Students' Experience

The road to self-learning and discovery during MCO

Despite the challenge to stay indoors during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period issued by the government, and having practiced social distancing in this season of the COVID-19 pandemic, many students from various programmes have expressed their positivity in coping with MCO through the  e-learning  sessions they attended online. For many, it was a new way of attending classes but learning was still fun and students were able to interact better with their lecturers.

Pang Fu Sheng
Bachelor of Communication (Hons) Public Relations

Pang discovering more about himself during MCO

For Bachelor of Communication (Hons) Public Relations student, Pang Fu Sheng, he mentioned that MCO period has taught him more about himself and ways to improve. He said, “First of all I would like to say thank you to all the healthcare heroes who are working really hard to save the country from this virus. May they stay safe and healthy. I must say that I felt very blessed to be able to stay at home to watch YouTube videos and play computer games, basically enjoying my free time until I came across an article that changed my perception of my time and my life. Bill Gates wrote the article titled “What is the Covid-19 Virus Really Teaching Us?” The article made me reflect on myself on how I view the world, the people in this world, and those around me. It really got me thinking in depth. Since that day, I started to read news and leadership books for self-improvement. I started to use my time on more quality work to expand my knowledge and understand the world better. This MCO period has opened my eyes, thoughts, and a new road of discovery about me. I hope many other students are also learning more about themselves during this period. I wish everyone good health and I believe all Malaysians will stay united to fight this virus pandemic together.”

Tham staying updated with the news on the pandemic by reading more

Tham Gee Wei, a Bachelor of Communication (Hons) Public Relations student, on the other hand mentioned, “This pandemic outbreak has made me realised many things. The first thing that came to my mind when the government announced the MCO was would my studies and projects I’m working on be affected? How about my assignments and my upcoming internship? Should I stay at my hostel or go home? I decided to go home to lessen my burden in worrying about meals and also that my parents won’t have to worry about me. I was quite upset initially when I found that all the projects I was working on had to be paused. Then I realised that the safety of the community and the people in the country are more important and I now believe that everyone’s safety should be prioritised first. Maybe, it’s a reminder to all of us to think more of other people during such a major global crisis. Nowadays, I spend a lot of time reading the public’s view on this pandemic and keeping me updated from news feed to understand what is happening.”

She added, “I’ve also spent time on baking and cooking, which are both my hobbies. I am now more conscious about work-life balance. Apart from that, I’ve also attended e-classes, which I think is really good. This has reminded us again on how technology has eased our lives. I’ve also discovered how people misused technology to spread false information and cause panic in society. I urge all children out there like me to advise their parents or their elders to be more careful when receiving unauthorised messages. I strongly agree that we shouldn’t go out during this MCO period so that we can shorten this fight against the virus.”

Tham Gee Wei
Bachelor of Communication (Hons) Public Relations

Chan Jia Yi
Bachelor of Computer Science (Hons)

Jia Yi making sure her time is used constructively

For Bachelor of Computer Science (Hons) student Chan Jia Yi, she prepared a timetable to make sure she used her time wisely for her studies. “During this MCO period, I prepared a daily timetable for myself to make sure that I used my time constructively to study, and not stay in bed whole day. My hostel has no WiFi connection, but thankfully I have friends, whom I can go to for online learning, but we take all the necessary precautions for health safety, and it is just one to two friends. I would like to advise all UTARians and my friends to use this time to study and stay at home. This is the best time for us to complete our assignments and prepare well for the final assessment,” said Jia Yi.

Foo using her time during MCO to explore more things

Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) Electronic Engineering student, Foo Yue Yan, likewise said that she has spent her time doing her assignments, while catching up on TV series and movies that she has always wanted to watch. “When I feel tired of sitting on the couch, I’ll get up and do other things, like trying our new recipes. I have just tried making the recently famous Dalgona Coffee. Although I failed, but I learnt that it was worth trying and I learnt something new. As the MCO has been extended, I plan to spend most of my time doing the rest of my assignments and prepare for the upcoming finals. I wish everyone good health,” said Foo.

