It’s finally your first day in USM! Excited? Nervous? Or perhaps going mental already? Well fret not my dear juniors as I am here to give you guys a little overview of your stay here. I wrote this especially for pharmacy students but it can also be used as a guideline for any newcomers in some parts. I’ll try to keep it as simple as I can ( ´ ▽ ` )ﾉ
First of all I highly recommend bringing only the essentials on the first day as you’ll have to carry all of your belongings inside a bus which will send you to RST complex. It’s not going to park near the hostel so you will have to walk up the hill to get there. There’s going to be hundreds of people including parents and family queuing up for the buses so some of you might opt for the flyover route. This is a much longer route and you probably going to regret it especially if your hostel is on the top like Saujana MO4. Hence, if possible do not bring large items for this week unless you want to look like this emoji (;*´Д`)ﾉ
It’ll be like any other orientation week you ever been to so expect it to be hectic and packed. Your throat will be sore from all the cheers you will be shouting out and you’ll get to know more about USM’s layout. A map will be provided and it’s really smaller than it looks so have courage to explore later!
Orientation Survival Tips
- Bring comfortable shoes. You are going to walk a lot.
- Bring some good filling snacks as you will hardly have time to eat properly. Everyone will go to the café at the same time. For Muslims, this is a good tip so that you don’t have to rush your prayer or end up being late to the next briefing.
- Don’t have that many clothes? Febreeze is your best friend.
- For the perasmian ceremony you are required to wear bright formal clothes such as cream, pale yellow, white etc. This includes your tudung as well.
- DO NOT trust people who will pressure you about MyCSD and con you into buying something expensive with promises that it would give you ‘a lot of MyCSD points’ or that it is ‘super important for your hostel placement next year’. Trust me and don’t end up like your seniors because losing money makes you (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻. I’ll explain more about MyCSD further more below.
- Respect your PPSL seniors ʚ♡⃛ɞ(ू•ᴗ•ू❁) They are probably more than happy to answer your questions as long as you have some patience. There are only a few of them and a lot of you.
Congrats! You survived a week in USM. Welcome to the family~
You’ll have plenty of time to unpack and meet your roommate and neighbours. There are 4 rooms in each cubicle with 2 people in a room. The eight of you shares the washroom which contains two showers and two toilets. Get your nice act on and partay ヾ(⌐■_■)ノ♪
Now that is done and over with…on with the lectures! Hopefully you all will have tables to work with ( ´ ▽ ` )ﾉ
because i sure didn’t /cries
There isn’t much to say about this one. All lecturers have a different style of teaching. It could range from boring no picture slides to doing tasks whilst learning. Your enjoyment in class depends on your preference but do come with an open mind~
Lecture Survival Tips
- The most important thing you need here is a printer. You will be using it a lot from day 1 till the end of your 4 year stay. A cheap one is good enough- trust me. The printing service at Restu café would suck your wallet dry and the cheapest one is around DTSP. Not worth your time honestly.
- You will have plenty of classes and labs that ends at 5pm on most days. Manage your time wisely.
- It’s a good idea to buy a small notebook to scribble on during lectures. Sometimes the lecturer will give out the notes late and others none at all. You can also use your senior’s notes and add on whatever they say on it~ A lot of them like to give tips in class.
- Some tips to avoid falling asleep in class are :-
- a) Bring a bag of sweets. Be nice and share with your course mates as well! °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°
- b) For those wearing tudung or sitting at the far back, use earphones to give some background noise to keep yourself awake. Turn the volume down enough till you can barely hear it. This might work for some so try it for yourself~
- c) Have a friend to pinch or elbow you whenever you start to doze off.
- Some lecturers may seem indifferent but they do care about you. Try to actively participate in class or if you are shy, you can also have a private consultation with them at their office. Just send a simple email of when you would like to meet them or when they are free to see you. You can ask them about anything that you are unsure of.
