Perplex, that is the feeling that I have when I first came to University Malaysia of Kelantan (UMK). Actually I never thought that I will be coming here to further my higher studies but I was offered the Entrepreneurship (Commerce) course for my second intake at UMK so I packed my bags and started my journey to Kelantan. I also felt very anxious and nervous when I first came to Kelantan and live here as it was far away from my hometown which is situated in Bentong, Pahang. Furthermore, i haven’t travel to other states before plus i have to start a new life in a place that is unfamiliar to me. But I have put all my courage together to come to Kelantan to pursue my higher studies and begin a very exciting adventure of a life time as a junior student in UMK with all the people and seniors that I am about to meet there. I am excited to experience what the Kelantan area and people have in store for me.
On my first day to Kelantan, I have bought a bus ticket traveling from Bentong main bus station to Kota Bharu, Kelantan. Some of my relatives have decided to follow me on my trip to Kelantan after I have greeted farewell to my family members. When the bus arrived at the Bentong main bus station, I am not eager to leave my hometown but because of my studies in UMK so I have to leave and head for Kelantan eventually. The bus that we took was on 10.30pm night. On the journey towards Kelantan, we have to sleep all the way because our bus journey travels at night. Unfortunately for me I never imagine that the bus air conditioners was strong and blasting out very cold wind plus I haven’t brought my jacket along with me so I sometimes wake up during the trip because it was too cold. But because of that, I manage to have a glimpse of some Kelantanese village and agricultural fields beside the glass window of the bus. Thus, I have the impression that Kelantan is a state which is still rural and not very developed state compared to my hometown.
The journey took us 7 long boring hours to Kelantan. By the time we reached Kelantan, it was 5.00am in the morning. We were dropped off beside the road at Kota Bharu city as the bus did not stop at the main bus station and had to continue to other areas. When I came down from the bus and took out our stuff from the bus carriage cabinet, I noticed that the area looks deserted as there was not a single person on the road, shops and houses were closed and no cars were driving along the road. Then, I asked my relatives what is going on that day. Luckily, one of my relatives have come before to Kelantan so he explained that Kelantan is one of some states in Malaysia that considered every Friday and Saturday are weekends. Furthermore, Kelantan is an Islamic State which means that the majority people are Malays. I am not very concerned about that because I am able to mix around easily with other races and consider they are all friends to me no matter what backgrounds they are from. Not only that I want to support the 1 MALAYSIA concept which is being introduced by our Malaysian Prime Minister, Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak. I also want to experienced and learn more about other people from different cultures, backgrounds and history.
Since there was not a single person in sight but fortunately for me, my relatives have contacted an acquaintance who stayed in Kelantan who is very friendly and kind to come and fetch us and brought us to stay in a motel called Mutiara Inn. We stayed there until Sunday morning where Kelantan is starting its’ weekdays. That day, we managed to find a taxi driver to bring us to UMK. Once we reached UMK, I saw many students are walking in and out from the campus and huge buildings opposite of the campus which I guessed is the dormitory where I will be staying for the next four years of my studies at UMK. On that day, we were informed by the gate officers that lecture classes have started two weeks early before my arrival at UMK. Anyway, we went through all the offices and departments to apply for my registration as a student in UMK.
It was a long and tiring process for all of us as some of it required identification documents from my relatives who act as my guardians because my mother was unable to come as she was ill and my father had passed away when I was Form5 back home. Thankfully, we successfully applied me to be student at UMK and we continued to walk to the dormitory to check-into my room. When I took my keys to my room from the dormitory officer, I asked who will be my roommates and he answered me that all my 3 roommates were Malays and he also told me that males and female dormitories are separated so I thanked him and walked up to my room which was situated on the 4th block, 2nd floor, room number 01. When I and my relatives arrived at my room, the room was empty and soon we dropped off my stuff in the room. After that, we went for lunch and walked around the campus area which is actually situated in a district called Pengkalan Chepa. Along the way, I managed to meet and make friends with some students who are also same age with me pursuing their higher studies at UMK as well. They were all friendly and courteous people.
When it is time for my guardians to leave for home, I greeted them farewell and started my life independently in Kelantan. In my room, I was packing my stuff into my cabinets and tables when the door opened and came in three of my roommates. I introduced myself and befriended with them. They did the same in a very courteous manner as well. We talked for some time when the door opened again and there came an unknown person handing me a letter and informed me that my orientation ceremony commence tomorrow at the campus. During that afternoon, I and my roommates decided to walk around the campus area and have dinner in a mamak shop. When we walked out of our dormitory, suddenly I heard a thundering and loud noise so I looked around to find out the source of the sound. I soon found out that the noise is actually the sound of an airplane engine which is taking off from a nearby airport. Thus, I realised that UMK is situated beside a domestic airport of Kelantan. After we had our dinner we went back to our dormitory, took bath, talked for a while and slept afterwards.
The next day, I woke up early to attend the orientation ceremony. I wore formal attires to attend the ceremony to give a good first impression to others. In the campus, I saw students walking in and out with books and very happy looks which made me think that campus life in UMK will be wonderful for me. During the orientation ceremony, I met many students that are also second intakes and I became friends with them but honestly speaking I cannot most of their names. On that day, the facilitators for the ceremony had made many fun games and activities to get to know more about each other’s background, some history and experience at UMK.
Soon I found out many of the students are also same as me never thought of coming to Kelantan as they have chosen other Universities to further their higher studies but our facilitators have encouraged and motivated us the paths that we were given have to be taken into good considerations and have to stick with it. I agreed with that as I made me felt more matured. Next, I and my friends met up with vice chancellor of UMK and all th top ranking lecturers to give talks about UMK, academic systems, rule and regulations, and lots of other boring stuff that almost made me dozed off during the ceremony. After all the talks, we are then pronounced by the facilitators that we the second batch students will be starting a new life as junior undergraduates of UMK the next day. I was proud and happy that day as my real campus life will begin tomorrow. But that is another story.
In conclusion, my first day at UMK was a fun and exhilarating! I felt very thankful and happy to be able to pursue my higher studies at UMK and to live in Kelantan which is a very exciting experience that I shall cherish for the rest of my life and I will never forget it.
Courtney from Study Moose
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