Campus Alive

June 9, 2008

Dear juniors…

Filed under: INTEC — campusalive @ 8:05 pm

Phew! Does time fly indeed. Here I was, a freshman fumbling to find my way around in INTEC (and *ahem* gotten lost once), and, before I knew it, I’d to start bracing myself for the title “senior” already, having completed my first year and currently enjoying the semester break. The second semester here at INTEC had really been a fleeting affair for me, passing perhaps doubly as fast compared to the first, for reasons unknown to myself.

Nevertheless, the first week at INTEC had been the longest week of my life, amidst the frenzy of settling down, adapting and parting with family. There was of course the MMS (Minggu Mesra Siswa) Week, which was essentially a weeklong orientation programme for freshies, conducted by seniors. Rest assured that there will be no ragging though, as far as what the Professor had told us, that is. Juniors can expect a hectic week, what with all the activities carried out, which will be done in groups. Meals will be provided throughout the orientation week, ‘meager’ yet satisfactory. (We have to count our blessings, remember?)

Junior guys can look forward to a truly unique hostel experience at Kolej Cendana. The mere mention of the word Cendana, I believe, would spawn a deluge of complaints and negative comments from seniors who’d had the ‘privilege’ of staying there; of being stranded in the middle of nowhere, with irregular buses, limited variety of food and poor internet connectivity. (Gasp!) True as convicted, nonetheless, fret not, dear junior guys! For Cendana is actually not as bad as it seems. In fact, the internal living conditions are pretty much better off than those of Akasia or Cemara’s, owing to the fact that Cendana had just been renovated quite recently. To top it up, there had even been further repair and renovation works last month (during the period of our exams heat, literally), so there shouldn’t be much to complain of. There are two rooms in an apartment; one with 2 single beds and the other with 2 double Decker beds. That makes 6 guys to an apartment – quite a cramp, yes indeed, but we guys will just make do, won’t we? Expect the morning rush though, as you’d all be racing for the washrooms and toilets upon waking up, especially during the orientation week, making for an interesting start to hostel life … The good news is that the bathroom and toilet here are separated, unlike those in Cemara, so there can be two people doing business at any one time.

The apartment may seem a little too small for six people at first, what with the six desks arranged in the living room especially. There is hardly any space to move around! But then again, this calls for acclimatization; you’ll have to get used to it. The walls are painted with a yellowish hue and the floors, tiled. The bus stop is quite a walk away from the hostel though; there is also a Petronas station nearby with ATM machines, and of course, how could I forget, the infamous Dawood Restaurant, the only reasonable eatery within walking distance around. It is a mamak restaurant serving mostly Indian and Malay food, with rather poor service however, sadly. There is also a stall – Mat Endon further down the road, but it does not present too attractive a choice, as it is located just beside a drain. All hope for food is not lost however; venturing beyond Section 6, there are always greener pastures, most notably being perhaps Restaurant Kari Kepala Ikan serving Chinese food in Section 9 and McDonalds in Section 2. Yes, it is within walking distance for the adventurous. In fact, my friends and I had jogged there in the evenings on numeous occasions; dined and then taken the bus back (It was dark by then, anyway). Rapid KL T602. Get familiar with it, for it’ll bring you to several places such as Section 2, PKNS, SACC and so on.

Sadly, there is no wired or wireless internet connection at Cendana, being sparsely (and annoyingly) intermittent at best, if any. The alternative is to use the computer labs or walk a short distance to a cyber café nearby. There’s a laundry room with 2 washing machines — yes, guys, you’ll have to do your own laundry! No more relying on mummy. By the way, just to let you know, the management had actually placed a notice before, prohibiting the hanging of clothes and eye-catching apparels outside the windows, lest the landscape be changed. Fret not though, for there’ll be places to dry your clothes. There’s also a basketball court and gym for the physically active.

Hmm… What other ways to describe the typical Cendanian’s experience than of course the Restu Barakah bus service! UiTM buses will be plying Cemara and Akasia, leaving Restu Barakah for Cendana. Buses arrive as early as seven in the morning to pick students up to INTEC, at supposedly half hour intervals, which can hardly be depended on. During the morning rush hours, the buses will not usually leave until students are packed to a sardine can-like density in the bus. I’ve learnt much through trial and experience, having had the bus leave right in my face; buses, I learnt, have a tendency to leave 5 minutes before their scheduled time. So suppose you intend to take the 8.30 am bus, assume that it’ll leave at 8.25 am and be there by then. Then again, always make allowance in case the bus breaks down or does not arrive, by taking an earlier bus. I’d had to learn this lesson the hard way, unfortunately. It was the day of our end of semester Chemistry test scheduled at 2 in the afternoon, and my friends and I had just missed the 1 pm bus. So we banked all our hopes on the 1.30pm bus, which never arrived. Fret not, we assured ourselves, for we could call a cab. By 1.40, however, we were already a bundle of frazzled nerves, no taxi or bus in sight. It was not until shortly after 1.50 that a taxi coasted our way and picked us up. We made a dash for ALM square where our exams were held after arriving at the main gate, and were fortunate enough to make it just in time. Phew! T’was a terrifying experience I’d never forget.

