By Iylia Marsya Iskandar
The bittersweet fragrance of convocation is still fresh out of the oven, memories of the university life is still crisp and half-baked goodbyes are circulating in the air.
As a second year student witnessing the convocation ceremony, it evokes my mind to question what actually inspires the award recipients to be as inspiring as they are today.
Inspiration is often romanticised to be equated with tragedy. It is common to hear inspirational stories on overcoming tragedies and driving themselves to be successful. Personally, I believe that most successful people went through a turning point in their life that has led them to strive for excellence.
However, for Siti Khadijah Shahnon, a Royal Education Award recipient, the Overall Best Student of the Kulliyyah of Dentistry and the Best Student in Academics for Kulliyyah of Dentistry has proved me, and a lot of people that share the same perception, wrong. Her sole inspiration to succeed were, in fact, the people surrounding her, ranging from her parents, lecturers and friends.
In an interview with IIUMToday, Khadijah said, “Seeing my parents work so hard, my lecturers giving their best to teach, and my fiends struggling so much to be in this kulliyyah, has inspired me to work harder, be better and achieve more.”
Khadijah who dreamt to be a Psychologist believed that her parents’ blessings are top-tier when making decisions. She decided to pursue dentistry as suggested by her parents. In her foundation years, she has grown to love this field as it combines the knowledge of arts and sciences which challenged her and drove her to love it more.
In regards to art, Khadijah emphasised that it is foremost important to learn the art of knowing yourself especially when it involves study patterns. In her opinion, everyone has to know their own capabilities and when their mind does work best to revise and study.
It is not compulsory to follow every successful study tips. The biggest secret to studying is knowing yourself and your own study pattern.
As a science student, Khadijah’s learning hours are divided between clinical and lecture hours. During lecture hours, Khadijah stressed that it is important to ask questions directly no matter how small it is and to remember important points mentioned by the lecturers.
Meanwhile, when it comes to the clinic, Khadijah would keep her radar on alert for any comments and inputs from her lecturers.
In our quest to seek for more knowledge, success is a forbidden fruit everyone wishes to bite but only the most resilient prevails. Everyone wants to be the best and oftentimes our main thought is for us to beat the rest in order to take a bite out of the forbidden fruit.
Nevertheless, Khadijah believes that we need to always be self-conscious, self-check and keep on striving as everyone has their own timeline.
The biggest competition that we have is within ourselves, when we are too tired and stuck in a loop, Khadijah would promote taking a break and rewarding herself. It does not have to be grand, but it can be as simple as socialising with friends and taking some time off to play sports.
The prayer of a parent sent to you which is the most sincere form of prayer will surely not be obstructed from Allah the Ar-Rahman (The Most Kind and Giving).
Therefore, the secret to Khadijah’s success is the prayer from her parents, family and friends. As an end note, Khadijah said, hablu minallah wa hablu minannas. Always pray to Allah for success but it is upmost important to respect others as well.
Khadijah received her Royal Education Award on the first session of the 35th IIUM Convocation Ceremony, conferred by the Constitutional Head of IIUM, Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah binti Almarhum Al-Mutawakkil Alallah Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj and her Overall Best Student of the Kulliyyah of Dentistry and the Best Student in Academics for Kulliyyah of Dentistry award during the second session conferred by the President of IIUM, Datuk Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar, both on 23 November. ***
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