Hi! I'm one of yur seniors in KMPP. If you have any enquiries on KMPP, please do not hesitate to ask me!
Here's my experience in KMPP:
Ok, guys and gals, I am your senior of one year who has just completed his matriculation programme and will be entering public university in July later this year.
Here's the thing to you guys and gals out there which I really think I should point out. I saw many of you feeling happy cuz you're rejected and are relieved that you are not gonna have to even consider if you wanna join a matriculation programme. You think that it is useless, it is full of races which probably 90% or more are not the same like you, its results cannot get you to that dream NUS, Oxford or Ivy League universities that you crave for, most probably it is so far away from home and you think that this is just a big joke: "Why would I wanna join a matrik programme when I can joing A-levels, SAM or SAT? It can get me overseas! Yeah, to Harvard, Melbourne, Imperial College!"
Well, tell you all what: I FELT JUST THE SAME, MAYBE EVEN IN A MORE OVER AMBITIOUS AND EGOISTIC MANNER THAN MOST OF YOU TEN MONTHS AGO!
I hated this programme and I was just trying it out when I went to Penang Matriculation College (I'm from Johor, so its damn far u know!) for its orientation programme. I hated everything: the Malay population which is just too much for me (no racism here, just that feeling of not getting used to), the stupid spicy food that certainly is the last thing in mind to arouse my tastebuds, the crammed toilets that have no water heater and perhaps the most daunting was the sea of unknown faces.
Of course I was sad, very depressed and I was not satisfied that some of my friends who had not so good results like me could go to Australia, Germany and the US. It was totally unfair! Why did God treat me like this? I worked my ass off studying, entering many ko-ko activities in secondary school and had done well in the interview. But what I got alas was nothing! For the first few nights in KMPP, I secretly cried everytime I went to bed. It was just too much for me. I had hoped so high but I crashed and landed. I was bruised, battered and suffered emotionally.
I wanted to get out by any means possible. During that time, there was still hope of getting out as I was counting on my appeal for my rejected JPA scholarship and I had even entered the 2nd and final round of the Shell Scholarship Interview. Heck, even if I did not get this 2, my mum and dad had discussed and even agreed that I could go to HELP University College to study my A levels. I even went to check out the rooms and facilities at HELP! I was determined that I wanted to have a shot of getting an overseas education by any means possible. By hook or by crook. I wanted a chance.
I didn't fully immerse myself in the joy of studying and the company of new found friends from all over Malaysia that much as my mind was lingering on many more "serious issues". Until one day, when I had finally made my mind that I wanted to go to HELP after the 2 scholarships told earlier were rejected, I went to see a lecturer for one final piece of advice whether it is a wise solution to get out of this freakingly boring and uninspiring programme.
You see, during the orientation week, I was voted to be the leader of the non-Muslims. I was quite happy at that and I was basically put in charge to organise various meaningful activties my seniors had done in KMPP. I was even going to be elected to run for the Student Representitive Council. But I turned down in principle because at that time, my Shell results weren't out yet and if I really got it and was elected as the non-Muslims only sole representative to the council, I would have to leave KMPP and that will be extremely irresponsible as the non-Muslims would not have a voice then. So, I backed down and let another guy compete.
Back to my story again where I was going to meet a lecturer. Now, Mr.Choong was no ordinary lecturer, he was the teacher advisor for us non-Muslims. I went to him, told my predicament and was going to say goodbye to him for his help all this while.
I didn't knew that what he was about to say would change my life forever.
He made me realise what a pathetically ignorant and selfish person I was all this while. I had 2 more younger brothers and my parents aren't exactly that rich, yet I wanted to have a stint at an expensive private university when here, I had the chance to have a pre-u education that would bring me right to grasping a degree in the palm of my hand a few years later for a minimal sum. I broke down and cried at the staffroom then. I finally realised that my parents loved me so much that they were willing to fund me just to make me happy. I loved my brothers too and if someone in the family would have a chance to go to overseas one day, I was willing to let my brothers go. Mr.Choong was a USM student and he talked about the wonders and fun he had experienced in public universities years ago. He said to me that every Malaysian should have a chance to study in Malaysia, experience the culture, get to build an important network of friends and chase their dreams right here in Malaysia. You wanna have overseas exposure? You can do your masters anytime you want overseas after you graduate. he was right. Not many have the chance of entering matriculation, some even wanted it so badly cuz of financial problems, and here I am, sulking like a baby that I couldn't get my candy. I changed my mind and stayed foot at KMPP since then. You can say that I gave up, I didn't chased my dreams, I didn't unlock my true potential and that I was a loser...but at that very moment, I knew I had done the right thing. I was so proud of myself and I knew that my parents were even prouder to have such a son.
So, I hung on and enjoyed my entire stay at KMPP since then. Me and my friends went for vacations to mesmerising Penang, went to a 4 day stay at Genting Highlands, had an awesome Mooncake Festival, enjoyed the college's 1 Malaysia celebration, ran in the Penang Bridge International Marathon 2009, ate tangyuan at the tasik and worked hard and had so much fun celebrating the Chinese New Year celebrations which we organised ourselves. We had 24 season drums (I learned how to play the Chinese drum! We went to USM for weeks for training), traditional dances, indian dances, power packed wushu performances and hilarious drama presentation. The Pengarah was delighted with us and I was very proud to be one of this year's KMPP batch of students.
Here I am now, happy and contented. I realised that in life, we sometimes don't get what we want. But what's most important is how we deal with it and how we try to make the best of what we have. Thinking back on the experiences and adventures we had in Penang, I will always treasure and cherish the wonderful friends, lecturers and places we went. And here I am shedding a tear while writing this post, to remind the future batches of matriculation students that as long as we are determined and strong, there is hope and I promise you: You will not regret joining it.
Enjoy yur matriculation programme, it may not be perfect but try to organise many activities and I promise you that you will learn a lot and have a lot of amazing memories and friends.
And this time around, the tear that I shed now is no longer out of the dark feelings of remorse and sadness, but rather of..... of enlightening joy and happiness...something that I never once thought would happen to me 1o months ago.
(SapphireDragon is a KMPP student and he will be going back to KMPP in May to guide his juniors on what lies ahead and to share his experiences of being the Organising Committee Chairman of many activities he had accomplised during 2009/2010. He was also a Practicum Leader, Student Representative Council Academic Biro Member and a KAKOM public speaking competition bronze medallist. Check out his blog for his recent update on the wonderful activities he and his friends at KMPP have went through)