It has been two months since I last written, and a whole half of a year without writing consistently. I have been giving myself too many excuses as to not write something. The common ones were- “I’m too busy”, “I have nothing to write about”, “I am tired”, “After another Youtube video”, “Another match.”- still merely excuses, resting on my laurels.
A lot had happened through my inconsistencies in time, my mind was forced to make a paradigm shift to another location to pursue my degree in University Technology Malaysia (UTM), approximately 300 km from where I expected. At first, I was reluctant to go as I had a plan going on in KL, a fine-working plan which I thought would work and able to push me to grow.
My ‘fine-working’ plan was to study in University Malaya (UM), the top university in Malaysia, pursuing a Maths degree and partnering a business where I got support, rapport and the skills to make it happen. (It is a field in education where no one passionate enough would sacrifice their time to do.) I had everything in place as I planned, I did my life in a way that would ‘perfectly’ segway into my ‘fine-working’ plan. In addition, I also bonded quite well with the circle of people that I have in KL.
However, many things did not go in my way, rather grew out of my expectations.
There are three laws of unexpectedness which I gave definition to:
i) Expect the unexpected.
ii) Think out of the box.
iii) Never forget the basics.
As I was planning gleefully about my future plans, I totally omitted the three laws present- I did not expect that I would be sent 321 km away from the geographical stand-point in my plan. Things went awry very quickly, I did make appeals to UM with a fair share of reasons- CGPA of 3.75 STPM, various talents- and I was rejected alas, after four to five faithful runs to their office. It was hell of a rollercoaster for me during the month when I started appealing to get into UM, a test of faith.
The biggest flaw in my ‘fine-working’ plan is that I was too confident that my credibility was good enough to bypass the system and get into the desired university.
But nope, reality was checked. I was not good enough to stand above the Malaysian system.
The day had to come, I entered UTM with acceptance. Fortunately, I still get to study what I wanted, Maths. A quick side note, I am very compassionate to Maths, like loving someone so deeply that it became basic, like water to a thirsty person, like lovers intertwined with fate. My end-goal in doing Maths is to discover a formula that can benefit mankind as a whole, as stated at the footer of my blog.
Before checking in to UTM, Pastor Karen helped me through the rejection episode a lot. She said, “Bryan, I see you as a very bright person, you are someone who has many skills that a lot of us do not have. If God has to place you in Johor, that means He has a purpose for you in Johor. Perhaps it’s not too bad after all, think about it, you are going to get more exposure and job opportunities as ever, Singapore is just beside your horizon. Even so, I believe someone like you, no matter how dire the situation you are placed in or how bad the place is, you are going to prosper as God’s plans for you are. You are someone who is not bounded by a set of rules, you are going to see through what is ‘dark’ or ‘bad’ and spell His light and His goodness unto it.”
“Remember, if they do not take you in, it is ultimately their loss. It is never a loss for you, it is definitely a win for you. They have lost their hands on a bright person like you.”
At that point in time, my perspective was shifted 180 degrees and I was prepared as ever to face the next phase of my life. Compared to any of my past experiences, this one takes the champ as I was super amped up and gung-ho about going to study 321 km away from my plans.
Back to UTM, the first week of orientation flew past like a wind as I participated in the choir performance to escape the mundane flow of speeches presented in the week. “Nothing really inspiring except for one of the Dr. It was relatively sad as he was given the shortest time to speak (like half an hour), really good speech by him.” spoken by majority of my friends.
As the study time started, I began to take in as many knowledge as possible regardless of how the lecturers are teaching. I like to do things at my own pace, ‘rocket’ mode. At the point of time when writing this, I managed to finish up an entire semester worth of syllabus in half the recommended time given.
There were drastic changes in my life even I failed to realise after some time. The first one is that I did Maths for an average of 4 hours daily without fail since I enter UTM, except for a cheat week when I was back in KL. Some times even longer.
Plus, my focus span can be more than 12 hours per day. I did enter Robocon (a robot building event) to learn new things (I gave up eventually, this will be another story to tell for another day) and discovered that I could do this. If I practised more, I can even stretch myself up to 16 hours per day consistently. Nonetheless, I also got to learn that I was able to cram in one semester worth of knowledge within a fortnight or so. Those were really exciting times.
Other than that, the most prominent change in my life is freedom. University is a place where dreams go to die or they prosper with time. It is a bigger cemetery for dreams and aspirations than I imagined, but through the carnage, there is hope. The best thing that happen to me is that I am thrown in this ruthless pit of survival- where you are all alone and at times no one gives a fuck to what you think, what you are as a person, or what happens to you. Generally, no one cares. In other words, this pit has minimal rules, close to no rules- the perfect place for me. As mentioned earlier, I do not like to be bounded by a set of yeses and noes, I like to grow out of it and do things more erratically.
Another distinctive change is that I am more disciplined than ever in my whole life. I can wake up by 7 daily without any timers; I can carry out my daily running routine more consistently without giving myself any excuses; I can do more with the extra time that I forked out after doing some time management; I can really do more.
I am able to step out of my comfort zone. I have to. Or else, time would take its stand.
The air in UTM is fresher than it is in KL.
A blessing in disguise, indeed.
Photo credits: @key_to_kye . Go follow him on Instagram and show him some love! Really talented photographer.
And another quick mention, UTM official photography and videography team are really talented.
Please fix your Wifi and street lights, UTM. We are even joking about how technologically advance UTM is where moon light is used to brighten the streets in the dark.
P.S. The photo meant a lot for this post, signifying me to become not just a fisherman but a fisher of man.
P.P.S. Johor has more good-looking people than in KL. Spring is about to come into the embrace of love.