture, and build an amicable relationship with them. It will definitely be your once in a life time experience to stay in a room with different races of people for a year. You might just as well create a lot of memories with your roommates, since you will spend most of the time living together with them. Try your very best to avoid roommate problem, because you would not want to go back to a room with a strange atmosphere, this will only make your life uneasy.
Following the orientation week, you will be introduced to the college, staffs, facilities and whatnot. Be ready for every “icebreaking” sessions, names, where are you from, bla bla. That’s what I found annoying the most at the beginning of the study. Hahaha! But this is what most of the lecturers will do. After adapting yourself to the new environment, be ready for the upcoming tight and packed lecture, tutorial, practical schedules. From my experience, I always woke up 6:30 in the morning, have my shower and breakfast, and walk to class at 7:15 every Monday to Friday, (fyi my first class started 7:30am), and you will be totally salted at the end of the day, where usually classes end at 4-4:30pm, depending on each college. You will be really worn out physically and mentally, so it is time for you to go back to your room, take your shower and perhaps a nap, if you can. BTW, always remember to take showers early! That’s really crucial in the Matriculation, because water shortage may happen anytime any day! You can never predict it! You would not want to spend the rest of the night with smelly hair and body. So, bear in mind, always take showers as soon as you finish class, then only go for a nap!
Last but not least, maintain a good relationship with your lecturers and classmates. Lecturers in matriculation are all really helpful and friendly, they only want to help us excel and achieve with flying colours. So whenever you feel lost or unable to catch up with the syllabus, go ahead and enquire them for solutions. They always allocate time for students counselling session, where you can clarify your doubts and confusions, be it during the lecture or tutorials. Besides, every lecturer will help you, it is unnecessary you only can go for one specific lecturer who teaches you. You can always work hard for yourself, the only thing you have to do is find a way, and not excuses. In that way, studying in matriculation does not mean you gain less knowledge compared to other pre-university programme, you can also learn things beyond the syllabus, and gain more knowledge and understandings for your future study.
Therefore, last piece of advice, do not think matriculation as a second class compared to other programmes, which majority have this kind of mindset. Be brave and listen to your heart, what suits you best. Love what you do, and do what you love. Matriculation life after all, will become one of the best memories in life because this is the stage where you learn to grow, and grow to learn. Best of luck!
Winna Low is simply a Malaysian student currently doing Bachelor of Pharmacy in USM. She believes in faith, and having that means hard work always pays, be it either way. Do not lose faith in education, for it is what makes you who you are in your life. Keep going, as the tough gets going, the going gets tough.