Studying and trying to survive in the university - Part 1

Posted by sazali


Imagine you are in the First Year of an undergraduate program.

Before I proceed , I think it is still not too late to congratulate you

"Congratulation!  You are a university student now."

Among 200,000 applicants you are the fortunate one.  Congrats!

2)  Life in the university is not .. the life as a student in a boarding  school or at home with your parents and siblings around you 24/7.

Here you are tasting the first time being an independent adult.

3)  I am not one of those officers who were in charge of welcoming you to the world of university but I think I can share some of my hard earned experience studying locally/ abroad.  Why not?

3.1  aim, objectives and vision

I think you are here for your degree right?
So you must think of that degree all the time.  Now it is hard to get a job especially if you are a female.  So you have to work a bit harder than the boy(s).

3.2  health and your well being

You must take care of your health.  Take good food that covers the 'pyramid of food' plenty of proteins, carbohydrates and minerals + vitamins.  If you are sick and you miss few classes , I think you are going to face some difficulties in catching up the subject such as programming and mathematics.

Please spare some time to exercise but don't work so hard in the gym as if you are going for the olympic. You must save your energy to study after the lectures etc etc.

3.3  control your hand phone number(s)

Since you are not a film star . don't give ur handphone number to anyone who ask for it.
Save the number.
Ask him/her to use e-mail .. at least you can control your brain of worrying some of your friends who are late for lectures etc etc.

If you give ur hand phone numbers . you will face  3 difficulties.
First,  some one would ask you to tell the lecturer s/he cannot come to the class.  In other word, you are the postman.
Second, some one will try to sms you about anything for example .. the world is going to end at 2345 hour tomorrow.
Thirdly,  you start to worry so many things.  From research, we human beings have a small brain.  If brain is full of news about some one dying tomorrow,  some body not coming back on Monday etc etc .. soon your brain will be full of garbage and not maths formula etc etc .

Don't waste your time worrying for others.  More over you are not doing a degree called 'Social Welfare Brainogology' , right?  (laugh)

3.4  attend the lectures at your best

Come a bit early for lectures.  The first few minutes is the most important one especially on mathematics and programming.

Come with all your tools like papers to write your notes, pen drives in case you can get the latest lecture power points that was shown today.  Bring your calculator, notebook etc etc.  Pens.
Don't create a habit to borrow everything during your first few weeks in the university.  I do not think are going to be liked by every body.  Try to use your own property.

If you borrow some one's papers ..  pay back/ return back the papers next time you met him.  More over, your friend is not from Brunei / Duha Petrol Salam.  He..he..

3.5  homework, assignments etc etc

Try and do the homework by your selves first.  If you can do them, say CONGRATULATIONS.
Else you can ask your friend's help.

In the university, we are asked to do team work/ group work.  Don't be surprise, your finished assignment will be used as the  master piece of all your friends few minutes after it was completed.  Soon you are famous .. you can do many things by your own.  Every time there is an assignment, many friends will refer to you at the first minute, hour or day.

What are you going to answer to them?
So be careful/

I did not enjoy doing group work because from experience,  many of my friends who used my masterpiece got better grades than me.  But what can I do?  I practice a religion that ask its followers to share every thing except  your wife/ husband.  The balasan is syurga. I do not understand .. so much about this either.

3.6  project

If the lecturer mention to you a project.. it must carry a big mark as far as coursework is concerned.  In the place I work, 60% of the marks in any subject come from the coursework.  So you must allocate most of  your energy in the completion of this project.

If you do well in the coursework/ project, I think you are going to get a very good grade in the subject. Bravo!

3.7  tests/ examination

In MTUN , you should know your carry mark 1 week before you sit for your final exam.  Else can help your lecturer(s) to award a high mark for your coursework.By knowing that , you can strategize your studying time and effort in order to get grade "A" or "B+".

In Malaysia, the universities carry their teaching for 15 weeks per semester.
So the TEST1 usually take place in Week 8/9.  Like that I suppose.

From the test, first of all, try to score higher marks, grades.
After discussing the test answers, try and get the marking scheme from each test .  The lecturer should be able to do that.  At least you know , where you lose the points in the previous test(s).  Do that in all your subjects from Year 1 to Year 4.  Every test and every examination paper.  God Willingly, you are going to be lecturer soon.  Congratulations.

3.7  making friends.

It is an art to get new friends while you are in the university.  I usually get many friends from many countries by playing indoor football and soccer in the park every sunday at noon.  I was asked to score goals as many as possible in every game.  Usually I score easily from the penalties.  Alas .. not many spectators came over to see how good my penalty kicks were. 99.99 percent successful.  0.001 failed .. why?  the referee decided the other way.  He did not award the penalty at all.

