Four years = 1 FIFA World Cup;
Four years = 1 Olympics Games.
Four years = my university journey and it has just been completed in June 2013.
In these 1091 days, I was like sailing on a vast ocean of possibilities and uncertainties. There were times I immersed in glorious moments and there were times I was tested by waves of challenges. After riding through this journey, I am now a more mature and wiser person ready for the next adventure. At this point as a recent graduate, there are too many words and uncountable thoughts in my mind and please allow me to share some with you.
To win a game, you need to know and play with the rules. Likewise, in order to make your university life better, smoother and more enriching, you may consider my humble advices:
- RESPECT: Respect every person you meet. From my experience, the people I respect have helped me a lot and given me guidance. As for the juniors, please respect your abang or kakak.
- COLLABORATE: In secondary school, you may achieve success with a solo effort. In university, you should adopt the concept of collaboration and teamwork. When doing a group assignment or executing a project, do learn to work with members of different characters. By the way, sometimes you have to close one eye and open the other.
- FOCUS: Surprisingly I find that the ability to focus is an important skill especially in university. This is because you will be exposed to many exciting opportunities, schemes and ideas. I strongly suggest you to spend time evaluate them carefully, choose wisely and finally focus on only a few. I believe putting all eggs in one basket yields better result than diversifying. Also, do not hesitate to say NO to plans which you are not interested in.
- RATIONAL . EQ: For sure there are times you will be emotionally challenged, feeling upset, depressed and angry. When that happens, remember to keep calm and think before acting. Let me share with you my experience. There was once my coursemates and I being barred from entering the lecture hall. The lecturer even vowed to cancel our assignment marks. I admit at that moment I was extremely angry with him. My friends’ words fueled my anger to the boiling point. Fortunately I did not take a rush and regrettable decision. Instead, I figured out the possible solutions and met with the lecturer to discuss and negotiate with him. The outcome? Assignment marks was not canceled and everyone was happy.
- FOR KNOWLEDGE: It is undeniable that the CGPA is important. But to me, studying hard for CGPA alone defeats the purpose of learning. I think it is better to reverse the typical mentality by putting a priority in passion to learn new knowledge and explore deeper. Let CGPA come second.
- JOIN ACTIVITIES: One way to build your soft skills (leadership, communication, problem solving, etc.) is by joining activities and taking leadership roles. In recent months, I attended a number of interviews. Yes, the interviewer did look at my CGPA but my past experience in co-curricular activities give me a strong advantage. Nowadays, companies like to search for candidates who possess leadership qualities.
Highly recommended clubs / activities:
- IEM – USM Student Section (Engineering Campus)
- Career Fair (Engineering Campus)
Three or four years in university are brief but very crucial to one’s development. A smart student should prepare himself well for the next chapter of his life (after graduation) while he is still in university. Therefore, I have an assignment for you. Please spend time to find the answers (no hurry ya) :
- What are you really passion in? What is your interest?
Remember, what is good for others might not be good for you. Be confident with your answer. Once you got the answer, just do it!
- Decide who, what and where you want to be after graduated.
Begin with the end in mind. You need to prepare and shape yourself accordingly to your answer.
I would like to end this sharing with a couple of personal thoughts.
Life is short,
Do things which you love;
Do things which are constructive to the community and nation;
Strive for your dream;
Hold no regret.
“You need not live in the story of others. Write your story and live it in your way.”
Good luck friends, enjoy life 🙂
Bonus ! Eh?
Thanks spending your valuable time to view my sharing. While you are still digesting the inputs above, I would like to advise you to read the following books. These books have a positive impact in my personal development and I hope the same goes to you.
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki (Financial IQ)
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey (Self Enrichment)
Cheers ~ !!
FOONG HAN YANG
School of Civil Engineering (Class of 2013).
President, Institution of Engineers Malaysia – USM Student Section. (2011/2012)
Student Representative, Student Representatives Council (MPP), USM. (2011/2012)
Han Yang has been selected to join the Teach For Malaysia 2014 Fellowship. To know more about Teach For Malaysia, please visit http://www.teachformalaysia.org/
You can add Han Yang at https://www.facebook.com/foong.yang