Nicholasng925 shares his experiences of college life.
Have you ever wondered what college life is all about? Since the Form 5 students have just completed their SPM recently and may be curious to know what is in store for them in the future, I have written an article specifically on college life to summarize my experience these past 6 months, to provide an insight to secondary students on college life which remains vague to those who have not experienced it yet. Just like most secondary students, I used to think that college life was fascinating and I anticipated having a lot of fun during that period. I had dreams abundant on how college life would be. I used to crave college life, until college registration day itself when I finally realized one simple fact—college life is not as perfect as I thought it would be.
The disparities between college life and secondary school life are numerous. Everything was completely foreign to me, including the environment and the people around me. I was accustomed to secondary school life, where there were always teachers around to nag me on my studies, and discipline teachers around to keep me in line with the rules and regulations. Everything had changed – the society, the culture, and the people. There are many foreign students studying in my college, and I believe that this scenario does not differ much for most prominent college established in Malaysia. Young people from all around the world such as Korea, Indonesia and Tanzania come over to colleges in Malaysia to pursue their Pre-University education, at least in my college. In my class, there is a Korean, a Taiwanese and two Singaporeans taking the same subject combinations as I do. I even have a Tanzanian as my Mathematics subject tutee! It is indeed an honour to have this rare opportunity to study alongside foreign students.
I think that this is a good start to expose students to foreign cultures, and to appreciate the differences across cultures and boundaries, even in the college itself.
Ever wondered where those foreign students come from? Apparently most of them studied their O-Levels in various international schools established here in Malaysia. Only then did I realize that there are so many international schools around such as Sayfol International School, MAZ International School and Melaka International School. Having classmates ranging from ages 15 to 19 is a common scene, which I think is considerably rare in national secondary schools. Also, most of them have hidden talents waiting to be discovered, filled with zest, creativity and ambitious dreams. Despite all these advantages of living a college life, I met people with different kinds of personalities, which had both their advantages and disadvantages. Some of them are friendly and approachable, but some of them have been deeply influenced by foreign cultures which somehow can be quite irksome. There are habits that I loathe so much I would never get involved with; clubbing and smoking being two of them. I always try my best to avod them, or perhaps simply be nice to them while keeping my hands clean.
It has never been an easy task to attune myself to the ever-changing environment filled with peer pressure and temptations; the temptation of having a new savvy smartphone, particularly an iPhone or a Blackberry, the temptation of having a partner of the opposite gender, and the temptation of gaining popularity amongst students. I would not say that I am not interested in any of those, but studies should be given the utmost priority in my opinion. Giving priority to any other activity besides studying would merely bring ghastly ramifications at the end of the day. Feeling remorseful at that point would not bring anything except disappointment to us. Perhaps it is due to the self-discipline inculcated in me since the day I was born. I would say that I am more inclined to be an obstinate person, as I am afraid to change anything that I have become accustomed to. Thus, I would not be easily influenced by changes around me, which I think is rather difficult for others. However, somehow even the most adamant person has to go through changes to a certain extent in various circumstances throughout their lives. New hobbies and interests can be carefully picked up at a certain point and developed, such as playing pool and snooker.
Besides, rumours spread insidiously through gossip in college; those being much more malicious than the actual fact. One may argue that the spreading of rumours is inevitable regardless of age, place and gender, but the cost of rumours greatly depends upon the negative effects inflicted on the person himself especially on the emotional side. Now with social network sites around such as Facebook and Twitter, rumours spread like an epidemic anytime and anywhere across normal social boundaries through the modifications of pictures, gossip and such. It could be very destructive for the person involved, especially when he or she discovers it as these gossips could totally ruin his or her reputation on the social network. It is true that such rumours are inevitable but we can always make a difference by refraining from becoming one of those chatterboxes.
Also, you should not expect to actively participate in countless clubs and societies’ activities just like during our sweet old life in secondary school, as life would now be hectic enough with all those assignments “bestowed” upon us with due dates within a single week. However, the participation in one or two clubs is still feasible.
In all these ways, college life as a whole is just another interesting chapter in our lives, regardless of the diversity of cultures and social boundaries. As one of the steps towards achieving our ambitious dreams, we should always cherish our college life and enjoy it to the fullest in spite of the hectic lifestyle filled with work, the ever-changing environment, and peer pressure, but our utmost priority should always be to study. Gratification can only be attained at the end of the day when we are all successful people with our dreams proudly accomplished. I hereby would like to wish those who are intending to move on to the next segment of their lives all the best and to enjoy college life to the fullest.
Nicholasng925 is a first year student studying Cambridge A-Levels at Taylor’s College Subang Jaya. An ardent guy who obsessed over anything related to risk, he strongly endorses the power of imagination more than that of knowledge, for knowledge is limited while imagination embraces the entire world.