When I was in secondary school, I had decided to study matriculation after I completed secondary school. During August 2012, I applied for matriculation through online. However, the result of matriculation intake will only be out on April 2013, and matriculation will only start at June 2013. My parents did not want me to waste my time after SPM, so they asked me to study A-levels first. I agreed to my parents suggestion because there is no 100% guarantee of getting matriculation successfully. In the previous year, someone in my school who got 11A+ in SPM still could not enter matriculation. I chose to study A-levels in Taylor's College in Subang Jaya. On 8 December 2012, I attended the open day of Taylor's College and I registered for A-levels at that time. The first day of college started on 14 January 2013 (Monday). Here, I am going to share my experience of first week in Taylor's College.
3 weeks before the college started, I stayed in Kulim. Then, on 12 January 2013 (Saturday), my parents came back to Kulim. On the following day 13 January 2013 (Sunday), they took me to Subang Jaya. My parents had bought me a new study table and study lamp in their house. The college would start on the next day. On that night, I made some preparation to attend the first day of college. I logged on to the Taylor's College Student Portal to check out some important information for new students and I also looked through the documents I got when I attended the Taylor's College open day earlier. I was not very excited and worried about attending college. Instead, I was much more worried last time when I attended my first day of secondary school in 2008.
I attend the first day of college on 14 January 2013 (Monday). An orientation programme was held on that day. It started at 9AM and lasted until 2PM. All students were divided into different classes and my class is PM6. I tried to find if any of my secondary school friends were also studying in Taylor's College but there were none. From 9AM to 10AM, all students had to listen to talks in the Multi Purpose Hall. We were given an introduction to the college. Then, at 10:30AM, some seniors took us to our classrooms. The students of class PM6 were taken to the classroom D6.
The classroom D6 looked different from the secondary school classroom. It was air-conditioned and the tables were arranged in a way suitable for group discussions. In the classroom, our mentor (form teacher) gave us more introduction to the college. She told us that different periods would be held in different classrooms so we had to move from classroom to classroom quite often. Most periods would not be held in classroom D6, instead they would be held in classrooms and laboratories in the classroom & lab block. Every period will last for 55 minutes, and between 2 periods there is 5 minutes for us to walk to the classroom for the next period. She also said that all students were required to have a student card, otherwise the security guard would not let us enter the college. Those who did not have a student card must make one at the office. Besides, the mentor told us some of the rules in college.
After that, there was an 'Ice-breaking day' event in my class organised by the seniors. They moved all the tables to a side and arranged all the chairs in a circle. Then, we were asked to introduce ourselves. We had to say our name and our hobby. Then, the seniors let us play a game. The game was similar to musical chairs. They took off one of the chairs and every one of us had to snatch a chair. The person who failed to do so was considered lost. The game lasted for a few rounds. Finally, in the last round, the senior said that the person who lost would be given a punishment determined by all other students. Luckily, I managed to snatch a chair successfully in every round including the last round. The punishment given to the student who lost in the last round was to dance 'Gangnam Style'.
After that, the senior took us around the college. They showed us the library, staffroom, office, lecture teathre and the classroom & lab block. They told us that there the canteen of the college was still under construction so we had to eat our lunch in restaurants outside the college. There were many restaurants near the college, such as McDonalds, PappaRich and Asia Cafe. Then, at 12PM, we were given a one-hour lunch break. I did not go out for lunch on that day because the college would end at 2PM so I could wait until I go home later to eat lunch. During the break time, I went to the office to apply for my student card. I had to take a photograph there and the student card would be ready only on the next day. At 1PM, I went the Multi Purpose Hall again to listen to talks. The orientation programme ended at 2PM and my father took me home.
At home, my mother had bought me chicken rice for lunch. She bought it from a restaurant named Restoran Casablanca. However, the chicken rice tasted a bit strange. I had eaten the chicken rice from that restaurant a few times and it always tasted like that. But, on that day I felt that I disliked the taste and I could not stand it. Still, I had to eat it because my mother only bought me chicken rice. Then, on that night I followed my parents to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. Usually, we would order lemon chicken and steamed fish there. However, on that day the waiter at the restaurant introduced us their roasted chicken and my parents decided to try it. Then, the waiter also told us that the fish available on that day could only be served in whole, so we had to order the whole fish. My parents were worried that we might not be able to finish it but the waiter said she was sure that we could finish it, therefore we still ordered it. However, the roasted chicken turned out to taste very bad. It was one of the worst roasted chicken I had ever tasted. Also, the fish was really very big and had a lot of meat. In order to finish it, my parents and I had to eat a lot. We felt very full after eating.
At 12:30AM on that night, I drank a cup of milk before I slept. While drinking the milk, I found out that the milk tasted a bit strange, but I still finished it. Then, when I was lying down on bed, the strange taste of the milk still remained in my mouth and I could feel that my stomach was very full because I ate a lot of fish and chicken during dinner. I also remembered the roasted chicken which tasted so bad. Worst of all, I thought of the strange taste of the chicken rice which I had for lunch. Besides, I was excited of attending college on the next day. All those made me suddenly felt like vomiting. My stomach also did not feel well at that time. However, because the feeling was not too strong, I decided to just sleep and hoped that the feeling would disappear after a while. I slept for 2 hours and nothing happened. However, at 2:00AM, my mother came in to my room and switched off the night light, causing me to wake up. A short while later, I again felt like vomiting. This time, the feeling was even stronger than earlier. I had no choice but to sit up on the bed. Then, I suddenly vomited on my bed.
