I studied A level at Taylor's College Subang Jaya for about 1 and a half years from January 2013 to May 2014. Studying at Taylor's College was very interesting for me. In fact, I felt that college is the most interesting among all stages of education which comprised of kindergarten, primary school, lower secondary school, upper secondary school, college and university. Even though I am now studying at Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia, I can still remember my life at Taylor's College very well. Here, I am writing about the 1 and a half years when I studied at Taylor's College.
Actually, before I started studying at Taylor's College, I did not want to study there. Instead, I wanted to study Matriculation. Since when I was in Form 3, I had planned to study Matriculation after completing Form 5. However, after my SPM examination ended, my parents wanted me to start studying A level at Taylor's College in January 2013, because they were worried that I might not get the offer to study Matriculation later. Since I was not confident of getting the offer to study Matriculation, I agreed to study A level first. However, I wanted to start in April 2013 instead of January 2013, because I wanted to relax for a few months after my SPM. I also preferred studying at Sunway College instead of Taylor's College, because at that time I felt that the name 'Sunway' sounded much better than 'Taylor's'.
However, after looking at the locations of Taylor's College and Sunway College, I felt that Taylor's College's location was much better than Sunway College. Therefore, I changed my mind and chose Taylor's College instead of Sunway College. On 8 December 2012, I attended the open day for Taylor's College with my parents. During the open day, I registered for Taylor's College's A Level programme. I chose to take the subjects Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics. The course counsellor said that I could choose to start the programme in January or April, but he advised me to start in January because students who start in April would have to do self study to cover up for what they had missed during the first 3 months. Therefore, I had no choice but to choose to start in January 2013. At that time, I planned to switch to Matriculation later if I got the offer.
14 January 2013 – 1 February 2013:
I started studying at Taylor’s College on 14 January. From 14 January to 16 January, there were orientation programmes. 17 January was the first day of teaching. Then, the first practical session was on 22 January. On 25 January, it was the first class test for Physics. During that period of time, I was still getting to know how college life is like and I had not get used to it. I only made a few friends because I was shy since I was from Kulim while most of my classmates were from Subang Jaya.
I have written in detail about my first 2 weeks in Taylor's College here:
2 February 2013 – 17 February 2013:
The Chinese New Year for 2013 was on 10 February. My college had 9 days of holiday from 9 February to 17 February. However, I skipped one more week of college from 4 February to 8 February because I wanted to go back to Kulim before the Chinese New Year. I went back to Kulim on 2 February and celebrated Chinese New Year there. Then, I returned to Subang Jaya on 17 February. I felt sad because I knew that I would not be going back to Kulim soon.
18 February 2013 – 20 March 2013:
On 18 February, my college reopened. During that period of time, I settled down in Subang Jaya and got used to college life. Soon, I began to enjoy life in Taylor’s College. I also became closer to my 2 best friends and I occasionally had lunch with them. I was quite worried of my SPM results at that time because it was not yet released. There were a few times where my other classmates borrowed my work in class and that helped build my relationship with them. However, I was still not close to them and I did not talk to them very often.
21 March 2013 – 24 March 2013:
The SPM 2012 results was out on 21 March. I went back to Kulim at night on 20 March. Then on 21 March, I went to my secondary school to get my SPM results. After that, I stayed in Kulim for a few days because my birthday is on 23 March and I wanted to celebrate my birthday in Kulim. On 24 March, I went back to Subang Jaya. I had to skip college on 21 March and 22 March but many of my classmates also did the same.
25 March 2013 – 29 March 2013:
During that week, I had several long conversations with my closest friend whenever there was free time in college. We mainly talked about our secondary school life previously. As a result, I became even closer to him. On 25 March, I was offered the MOE Bursary because I obtained 9A+ in SPM. The bursary would sponsor for my tuition fees at Taylor’s College and give me a monthly allowance of RM430. My college then gave a briefing about the MOE Bursary on 29 March.
30 March 2013 – 14 April 2013:
My college had 2 weeks of holidays from 30 March to 14 April. I mostly relaxed during that time because there was still about 2 months before the Semester 1 examination. I went back to Kulim on 30 March and stayed there for 2 weeks. At that time, my family heard that students who studied Matriculation could get into Medicine course at local public universities easily. As a result, they preferred that I switch from A Level to Matriculation if I was later offered to study Matriculation. I returned to Subang Jaya on 14 April.
