In a small town with no cinemas called Muar in Johor, stood a confused girl but with an entangled mind who had just completed her secondary school.
Staring at the night sky with a brilliant showcase of stars, she wondered to herself, ‘What do I want to do next? Where do I go after this? Will I be able to make my parents proud again?’ and most important yet, ‘Will my parents able to afford my financials if I were to choose a private university?’
They were only questions that kept on popping out from my mind without answers.
I felt worse about my future. It was like a bunch of entangled and messy balloons.
I aimed for a private university without considering much about Form Six or Matriculation because I knew it would take too long for me to complete them and prolonged my study duration.
To make matters worse, the government might even offer me a course that I have zero passion about. Just thinking about it made me shudder. Most definitely I would not want this scene to happen in my life. It was too much of a risk.
I knew the importance of pursuing studies in such modern technology era with the tagline: “Those who are not degree holder and with no certificate will definitely not find the job and competence with the university students.”
Thus, I strived hard in my secondary school days with a strong intention and desire to change my whole family’s life and especially my future as well. My family is not rich and it made me more certain that I had to strive hard for myself and for them.
Deep inside, I knew I was – and still am a bright young woman. I managed to get all A’s in my UPSR and 6As in my PT3. I entered the science stream class during my upper form and I studied 11 subjects for my Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM). The extra one was Prinsip Perakaunan.
To make myself promotable to enrol into higher education, I took that additional subject for my SPM which I only able to learn the subject from a tuition class which was held every once a week and two hours per session.
I could remember the tuition fee was exactly RM65 per month which was a strain for my family’s budget. I had to spend extra time revising this subject in order to keep up with the syllabus.
After SPM ended, my friends were busy attending the education fair, an event for them to seek the best and suitable study environments by considering the rankings and facilities of the universities.
I never attended it, because I knew I couldn’t afford any of them and I had not decided which course I wanted to study. However, I told myself cannot continue having such mindset and I began to motivate myself to decide what course I wanted to study.
Hence, I did a lot of psychological tests online, trying to figure out my personality. I was able to identify my strengths, passions and weaknesses. However, I just could not step forward and make a decision. There was a list of choices in my mind, including public relations, event management and translator.
I was an ‘active’ person and could not stand a mundane 9-5 job. I very much preferred a flexible job in which I can meet people and communicate with them. I am not a fan of scientific jobs or something which need a lot of calculations.
Hence, biotechnology, food nutrition and accounting were not in my list of considerations. Finally, I decided to be a public relations specialist or translator in the future.
However, I still could not breathe a sigh of relief just yet even though I have decided what I want to do in the future. There were still a bunch of unsolved problems I had to deal with.
The current biggest obstacle that time was again, my family’s finances. Again, I was down and stressed out. I kept myself away from any questions regarding further studies and tried to escape and evade myself from reality.
The day of the release of SPM results, I was fortunate enough to achieve 10As. God will make a way where it seems that there is no way. Getting good results made me feel like I was reborn and my hope arose. I Googled all the scholarships I could apply for in which my results had met the requirements.
Filling in the online scholarship applications, again and again, finally, I got to know about the scholarships and education grants in UCSI.
There were a few types of scholarships available provided by UCSI University. It was like giving a chance to me, who was able to get a good result but could not afford to pay the tuition fees. I felt like I needed and deserved the scholarship.
After discussing with my parents, they agreed and let me make the independent decision with the reasoning that I had to be responsible for my choice and that was my future. My family was very supportive, and they tried to give me what I needed.
Hence, I filled in the application form on the very last minute which was literally on the last day of the scholarship application deadline. It was a red letter day.
I applied for the course BA (Hons) English Language and Communication in UCSI under the University Trust scholarship. Trust scholarship is a type of scholarship in which applicants need to apply before the deadline and there will be an interview session.
Fortunately, I was able to get a scholarship of 60% throughout my university life after the interview session. Hopefully, I will be able to share my interview session in the next posts. It was really an exciting process.
Life is a road with a lot of T-junctions, roundabouts and loops. All we can do is just choose what we think is the best for us and then strive with our utmost endeavour to achieve our goals and targets. Once there, do not regret the decisions you had made.
Another good news for me was my other five high school friends are also enrolled in this university! This was such exciting news for me that there are some friends I can refer to whenever I face any difficulties. They are willing to help and we are all very supportive of each other!
I am grateful for what I have now. I appreciate UCSI University very much, a place I can learn a lot from and work with amazing people that come from all over the globe.
I have tasted a small part of the bittersweet life when selecting my future studies. That is an important starting decision you are going to encounter before you start your university life which shapes you into who you are.
Now, I am enjoying my university life every day with my coursemates and lecturers. I am pretty confident that I will discover and explore my undiscovered talent and possibilities! Who you are is God’s gift to you, and who you become is your gift to God.
Hans Urs von Balta
Who you are is God’s gift to you, and who you become is your gift to God.
Here, a salute to UCSI, the best private university in Malaysia in the QS University World Rankings 2020.
Thank you UCSI. I promise you I will do my best and contribute my optimum endeavour to shine my knight here.
-Lau Jin Wei, a unique creation.