15th of October 2011 is the pinnacle of my 3 years journey as an undergraduate in UNISEL (Universiti Selangor or previously known as Universiti Industri Selangor). Finally, I can officially announce to the world that I have earned my Bachelor’s degree in Education (TESL). I have completed my studies last year but unfortunately my graduation ceremony was a year later.
The journey towards earning my degree was fraught with heartaches, tears, swearing, cursing & all the negative energy you could possibly imagine. Somehow, in the midst of all the chaos, dissatisfaction and disenchantment I had with my university, I learned many valuable life lessons and experienced the meaning of “blessings in disguise”.
Let’s take a brisk walk down memory lane, I could still vividly remember the moment when I first set foot in UNISEL. My first thoughts were: “Oh my, I’m in the middle of nowhere, miles away from civilisation.” “I should have opted to accept the offer to study in Russia.” “Even my hometown is better than this godforsaken place.” “The buildings look like a LEGO set”. I cried after my mum left. The first 2 semesters in UNISEL was torturous. I had always envisioned myself being actively involved in extracurricular activities but I refused to get out and socialise. Instead, I kept myself occupied by lamenting about my “supposed” ill fate and complaining about the poor conditions in the university. Thank goodness I snapped out of my self-imposed depression, I slowly began to look at the bright side of my situation and learned that things happened for a reason. However, that did not stop me from wondering why I always end up in institutions which rhymes with “hell” (KML=KMHELL, UNISEL=UNIHELL). LOL :D
After I promised myself that I will no longer surround myself with negativity, the blessings started pouring in. I started joining activities organised by clubs in the university, mostly as an emcee or an AJK in the protocol bureau and even became a facilitator for the new students. Eventually, I had to quit because I wanted to focus on my studies as my GPA suffered a downward spiral during my most active period. In retrospect, the 3 years I spent in UNISEL shaped me into who I am today. I learned that we need to have a few backup plans just in case the primary plan falls apart and always be prepared for the worst case scenario...
Who could ever forget the time when my roommate and I had to wake up at 6am in the morning and walked all the way to the chancellory to collect our examination slip which we managed to obtain after standing in front of the finance unit for more than 3 hours! There was one time when there was no water supply in the hostel after an important event (CNY Gathering 2009) and I ended up going to bed without taking my shower or brushing my teeth! The hair-raising journey on the only public transportation available to KL (Selangor bus) where my luggage almost flew out of the bus because the driver was “drifting” at the winding road near Ijok! The times when I had to stand throughout the journey because there were no seats available and the bus was so crowded you could barely breathe! The frustration with the administration staff working at UNISEL where you had to explain yourself repeatedly to get the message across! These are some of the unforgettable experiences there.
As much as loath and despise UNISEL (these are the actual words that I utter when my family and friends ask about my university), it instilled my determination to pursue my postgraduate degree in a better, well-established institution. I could not possibly enroll in Otago without the degree from UNISEL. My negative sentiments aside, UNISEL did create some of the best moments in my life so far, which will forever be etched in my heart, indelible memories which will remain with me as I embark on a new chapter of my life in New Zealand next year.
This post is dedicated to the graduating class of 2011, my close friends in uni, my classmates, batchmates, fellow Minggu Tekad Siswa facilitators and the people whom I have worked with. The 6th graduation ceremony marks the end of our journey in UNISEL. My heartiest congratulations to everyone! A wonderful future beckons, the start of something new. It is our time to shine!