Down memory lane.


found a photo of Um during her Phd graduation and then there’s me years later. for my Master graduation. Um received her Phd with 5 kids, and I vividly remember some of her work involving recording countless of tape of our neighbour who used to teach in USM because she have a beautiful voice. During her time, she told me, she had to go to ‘google’ the library one by one, books by book, while I have everything on my finger tips (literally). Way before that her Master thesis would be using typewriter. So I guess the current generation are quite lucky that we don’t have to go through that. Our struggle may be different but the journey is almost the same with different level of patience, motivation and dedication haha. During her Master, she will make sure she finish off everything she needs at the university and focus on us siblings at home (If im not mistaken, Abi was in Malaysia doing his Phd in UKM). So she can only get her PhD way after we are already in our high school. Mom always wanted to be a lecturer since she was in school, but started off as a teacher first, then Maktab lecturer before she was accepted to teach here. Her journey to arrive where she is now started years and years before. I started my study year here in USM back 2006, as a Communication student before majoring in Broadcasting. It was my father’s idea that I take Communication and asked me to go to one of the classes first before i make my decision. I sneaked in one of the lecturer’s class, at the time, it was Dr Zain’s from PR class. I enjoyed it and agreed. I didn’t know much about communication but I tried anyway. By the second year, I chose Broadcasting because it was in between Journalism and Filming. My initial interest was PR but a ‘friend’ convinced me that I am ‘not good enough’ and I believed that I wasn’t. So I chose broadcasting, which is probably the best decision even if I don’t become a film director etc. Because of that choice, I was selected to go for a semester for my exchange in University College Cork, Ireland in European & Post Modern European Cinema. I extended my studies after returning from my exchange programme for a year, also because of an operation due to a sinusitis infection and finally graduated in 2010. When the rest of my friends have graduated and started working, I continued my Master, again after my dad suggested that I could do a research on Dinar Dirham. I made my pre-research before the actual research to see if its ‘researchable’ and refocused it into Community Currency ,by using Gold Dinar Silver Dirham as a case study. It took almost a year to finally know where my research focus on, I changed from Quantitative to Qualitative, changed the location of my study from USM to a market in KL that was using dinar dirham as part of their transaction. And after much procrastination and rollercoasters of motivation and emotional struggle, I finally graduated. I never realize how happy I was until I saw my picture taken by others. In my study year, most of my choice have been influenced by my parents particularly my Abi. But knowing that parents see what their children could be or potentially become. I learn to believe in myself the way others believed in me. That was what I try to remind myself every time I feel like giving up because like any other growing up ‘teenager’ , i didn’t feel that I was good enough. There will always be this voice that keeps you from moving forward. It took me years to realize that I am good enough and started to believe in my own ability. I never tell my parents though about this, but I am lucky that they have always believed in every one of us (siblings). When I did my degree, my father was ‘convinced’ that I will be a scriptwriter or a filmmaker, even if i didn’t lol. When i did my master, he continued to believe in me. Honestly, when my mother asked me what was the reason behind me wanting to give up back then, I realize it was for one thing, believe. I didn’t believe enough that I could do just about anything in the world once I put my mind on it. And when I did, and asked for help from others (which is one of my problem as well, because i also thought that i have to carry this research on my own, instead research is ‘teamwork’ : family and friends support, your supervisor guidance and even the staffs etc)…so i asked for help, from the One who is the Most Helpful, and all the help in the world was given to me that all I can do is thank Allah swt for blessing me with all the people in my world. There was even strangers who helped me to believe again, like the cleaner who talked about his late son who would have been studying in USM but passed away before he could even enrol to USM. And other people who keep on cheering on me, that i started to see how important is a support system. That even if i have graduated, i continued to return the support i receive from others to other people who have not graduated, because i know how it feels to hit rock bottom and struggling to climb out. Remembering that one friend who ‘convinced’ me that I was ‘not good enough’, I thank her the most because it lead me to where I am now. Its a self discovery process but I learn not to listen to what people say and ignore all the negativity or negative people that keeps on bringing me down. I’m not saying that I am immune from hurtful words, but at least i know that i have the power not to allow myself to accept people’s word blindly without evaluating whether or not its true. Now that i have graduated, I am still in the process of sorting my life out, and because of that, I am currently on my gap year or a break (a rare choice here but not in other parts of the world). I worked before this but decided to quit for my own reason and didn’t regret it. Most of the time, helping my parents, some little volunteer research and other times,spend my own time with friends or on my own. But at least, I am happy that I get a chance to spend more time with my family and figure out what i want to do next because i didn’t have much time to reflect about myself and where I want to go from here. Everything was about completing my study but never asked myself what I really want to do and happiest doing it. Perhaps, my delay is His blessings in disguise for it lead me to where I am now. InsyAllah , all will be revealed in good time. Thanks to my parents for understanding and their support. I could never have done it without them 🙂



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