The other way I managed to get friends was ..  I bought and sold halal chicken from Leicester and brought it back to Grantham.  I spent STG40 per trip but after the business I got STG100.  So I made easy profit of STG60 per trip.  Of course some of my friends were not happy with my business, but at the end of the day .. I gained many new friends.  Few of them borrowed my money that day .. and from my record ..  few of them did not pay me back.  Don't worry .. I will tuntut their umrah, haji , puasa, solat that lah for the money they failed to pay back to me purposely.  Padan muka dia. (laugh).

The last method getting new  friends was .. I usually completed my programming assignment the first.  Many Iranian and Iraqis friends came over to appreciate my master piece in PASCAL/ COBOL programming.  After the appreciation ceremony, they borrowed my work.  I let go my work with a god feeling. You know why?  I have 2 versions of my master piece.  Ha..ha..

That was how I got many good friends in my university.

At the end of the last year/ semester .. we 'peluk hard' every body and say good bye .. and mind you ..I haven't met anybody (from Iran and Iraq) after that. That was in 1982.  I pray they are all in the heaven some where under the bright blue sky.

3.8 good feeling every day.

It is better to live in the campus with giving out good smiles you met with anyone.

By doing so, you will think better.

3.9  studying in the library

It is good to study in the library.  You have more discipline at the library.  By looking at the Hong KOng and China students working hard in their mathematics, programmng .. this could motivate you to work and study harder.  It is not wise to study on the bed.  By smelling the bed, that is  very encouraging for you to continue your sleep especially in the Winters.

It is also worth while to organize ur notes.  Spend some time to organize them well.  Don't rely too much on the power point of the lecturer.  You must read the references suggested/ recommended once in a while.  Visit the library or surf the internet.  NOw many students have broadbands. Lucky you?

Make some comparison .. ur notes with your friends.  Are they similar, identical or yours look so much inferior.  If that is so, quickly ,  upgrade your notes asap.
Don't lend your notes unknowingly.  My 'best and syurga coated hearted' son one day passed the notes to his friend.  His friend took Bas Cepat to his hometown 500 km from the school.  Soon, he knew, his friend left the notes in that bas ..and that bas is no where seen any more.  He cried hard because his exam is around the corner.  But Allah is great. HE put my son in the medical faculty at last but the lesson was hard to swallow .. you lost your own notes//

His good friend used 7 words.  I am sorry.  What can I do?

3.10  handling some kinds of depression

Sometime, one will feel depressed/ butterflies / jealousy/ hatred/ menyampah  when studying at this level when most of  the students are 20 - 25 years old. The depression comes from many ways. First, love story.  The boyfriend rejected the girl and vice versa.  I think that was normal.  If we were to watch many hindustani films , the basic format of their films in 1960 - 1980's was .. both the parents did not like the partnership because of many reasons.  One of them is economic social structure differences.  The boy comes from the major general army camps while the girl comes from those who sell the goods at the road sides.  Therefore there is a rejection.  This depression can harm our study plan and future path since the girl and the boy knew each other from Standard 1.  Ha..ha..
What more if the boy loving her next best friend from the same hostel called PERWIRA.  The love  bondage grew stronger between them since both of them came from the  same army backgrounds.  Please play Utube -Sangham Hindustani song!  He..he..  In sum, please stay away from creating chances of building relationship beyond 'studying partner' only for solving problems in our degree program.  Settled?

Secondly, the student was depressed because s/he missed the tests, due dates from the assignments etc etc.  Thirdly, it was because there was a fight between students from the east coast and the northern states of the peninsular Malaysia.  The fight could be just about a football game  on the park. One particular state of Malaysia cannot accept the fact that they were beaten 2-0 today.  So they quarreled on the park and soon it spread into the hostels.  The boys fought among themselves and . this boil up to be a kind of depression.  Another reason could be some misunderstanding between what the student demanded from the hostel warden and finally his demand was turned down flat such as he wanted to bring his 80 inch flat screen into his cubicle..  Ha..ha..  In fact there are so many depressions when you are in the undergraduate study including your SV suddenly passed away 48 hours before you presented your PSM2.  Aduhai!

I hope I help you a bit here.  Wish you all the best boys and girls.  I used this motto in my life during my undergraduate.  "I am here to get a degree ..  no matter what!  and that is all what I am here for".  If I get a girl from a rich family what can I do ..hah?  That is a bonus besides my British University degree.

Till then Good Bye.  Enjoy your study.  If you are suddenly short of money , ask your parents.  If they can't do that , ask the PM.  He would be willing enough to help since he has sworn that day ' as long as there is a moon and stars .. he will do what ever he can". Just ask.  OK?

Hope you are happy with this simple type of writings.




  1. Mohamad Izham M.A said...

    3.4 I disagree with you Dr.. Phone number is important for people to contact us.

    3.5 Quite agree. But for me, I just let it go. I give what I can give. If he/she gets better result, than it his/her effort and rezeki given by God. Not me to decide.

    Else, enjoy life as long as being called student.

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