Life-changing is an adjective which means having such a strong effects that it changes one’s life while life-changing experience is the experience that changes one’s life. People everywhere go through various experiences in their lives. Every experience affects a person in some ways. The effects can be good, bad or combination of good and bad. For me, I have experienced a lot of things. Some affect me badly and some effects are good. However the experience that affects me intensely that I will never forget is my experience in the institute I studied at.

I was in Standard five back then when I participated in many competitions such as public speaking, choral speaking, debate and story-telling. The teachers simply choose me because I was the only student who is talented at that time. The teachers did not have to ask other students whether they want to participate or not for they were not interested at all. I was the only one who is eager with all these kind of things. I have many objectives for doing this but my main objective was to be outstanding and popular among the students and the teachers. At that time, I feel so comfortable that studying in primary school is not competitive at all.

Registering in lower secondary school, I rejected the offer to go to the boarding school. The reason was because I was not ready to be away from home, my family. Therefore, I just studied at a daily secondary school near my house. Same goes to my primary school, my lower secondary school also has been easy and nice to me. I was still the cleverest and most talented student in my batch. There was still no competition. I still participated in many competitions such as Young Scientist Competition, Competition of Memorizing the Qor’an, choral speaking and what not. Even though I did not really take any places in some competitions, the others might be even worse if they participate. This thought of mine made me even more comfortable. I did not feel like improving myself. Why do I need to improve myself when I am already at the top?

During my form four, I got an offer to study at MRSM Taiping. It was a hard decision to make. I went to meet the counselor to help me whether to stay or to accept the offer. He asked me to compare all the pros and cons between the two choices. At the end, I decide to accept the offer from MRSM Taiping. At that time, I was still not sure if my decision was correct. When I first stepped into the entrance gate of MRSM Taiping, I determined to be as outstanding and popular as I was in my primary school and lower secondary school. After a few weeks, I noticed a difference between my current school and my previous school. At my previous school, every event was conducted by the teachers and helped by the students while in MRSM Taiping, most events is planned and conducted by the student bodies, but with the teachers’ help. This was new to me. Back then when I was in lower secondary school, I was a school prefect and we had never been asked to conduct any event. So I was a bit shock with the system they are using since we were still in secondary school.

In MRSM Taiping, they have Student Representative Council (SRC) in which this body discuss, give ideas, make paper works and conduct events for the students. I tried my luck to be one of them, unfortunately I was rejected before the election. It was too competitive. The students there are different from my previous school, they are brilliant and they have high confidence level. Even so, I still not realize the mistake I have done during my lower secondary school. One day, the teachers organized a language week. Throughout the week, there were many competitions were held to choose a winner for each competition to represent our school to compete with other MRSMs. I tried my luck in forum and drama but I was not chosen for both. Only then, I realized that I was no more at the top. I realized that I need to improve. Wherever I am and whenever it is, whether among the best or among the worst, I must improve to be a better version of me. There is a saying goes “What comes around goes around”, which means when you are at the top, you will not always stay at the top, there will be times where you will be at the lowest point of your life. I must not stay in comfort for life is an unexpected journey. Therefore, I must get ready for the worst scenario that is going to happen.

The moral value from my experience is that being proud is okay but do not ever think that the world is yours. You need to get out from your comfort zone as saying goes “A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what a ship is built for”. I relate this quote with myself by thinking that I am not putting so much effort for my SPM just to study locally when I can receive the offer to go abroad. I have a proof that my experience during school has changed my life and the way I see something. After my SPM result being announced, I applied for many scholarships and universities. At the end, I got two offers, one from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and one from Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA) to study at INTEC Education College. UKM offered me to take ASASI PINTAR while JPA offered me to take American Degree Foundation Programme (ADFP) in Science in which I will fly to the United States during my first year degree. At first, I did not want to fly to the US as I will be away from my family and even my country. In addition, to study in the US, I need to have a strong mental state. I became scared and nervous and I felt like to just accept the offer from UKM. I tried to overcome my feeling and tried to think that in the US I can get many experiences and knowledge. I can improve myself because I am not in the comfort zone which is studying at UKM because it is near to my home. Therefore, for not making any more mistakes like before, I chose to accept the offer from JPA. I did not want to stay in my comfort zone anymore where I do things leisurely. I want to compete fairly with my friends while improving myself and succeed together.

In short, the event that changes my life is my experience studying in different kind of schools. Studying in primary school is different from secondary school and studying in non-boarding school is different from boarding school. Each of those schools leaves distinct effects on us which can be good or bad. As for me, my primary school and my lower secondary school affected me badly in term of making improvement while my upper secondary school which is a boarding school is an advantage for me to improve myself.

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