Foo Yue Yan
Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) Electronic Engineering

Lim Li Ching
Bachelor of Communication (Hons) Public Relations

Lim using her time to learn new skills

Lim Li Ching, Bachelor of Communication (Hons) Public Relations student, mentioned that she had difficulty coping with the MCO. “My family is in Johor and I can’t go back. I’m constantly worried about my father, who is in his later years. I will call him every now and then to check on him. It’s hard being away, knowing that all I can do is worry. The lessons have been converted to online learning. While it is a viable alternative, it is hard to absorb all the information. Self-studying for me is a change that I need to get used to, but I am learning each day. As for food, I normally order in. I miss sitting outside with friends, and going out for late-night mamak. I do have an e-bike, so I can buy groceries to cook, but I only cook in small amounts. On the bright side, I have been getting enough sleep and learning new skills. I started a Tik-Tok account to learn dancing for exercise. I like that the air is clearer and that people are spending more time with their families,” said Lim.

Mok learning to be more self-disciplined in his studies

Meanwhile for Bachelor of Information Technology (Hons) Communications and Networking student, Aaron Mok Yue Wai, he said, “Coping with the MCO is easy for an introvert like me. I can easily be hold up in my home for years if need be, but what keeps my sanity intact is working out! Doing physical exercises is like free therapy for me. Since the campus gym is closed, I have to be creative and do my exercises at home. I believe that we need to keep our body healthy so that we can enjoy life better. About studies, it is hard when you have zero discipline at home. In campus, we follow a schedule. But this has taught me to be more disciplined to overcome my own challenges, which is a good thing. This MCO period has made me learn more about myself. I hope everyone will stay safe and healthy at home.”

Aaron Mok Yue Wai
Bachelor of Information Technology (Hons) Communications and Networking

How Chao Xun
Bachelor of Economics (Hons) Financial Economics

How catching up with his studies through e-learning

“At first, it really caused inconveniences for me, especially for those students like me who didn’t go back to their hometowns. With the limited face masks, I always consider food delivery and use non-cash method to pay for it to avoid contact with people. Other than that, I always make sure I am hydrated and I take care of my personal cleanliness, as well as practicing social distancing during this MCO period. Besides that, I will go into social media to read any latest updates from the university, government, and lecturers. I made sure that I continue my students through e-learning and use this time to catch up, or study the earlier topics. If I have any questions about studies, I will contact my lecturers through social media. So I am still learning at home during this period,” said Bachelor of Economics (Hons) Financial Economics student How Chao Xun.

Tan finding online classes are more efficient

Bachelor of Science (Hons) Food Science Tan Hong Yu, too also mentioned that he enjoyed his e-learning classes. “For me, I have bought some vegetables that are enough for me to cook for several days. When I feel bored, I watch YouTube videos after I have completed my studies. For me, I love singing and this is a good way for me to reduce my stress and to overcome my loneliness, since we have to stay home. Most of my housemates have gone home so I can sing as loudly as possible. I am happy with online studying and I think it is more efficient as it reduces the time spent on transportation,” said Tan.

Tan Hong Yu
Bachelor of Science (Hons) Food Science

Ho Chao Yong
Bachelor of Communication (Hons) Journalism

Ho balancing her time between studies and exercising

Ho Chao Yong, a Bachelor of Communication (Hons) Journalism student also seem to be coping well in this MCO period. “During this MCO period, I spent most of my time revising lecture notes and completing assignments. This is also the first time I am experiencing online learning. So I have learnt something new that I can do at home. Now that I have more free time at home, I need to find more creative use of my time. So I started to exercise at home by following home exercise routines on YouTube. Like other students, I got roped into joining the viral trends, like those concocting a cup of Dalgona Coffee and drawing inspirations from Instagram. It’s quite interesting for me. I learn constructive ideas. Lastly, the most important contribution we can do is to stay at home to fight this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ho.

Tan encouraging other students to spend more time reading, self-studying and exercising

“Since last Wednesday, I have been staying at home and doing online studies through Microsoft Teams and UTAR Wble. I consult my tutor via UTAR email when I have questions. I try my best to manage my time well and do self-study. Not having face-to-face interaction is a little inconvenient but I am getting used to it. I encourage all students to spend their time on self-studying, reading and doing some physical exercises at home. This is the best time to enhance our learning skills and learn to be more independent,” said Bachelor of Accounting (Hons) student Tan Yi Ting.

Tan Yi Ting
Bachelor of Accounting (Hons)

Chan Chin Xiang
Bachelor of Corporate Communication (Hons)

Chin Xiang using his time to prepare his thesis

Bachelor of Corporate Communication (Hons) student Chan Chin Xiang also made use of this MCO period to read more. “At home, I read online articles to prepare for my thesis paper. When I am free, I read novels and help my parents at home with chores. I am glad to spend more time with them. I feel strongly that the public should stay at home to prevent exposure to the virus and people should stop spreading rumours and fake news,” said Chin Xiang.