نحن قوم أعزنا الله بالإسلام ، فهما طلبنا العزة بغيره ، أذلنا الله

We are the people whom Allah honoured through Islam, so whenever we seek honour other than it, Allah will disgrace us.

The blog is under slow transition to http://specifichumidity.wordpress.com

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Choosing your university

A copy of my email to a friend.

Salam ramadhan,

The clock is ticking, and you are now approaching the moment for you to decide the university you'll be going to for the next 3,4,5 or for some 6 years. I happened to talk to few KMB lads yesterday, and hope that I may be able to advise you in the matter.

When I made my application back in 2001/2002, I listed all the good engineering schools, and started going through the list. Then I shortlisted 4, and received the offer letter from all. Being an engineering student, that was not something uncommon.

I did not put much thought into the application. I was so excited of going there, that to me location was hardly an issue. I chose Bristol over Imperial College (London) and other sites. I was also quite influenced by some of my mates, that 'helped' me make the decision.

Later, after I graduated, I realised my mistakes, and hopefully, no-one will be stupid enough to repeat them.

1) MONEY

I chose Bristol over London, quite simply because of the cost of living. I thought, hey, maybe if I go to Bristol, I can save a lot of money, live more comfortably and go everywhere. This thought is simply wrong. Considering us being sponsored student, Money should NOT be an issue. Yes, it can be a rather stressful subject, but so far, I have not found anyone dying of starvation in the street of london, simply because the sponsor does not give enough allowance. The point here is 'Duit boleh dicari', and you should not have any problem if you can plan your expenditure carefully. And don't forget, you can work up to 20 hours a week, and that can really help you financially.

2) FRIENDS

Sometimes, we make the decision to go to a certain place simply because we know that our friends are going also. There were 4 of us who went to Bristol. I was quite close to one. But guess what, when I went to Bristol, I made new friends and at the end of the day, I was not even that close to my close friend. So, drop that friendship issue. Do not really care where your friends are going. Start seeing yourself as one 'muslim' in the world of 2 billions muslims, and you shall find no problem embracing new people to be good friends for years to come. There are the arabs, english, europeans, americans, black, white, pakistanis, bangladeshis.. well so many nations out there for us to reach to, and understand. So, start standing on your own, and make new friends along the way.

3) INTERESTS

When I looked at the UCAS form, I was looking for the best engineering school in the country. Well, I have to agree that the teaching excellence does carry some points, but that is not everything that may satisfy you. I have deep interest in British politics. And I have to blame myself for the silly mistake that I made. Now I realised that I should have gone to London, or Oxford for better understanding and appreciation of British politics and history.
I have a friend who is excellent in violin. So, he went somewhere, a place where he can develop his talents, as well as the academic. He decided to go to cambridge, and I believe he got the best of both ends over there.
The point here is look deep into yourself. Teaching quality wise, every university is quite on-par throughout the country. But, what do you like? What do you enjoy most? Believe me, you will not be sitting 24 hours a day reading engineering/ medicine/ finance/ law whatsoever. So think of doing things that you like, and where you can develop your talents in those areas.


Well, of course there are other factors to consider. So, I wish you all the best in your application, and hopefully you will achieve what you come seeking.

Selamat berbuka puasa, dan selamat hari raya to you. Make full use of the remaining ramadhan, and insyaAllah we'll meet again.

Ramadhan Greeting

Ahmad Zaki

p/s: Those who believe the email is useful, please comment. and those who think it is a piece of garbage, please also reply so that I know where I stand.

4 Comments:

Anonymous anon_cyber said...

"p/s: Those who believe the email is useful, please comment. and those who think it is a piece of garbage, please also reply so that I know where I stand."

mmm.. useful garbage, boley? ;)

all good, but beware of point 2. friend-friend issue aside, if you think you need him/her for STUDYING purposes, then by all means, go to the same uni! case in point. my own husband suffered in oxford because of this 'takde geng nak study' (altho' i tell him, he was just plain immature at that time. teehee. ;)).

and while choosing a 'top uni' is good for its name and everything, ultimately, getting a first is VERY important too -- particularly if you have plans to further your studies. m'sia being m'sia, a few of the scholarship bodies automatically reject applications from ppl without a first.

on the interest bit pulak... this is my personal take. only carry out useful and relevant activities. masa secondary school, and at preparatory colleges, still ok lagi lah if nak buat bebenda merapu, because we need to have all those stuff to support our uni application and get good 'placements' plus scholarship(s). but once in, settle down. jgn la still nak e.g. jadi committee for a dancing competition ke... (well you get the drift).

our scholars are sadly, mostly chosen based purely on their academic results, and that, for a fact, is not enough.

oh my. broken track. ada rakyat jelata intrude la pulak. train of thoughts dah ter-de-rail.

at any rate, final 10 days of ramadhan... hope yours will be a good one insyaAllah, ameen...

3:32 AM  
Blogger zacharias said...

thanks for the comment.

Well, I would suggest people make full use of the opportunity, that includes the speakers' corner, the british library, and others.

not benda merapu, but something you really like. conservation work? caving society? wine soc? LGBT? (sorry, strike the last two off)

3:52 AM  
Blogger ihsan_huhu said...

btol2..

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went alone among our Eng class, did not follow any of my companions ... turns out to be one of most mature decisions I ever made...

In the end i still have my KMB friends as great companions as well as have new great friends at the uni.

2:56 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home