It was exactly 4 years ago on a day like this, I got my offer letter from the University of Southampton, confirming my place for the 2015 intake.
For me of course, having started my degree in Malaysia, home was relatively close by, a reasonable 3-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Despite University life being an alien experience to me, I was looking forward to it and eager to see what was in store.
Surprisingly enough, the set of friends I made on my very first day turned out to be the friends I had the best memories with throughout my University career. Not even a month into the start, we were like a closely-knit family. It was almost as if we were re-united after not seeing each other for a long time.
From lectures to sports to karaoke to the infamous Mamak (a 24×7 restaurant that serves absolutely anything and everything) we would always be the loudest bunch in the entire space. We’ve been a part of a plethora of activities, so much so that, the storage space on my phone was not sufficient to capture and record the moments we shared as a group.
As enjoyable as it sounds, the first couple of years as an Engineering student was never short of stress, constant assignments, exams and even the constant need to be updated with the subject material. But thanks to the friendships we developed over a short period of time, there were always enough and more people to ask for help from or engage in a recreational activity with, to maintain a relaxed mindset.
While bidding farewell to the 2 well spent years in Malaysia, coming to England was a new experience to all of us. The setup, the people and many other factors were substantially different to what we were accustomed to during our time in Malaysia. Despite being the outsiders, the bond we shared within our group, helped us in almost all ways to assist us in adapting to the rest of the 2 years to come.
Due to the nature of the degree, our 3rd and 4th Year was highly subject specific, which meant that each person’s timetable was different unlike the 1st two Years which saw us having a more or less the same timetable. Personally, for me, Year 3 stood out as the most challenging Year I had, with more than 50 % of my time allocated for research and self-innovation due to the workload of the 3rdYear Individual Project.
4thYear on the other hand was a completely different story in terms of free time, thanks to our beloved Group Design Project. Despite the work surrounding our GDP coupled with assignments and exam pressure, we were motivated in finishing that final lap in the race to be an Engineer.
All of us were so occupied with our work, that by the end of everything it was a surprise even to us whether 4 Years had actually passed by.
While they say, “It is the journey that is important not the destination”, my 4 Year journey at the University of Southampton without doubt will be a journey that I would gladly travel again (minus the exams and coursework of course). Thanks to the support staff and most importantly the friends who’ve turned into family, I have been able to achieve a feat that wouldn’t have been possible without them.