By Azra Farzana Shuib
Nurul Jannah Abdul Rahman is not settling for a mediocre path after being granted the scroll. The 22-year old who just got her Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies has another big thing in mind.
Jannah is currently taking a short course in digital entrepreneurship organised by KRU Academy. It means a lot more than just adding into her experience and skills. She wants to change the bitter truth Malays are facing nowadays – a lot of them rarely practise their unique traditions with pride. Instead, most Malays let themselves being influenced by foreign media.
Believing that Malays have their own distinct values and a tradition in lifestyle, Jannah wants to uphold these values through avenues provided in the media. She admits the love for media designing more than architecture. Editing pictures, video making, illustrating and such are her true passion.
“If you watch Upin & Ipin, you know what I’m talking about,” she said.
“My plan after graduation is to become a successful art entrepreneur in Malaysia. So among the initiatives are to take any chances that will bring me closer to the media industry, like attending a course in KRU Academy and building strong networks as much as I can,” she explained.
Another big, noble goal of hers is to become an independent daughter who will be able to provide help for her parents. She also wants to design her family’s very own three-generation house on her mother’s lot. She hopes to build an abode that will have long-lasting benefits to all of her family members and future generations to come.
The undergraduate life is in the past
Studying architecture wasn’t easy. Jannah confessed of the urge to just quit for almost every semester, with thoughts of switching to other courses that will suit her better. Despite the stressful days and sleepless nights, she made it through the rocky path. She credited her satisfaction of surviving architectural studies to the supports she got from her family, friends, and lecturers who were tirelessly imparting their knowledge.
“Those four years of studying taught me the meaning of sacrifice and has brought me to another level of positive thinking,” she said.
The brave girl also isn’t scared of taking the steps to a new phase. She truthfully stated that she’s excited to meet new challenges.
“I like challenges,” she smiled.
But of course, even she can’t deny the stress creeping in the time between after graduation and landing a job. Issues like where to work, how to have sustainability, and the right time to start a business are all the reasons to regard this phase as a very critical moment. She keeps asking “what’s next?” for almost everyday.
Besides that, the bittersweet parting moments with her friends will remain in her memory. She described her friends as the ones who understand her, and facing the fact that they can no longer be together to give a sentimental attachment. She reminisced the countless hours spent in the studio as the best experience in IIUM. The long hours spent with her friends in the so-called lifeless KAED studio made them grow closer like a family.
“Entering a new world that have different types of people, you know – you’ll easily get judged, because they don’t know you,” she pointed out.
The ambiance that will be missed
She pondered upon the best thing she liked about IIUM and as cliché as it may be, the Islamic environment is what makes the university so special to most of its students. The azan she heard during every prayer time comes, the musolla in all Kulliyyah, and the way lecturers portray Islamic ethics are just some of the factors that make up the ambiance.
“Even though we can’t see members of IIUM community practising all of the true Islamic values perfectly, at least we have a lot of public lectures on Islam that we can attend, be it for free or for student price,” she said.
Considering the fact that not all places in this country have a lot of Islamic lectures as in IIUM, she advises students to grab the privilege while they still have it.
To her, undergraduate life is the right time to take the chance to get to know one’s true self in order to understand Islam and being closer to Allah.
“When someone is well-equipped with vast knowledge, it manifests as a skill to withstand any negative influences no matter on which ground one stands on. We never know what kind of environment we will be ‘hurled’ into. But if we are to work in places so foreign from our beliefs, at least we know our grounds.”
A message to her dearest parents
She regarded her parents as a big part of her success. The endless motivational push to finish her studies, and the trust given to her in any miserable situation she was put in, was everything to her.
“This whole thing surely have taught me to be independent, and I am so glad that mama and abi suggested to me to study this tough course. Even after graduation, I hope my parents will always give prayers and support in every step that I take in to become a successful woman in the future,” Jannah concluded.***