Monday, May 17, 2010

Another Chapter

I've just spent my first week in college last week. College life. I think I can get used to that.

After so many months of contemplation on choosing the right college, looking at endless list of career choices and college options, fearing that one wrong decision would result in several years of regret, I've made my choice. The first four months of this year have seen me dabbing into the world of child care and education. During that period of becoming an assistant supervisor at a homeschooling center and an instructor at Kumon, I discovered my love of working with children. I dare say, I was pretty good with them too. At one point I even seriously considered ditching my long time goal of pursuing journalism in favor of an education degree.

Working with the children at the homeschooling center -- half of them being autistic -- had been challenging, but also so much fun and pleasure. I found myself waking up in the mornings without the feeling of dread that used to loom over me back when I was in high school. I genuinely enjoyed chatting with the kids, well, the ones that could carry decent conversations with me. Teaching them was fun and I looked forward to being entertained by their antics every day.

A few individuals made attempts at persuading me toward a teaching career, never failing to mention the many perks of becoming a teacher. The holidays and a stable lifestyle a teacher gets was tempting, but ultimately, I saw my life set for more adventures than being in a classroom for the rest of my career life. I have nothing against becoming an educator, alright. I guess my decision boils down to wanting a career that will take me places, globally. Maybe a teaching life would be too stable for me. So in the end, the little voice in my head told me to choose journalism.

Now, I'm pursuing a diploma in journalism at Tunku Abdul Rahman College in Setapak. I'll admit that TAR College wasn't exactly my first choice of college. C'mon, most people view this college as a last-resort-college. It is not as prestigious sounding as Taylor's. And it is half government owned. Everybody knows anything associated with the government is not so glamorous. I chose TARC anyway, plainly because my sister Jessica was already studying there plus the fact that I would be eligible for a partial merit scholarship. It didn't hurt that my best friend Yin Hui would soon be my roommate too.

I didn't go for my orientation last week expecting the worst, but I wasn't putting in much hope in TARC either. On hindsight, not expecting too much or too little of a new experience was a good thing. I discovered the campus and its facilities through my own eyes, and not through the perception of others. I realized I actually like the college. It is huge, with a nice, big library (a must for me), a modern cyber center that accommodates a large number of computers with internet access, canteens (thank God there are relatively cheap foods), a sports complex, a college hall, its own pool and many other buildings.

It is a college, but it is so big, I feel like I'm in a university. Being so generous with its area, going from point A to point B may involve lots of walking, which can become a source of complaints for students. But I like walking, so this suits me well. I still can't say much about the lecturer, since I will not be officially attending any lectures until later. But I think TARC has been underrated by the general public. Sure, it's not the best institution yet, but it's good enough. In fact, it may even be better than other colleges that have always been under the public's spotlight.

Oh, did I tell you that the first year journalism course consists of only 15 people? Initially, I thought it was a miserable number, what with courses like public relations and broadcasting having more than a hundred students each, but I realize now that this can work to my advantage. My inherent fear of speaking in front of a huge crowd have never really left me, so I guess working with this small group of people is perfect for me.

I'm typing these words as I sit in TARC hostel' canteen. In an hour's time, I'll be attending my first lecture. Introduction to Information Technology. Sounds boring, but I'll survive.

This isn't me. This is a girl by the name of Yin Hui.

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