The first week of semester is a rush of adding/dropping subjects and making sure your class schedule is just perfect (seeing as you'll have to live with it for one whole sem) in between going to classes. And as is customary for the first week of the first semester, the first few classes are spent with the usual briefing of the course contents and course assessment by the lecturers.
This morning I attended my first Islam and Psychology class, taught by Dr. A who is more well-known for his strictness in marking. A friend had already warned me about him, saying that her CGPA dropped because of the low grade she achieved for that particular course. So I entered the class feeling a wee bit nervous and apprehensive of this really strict lecturer. But when he started briefing us, I found that he has a very good sense of humour (not to mention good English) and managed to turn a what should be boring task into something more interesting to listen to.
Of course, there were several values inserted amid his funny briefing. He was reminding us not to copy each other (in other words, DO NOT CHEAT!) during the mid-semester exam, and especially not to tell the other section the exam questions (since the other section will be sitting for their exam later than us) because life is all about tests. Even the Prophet Adam a.s. was tested by Allah, even though he is the first human being on this earth.
And he encouraged us to think critically in class, which is something that Malay schools in general don't really make students do. But the best part was when he encouraged us to not be shy if we want to ask questions or share our opinion in class. He said that that is the negative aspect of the Malay culture, where we are expected to be senyap and sopan (quiet and polite). So if that hinders us in speaking up, "just forget that you are a Malay and act more like an international student who is never shy to speak up". I was quite impressed by that line, actually. Although I was a bit embarrassed on behalf of the Malays, especially since a foreigner friend was sitting beside me. Nevertheless, I am more determined than ever to score his subject and prove my friend wrong (Amin).
My Research Methodology lecturer, Dr. S, advised us to come to class with an open mind and an open heart, because those are among the important factors which will help us learn and absorb new knowledge. It is also important to have a positive mindset (actually, this is also a psychological concept). I mean, if you come to class feeling that Oh God, this subject is so hard, I'm so gonna fail, it won't exactly help you pass that subject.
She also stressed on the importance of punctuality. According to her, "punctuality is critical because it shows the kind of person you are, what kind of person you'll become, and what kind of person you'll raise when you become parents". Ooppss. That statement kinda hit me because I've been late to class a couple of times (but then, who hasn't been late at least once in their life...right?). And the part about raising someone when you become parents is kinda freaky too. Erm...I don't think I'm gonna go into parenting right now.
So, all things said, here's to a fruitful semester to me and every university student out there!