Saturday, August 15, 2015

FAQ: Why I chose a private university over a public one.

Hey guys, I know I've been going on a very long blog hiatus but that's only because there has been so much stuff that has happened to me - also maybe because I didn't have much to write about.

Looking back at my most recent post..Wow.. My last post was literally last year when I was still hung up on that one guy I wrote a song about, and it was published on Thought Catalog. Right now I'm hung up on another guy - one whom I have least expected. But let's save that for another post.


As you may or may not be aware, I have already stepped into the career lady world; achieving milestones upon milestones ever since, slowly but surely. It has been a glorious period of four years in college, which sadly had to eventually come to an end about four months ago- but every end is a new beginning. It's funny reading all my rants when I was 18, about not having a job or the privilege of driving, and now I have both. I have come a long way, and it has been an incredible journey. Working life has been treating me well so far, a little kinks here and there that need to be ironed out,but nonetheless, I have no complaints. I have colleagues who are beyond helpful, bosses with whom I can talk to about anything and everything, not to mention the endless opportunities of venturing out to a foreign country later on in my career. It's good to know that the effort I have put on for the past 4 years of foundation and degree in Software Engineering is finally coming into fruition. 

Then again, one question lingers on everyone's minds, why did I choose a private university over a public one in the first place? I had decent SPM results and could easily get into any course I wanted. It made me question myself too at first, especially with the fact that I didn't even bother applying. One thing I have to set straight for everyone, I did get an offer from UTM, I just didn't take it because at the time,I was already enrolled in my current uni. However, I have my own reasons as to why I rejected the offer too:

Proof that I wasn't lying, blurred out because my phone was too 'canggih' haha
Also because I didn't want y'all stalking me at home zahkghsakl
1. The essentials - transport, accommodation, expenses
One of the reasons is the fact that I don't particularly function well in the studying department if my environment causes discomfort. My brother was in the same private uni as I was hence I guess it's more financially friendly to carpool to and from campus, not to mention that it was only 20 minutes away from home,which means we were able to cut down on rent as well - staying at home is free and food is free, you get me? You may say that it's ironic to say that a private uni that hikes up the price of their courses is "easy on my wallet", but fret you should not, as I come to my next point.

2. Scholarship offers
As I mentioned, I had decent SPM results, which of course would make me eligible to apply for scholarships (not tooting my own horn but I was a scholar). It came with a catch, I had to 'serve' my uni as compensation, but the good news was I could choose how : I organized a few events under my faculty and I was also in charge of the Music Club.

3. Dual-award system
I'm not saying I'm degrading the Malaysian higher education system, but the private uni I was in actually gave us an option to venture out of the country, and even if we don't, our system was on dual-award basis - in layman terms, when I got my degree cert, I had two of them; one from my uni and the other one from the twinning university (UWE in Bristol). All our exams and projects were evaluated by two panels, the local ones consisting our lecturers and also examiners from UWE, which means it's way harder to pass. At this point, I don't quite get why people keep saying that private university students 'pay to pass', you have absolutely no idea what we go through. We pay to resit our papers (which thankfully,I did not have to do as I have never failed any papers in my life), but that's about it. Failing means you lose more money, there is absolutely no concept of 'buying our degree'. When we graduate,it really means we earned it, and as you may or may not be aware, the British education system is very strict in their quality control - this especially applies to their fresh graduates too, simply because they don't want rubbish to come out of their institution.

4. Freedom
Ironically (again),I was a prefect in school. I was one of the board of discipline members, and I was one of the 'authorities' who helped uphold the school's regulations. Let's be real here, eventually, you'll outgrow that trait and would want to be free too right? Especially when you're already 18. College life is something you would want to enjoy (of course with certain limits,but it differs with individuals). I felt that I needed that freedom,and the tight regulations in public universities weren't going to cut it for me. There were rules in my university too but they were far less rigid - no dress codes for example. I believe college life is when you truly capture the essence of whom you are as an individual and with rigid rules, I don't think I would be capable of doing that. Learning isn't just about regurgitating what is in your textbooks, it goes beyond - like finding your true inner self. Then comes my final point which relates strongly to growth.

5. Diversity
I apologize for my lack of sensitivity,but I noticed that public universities are mostly dominated by a single race.I have once read about how it helps to befriend people from different walks of life in order to provide a room for you to grow; I didn't think I would get much of this unless I attend a university with international students. I can proudly say that in spite of the differences in belief, culture and mentalities, I now have a diverse circle of friends with whom I can share my experiences with,and they are incredible people I have met in college - some who are even much more loyal to me than people I have known my entire life. It goes back to learning tolerance,respect and understanding. It's very interesting to talk to different people to understand what's on their mind,what made them who they are now, etc. 

And there you have it, my entire explanation.You can never truly grow as a person unless you leave your comfort zone and venture out into the open in the name of discovery. Never be afraid of change, embrace it, and that's how you win at the game of life.