15 April 2013 – 3 May 2013:
My college reopened on 15 April. On 17 April, I confirmed my acceptance of the MOE Bursary and I chose to continue with the January intake of Taylor’s College instead of restarting in July. During that time, I started talking to and became closer to a few more of my classmates. I no longer wanted to switch to Matriculation, because I really enjoyed life in Taylor’s College and I did not want to be separated with my friends. However, my family wanted me switch to Matriculation if I got the offer. The results of the application for Matriculation was out on 25 April. One day before that, I kept praying that I would not be offered the Matriculation because my family might force me to switch if I was offered it. I also told my college friends about that. Luckily, I did not get the offer for Matriculation so I could continue studying in Taylor’s College. As a result of that incident, I started to treasure life in Taylor’s College. On 2 May, it was the written test for the MPW Moral Education. I did not answer it very well.
4 May 2013 – 8 May 2013:
On 5 May, it was the Malaysia General Election 2013. As a result, my college made 6 May a holiday. The Hari Anugerah Cemerlang (Awards Day) of my secondary school for students who obtained straight A in SPM 2012 was on 7 May. I wanted to attend it so I went back to Kulim on 6 May. After the Hari Anugerah Cemerlang, I stayed in Kulim for one more night. I then returned to Subang Jaya on 8 May. Consequently, I had to skip college on 7 May and 8 May.
9 May 2013 – 7 June 2013:
On 9 May, I initially wanted to have lunch at PappaRich which I usually went to for lunch, but my friends wanted to go to Shakespeare for lunch and they persuaded me to follow them. I then agreed and that was the first time I had lunch at Shakespeare. In the following weeks, my friends also brought me to other restaurants that I had never been before such as Sky Village. During that time, I often had lunch with my 2 close friends, but we only went to a few restaurants that we were familiar with and no one else joined us. I also started doing revision for my oncoming Semester 1 examination. My mother wanted me to switch to the July intake of Taylor’s College because she was worried that I might lose the MOE Bursary if I did not switch even though the MOE had stated that we could choose not to switch. However, I insisted to remain in the January intake because I did not want to be separated with my college friends. On 6 June, there was a Biology practical on the dissection of cow’s heart. I carried out the practical with a few of my friends. On 7 June, many of my classmates had a group lunch at Haha Pan Mee. My 2 close friends wanted to join them and they also invited me to join. I agreed to join them and that was the first time where I had lunch with my college friends in a large group. My Biology teacher also gave us extra classes on that day.
8 June 2013 – 13 June 2013:
From 10 June to 13 June, it was the Semester 1 examination of my college. There was no practical test for that examination. All papers in that examination were not difficult and I answered them quite well. I was very confident of getting grade A and maybe above 90 marks in all subjects.
14 June 2013 – 1 July 2013:
There was 2 week holiday for my college from 14 June to 1 July. During the holidays, I mostly relaxed because my Semester 1 examination was over. On 15 June, I went back to Kulim. I stayed there for 2 weeks before returning to Subang Jaya on 30 June.
2 July 2013 – 2 August 2013:
My 2nd semester at Taylor’s College started on 2 July. During that month, I became closer to many of my college friends compared to earlier. I began to go for lunch with my friends in a larger group and we went to some restaurants that I had never been to earlier. On 5 July, I joined the farewell lunch of one of my classmates, where I said ‘Bye-bye forever’ to him and that made my classmates laugh. On 13 July, I and a few of my friends joined the Olimpiad Matematik Kebangsaan at Universiti Malaya, and I gave them some tips before the competition since I joined it a few times previously. On 29 July, there was an online test for the MPW Malaysian Studies, where I and all my classmates cooperated and answered the test together. All these incidents, together with some other incidents, brought me closer to my college friends. Then on 31 July, I and many of my college friends had a long and interesting conversation about my love story. Consequently, my friends knew me much better than before and I realised that I could actually communicate with them very well, so I told myself that from then onwards I should talk to them more.
I have written in detail about the incidents happened in July 2013 here:
3 August 2013 – 11 August 2013:
My college had one week of holiday from 3 August to 11 August for Hari Raya Aidilfitri. I went back to Kulim at night on 2 August. Then on 3 August, I attended the oral test for SPM Chinese in Alor Star. After that, I stayed in Kulim for one week. During that week in Kulim, I spent most of my time revising for my oncoming AS trial examination. I returned to Subang Jaya on 10 August.
12 August 2013 – 16 August 2013:
My college reopened on 12 August. On 13 August, it was Biology Paper 3 of the AS trial examination. That was the first time where I took a practical test. It was very difficult and it affected my confidence in the AS trial examination. Other than 13 August, there was no test on other days of that week and our teachers gave us revision. At that time, I began to talk quite a lot to many of my college friends, thanks to the 31 July incident earlier.
