Thursday, July 8, 2010

Perhaps Second Choice is the Best


When I'm alone by myself, letting my mind rewinding my pasts, I always wonder, is there anyone out there who's   so lucky to have everything that he/she wants ? Everything as in his/her first choice. If there's anyone like that, he/she is very lucky because I believe most people do not always get what they want especially what they want so much. A lesson that I learnt : never hope so much on something.

This has always happened to me. Getting the second choice for things is a part of my life. I realize that since I was a small girl, number 2 is very synonym with me. First of all, I was born as the second child in my family. This may not be related with number 2, but I always want to win a lucky draw. Unfortunately for me, I never win. Even until now, not even a single lucky draw. 

Moving on with the topic, as a student who skipped a year of studies in primary school, I'm a very ambitious student. Apart from targeting to score 5As for UPSR , I also told myself that I must secure a place in a boarding school for my secondary education. Back then, as one of the potential students (a group of students whom were targeted to score 5As in UPSR by the school teachers), I was exposed to lots of stories about the benefits of furthering the secondary education in boarding schools. Benefits like systematic studies methods, more exposure to various extracurricular activities, easy to get a place in universities, etc. Being a girl at the age of 11, my imagination had been so powerful that it had taken control of myself. I dreamt of going to a boarding school. Actually, until now I like to dream...daydream. ^_^ When UPSR result was announced, I got 5As. However, until I was about to register at a daily secondary school, I had yet to get an offer letter from Ministry of Education of Malaysia offering me a place in a boarding school (Sekolah Berasrama Penuh). My parents checked about my application status with the management of Sekolah Berasrama Penuh. It turned out that I didn't send an application ! What the... I did send. I sent my application form to my school teacher. My friends also sent to her. She's supposed to send our applications to the Ministry of Education. But, she didn't. I don't know what's troubling her, perhaps she forgot. My second choice at that time was to continue secondary education at a secondary school near my house. I had no other choice. Since number 1 is out, 2 is there waiting. So, I went to a daily school for 3 years of lower secondary education. First few months when I was in Form 1, I couldn't focus in my studies. I felt like losing everything that I had worked hard for when I was in primary school. What's more, I was awarded as the Best Student when I was in Standard 6. I couldn't accept the fact that I had to continue studies in a daily school. Not to boast, but I was very active in extracurricular activities, and also scored in studies. Anyway, after some time, the depressed feeling faded away as I enjoyed my learning experience in the daily school. 

When I was in Form 3, I set a new target which was to score 9As for PMR. Again, I applied for a place in a boarding school. But, I didn't hope so much this time because I didn't want to get hurt for the second time. That's if in case I didn't get a place. January 2006 (one day before Eid ul Adha), I checked through the ministry's website, I found out that I got accepted into a boarding school. The school was beyond my expectation. I never dreamt of going to Tunku Kurshiah College. When I told my parents, my mom just replied, "Told you so. Things happen for reasons. Allah is preparing something better for you." I can see the truth of what my mom always told me when I was having hard time trying to accept the fact that I didn't get a place in a boarding school. 

Next experience is course choices after SPM. As I said, I always daydream. I always imagine myself becoming a successful doctor who's going to further studies abroad. When I was in form 5, I specified the ambition from a doctor to a gynaecologist. I Imagine myself playing with snow, laughing with friends and ran in snow fights. Ahh, dream. However, my dream crashed into pieces just like how glass broke into pieces when I found out that I was rejected as one of the lucky students who had been accepted to further studies in medicine, sponsored by JPA a.k.a PSD. Instead, I had an offer by JPA to study anywhere (local universities), in the critical field e.g medicine, pharmacy, dentistry because I scored at least 9As in SPM. Rejected by PILN (first choice), accepted by PIDN (second choice). From what I heard, lots of students applied for medicine. Lots of them were also rejected, just like me. Since I had no interest in engineering as I hate physics or any other subjects like acturial science (suddenly became popular at that time), I was really relying on JPA as a pathway provider for me to studies in oversea. Lucky for me, one more chance for me to try playing with fate. JPA opened an application for rejected students to appeal for a place in oversea. Since I realize that it's very difficult to get medicine, I chose pharmacy as my first choice, and biotechnology as my second choice. At that time, I regretted for not applying for a MARA scholarship. Some of my friends who didn't score straight As in SPM got the opportunities to further studies in medicine. In addition, I also didn't get my first choice, medicine as my course in a local university, International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM). I got my second choice, allied health science. Even though IIUM management said that I could apply for a place in medicine since lots of students who got medicine rejected the offer, it's still not unsure. Play with the fate again.

Better not to take the risk by waiting for JPA to reply me with good news, I accepted the offer to further studies in IIUM. I prepared almost everything like buying white bed sheets and pillow cases, white sarong, and white head scarf. Just 5 days before I registered in IIUM, I got a very shocking news from JPA that I was offered an opportunity to further studies in USA, a country that I had never dream of going to because it's very far from Malaysia. I had always dreamt of going to UK or Ireland (dream...dream dream dream). I was offered to further studies in biotechnology, my second choice. Again, second choice. Since that's the only chance to make my dream comes true (study abroad and playing with snow), I gladly accepted the offer. Before flying, I had to pass preparation programs called American Degree Foundation Program (ADFP) for a year and American Credit Transfer Program (ACTP) for another year. Seriously, I had no idea what biotechnology is all about. I applied for biotechnology because my mom asked me to do so. Actually, I never heard of that field before. So bad...I know. I'm so outdated. Nevertheless, throughout my 2 years of studies in a preparatory college, I gained an insight into the wonderful and mysterious world of biotechnology. From zero knowledge of biotechnology when I first stepped into the college, and now that I had graduated, I've my own vision about the field that will create the biggest history in my life. 

The most recent one in accordance with the topic is choices of university. At first, I chose Michigan State University (MSU) as my first choice, followed by Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) as second choice, then Indiana University at Bloomington (IUB). One day after I sent the university choices to the OSSP officers (a special team of nice people who work hard to manage university application stuffs), I changed my mind. I'd like to go to IUB. But, the officers said they had already sent the papers to JPA officer. JPA assigned RIT for me. That's my second choice ! Actually, JPA made the right decision because until the closing date for final university decision, I still haven't received any reply from IUB about the pending status of my application. I called them, writing emails. There're 3 problems with my application : pending application fee, no supporting documents, and no extra activities within the duration after I graduated high school until I entered INTEC. What the... those are supposed to be there ! My friends got accepted, meaning their application documents reached there. My documents are supposed to reach there also because our documents were couriered together. Poor me, I got accepted into IUB on June 25, a day after my USA visa had been approved, for me to further studies in RIT. It's too late to accept Indiana...

Such a long writing about second choice. Now that I'm going to RIT this coming August, I'm hoping that Allah has destined me to go there for reasons. Perhaps it's the best school for me to start craving history in my life about my future career field, biotechnology. No one knows what's going to happen in the future. Perhaps second choice is the best. Agree ? You know my answer. ^_^

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