July is here and only three more weeks till graduation!!! Can't wait because I haven't been home since December last year and I am of the opinion that if you don't go back home often enough, you start to change or rather, everyone else back home will have changed (hopefully not unrecognizably so) or maybe even a bit of both.
Orientation week for new students has already started in UMT and I might take a peek over there tomorrow and see how they're doing. I remember the time I received the offer to UMT, I was aghast and mourned for a week. I didn't tell my mother until the week was over, and she promptly sent me packing off to Terengganu immediately. According to her, I am LUCKY to get a place in uni. T_T I know my matrics grades weren't up to snuff but this is sheer cruelty.
I packed my bags, packing the most conservative clothes in my closet, goodbye hotpants and weather-appropriate clothing, and set off to Terengganu, fearing the worst. I refused to register early. Instead, my cousin, Nolda, brought me and my mum sightseeing in Kelantan before registering smack in the middle of orientation week. In terms of shops, let me inform you that Terengganu is worse than Kelantan and Pahang.
That might have been a mistake, because when I registered I was at a loss to where do I find the other students in my course. There were hundreds of students and feeling rather lost in the hall, I sat with the Marine Science students (lol) and I only found my coursemates in the afternoon. Who did I recognize straight off the bat? Shafwan, the weird person in my matrics lecture group who used to sit all the way in front and I was always all the way at the back. Didn't know his name back then. Kekeke...
They were pretty welcoming and Joanne and Ai Yin were the first two people I spoke to in my course and I became fast friends with Ai Yin (from Kelantan) after she told me her sister-in-law was Kadazan too, lol. Just for the record, I was the only Christian Sabahan/Sarawakian in my course. Talk about being an outsider. My BM had not improved much in Labuan either.
When I unpacked my stuff in my hostel room, all the students were away at some hall or another and there was an awful din going on outside. Good heavens! Guys were actually YELLING for students who were skipping the briefing in the hall to come out, some form of 'ragging' probably and started to knock on girls' rooms rather loudly. Scared out of my wits, I gave myself up. Waving my white flag, this was when I first discovered how nice Peninsular people were to Borneo girls. The guy just completely shut up, smiled nicely and politely led me downstairs. Where was the the great shouting beast threatening to break down doors just a minute ago?
We also had a 'Survival Laut' orientation by course at Pulau Bidong where the Fisheries students were grouped with the Accounts students. All I remember was the awful kayaking partner I had, who puked his guts out all the way to the jungle track to the Vietnamese memorial. He made my kayaking experience truly memorable. Poor thing.
Did a few swimming and 'water confidence exercises which was nothing new, thanks to the rigorous training during sailing. You want to get REAL water confidence training? Try sailing. I've capsized in stormy weather, gotten whacked on the head with the boom of my sail multiple times, faced scary corals (I've gotten over that fear thanks to my course), swum with jellyfish and dumped in the middle of the sea with life jackets and told to swim to shore. Jumping off a boat into the sea passes for a water confidence test? Please. Well, shouldn't be harsh on the noobs.
Meeting Shu Kuan (Penang) and Eva (Kuching) was the best thing that happened to me in uni. These guys have always been there for me and we bonded at first because of a shared love of, wait for it...let's call it by its general term - anime. Hehe. We all came from girl schools, received Band 5 in the Malaysian University English Test and ended up being room mates for 3 years. I would never have survived Terengganu without them!!! Maybe that's exaggerating a bit, but they made it all the more fun! :-) Not forgetting the multiple Jacks and the one Dexter who may or may not have made uni life just a wee bit better.
I have loads more pics but there's no way I can fit them all in, I've lost a lot of them too anyway... I should probably learn to watermark my pics but I can't be bothered really. It's not like I have DSLR camera. *cries with starry eyes* Someday...
Of course, there's been bad times in uni too, but with several cups of tea, candy for my massive sweet tooth and encouragement, I was always able to pick myself up again. Unbearable people, gossip (you either love or hate it), the heat, lecturers that make me want to murder them, pervs, animal haters, turtle egg consumers and unfairness are all not worth getting heated up about. Someone once told me how astonishing Sabahans can be because even when scolded, they'll keep on smiling and enjoying life no matter what. =)