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

Friday, August 05, 2011

20 lessons learnt in USM – 2 years life as a local university student in Malaysia

Share your university life with us and get published here!

This guest post was written by Wilson Beh who was a Physics student in matriculation, but chose Finance as his 1st choice for his interest and never regret of it. He has a passion in good foods, youth development, social entrepreneurship and urban development. He is going to study in US for 1 year under Global Undergraduate Exchange Program by Department of States, and will be back to complete his final year in USM, Penang. He blogs actively at http://wilsonbeh.com

So the UPU result for intake 2011 is finally out.

Congratulation for those who got your 1st choice; if you don’t no worry as God will not shut one door without opening another.

Local university students are often regarded as 2nd class compared to those study overseas or in private college.

One of the main reasons is public does not have confidence in Malaysia education system: -many thought our syllabus are still in Malay language. In fact, we use American syllabus and all of our classes are conducted in English, at least in USM School of Management.

Yes, overseas students certainly have some privileges. If given a scholarship and financially allows, who doesn’t want to study aboard? However, in this era of Facebook, it doesn’t really matter where you study but how great you let your dreams soar.

My 2 years local uni life has taught me otherwise, too. There are so many successful local uni graduates in the society – and let us be one too!

I’m writing this post as a humble sharing which learnt through the past 2 years. You can take it or leave it as a story.

Student Activities Societies USM

20 lessons learnt in Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
Universiti Sains Malaysia USM Campus

1. Forget about your SPM/STPM/Matriculation result.
SPM STPM Matriculation result
When you step into university, everyone is on par. You and your coursemates share the same opportunities. Focus in CGPA; don’t rest upon laurel of what you achieved previously.

2. Make friends, as many as possible.
Make New Friends
在家靠父母,出外靠朋友+ (靠自己) – 四海之内皆兄弟 – The Chinese proverbs can’t be wrong. Don’t be shy to make new friends. You’ll never know they will be your CEO or biggest client some day!

When semester break starts you will know how nice if you’ve friends across Malaysia!

But don’t expect everyone will be your good friends, as you cannot please everyone too.

3. Study hard, play harder
Study Hard Play Harder
Many say college life is the best time of life – as you don’t have too much responsibility, yet.

Don’t lock yourself at dorm studying only. This is the least thing to do until final is approaching!

So, go out and do crazy things, have some fun!

4. Try different societies, but focus in 1 or 2 after some time.
Student Societies Activties USM
There’re more than 100 societies/clubs in USM, from MPP, MPD, School Society, Tiong Hwa Society, AIESEC, PUCS, The Wanderers, Kung Fu Club…the list goes on! But I’m not telling you which one is the best here.
USM University Experiences IPTA
Go to explore yourself. Choose the one which suits you and can learn the most.

5. Mix with friends from other races & international students.
truly 1Malaysia
Embrace the “true” 1Malaysia in your campus. Sometimes you’ll find friends from other races are more helpful.
true 1Malaysia
Mix with China friends. They are good people. But at the starting they just need some helps especially English & Malay language.

Don’t ever judge a person by appearance.

6. Love your course – be proud of what you study
Choose the course you like, like the course you choose.

Be proud of what you are studying – regardless of what courses you will play an indispensable role in the society.

7. Don’t complain too much, find solutions.
Most of you will get frustrated with some of the bureaucracy. Courses registration, school communication, PTPTN, hostel and many problems. Seek solutions, take immediate actions and solve the problems – complain doesn’t help anything.

8. Don’t be shy to Ask.
If you don’t know, then ask until you are clear.

Build up good relationships with your school lecturers, staffs, HEP and hostel officer. They will treat you kind if you do the same way.

9. Find your passion
It’s the right time to ask yourself: “What you want to achieve in life?”, “What’s your passion”.

Passion is what you love to do even you’re not paid for it.

10. Fall in Love.
Falling In Love
Yes they are couples who maintain over the course from high schools until marriage, but its possibility is like 2 out of 10.

Falling in love in university is more realistic. Find your soul mate during this period, if you think he/she is the one.

Did you know our Vice Chancellor meet his wife when he studied in USM too?

11. Do a SWOT Analysis for yourself.
As a trained business student, I am used to do SWOT analysis for different companies and products.

But it is even more interesting if you do one for yourself. From there you can leverage on your strengths, improve your weaknesses, grab the golden opportunities and minimize the treats.

Never stop learning.

12. Take a foreign language – yes for free!
Learn Foreign Languages

13. Be a leader, be a follower.
University time is the best time to practice leaderships. Before you can lead well, be a good follower.

Take up leaderships posts, it’s a good training. At least it’s not like real world when you get fired directly of wrong deed.

14. Help your friend – sharing is caring.
Share necessary info with your coursemates in FB. Jangan kedekut ilmu!

15. Always know where are you from, but don’t be constrained of it.
It doesn’t matter you are from big city or small kampong, rich or poor. Here at university you have limitless possibilities.

Live at present and hope for tomorrow, don’t live for the past!

16. Start something
USM Dormitory Room
Start any projects that you’re interested and benefit the society. Trust me USM supports it tremendously if it aligns with its mission.

Start a business if you embrace entrepreneurship. Facebook was started in a dorm, too.

17. Don’t make your family worry.
Take care of yourself well. It’s still ok if you don’t bring money back now, but don’t ever bring them worries.

One of the tips is to report only good news! If they can’t help on bad news no point burdening them.

18. Bring a good diary
Record your financial expenses, important events or write down what you feel at that particular moment.

You will put smiles on your face when you read back some time from now – and know how much have you grown up.

19. Don’t limit yourself in USM, Go Beyond.
Go Beyond USM
Join national & international conferences, take part in competitions!

Meet with people out there, get inspired, set your benchmark high and network but in the right way.

A mentor once told me:
" If you’re no. 1 in USM, don’t be too proud. There’s Penang. If you’re no. 1 in Penang, there’s still Malaysia. Even you’re no. 1 in Malaysia, but compared to China market you’re still small. Don’t ever limit and you can grow further."

20. Think of what you want to achieve at the end.
Life is all about 4L – and it applies to university life too!

To Live
To Learn
To Love
and To leave a Legacy behind

Who you want to be 3, 4, 5 years from now? How you want friends to remember you as?

It’s all up to you.

All the best in your future undertaking!
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  1. Thanks for featuring this post on this website... just a humble sharing as a student... hope it helps =)

    do let me know the feedback too! thanks.

  2. appreciate your thoughts. I'm in matriculation now, and would also like to switch to finance or something similar. what exactly did you apply for? I mean since you have a duration of your studies overseas as well...

  3. Nice story but still you do have the capacity in improving your English. Well done~

  4. Totally agree with your point 18. when you are living on your own; maintaining your expense does take a toll on you; Always plan ahead; that's what I use to do.

  5. Thanks for this! I really needed this. I love how you pointed out how important it is to mix with people, especially those who are of different races. Uni life is definitely where you broaden your horizon & learn a thing or two. It's no about locking in your room to study all the time :)

  6. Hey, this article is really good. Its really inspiring. Thanks so much! :) but i have a question abt one of the courses tho. Im a form5 student now and Im interested in quantity surveying in USM but i find that there are only degree courses offered. is there any way i can find any pre-u courses for me to continue to my degree there?


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