So much for depressing Cendana issues. Moving onto INTEC, the most notable feature’d be none other than the newly-opened library. No WIFI access though, sadly. The collection of books is huge nonetheless, amidst conducive studying environs within the library. As it is fully air-conditioned, a sweater might be of great help. There is also a 24-hour studying room for students; restrictions apply however, for girls as they are not allowed after 11pm.

Remember to abide by the dress code of INTEC. Casual wear would do fine, jeans are allowed, but no collarless shirt though. Sandals are supposedly not allowed but students wear them anyway. And yes, dress formally on Mondays; and Fridays for girls only, i.e. long-sleeved shirt with tie for guys and Baju Kurung/ Batik for girls. Don’t forget to display your Student ID at all times; there’ll be guards hoarding at the front gates to check on your dress code. One offence and you’ll land yourself with a saman, which’ll be recorded in Student Online Services. Sigh.

Food at INTEC is satisfactory enough, the main cafeteria being AUSMAT café which serves a variety of food, as well as custom orders like Pattaya, fried rice and so on. It is air-conditioned, prices are reasonable, but food runs out fast during lunch hours, so it’ll be a good idea to pack food earlier beforehand. There’s even a wafer machine outside the café for those eager to grab a bite between classes, perhaps. There’s also the ALM and ADFP Café, but they’re less popular compared to AUSMAT.

As far as ALM is concerned, you’ll be placed in classes according to your future destination i.e., IMU, PMC or MMMC. Depending on your timetable, classes may start at 8am, which is most often the case in Semester I. Expect classes to end as late as 6 pm on at least two days a week, thanks to the CTU classes (Philosophy & Theology) and ko-PLN sessions. The schedule becomes less hectic into the second semester, though, thankfully. There’ll usually be two topic tests and quizzes now and then and, not to mention, of course, the end of semester exam. It’s not all work and no play nevertheless; there’s plenty of recreational facilities in and around the hostels, eg a park near Cendana. We even have DoTA and CS tournaments (informal ones, that is) now and then after a busy day at school, by linking laptops wirelessly together across rooms and blocks back at hostel. Yes, life over here is that fun!

I’d also like to take this opportunity to encourage fellow juniors to attend CA. In case you don’t already know, CA is a Christian fellowship gathering fortnightly on Thursdays in New Life Church, Kota Kemuning. CA has really been a blessing to me; I had immensely enjoyed the time of worship and fellowship there. Do join us!

After all that has been said and done, it has indeed been worth the experience. College and hostel life is not without its ups and downs; but then again, who says life is a bed of roses? It is important to face challenges with the right attitude, adapting and improvising along the way. For those feeling homesick, I can empathize most well; but worry not! The bus station’s located at Section 17, just a stone’s throw away from INTEC. The ultimate gateway to home. So to all dear juniors, enjoy your stay in Shah Alam! All the best.

Signing off,
Kenlee

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9 Comments »

  1. wow… very informative… im sure it will b very useful 4 the juniors… But Cemara is not dat bad lah… haha… i missed it a lot… the food there is still better than those here in Germany… We often go to sec 25 as there r more chinese hawker centres there. Sumtimes go to Klang 4 bak kut teh…. those good old days… =) *got Dota tournament? im interested. =)

    Comment by Dann~ — June 10, 2008 @ 12:05 am

  2. I love the part about the dress code, the student ID and the sandal part. kekeke.

    Comment by Leen — June 10, 2008 @ 6:39 am

  3. yeah, very informative indeed!the usual liew kenlee la…=p anyway good n very useful post!=)hehe maybe u can be a model of intec dress code for the juniors as reference??never see you in batik le…=p*can’t wait to meet the juniors!! XD

    Comment by eliza — June 11, 2008 @ 6:57 pm

  4. Thanks ‘Senior Kenlee’ for taking the effort to bless your juniors with this post! Am sure they’ll love you! Lol..;D

    Comment by Anonymous — June 12, 2008 @ 12:23 pm

  5. haha, ah ken(nerd)guess who?Anyway, I didn’t know you love the juniors this much lol.Let’s wear more “selipar jepun” and kena saman again together by the lovable guards.

    Comment by Nianchung — June 12, 2008 @ 6:33 pm

  6. i was seriously wondering who is the author and i kept the suspense until i saw the name mr. kenlee. i should have guessed. no.1 it’s super long, no.2 it’s filled with super power, bang bang boom boom!! vocabulary. omgoodness i tot it’s ah han summore. how dumb of me. well written man. and i can’t imagine u did jog to kepala ikan. i do NOT believe it. =D oh, btw he forgot to mention that walking out of hostel in short pants = suicide, and that there’s a lovely lake one road away from cendana.

    Comment by chewie™ — June 13, 2008 @ 11:32 pm

  7. hey not fair! u all bombarding me abt nerd and vocab issues again bla bla… thanks for the comments tho lol..

    Comment by Ken — June 15, 2008 @ 12:56 pm

  8. Wow! Great job Ken! now we get 2 c ur other side…Haha…

    Comment by Sam — June 16, 2008 @ 9:45 am

  9. This is good stuff! You actually made INTEC sound enjoyable. Juniors like me would really appreciate your effort. I do. Thanks :)

    Comment by Ying Zhi — June 25, 2010 @ 7:26 pm


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