Tak kenal maka tak cinta. Jom Kenali Universiti Awam (UA) Malaysia.

Friday, August 12, 2011

My First Year University Life at University of Malaya (UM)

Written by Lim Wei Jiet, 19, who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fun & Optimism, Masters in Criticism and a PhD in Over-exaggeration. Sometimes, he does wonder why he’s still studying for another degree in law. Nevertheless, the thrills of law proved impossible to resist and he’s enjoying university life to the max. He blogs at http://lwjheaven.blogspot.com

Having browsed through the Malaysia Students Blog, there is no doubt that a negative perception persists towards local universities in Malaysia. To a certain extent, I agree: from the ridiculous orientation, dirty politics to how they treat us like school kids all the time. Honestly, I hated that. Therefore, I vowed from the beginning of my course, by hook or by crook, that I shall turn these 4 years in the University of Malaya into the most kick-ass experience ever.

This article is a hard-thought, careful and honest description of the tribulations, achievements and lessons which I experienced in this wonderful campus. But more than anything else, this is a tribute to the beloved friends I made along the way, the powerful mentors that have laid down invaluable guidance and the enthusiastic juniors whom I shall meet in the future. Below, in no particular order, are the meaningful experiences and genuine lessons I want to share with you.
  1. University is a beehive of people, activities and hot girls societies. Do not hesitate to jump into the nectar-filled river of opportunities. Make meaningful friendships. Join an event you never dreamt of doing. The options are endless.

  2. Do the most wacky/silly/ludicrous/nonsensical stuffs ever! You're only going to go through university once in your entire life. Unleash all those teenage and childish demeanour before adulthood hits you. And don't forget to take photos!

  3. Yes, be silly. But when the moment calls for it, be serious. Go all out. Show the world how good you are made of.

  4. Grab every opportunity to travel around the world and experience its wonders. Yes, you may be studying in Malaysia but like I said, the opportunities are always there and you just need to make the best use of them. I have learnt so much about the different cultures, perspectives and people in the places I have visited. It has no doubt made me a better person with a global outlook.

    You don't need to be a Porsche-driving son of a CEO to afford these trips, most of the programs are partially funded and grants are available. More importantly, nothing beats travelling with university coursemates as they're so much fun!
  5. When all the fun is over, take a step back and reflect upon ourselves. Who are we? We're university students and the younger generation, the future leaders in this country. Always remember that we have a role to play in society. Give back to the less fortunate. Fight for a noble cause you believe in. Move your lazy asses of the backseat, stand up and be counted.

    Honestly, I am quite ashamed of not doing enough for my part in civil society. Compared to my other friends who are involved in Clinical Legal Education and Community Outreach Program, I am nothing as opposed to their continuous efforts to educate prisoners, abandoned children and many more.

  6. Be inspired by the people around you.

    Yes, every moment when you think you have achieved great things already, it will come to you that there are even better people out there.

    I've known a girl who is a brilliant writer, passionate thinker and an admirable advocate of animals.

    I've known a Sabah native who possesses so much zeal in orang asli rights and helps out tirelessly with the OKU community almost every weekend despite his heavy academic workload.

    I've known a final year buddy who is a South East Asian Bronze medallist in ping pong, who has to train at the sports centre almost every day and still managed to graduate with a degree in law.

    I've known a brilliant lecturer who has taught me the often-forgotten values of humanity, compassion and kindness. He has shown remarkable courage in facing a world which resists his dreams and hopes. I will miss him terribly when he flies to Korea this August to complete his PhD.

    And the most inspirational of all, I salute my fellow coursemate who topped his STPM with flying colours, managed to enter law school and scored better grades than the majority of us. All of this, despite being blind.
I don’t believe that university life should only be about cramming books 24/7, mingling among the same circle of people (or race, for that matter) and joining an activity you dislike just to fight for a spot in hostel the following year (trust me, it’s sad that many people do that!). Life on campus should be full with passion, rigour and vivacity!

This is not an article to show off whatever I have achieved. If indeed I joined those tournaments and events just to add in my collection of memorabilia, then I would have dumped those chances a long time ago. Because behind every personal best I have scaled, it involves tremendous amounts of failure, sacrifice, tears, blood, sweat and hard hard work. You feel like letting go of everything at times. That is what you have to endure to reach your goal.

But as I reflect back, it is not the trophies or plaques dotting the cabinet which matters most to me. It is the simple memories of friendship, fun and feverish fascination in pursuing my passion which I treasure with all my heart. To my batch mates at the law faculty and the seniors I know, I owe you all a big thank you for everything. I appreciate every moment, despite being critical at times.

I am proud to say that I have debated with superb Asian teams in Macau, mooted before the Senior Counsel of the Republic of Singapore, wrote for my faculty's Vox magazine, drank soju amidst -10 degree celcius snow in Korea, flashed a sword while wearing a hanbok like an asylum escapee at Seoul International Airport, performed a traditional Indian dance in front of hundreds of delegates, played futsal in torrential rain at 3am in the morning, acted like a possessed Syariah lawyer for a video, became an ardent follower of Lord Bobo's minions and had my balls shrunk while visiting the abandoned Vice-Chancellor's house at midnight.

It has been an awesome roller-coaster ride so far.

Each person's journey in university is inevitably unique; and can only be charted, discovered and cherished by the very path we choose to walk upon. We may not be setting foot on the grounds of prestigious Harvard Square or amble through the hallways of ancient Cambridge buildings, but I am a firm believer in making the best out of whatever God has given to me.

“ Stay hungry, stay foolish” ~ Steve Jobs, at Stanford University’s 2005 commencement address.

Always believe that we can achieve many great things in life.
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  1. That's just a lovely share! Wishing you all the very best for future yrs! Glad to read about your experience

  2. Agree with you. Wish I can turn back time - uni life was so much fun!

  3. Hi there.It is very thoughtfully written with so much fun real activities. I just found your blog by happy accident trying to find a student life in Malaysia. I found most of the pictures speak for themself too. What a lovely share. Wish that i can have an awesome uni life just like what you did.


  4. Hello. What an interesting sharing from you. It seems like a very memorable university life you have there. It is very important that we enjoy in our life as a student. How I wish all of our life would be that wonderful. Your blog encourage me to appreciate my life now. Thanks. Best regards.

  5. I'm glad I read this!!
    I love how you pointed out that university life should be about having fun, because people are forgetting that. Most of them (including myself) are obsessed about studies & scoring well, until they forget about the true meaning of university life. It's where you learn independence and where we can appreciate freedom, with limits though. I'm definitely going to make the rest of my uni life more fun & memorable. Thanks!

  6. Such an inspiring. Thanks for sharing

  7. Thank you for this, It was obvious how much they cared about the person who had collapsed, even before they knew who it was. I was so proud of them.

  8. I'm in a pinch. Seriously. I just receive the admission letter two days ago. And it requires a medical check up. And went to the hospital to do so... Until the doc said that I have to take blood tests. And to get the results, I have to wait a month... And I reread the letter.. It said for international students.. I'm like why do I need it then? That's why I'm asking... Do you take any blood tests for the admission

  9. that lovely lecture i bet.. he is dr zokhri.. he's a full time lecturer now.. teaching law n soc.. quite fun learning with him..

  10. i heard that we must to purchase some kind of uniqe number other than unhiqu BSN ejust to applied for UM same goes to UPSI, Is it?

    if do, how??


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