Living away from parents is never an easy thing. Because only with them by our side, we get to feel a sense of comfort and protection that nobody else could give. For most Malaysians, typically the first time they leave home is when they are about to start college or university.
Wherever you go, public or private university plays a huge part on what life’s going to look like for the next few years. But there are a few differences between the two and there are only some things that public university students can relate to, especially if they lived on campus.
1. Spot check panic
No electrical appliances are allowed in public universities. However, not all students would obey this. We need rice cookers and electric pots. We aren’t that rich to eat outside everyday lah! So, whenever there are rumours about spot checks, the panic sets in.
Those with the appliances will run around looking for spots to hide. Some hide in their friends’ cars, or at the balconies. Some would even add an extra lock on their doors and stay at the foyer until they receive cues from their block mates that the spot check has ended.
This is when you realise how true the saying, ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’ actually is!
2. Monkey attacks
After the panic attack, now we have the monkey attacks. Only until you’ve gone to a public university, you come to realise that it’s totally possible for monkeys to appear in your locked rooms, stealing your snacks and messing up your space!
You’ll know that these monkeys aren’t afraid of humans and if you try to scare them away without any ‘weapons’, the one losing is definitely going to be you.
Oh, come on UKM students, you can totally relate to this right?
3. Gossip/Movie nights
You know or not? I tell you ah, that day hor…
One thing about living in dormitories is that you live near to your friends. All it takes is probably just a few walks to another block and you’ll get to have a mini gathering in the room. It’s fun to have several friends squeezed inside a room gossiping about the latest couple in your batch or the recent breakup story of someone you knew.
Any plans for birthday surprises, movie nights can be done at the tip of the fingers thanks to the easy accessibility! So kudos to dormitories on this!
4. Fire drills late at night
While you are staying up late to complete your assignments, suddenly lights around the college residence would just shut off and someone’s scream ‘KELUAR! KELUAR! KELUAR!’ will hit your ears. You barely have the time to change your clothes let alone find the room keys and they are already out there, asking you to get out of your room.
5. Fighting for merit points
In public universities, you’ll need to earn merit points by actively engaging yourself with the residential college’s activities. Because if you don’t, next year you’d have no room to stay. Sometimes, even a simple lecture would give you merit points just to encourage attendance.
Of course, some of us would write down our names and…. ciao professionally!
Despite it being some boring lecture and you having tons of assignments to rush, you’ll have to go for the sake of merit. Or the ‘smarter’ way, you’ll just tipu for the points by asking your friends’ help to sign your name. Today you help me, next time I help you lor!
6. Booking the toilets with pails
Toilets are quite limited to withstand the number of students on each floor. So to avoid the traffic, you’ll put your bathing pail inside the toilet cubicle to chup for your turn while you go to the other side to brush your teeth.
7. Curi-curi cooking and everyone is a Masterchef
As mentioned in the previous point, public university students aren’t allowed to bring electrical appliances, what more to cook inside their rooms. However, this is exactly what makes it exciting. Instead of buying from the cafeteria, you’ll use your rice cooker to steam egg, boil soup, or even make spaghetti! Who cares about the taste when you’ll be the one eating?
You’d make a steamboat dinner with your friends. One of them would go buy the frozen foods and when night arrives, each of them will bring a pot to the selected room to cook the meal. Forbidden steamboat dinner, once in a lifetime.
8. Confusing Bus Routes
Different buses go different ways. If you accidentally took the wrong one, you might just get stuck in the middle of nowhere and have to wait for the right bus to take you to where you want to go! You wouldn’t want to waste your time waiting for another bus since you totally have no idea how long would it take to arrive.
Ugh, I feel you.
9. Unnecessary Cheers Battle
During the first year, you will definitely go through this! – Cheers Battle!! You’d be asked (or rather forced?) to learn the cheers of your own residential colleges.
And the whole fighting process will last for the whole night, or sometimes till midnight. You have to pretend to be sick JUST to escape the deafening noises!
10. Intense Campus Elections
If I get elected, I will…
So every year, there’ll be a time where pilihan raya candidates from several faculties will visit your residential colleges to campaign.
Some to the extent of interrupting your lessons just to put forward their manifestos, pulling their votes for the upcoming election. Believe it or not, even though it’s just a normal campus election, it’s inspiring to see these students put in the effort to care for the well-being of their fellow uni-mates.
11. Sneakily changing rooms
You can, I can, we together-gether okay?
One thing about staying in public universities is that you will never know who is going to be your roommate. Everything has been set by the office administration and you know it’s going to be a whole other mess if you were to request for another room.
So, to be smart, we’ll just form a pact with our friend and make sure we end up in the same room with them.
12. Cold showers 24/7
One of my friends told me she wasn’t afraid of ghosts when she showered at night, but why was she shivering?
Heaters aren’t provided in public universities which is why the rental fee per semester is so much cheaper than private universities.
Of course, when you opt for a lower price, you’d have to bear with the flaws.
13. Bus > Car All-Day
Eh! Tumpang me go class can or not?
Cannot lah! I’m taking the bus!
Because you aren’t the only one driving to the university, but rather most who can do it, WILL do it! With the little parking areas provided, your parking space might just disappear in a few seconds if you were to drive away.
Hence, not wanting to take the risk, you’d choose the bus to go for classes, activities, etc. The “best” part is when the bus driver just wheezes past you even though you’ve been waiting there for over an hour!
To those of you who’ve stayed in any public university, have we missed out anything? Let us know in the comments section!
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