17 August 2013 – 29 August 2013:
My AS trial examination was from 17 August to 29 August. In that examination, I did not answer many of the papers well because they were much more difficult compared to the Semester 1 examination previously and I was not well prepared for it. There were also a few times where I had lunch with my friends after finishing a paper, but my mother came to fetch me before we finished lunch because I told her to fetch me too early. Consequently, my AS trial examination was stressful and not interesting. I was confident in getting grade A but not above 90 marks in all subjects.
30 August 2013 – 8 September 2013:
There was one week of college holiday from 30 August to 8 September. During that week, I was quite worried of my AS trial examination results. In fact, I dreamt about the results almost every night. I went back to Kulim on 31 August. I stayed there for one week and then returned to Subang Jaya on 8 September.
9 September 2013 – 11 October 2013:
The college reopened on 9 September. During that time, I was very much closer to most of my college friends compared to before the 31 July incident. As a result, my college life became even more interesting. I later apologised them for being antisocial earlier. On 13 September, I registered for the BMAT test. Then, I submitted my UCAS application on 17 September. I also started revising for my oncoming AS final examination at that time. I had lunch with my friends in a large group almost every day and I really enjoyed that. We went to many restaurants that I had never been to earlier for lunch. Initially, I agreed to go to any restaurant that my friends chose, with the exception of Mr Rice because it sells mixed rice while I was not used to eating mixed rice. I later decided to try eating at Mr Rice so I went there with my friends for the first time on 23 September. It turned out that I liked the food there so since then I no longer refused when my friends wanted to go there. On 1 October, I and my college friends took many photographs together, then one of my friend edited the photos and submitted them to the college office to be included in our college magazine. I attended a mock interview for my application to the University of Oxford on 3 October. On 9 October, I bought a new scientific calculator at the bookshop opposite my college because the AS final examination would be starting soon and my previous calculator was out-dated.
12 October 2013 – 3 December 2013:
I had several examinations during that time so I was busy doing revision. My AS final examination started on 15 October and it lasted until 29 November. I also took the BMAT on 6 November and the SPM Chinese on 3 December. Some of the papers were quite easy while others were more difficult. Even though I had several examinations, I mostly felt quite relaxed because there were long breaks between papers. In fact, there was 2 week break between 11 November and 26 November, during which I went back to Kulim from 11 November to 23 November. After my AS final examination ended, I went back to Kulim again on 30 November to take the SPM Chinese and then returned to Subang Jaya at night on 3 December. There was college on 2 December and 3 December so I had to skip.
I have written in detail about the examinations I took at that time here:
4 December 2013 – 10 December 2013:
I and my friends were quite relaxed at that time because our AS final examination was over. I still had examinations. I took the IELTS Speaking on 5 December and IELTS Listening, Reading and Writing on 7 December. 7 December was the last day of all my examinations at that time. On 9 December, when I and my college friends were going for lunch, I helped one of my friend to carry her books and she called me a gentleman. I felt very happy about that and as a result of that incident, I started considering my college friends to be my most important group of friends, replacing my secondary school friends. Consequently, I enjoyed my college life even more.
11 December 2013 – 6 January 2014:
The 2013 year-end holidays of my college was from 11 December to 6 January. I went to Singapore from 16 December to 18 December for holidays with my friends. I got lost when we were at Singapore on 17 December. Later, I managed to find my way back. Some of my friends were very worried about me, while others were confident that I could find my way. Despite this incident, the trip to Singapore was very interesting and it made me value my college friends even more. On 19 December, my parents bought me an iPad Air. On 20 December, my IELTS results was released and I got Band 8.0 overall. Then on 21 December, I applied to the University of Hong Kong (HKU). At night on 21 December, I went back to Kulim. I stayed in Kulim for about 2 weeks and returned to Subang Jaya on 3 January.
7 January 2014 – 28 January 2014:
My 3rd semester at Taylor’s College began on 7 January. At that time, I started to really treasure life at Taylor’s College because I would be graduating in less than half a year. I also felt that college life is so enjoyable for the first time. Many of my friends often played with my new iPad Air and they suggested that I get a cover for it to protect it from damage. So, I bought a cover for my iPad on 9 January. On 15 January, one of my friend who applied to University College London (UCL) was interviewed by e-mail and she asked me for help. I helped her in answering the interview questions and correcting any grammatical errors in her answers. Although I didn’t actually help her a lot, she really appreciated my help. That incident made me consider her as one of my closest friends. On 24 January, the AS final examination results was released. I obtained 4A with all subjects above 90%. One of my friend did not obtain very good results and he felt sad about that. I gave him moral support and also felt sad for him. I also followed him when he went to the college office to get advice.
