I spent my Spring break two/three weeks ago in a quite productive way, if I may say so. Aizan Fahri curated the TwtUpCampus account on Twitter over winter break, and he pushed me to curate for a week as well. So I chose to do it during my Spring break so I would actually have time to spend a few hours on my laptop, tweeting away about random stuff.
So, what did I talked about during my whole curator-ship (Idk if it’s even a word, but let’s just pretend that it is). [I didn’t make a note of which topics were discussed when, so this is not in the order that I talked about. :’D ]
1. Studying in the United States.
So I talked a little bit on how I got here after my SPM (more info at this blog post), and how it’s been here so far with the Islamophobia and stuff. Y’know how people always think that life as a Muslim abroad is bad, especially in the US? Well, truth be told, it’s not that bad. I mean, sure, there’s some bad cases, but for the majority of the places, life is good.
I shared my experience in my first semester, when my fourth exam for Psychology 202 was held from 4:00pm – 6:00pm, and Maghrib was from 4:10pm – 5:50pm or something like that (I couldn’t remember the exact time of it but it was roughly like that). Before the exam, I emailed my professor to ask if it’d be okay if I leave the exam for a while to go and pray in the middle of the exam. His reply was beyond my expectation : “It’s alright. You can come in and sit for the exam at 4:30pm, and I can wait until you’re done with your exam, however long it takes.”
I mean, wow. He was so accommodating that I felt touched by his actions. :’)
I also talked about how open the people are here. I mean, there’s a place specifically in Red Gym for prayers. And in College Library, there’s a section in the quiet study area that can be used for prayers as well, which is super awesome. My supervisors and co-workers at both of my workplaces are also cool with me having to take a five-ten minutes break in the middle of the shift just to go and pray for a while.
I did, however, say that all the experiences that I’ve shared, well, those are from my own experiences. Other students elsewhere in the world may or may not have the same stories that I do, so be sure to listen to a butt load of stories from different people as well [watch this TEDTalk on the Danger of a Single Story].
2. Teach for Malaysia
I decided to share a little bit about Teach for Malaysia (TFM) and #RedCampaign just because I wanted a light topic to talk about, and since it was 2am when I was talking about TFM, I couldn’t really come up with a good enough topic to share about. I also shared a little bit on how people can help or participate in TFM’s mission to end education inequity, such as:
(i) Applying for the TFM Fellowship
(ii) Becoming a TFM Campus Leader
(iii) Participate in #RedCampaign
(iv) Spreading the word out about TFM to friends and family
More on TFM and #RedCampaign can be found on their respective websites.
3. Actuarial Science
I wouldn’t write a lot about this, since I’ve written a butt load of stuff on this blog post. Go read it if you want.
4. MARA loan vs other ‘prestigious’ scholarships.
This topic came in my mind because of a particular question I received in my Ask.fm almost two years ago. [If you were the anonymous who asked that question, I’m sorry I highlighted your question, I didn’t mean to put you on the spot. Good thing you were an anonymous though]
We talked about what does it mean by a ‘prestigious’ scholarship, where some people mentioned scholarships like Bank Negara Malaysia, Yayasan Khazanah, Petronas, and all the other scholarships that are hard to get.
We also talked about why these ‘scholarships’ are better in a sense, like how the sponsors actually know you personally (since there’s a smaller group of scholars vs the hundreds, if not thousands, of students under MARA and such), and that most scholarships are bonded for a number of years, which pretty much secures you a job after graduation.
5. ADFP vs A-Levels vs IB vs others
I didn’t have time to talk about this, but I found some links online that may help:
* RECOM: A-Levels vs ADFP vs IB vs AUSMAT
* Lowyat: A-Levels vs ADP
* /r/INTEC: Common routes to study abroad
* Be or Not to Be: Asasi vs Matriks vs Diploma
* Study Doctor: Asasi, Matriculation or Diploma?
* Sharing: Asasi, matrikulasi, atau diploma
* Atifah Zulkifle: Asasi vs Matrikulasi vs Diploma vs Tingkatan 6 vs Sijil vs Tahmidi
Now go and read them on your own.
6. Soft skills for future careers
We were talking about how, no matter how well you score in your degree, you might not stand a chance if you don’t have the soft skills needed by the employers. Most employers want employees who are competent, who are punctual and responsible and can communicate well, both on paper and in person.
I will not be writing more in depth on this, but you can read these links for some of the soft skills that employers are looking for: Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4, Link 5
I will elaborate more on this in another blog post, and I will update the link here later.
8. Other options to study abroad without scholarships [also includes Studying overseas vs locally]
(Most) SPM-leavers in Malaysia have this somewhat weird mindset that if they were not offered a scholarship or MARA after their SPM results, their dreams of pursuing their studies abroad are crushed into a gazillion tiny pieces.
My response? Grow Up people.
If you are really interested to study abroad, you shouldn’t be giving up so easily. There are definitely tons of options available for Malaysians if they want to study abroad, even if they did not that that initial offer after SPM.
Some of the options include:
* Doing a twinning program, like those between RCMP in Perak and RSCI in Ireland.
* Study abroad programs through the local universities, like UIA, UPM and UTM.
* Apply to universities as a transfer applicant.
* Do your undergraduate degree locally, and continue with Masters abroad.
The thing is, there are TONS of options available, and people just have to learn to READ and RESEARCH on the various opportunities available out there.
9. Volunteering while studying
I mentioned some of the good things that one may get from doing a volunteering project while studying, such as the leadership opportunities, new experiences, meeting new friends, and a bunch of other stuff like that.
I also shared some of my volunteering experiences, such as volunteering for International REACH and my #ProjekInspirasi.
Some of the volunteer opportunities that are available: Projek Kalsom, Projek Ihsan’s Tuisyen Sayang, and Teach For Malaysia. I also suggested they look at Do Good Volunteer for any volunteer opportunities, or even start one small volunteer project on their own.
Okay, so that’s basically the gist of what I talked about during my one week of curator-ship at the TwtUpCampus Twitter account. It was fun, I guess, talking to a bunch of random people on the account. There were a few people who recognized me from #ProjekInspirasi, and they were like, “Akak kan yang buat #ProjekInspirasi dulu?” or “Eh, akak bukan yang kat Google Hangout haritu ke?”
So, yeah, it was weird and awkward how some people recognized me, but oh well. There were also some people who didn’t like my way of curating, and said that I was a bit too strict or whatever, but yeah. Like, you can never please everyone, right?
Okay, this post is late enough, and long enough, so I shall end it now. Stay awesome. Papai.