I had to wake up my mother and tell her about that. She was angry to know that because she had to clean up my bed sheet, blanket and my clothes. In her opinion, I vomited because I ate too much chicken and fish during the dinner and then I still drank milk before I slept. I told her that the milk had a strange taste. She then told me not to drink that packet of milk anymore. My mother had to change the bed sheet and blanket and I had to take a bath and change my clothes. After that, my stomach felt much better and I went back to sleep. However, that night became a very difficult night for me. I could not sleep comfortably because I just vomited. I was so nervous that I woke up almost every hour to look at the time because I had to wake up early in the next morning for college.
On the next day 15 January 2013, college started on 8:00AM. It was still the orientation program of the college. We would be in our classes and the teacher for every subject would give us a brief introduction for each subject. I thought that I had to go to classroom D6. When I reached the classroom, there were a few students in there. I still could not recognise my new classmates well at that time but someone in that class looked like one of my classmate. I thought that it was him so I just entered the classroom. However, one boy kept staring at me and another boy started laughing. I asked him if that class was PM6 but he said that it was not. I realised that I went to the wrong classroom. I felt embarrassed and I quickly walked out of that classroom. I did not know where should I go because according to the schedule we had to go to our classes on that day but classroom D6 was occupied by students of other class. At last, I decided to go to the office to ask about that. According to the staff in the office, I had to go to the classroom for the first period according to the time table and not go to classroom D6. The classroom I should go to was classroom 2.7 . When I was walking to that classroom, I met one of my PM6 classmate and he followed me there.
Unlike classroom D6, classroom 2.7 looked much similar to the classrooms in the secondary school. The tables are arranged in the same way as in schools and there is a whiteboard in front. The only difference is that the classroom is air-conditioned. The first period was Mathematics. A few students entered the class late because they also did not know that they had to go to that classroom. Throughout that day, the teachers for every subject introduced us the syllabus content and examination format of all subjects. For all subjects, the syllabus and exam format are similar. The A-levels course is divided into 2 semesters, AS and A2. There will be an exam at the end of each semester and the overall result will be based on the exams for both semesters. The A2 exam will not test on the AS topics, but the A2 topics will require knowledge from the AS topics. Most of the topics in AS semester are similar to the Form 4 and Form 5 topics, while most topics in A2 semester are entirely new topics. The A-levels exam will have the grades A*, A, B, C, D, E and Ungraded (fail). The standard marks to get A* is 90 and to get A is 80, but the exact grading for the actual A-levels exam will depend on the performance graph of the candidates. However, for the college internal exams, there is no A* grade and the minimum marks to get A is 76.
At 11:00AM, it was the lunch break. I went to McDonalds to eat lunch for the first time. The college ended at 3PM on that day. When I went home, my mother had cleaned up my bed sheet and blanket. My stomach felt much better at that time. However, I had no appetite to eat. When I had my dinner, I ate very slowly and I had to try hard to finish it. When I slept on that night, it was still a difficult night for me. Because I did not sleep properly on the previous night, I had a body ache. My whole body was painful and again I could not sleep comfortably. I woke up many times at night because my body was painful.
On the next day 16 January 2013 (Wednesday), it was still the the orientation program at the college. At first, I thought that the orientation program would start at 8:00AM so I went there early. However, after arriving at college I realised that the orientation would only start at 9:00AM. I also forgot to bring my student card to college. I lied to the security guard that I still had not get my student card so he allowed me to enter the college. Then, I felt very tired because I did not sleep properly on the previous night. I sat down on one of the chairs and slept until 9AM. At 9AM, I went to the Multi-Purpose Hall for the orientation program. There were several talks on that day. However, I still felt very tired. I could not listen to the talks and I had to sleep in the hall. At 11AM, it was not yet the break time but many students walked out of the hall for a while. My mother also came to the college at that time to bring me my student card. At 12PM, it was the break time and I again went to McDonalds for lunch. After lunch, I went back to the Multi Purpose Hall. I was still tired so I continued sleeping. At 2PM, I felt better. I woke up and I could listen to the remaining talks until 4PM. At 4PM the orientation program ended and my father came to fetch me. My grandparents also came to Kuala Lumpur on that day and they followed my father to fetch me. Luckily I was no longer tired at that time, otherwise my grandparents might be worried.
On 17 January 2013 (Thursday), the college lessons started officially. I no longer felt tired while in college. I could understand the first topic of all subjects because they were similar to the topics I had learnt when I was in Form 4 and Form 5. Only Biology was a bit difficult. During the lunch break, I went to PappaRich restaurant to eat lunch for the first time. The college ended at 3PM on that day. On that night, I checked the student portal website of Taylor's College. I realised that the time table of my class was changed and as a result there were only 3 periods on every Friday. This meant that the college would end at 11AM on every Friday. I was very happy to know that. On 18 January 2013 (Friday), I went to college only for 3 hours because there were only 3 periods on that day. After returning home, my mother wanted to buy me lunch. My brother wanted to eat the chicken rice from Restoran Casablanca but I did not want to because I was afraid that it might cause me to vomit again. So, my mother bought me Nandos for lunch.
For the second week, I attended college as usual. I managed to make a few friends. Someone also borrowed my Mathematics exercise book to see my workings. Besides, some of my classmates would say 'Hi!' to me when they saw me. There is a practical session for Chemistry, Physics and Biology every week. We had to do the experiments in pairs so I did the experiments with another classmate. The first Chemistry experiment was the experiment on neutralisation reaction between acid and alkali, which I had done before during Form 4. I could understand the lessons taught by the teachers, except that Biology was a little difficult. On that Friday, it was the first Physics class test and I could answer it quite well.
In conclusion, above is my experience when I attended Taylor's College for the first two weeks. I could adapt to the college life without much problems, except that I vomited on the first night. Due to the vomiting incident, I never ate at that Chinese restaurant and never ate the chicken rice from Restoran Casablanca again. Overall, college life was quite interesting.
Want to know about my life at Taylor's College after the first 2 weeks? Read it here: