Saturday, 2 November 2013

LIFE OVERSEAS: Pre-university jitters

IRONING THINGS OUT: A chaotic time before starting tertiary life

NOTHING is more devastating than not receiving an offer letter from your university of choice.
Things look gloomy when you read your peers’ Facebook posts about the joy of being accepted into the institution of their choice. In addition, lots of people ask you about your study plans.
I set my alarm clock for 6am on the day the university offers were released. It was the precise time to check on university admissions online. Based on my examination results, I was confident that I would enter the tertiary institution that I had set my heart on.
Unfortunately, I was offered my third choice. Time stopped and tears ran as my mind shut down. Confusion, dismay and shock ran through my system.
On autopilot, I almost clicked the “accept” button. I was conflicted between thinking “I deserved this” and “I deserved more”.

Something must have gone awry. My application might have been analysed incorrectly.
I contacted every possible source of help — the college application office, the university and my school guidance counsellor. Unfortunately, not everyone was helpful.
The college application office directed me to the university admissions office. I ended up getting transferred to the answering machine several times when I called the latter. When I eventually got through, I was told that I needed to fax them several documents to explain my situation.
All of a sudden, my phone rang. It was my school guidance counsellor, who had called up the university and learnt that I was rejected based on the entry requirements.
There was an issue because I did not study a third language in Ireland. However, a year ago I was made to understand the university would accept Bahasa Malaysia as fulfilling the requirement. The university agreed to resolve the matter in the second round of offers. Unfortunately, the second round was in 10 days’ time.
So, after hours of tearing my hair out, almost everything was ironed out.
The next step was arranging my accommodation. Without the offer letter, I was not able to book any accommodation within the university and there was a high risk of non-vacancies by the time I received the offer.
I scrolled through page upon page of rooms to rent on the Internet. I longed for a place near the university but was unpleasantly surprised by exorbitant prices. I had to travel three hours by public transportation from my home to view rooms in Dublin.
It has been chaotic but an adventure awaits in the next few years.

The writer loves to try all things but is a Malaysian at heart.

Read more: LIFE OVERSEAS: Pre-university jitters - You - New Straits Times

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