A lot have changed for me in the past few days, I managed to switch course from studying Pure Maths to Pure Mechanical Engineering. How and why did I end up taking this course of action, for a person who loves Maths very much?
Since I was 15, I was inspired by one of my tutors to do Maths, rigorously. This dream had been planted in me since then. Time culminated it from a seed into a bud, as I was finishing high-school I was already doing Maths that is beyond my age, not too beyond but just by a couple of levels. I was really into Maths for a long time. As I stepped into college, the condition did make my love for Maths grow weaker and slowly become influenced by the negativity surrounding me, I did not do much, in terms of personal improvement during that time. After that, I got an offer letter to a public university to study Mathematics. I did not feel good about it, I felt it in my gut. As someone who does Maths often, choosing to trust my guts is a natural response. Everything grew dark at that instant. I was in the darkness created by myself for some months, it was depressing, but I was once again saved by the grace of God, letting me see the light in the darkness created by myself.
You might ask, why did you not feel good? You know it is extremely difficult and very hard to get what you want to study if you are not a bumiputra. You might tell me to be grateful about the offer that was given, even it was not the place I wanted to study in, never in the realm of expectations.
The first semester was a breeze, nothing much, a lot of things had been learned before. The second semester was more or less the same, nothing much. There was nothing that was taught that is the core of doing Maths- the rigorous proving and theories and relating Maths with other fields.
In the middle of the second semester, we were forced to lockdown. And there, I had time to think. I had a lot of time to do a lot of thinking. Or else the previous paragraph would not have come out from me.
I did a lot of recap and reflections. In other words, I started to think, deeply.
Come to think of it, what have I done in the past year which has significant impact to my progress in pursuing my dreams? Nothing much, I did participate in a robot-building contest organised by the engineering faculty, that experience did very much elevate me and open my eyes to see how passionate people pull off wonders. And? What more? Oh, I did run a marathon, one of my bucket list. And? I do not think there is anything else.
What did you learn from your course? Not much. I just knew that the course that I was taking is pale in comparison with others. For instance, I saw my friends in other faculties, they are mostly preoccupied with learning new stuffs in engineering. I even saw my friends completed a few of my classes within one, that means they are learning more than what I was doing. Rumours said that most of the subjects in the course would be overlapped here and there, and yes, I can confirm that too. That meant we were learning way lesser. To be honest, I did not even feel the pressure, not even the slightest when I was doing the course. To top things off, almost everything in the two semesters were self-taught, my lecturers were at best ordinary, mostly misleading. Okay, putting the blame game aside from the people, let me talk about the testing systems. The Maths tests were too easy, a little bit too easy, until I started to doubt whether I am studying Maths or not. I had friends from other universities who did send me some questions to solve sometimes, and almost everytime I needed to google stuffs up. The questions sent to me should be clearly within my field of comprehension or knowledge, but no, it was not. There was a time I did some comparison with another public uni’s Pure Maths course- exactly same degree name but different uni- and realised what I was learning was nothing pure, it was just a game of substituting numbers.
That was when I made the decision. It was not made entirely out of one reason, it was slowly accumulated, like a donkey carrying hay- when you keep adding hay on top of a donkey, it will come to a time when the last thread of hay was put that will cause the donkey to fall. I should have known this earlier as I did surf MITOCW when I was younger. Just think about it, if a free online platform can teach more knowledge and better than attending an actual course, then the course probably is a fluke.
I think a probation period of a year is more than enough to see things through. What more a little more time at this course. I did attend a few classes in the first two weeks whilst waiting for my transfer. To my disappointments and expectations, the syllabus of the classes start to overlap, some even taught very basic stuffs taught to 15-year-olds and there was little to no theory. Haiyaa, 2nd year already still like this.
So, ya. I have switched my course to Pure Engineering. Although I need to start again from Year One, but I think the trade-off would be better. What can I say, this was how I wasted one year. Putting it into a more positive vibe, I think I went for a year of vacation. Looking back, I ran around the uni as often as I could, I ate out a lot with my new friends, bothered about stuffs that did not really matter, spent a shit-ton of time playing games, watching youtube, adopting back these toxic habits that I had thrown away when I was working.
All these are just ways of escaping reality. Time is ticking, it will never stop, but it will tock faster than you could tick. Few more years would be gone within a snap of a finger. If I continue escaping the reality that I need to improve myself and become more independent of the conditions surrounding me, I really should buckle up and ram on the oil pedal to speed things up. Life is a growth process, I like to think of life like this. You might say everyday do this do that, you not tired I also tired. I think doing this and that is just a mental workout, a preparation for what cannot be seen in the future, preparing the brain for something greater. Our capacity is to grow, and be grateful about it.
On top of that, I am also doing more to enhance myself too, to diversify myself. I have written about it here.
I actually do feel really sad that I recently was affected in a negative way into giving up what I love most- Maths. I gave in to the environment, again. (But, at least I persisted for a year) I felt like I was the only person loving and having the passion for Maths in the entire faculty. It is like I have used up my entire willpower capacity to have the patience and the perseverance to deal with the fucking mediocrity and superfluous jargon that were so eminently omnipresent in the course for one whole year. Now, I just do not really know about anything anymore. This is just so depressing, disappointing, disgraceful and sad. I need time to rest and restore.
You might ask, why not just study finish the Maths course and take another course outside at the same time? To be honest, I am not a fan of wasting 22 hours of lecture per week just to learn trivial stuffs and things that I had learned before. Not to talk about the other hours that I was affected by the lectures that could lead to potential zero productivity for a day. I am still a very conditional-based person, if the condition is not what I expected- like way below expectations- or just bad, I would turn off and find solace in games and Youtube. I am still learning to be more independent of the situation but it takes time. Since the Maths course is affecting me in a negative manner, then I could not have focused on other courses either because of that. I am just like that, but I am learning to change.
Which is why I am switching courses. At least the hours spent on the lectures, I get to learn something new. Although I had to waste one year doing so, I would rather waste one year learning something new and applicable rather than four years doing outdated stuffs that would add little to no value to me. Realising it late is indeed painful and time-consuming but I take it as an expensive lesson that cost a year to learn how to always self-reflect from time to time with clarity. Although it deviates from the research path that I was and am fond of, but at least I am learning something new, keeping my brain alive.
But I believe God will make a way even when there is no way.
One curious thing that happened consistently after I entered university, I listened to a lot of worship songs. I can say that I cannot go with my day without listening to at least one, I do not know the reason behind it but I felt like I want to rather drown in the presence of the Lord rather than in the present.
Craving for more? Down below:
Willpower is Limited
5 A.M. Club by Robin Sharma (In-Depth Summary)
My Thoughts on Malaysia 2020
some free stuffs
sometimes it is better to do nothing