- This is just a reminder but don’t be an arse. It’s okay to save a seat for one or two friends of yours but doing it for the whole row that comes in 20 minutes later makes you an asshole. It’s important to be mindful of others, in USM and in the outside world. Otherwise be prepared for da kick ヽ(#`Д´)ﾉ┌┛
- It’s natural to expect a perfect attendance but sometimes you will skip class due to your own reasons. You might be occupied with an event, feeling a bit down the weather or perhaps just plain lazy. It’s okay to skip class as long as you don’t ask someone to sign the attendance for you. Honesty is the best policy (◡‿◡✿)
Hmm…I wonder what’s next? *drum rolls*
Lab reports and assignments! For your first semester you will have 3 subjects with experiments. Microbiology, Basic Physiology and Organic Chemistry. Some of the experiments require you to work in groups and others alone. Usually you’ll have about 1-2 weeks from the experiment date to send in your report. For assignments be prepared to wake up in the middle of the night to find out that you need to do it and pass up the very next morning. Heh I won’t tell you guys which subject though ψ(｀∇´)ψ
There are two major course work for the semester from FAR 192(Social and Public Health Pharmacy) and FAR 191(Research Methodology). For FAR 192 you will be visiting an old folks home and assigned to one of the residents in a group. After three visits you will compile a report and hand it in~
Guess what you’re going to do for FAR 191? Haha it’s too obvious (*≧▽≦)ﾉｼ)) That’s right. Research. From literature review till the end, you’ll have loads of fun with that one.
Lab Report/Assignment Survival Tips
- Get a good head start by arriving to lab 10-15 minutes earlier. This helps a lot so you don’t rush into things and end up making mistakes. The experience in lab is more important than your result. Also, if you did make a mistake you will still have time to redo it.
- Some experiments require you to hand in the report on the spot. It’s a good idea to prepare the needed answers for questions in the report.
- Dividing the work among group members makes things easier but more often than not, the report ends up with less than desirable quality. Discuss properly with each other regarding the important parts that will give you marks~
- There will always be people who refuse to cooperate with each other. Some might not do anything at all while others want to do everything by themself. It’s important to have a healthy communication with your group partners and work things out (*•̀ᴗ•́*)و ̑̑
- You can find many good sources for the discussion part in reference books at the library.
- Always be honest and do not fake your lab results.
- Faking your lab results is one thing, plagiarism is another ((╬●∀●) . All of you will receive many things from your respective senior Pharmily which includes their notes, lab reports etc. It’s perfectly fine to use them as a reference. However, by no means should you copy and steal them into your report. All lecturers will tell you the same thing even though some can be too lenient. I have no nice words for people who commit plagiarism. You should be ashamed of yourself and I personally do not believe you deserve to be a student in USM, let alone a pharmacy student if you would steal other people’s works.
Last but certainly not the least, MyCSD. For a USM student there will only be two things to worry about the most. Your CGPA and MyCSD. During orientation they will probably feed you with a bunch of bullcrap like how important it is for your resume etc. (╬ಠ益ಠ) Securing a job will depend a lot more on your attitude and perseverance. Trust me.
Basically the only thing MyCSD is good for is for you to have a place to live in campus the following year. I’m sure that a lot of you are living on PTPN/parents and the cost of being a PETAS(Pelajar Tanpa Asrama) is very high compared to living in one of the desa. Your seniors would probably wish you good luck on fighting for MyCSD points. So here’s a short list of tips on how to gain good MyCSD points ヾ（〃＾∇＾）ﾉ♪
MyCSD Survival Tips
- Being on the committee will give you a lot of points. There are plenty of events conducted by Persatuan Sains Farmasi(PSF) and you will get the chance to join many of them. Being a part of the Kluster Kesihatan gives a lot too.
- Be prepared to spend a big chunk of your time on it! Give your 100% in each one and you will not only gain a lot of MyCSD but also important knowledge for future reference.
- The only con to these committee is that you might need to pay up money if there is not enough budget. Though, I think that they will reimburse it later on when they get the access to sponsorship money.
- Every day or two there will be events and talks handled by other clubs and schools. Some will require you to pay a ticket while others can be for free. Spend no more than RM10. Most of them will only give you 2 points ʕ ಡ ﹏ ಡ ʔ
- Larger programs like senaman aerobik and blood donation will give you about 4 points. So it’s crucial for you to choose wisely or you’ll spend your days tired and sore from attending all the programs.
At the end of the day, only a minority of you will end up being PETAS. As important as it is for you to pursue these activites for MyCSD and experience, it is also equally signifcant for you to focus on your studies. There are benefits on each side so do manage your time well ( ´ ▽ ` )ﾉ
Thanks for reading and I hope the the tips are helpful~
See you soon ☆ﾐ(o*･ω･)ﾉ
P.S. Any Mystic Messenger fan?