Day Nine: Why do you go to the States to study, and not some other countries?
To be honest, I have absolute no idea why I’m here, why I chose the States. I mean, ever since I was sixteen (that wasn’t that long ago, just three years, actually), I wanted to go to the UK. Oh, wait, scratch that. I’ve wanted to go to the UK since I came back to Malaysia in 2007. The one reason why I wanted to return to the UK was to meet my friends from Kings Wood School. I wanted to be back at the place where I grew up for one and a half year, the place that opened my eyes to parts of the world that most people could only dream of going to.
University of Warwick, England.
That was actually my first choice. The university with the only program that my mother approved of me doing. Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics. That was the only program that my mother said ‘Yes’ to. When I first suggested Engineering, she said ‘No’ flat out. The same answer went to ‘Actuarial Science’ in the first place. I wouldn’t even bother bringing up ‘Computer Science’ or ‘Mass Communication’ or anything remotely the same as these two, ’cause I knew what the answer would be.
May 2012 came. Month of rejection, and new hope. MARA interview came, Actuarial Science in the US. I hesitated. “Do I really want to go to the States?” One of my closest friends, Afif, pushed me forward. His words, his advice, his suggestions. Those were the ones that guided me to pursue my undergraduate studies in the States.
As I did some research about studying in the US and UK, and comparing both of these systems, I realized, heck, let’s head over to the States. Knowing the fact that I get bored too easily with rigid structures, I realized that I wouldn’t survive well in the UK. I was already bored with A-Levels in the first few months, how am I supposed to put up with 3-4 more years of rigid system?
Coming to the States gives me a sense of independence as I have the choice to pick my courses, and to plan my own schedule. I can mix and match anything I wish to take, and not stick to the required schedule. In a way, it helps me deal with my ‘kiasu-ness’ or the need to be perfect, ’cause everyone will have different schedules and courses, and thus, there is no need to ‘fight’ or ‘compete’ with anyone else but yourself.
It was also easy for me to accept the States ’cause I’ve always wanted to come here. I’ve always wanted to set my foot in the land of some of my favorite TV shows like CSI and Scandal. I’ve always wanted to explore ‘this part’ of the world. I’ve been to the UK. I’ve been to parts of Europe. But North America? South America? Well, I’ve never thought I would be able to come here, but, here I am.
And perhaps, the other reason why I came here is somewhat related to one of my long-term goals
. I wanted to be in a totally foreign and unfamiliar place. I wanted to get away from all my comfort and start fresh. I wanted to explore myself in a place where I’d be challenge about my principles. I didn’t want to become a Muslim just because the people around me are Muslims. I didn’t want to pray and do good things just because people around me are doing those.
Here in the States, everything is all up to me and my faith. I control myself and my actions, and no one would question what I do and say. Whenever I pray or do good deeds, it is not because I was expected to do so by the community I am in, but it is because I want to. I want to train myself to be honest to myself. I want to train and improve my faith.
This is a pretty gloomy post, I know. I’m just in a pretty moody mood today, for no reason whatsoever. I guess it’s just the time of the month. *sigh*
I’ll write again tomorrow, and hopefully it’d be in a more upbeat tone as I’d be writing about my top two accomplishments in the States so far. Until tomorrow, insyaAllah, stay awesome!