May 21, 2011

Truth be told.....

Yesterday's practical examination was quite the slap in the face for me. There were 5 tasks given:

Naming inside and outside body parts
Examining fire extinguishers
Measuring a camshaft journal (choose one from 6) using micrometer and referring to a given service manual
Jacking up a car (front and back) and placing jack stands
Lifting a car on a car lift

The first two were no problem. The third one was a bit unsettling because I couldnt tell which is the front and back of the camshaft, only after that it struck me to have checked the manual. The fourth one was confusing because of discrepancies about positioning of wheel stoppers when jacking the car. I followed what I was taught, what was given in our notes and what we had been doing all the while (one stopper at each wheel opposite from the end being jacked), but the invigilator said it should be both stoppers at only one wheel. The last one was a nightmare. To cut short, I made 2 mistakes which made the invigilator tell me to stop, and then point out my mistakes, and tell me to continue. 

What my lecturer told me was that if the invigilator ever says "Stop", it means I'm doing something very wrong (although I didnt think what I did was very, wrong) and will be automatically failed. Now the thoughts of having to cough up RM1000 and having to re-do the whole 3 weeks of the subject are doing "wonders" to my brain...

Then it got me thinking really long, really hard, really deep....

It made me think, is this the place I'm really supposed to be at? Where thoughts of failing already come up on the very first subject? How would I cope; and how would I do for another 2.5 years? 

Then I thought about my decision to come here. 

 Truth be told, it was never fully my final word to join this college. Even before CNY this year, my mum was already pushing and rushing me into registering. She got all paranoid thinking if I wait too long I wont be able to enroll until the end of the year. She got impatient with me not giving an answer about whether I'd want to stay at my uncle's-owned apartment here in USJ. She used the point that since I already found a place I want to study, and I already qualify with my trial SPM results for the college, so why dont I just go?

At that time, I was still doing my part time job, where I have come back as late as 12am and go to work as early as 10am. It was only JANUARY. I did not have the slightest chance to thoroughly think about whether I'd ultimately want to study here. All I could think about up to that point was the expensive fees. There were so many other factors that had not yet come into my mind, so many other factors that would have made the difference in my final choice of college.

What are the students like?
Are there complaints/issues about the college?
Transportation and accomodation?
How about the lecturers?
Are there many extra activities to join?

I never had the chance for those things to even come into my mind before sending my registration form. I had nothing to counter my mum's hasty approach. Almost everyday, it plays in my mind that, because I "chose" to study at TOC:

My brother shifts out from Setapak just to stay with me, to send me to college, to wake up at 6.30 in the morning to avoid the jam and to put up with the rush hour traffic on the way back.
My dad sometimes has to come all the way from Puchong to pick me up on my half-days.
Eventually, I'd have to drive to college on my own, which uses petrol, which isn't cheap.
Extra money is spent to (just barely) furnish the apartment, and extra effort to lug some of the big things from back home to over here.
I study in a college with only 2 girls out of 1000+ students.
Most of the students here arent very educated
I take exams where 80% is a pass.
I run the risk of automatically failing an exam, paying big money and having to repeat the entire subject.
My uncle loses his side income from renting out his apartment (unless he charges us as well).
And because of what I've just experienced from my first exam, there is the worry I might lose this scholarship and my parents end up paying 50,000 ringgit for fees. Duly note that the cycle of failing, repeating, and more paying can occur multiple times.

All these things take away the joy of my college life. Truth be told, I'm not entirely happy with my new life. Sure, the new friends are nice, most (according to seniors) lecturers are good, but when all other things considered, it isnt what I'd call enjoyable. Just because I initially showed great interest in the college doesnt mean I must/will go there in the end. My mum failed to realise this. And I wasnt able to make her realise. Worst of all, I never had the chance to say:

"Yes, I am sure I want to study here, that is my final decision".

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