Last time, I used to admire those who study not in their home town. I look high up to them since they left their homes and study somewhere on Earth independently. I always told myself I also want to be one of them in the future. So, I urge to study anywhere but not in my home town. My seniors who have studied outside my home town share a lot about their lives in their university or college. I want to share my experience outside my home town to my juniors too.
The day finally arrived. I got an offer to study in one of the matriculation study centre running by Malaysia Education Department. It was the Labuan Matriculation Centre (KML) which I engaged in. The Education Department will give us a certain amount of money to sustain ourselves there but it is not really enough. However, it is better than nothing.
“Who care!” I told myself. I just want to be out of the place where I have lived for 18 years and know every single thing about it. Failed to realize the challenge that I was going to face, naively, I got on my flight and flew to Labuan on 12 May 2008 which was the day that everything would be the same.
I couldn’t remember the duration of my flight but it was a tiring one. Fortunately, one of my friends who also engaged in this college has a relative in Labuan. So, we went to the college in a Mercedes rather than the college bus. The weather there is quite hot and dry since it is an island.
To my surprise, the college is actually situated in a rural area surrounding by forest. According to some of my seniors who also got the offer, sometimes, monkeys would run out of the forest and go inside your hostel. There was a huge crowd there since it was the registration day. A facilitator actually stood in front of the hall to check our attire. For your information, we need to dress formally for the registration.
“I am sorry; your top is not suitable. Can’t you change it?” Fine! I shall go and change.
The registration was quite fun. It was like a station game where we need to go to each booth to get the respective task done. I was given a checklist so that I wouldn’t miss any station. The very beginning was the discipline booth.
“Your hair is too long. So, you get a demerit for it. We are going to arrange a barber for you tomorrow to cut it short.” said the lecturer in-charge. Great! I got a demerit on the very first day. After going through all the booth in the hall, I need to go the library for the rest of the station. The booth included the photo shooting for the student card, getting some freebies (a sling bag, pillow case, bed sheet, neck tie and a long-sleeved tee) and checking in the room. After all the hustle bustle, I got on a shuttle to reach my hostel.
What! I need to walk up to the fifth floor which is the highest floor since there is no such thing call lift. Moreover, I have a lot of luggage with me. I met some guy halfway.
“Sangat berat kan,”
I was expecting them to help me since they were so concerned. Try to guess what they said.
“ Gambateh,” and they just walked away.
After a tiring moment, I reached my room and I realized that I was the last one to enter that room. It was a quad room and each of us got a corner with bed and wardrobe. I was extremely dissatisfied with my room. It was so dusty and lousy. The facilities were badly maintained. I could even get my stuff inside the wardrobe even I locked it. This was not the worst part. We didn’t have an attached bathroom but a common one. To my surprise, I couldn’t bath since the maintenance of the bathroom was still in progress. So, I didn’t take bath that day.
I was in deep loneliness since I couldn’t really communicate with my roommates. They spoke good Malay that I couldn’t understand. They had to repeat three to four times so that I got it. I rather kept my mouth shut all the time. I had no one to talk to since I didn’t know any Chinese guy there. I was the only guy among all my secondary classmates and the college is quite strict with the interaction between boys and girls. I couldn’t go to their hostel and talk to my friends or else I would get a demerit again.
I was completely alone on the first day. This wasn’t the college life that I look forward to. I blamed myself to be so stupid to go to such a lousy place to make my life difficult. What to do, I was there already. If you want to know what was going to happen next, follow my next post then. Bye.