By Muhammad Faiz
The beginning is always the hardest, as it does not matter what the phases are. The first day of primary school, the first day of secondary school, the first day of a foundation or a diploma or even a first day of a degree education. Even more is also harder at the first week, the first month, the first semester or even the first year of a degree education. Not to mention, it also considered as an adaptive phase thus it indirectly makes it much harder to go through.
For the new intake students of International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), it has been two weeks since their registration as IIUM students. It does bring the questions that many people are pondering about. What is their first impression upon enrolling at IIUM? Most importantly is how do they adapt to the new environment. Therefore, I took upon myself to ask some questions on the selected few students to know more regarding their impressions and experiences in these two weeks.
- What are your first impression entering IIUM as an undergraduate student?
Umar Danial, 20 told IIUMToday that his first impression entering his undergraduate study is that it is such a prestigious university as it holds the title of an international university. Not only that, the university also integrated Islamisation in its curriculum.
“I thought IIUM would be very strict in enforcing tighter rules and regulations,” Khalid Firdaus, 20 added. Another student, Aina, 20 told IIUMToday that she does not exactly have a first impression, as she has known everything that she should expect because her friends already told her beforehand.
- It has been two weeks since the registration, has your impression changed over a span of two weeks?
“It does not change much as my impression towards the university is still intact especially when some of my lecturers are the notable ones. Nonetheless, I am still looking forward to more,” Umar Danial added. Besides that, Khalid went on further to explain that IIUM main campus is definitely more lenient compared to CFS, IIUM PJ campus.
“It doesn’t change. It’s all thanks to my friends who helped me with preparation by fully being honest on what I should expect entering this new chapter of life,” Aina added.
- What are the things that you love about IIUM?
Umar Danial expressed by saying that it is still early to pinpoint what he loves as it has only been two weeks. However, he also expressed his gratitude for the cheap, delicious foods at Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Law (AIKOL).
“I definitely like the environment in here. The buildings, the weather and the foods. I like all of it,” Khalid added. As for Aina, she went on to say that she really loves to interact with her friends and new friends whom she encounters every day.
- On the other side, what are the things that you found yourself dislike regarding IIUM?
“I found myself disliking the Taaruf Week a little bit as I found it lacking in information such as regarding the process of the pre-registration of the subjects because most of the new students are grasping for air last week. It might be delivered poorly or did not reach all students,” Umar told IIUMToday. Khalid also agreed with Umar by saying “it’s the ‘management’.
“To be honest, I don’t necessarily focus on the things I dislike as I already expected it. However, I like to say that it is about the pre-registration as it took a lot of time, and some of the classes have to be cancelled as some lecturers didn’t attend class due to lack of students as they had to attend to the add-drop,” Aina told IIUMToday.
- How does your first day of the class feel like?
“Anxious and so afraid but I am so excited!” Umar shortly and quickly answered. As for Khalid, he said it was definitely a mixed combination of feelings, as it is exciting yet so unknown.
“It is weird yet exciting to attend my first class as an undergraduate student. It felt so surreal,” Aina added.
- Tell me, how your experiences have been like?
Umar and Khalid coincidentally said the same thing, which is the whole experiences have been great. Luckily, Aina also agreed to the sentiment.
- What are your hopes for the first year of your study here?
Umar Danial went on to explain his hope that he can live and experience the whole “IIUM” life with the classes, societies and social life. Besides that, he also refused to live just a normal degree life.
“I hope to be more active here and try new things in life. I aspire to be greater in everything,” Khalid told IIUMToday. Aina said that she hopes that she would be able to adapt herself more in her new surrounding. Not to mention, she also hopes that her first year would be amazing and filled with happy memories.
By interviewing and writing this piece, it is indeed refreshing to find out about the new students’ impressions entering their new phase of life. It does in a way remind us the excitement and the thrilling sensation.
The excitement also aligned with John Steinbeck’s quote: “There are as many worlds as there are kinds of days, and as an opal changes its colours and its fire to match the nature of a day, so do I.” ***