Oct 26, 2017

A WORTHY THREE YEARS

A thought of being active back in writing blog always bothered me these few days. It happened when a close acquaintance of mine saw my blog and read through all my entries from past few years. She even asked me to write and update s'more. At that moment, I was dying of embarrassment to hear that. The fact that I started blogging when I was 16 y/o was just for fun with no sense of maturity at all. Can you just imagine?

By the way, I've successfully deleted all those entries and this will be my first entry.😃

I decided to put a stop in blogging when I got an offer to study back in 2014. This marked one of the most beautiful journeys in my life. I decided to further study in Sabah which I knew I'll be staying far away from my family and friends. From West to East Malaysia, Perak to Sabah, I believe some of you especially young teenagers are not willing to take any risks from being far away from your parents and family. Well, same goes to my mom. Reflecting the moment, my mom even tried to stop me from going there and even persuaded me to find any nearest university. Because of what? Just because of the distance and of course, it's a bit costly but a "hard-hearted" me insisted to go there. 

"The hardest decision always leads to the most beautiful journey in our life".


Throwing myself into an unfamiliar situations was not a joke but I am the one who decided to do so, so let just go with the flow. Stepping on new grounds, inhaling the fresh air, facing new lifestyle from the locals and learning about different cultures, races and religions gave me a new and different vibe which let me know more about the other "faces of Malaysia".

I bet some of you would say that "Well, it still Malaysia and it doesn't give any difference at all!". Okay, I got it! But for me, this opportunity only comes once in a lifetime and I would like to appreciate it very much. Everywhere I go, there'll be something worth to learn and explore.

"What's good about Sabah?"

A word from me, AMAZING!!

And here I'd love to conclude what it was like for me to stay in Sabah, mostly as a student and as a tourist also *maybe*. Those are not easily forgotten and I would say that Sabah is my second home since I'd left with too much memories.

#1 See things differently
For me, I was just too excited with the thought of staying there for 3 years. But for the first time, I struggled to understand the dialects used by Sabahans. For my very first semester in university, at that time, I realized language barrier hit me so hard which made me difficult to communicate with local people. My decision to move alone without any friends, to observe, to adapt and to learn all by myself about languages, cultures, races, and religions for the whole semester helped me a lot. In West Malaysia, most people only being familiar with Malay, Indian and Chinese but in Sabah, it's totally different! There're various races and religions that you can't even simply recognize them. Dusun, Rungus, Sungai, Kadazan, Sino-Kadazan, Bajau, Bugis and etc. It's just so beautiful to see that they're able to live peacefully without any kind of racism. It's somehow a little bit hard to find that kind of atmosphere here in West Malaysia. (You got what I mean..?) I didn't simply approach other people at that time to avoid any mistakes and misunderstandings. My room mate was my source of knowledge and I depended on her too much. LOL!
But after my first semester, I'm a pro now and able to blend well with Sabahans and even some of them think that I'm a Sabahan! 😆
Make new friends especially with Sabahans, learn s'more from them, asking what dos & don'ts, and go try and do it by yourself! Try and error will give you no harms. Trust me!

#2 Always have each other back
It's kind of hard to stay away from your parents, especially when you're not feeling well and when you're in the worst situation ever until you feel like giving up is the only choice you have at that time. The best decision to do when going through this phase is having a close, supportive friend with you who is willing to cheer you up and able to build up your confidence back. Keep in mind that those friends are always with you no matter what, in ups and downs, you guys are always have each other back. Don't you ever try to turn them down.
Alhamdulillah, I was lucky enough to be surrounded with those kind of friends, no matter what their personalities, always being understanding and comforted me when I was feeling miserable. And actually, to describe my feelings towards them are more than words. Truly my sisters!

The fact that they're all Sabahans while I'm the only one from West is enough to amaze me!
#3 Be prepared for an unexpected situation
Reflecting on what happened two years ago in 2015, that was the first time I received the most texts and upcoming calls from family, relatives and friends who were asking about my current situation. To experience a big and sudden tremors during that time, it was totally unexpected not only from me but also for Sabahans. And I'm very sure, Malaysians too were shocked with this incident. No need for me to tell more about this (since you guys can Google the news) because it was a very heart-breaking news to think about those victims. By the way, that incident always being one of the most unforgettable moments. It was very thrilled and interesting to experience such new thing.
Remember that you can't just having fun because anything can happen when you're planning on a beautiful journey. Maybe my intention was a bit wrong at that time, just wanted to have fun and didn't want to study harder. So God gave me a reminder by this way.
Just a quick example; having fun at waterfall, laughing here and there with no mercy at all but suddenly boom! Maybe you or your friend got sudden sprained ankle or whatever it is. Nauzubillah min zalik.

#4 Go travel
Got free times? Go travel! I do believe that travelling is not an easy thing to do when you're just a student with zero income, especially when you're fully depends on the scholarship. Same goes to me. But if you can manage your financial well enough, go travel and explore something new. Be familiar with the place you're currently staying. Travel to make you see the beautiful of the world. It doesn't mean you need to spend a big amount of money, as long as it worth your time. It can be hiking, picnic, island hopping or join any volunteering activities. Anything you feel you want to do, just do it with no doubts at all! When there's a semester break especially a week holiday only, I decided not to go back to my hometown in Perak since it took so much time and very costly for me. Mid-semester break I usually had a plan with my friends to travel around Sabah. There're too many beautiful places around Sabah which worth my time to explore. But still too many I couldn't able to catch up because of the time constraint. Believe me by doing so, it could heal your heart and keep your mind in peace. Appreciate the moments where you can mingle around with your friends. Take the chance to be thankful and grateful to the Almighty God for His beautiful creation and each step you take.


#5 Keep your mind Positive
No matter how tough it is for you to face, always keep your mind POSITIVE. Far away from family, had to face with some friends who were not worth to be friend with, struggled to achieve the best result in your academic and the list goes on. All these things taught me to be strong and stay positive even the situation gave you too many reasons to not to be. For others, your struggles might seem normal, but it's not normal for you. Everyone has his/her own definition and it's shaped by culture, by family and friends, by character and experience, by events and a thousand other things. By all means, think thoroughly and you'll eventually find your ways how to handle the struggles. My struggles as a university student might be different from you, and it also might be the same. Well, it's somehow difficult for me to describe. Whatever it is, be positive and surround yourself with positive people. One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day!


I realized that there're too many things to tell about my worthy three years in Sabah, it'd be such a long entry. But here are some points which I think it gave a big impact for me to experience one of the most beautiful and memorable journeys in my life. By the way, I'll be back to Sabah this upcoming November for my convocation ceremony. Can't wait! 


💌 Syahirah