29 January 2014 – 4 February 2014:
The Chinese New Year for 2014 was on 31 January. My college had 7 days of holiday from 29 January to 4 February. I felt that 7 days was just right because it was enough for me to go back to Kulim and I did not want the holiday to be longer than that since I really treasured my college life at that time. I went back to Kulim on 29 January and celebrated Chinese New Year there. Then on 3 February, I returned to Subang Jaya.
5 February 2014 – 7 March 2014:
My college reopened on 5 February. During the first week, I got the breakdown of my AS final results for every paper of each subject from my teachers. On 7 February, one of my friend had a potluck for Chinese New Year at her house and she invited everyone in our class to join. I decided to join and that was the first time I went to my friend’s house. The potluck was very interesting and I learned how to play mahjung there. On 17 February, I received my statement of results for the AS level examination. 21 February was a very interesting day for me, because I had outings with 2 different groups of my friends. I and my college friends went to Secrets of Louisiana of lunch. After that, I also met up with my secondary school friends at Grafa. 21 February was also the day I submitted the application to International Medical University (IMU). During that period of time, I continued to treasure my every moment at Taylor’s College, just like during January earlier. Besides, I tried to make the most out of my college life. I felt sad whenever it was Thursday or Friday because that meant I had finished another week of college life. I also started studying for my oncoming A2 trial examination at that time. Because there was still quite some time before the A2 trial examination, I felt quite relaxed until 7 March. On 5 March, out of my expectation I was invited to attend an interview for the University of Hong Kong. My friends congratulated me when they knew about that.
8 March 2014 – 9 March 2014:
On 8 March, a very unfortunate incident happened – the MH370 incident. I felt very sad about that and I prayed that the passengers of MH370 would be safe. To make matters worse, that incident happened in the midst of the bad haze condition and serious water rationing in Malaysia. 8 March was a turning point in my college life because after that day, my college life became quite stressful compared to earlier, although I still treasured and enjoyed it.
10 March 2014 – 18 March 2014:
That period of time was very stressful for me and my friends, because our A2 trial examination would be starting soon, while the MH370 incident, bad haze and water rationing added to our stress. I was very busy doing revision for the A2 trial examination at that time. On 10 March, many of my friends were talking about the MH370 incident and the haze was very bad, causing me to feel stressed. The haze condition improved on 11 March. But on 12 March, the water rationing was quite bad that restaurants had to use paper or plastic plates and cups to avoid washing them. On 14 March, the haze was quite bad again and my college decided to cancel all classes on that day, but I and my friends were already in college so my teachers continued with the lesson. On 16 March, I attended the interview for the University of Hong Kong (HKU) at Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel. That was the only interesting incident for me during that time. From 17 March onwards, there was no more bad haze, but the water rationing continued.
19 March 2014 – 28 March 2014:
The A2 trial examination started on 19 March and it lasted until 28 March. On 19 March, it was Mathematics Paper 3 and Biology Paper 4. Mathematics Paper 3 was quite easy, but Biology Paper 4 was extremely difficult. On 20 March, it was Chemistry Paper 4, which was also very difficult. The SPM 2013 results was out on that day and I got A- for SPM Chinese. Although I did not get A+ or A, I still felt quite satisfied. On 23 March, it is my birthday and my teacher also had his wedding on that day. I did not celebrate my birthday nor attend my teacher’s wedding because I was busy revising for the examination. On 24 March, the subject tested was Physics Paper 4. It was a bit difficult, but easier than what I had expected. Biology Paper 5 and Chemistry Paper 5 were tested on 26 March and they were not difficult. On 27 March, it was Physics Paper 5 and I could answer it quite well. On 28 March which was the last day of examination, Mathematics Paper 4 was tested and it was quite easy. After the test ended, I and my friends had lunch together, then we played board games at the Wisma Subang Jaya near our college. For the A2 trial examination, I was confident in getting A for Mathematics and Physics but not Biology and Chemistry.
29 March 2014 – 13 April 2014:
My college had holidays from 29 March to 13 April. During the holidays, I was quite relaxed, but I also did some revision for my oncoming A2 final examination. I went back to Kulim on 29 March and stayed there for 2 weeks. I then returned to Subang Jaya on 13 April.
14 April 2014 – 2 May 2014:
During that period of time, it was again very stressful for me. My A2 final examination would be starting soon and the water rationing was extended to my housing area, although there was no more haze. I was quite busy revising for the oncoming A2 final examination. I also felt sad at that time because my college life would be ending soon. On 15 April, I showed one of my friend my UCAS personal statement earlier and asked her to help make some changes to it because I had to write a personal statement for my application to Newcastle University Medicine (NUMed) Malaysia. However, my friend said that my UCAS personal statement was very poor and she told me to rewrite it completely. I was offered a place for Pharmacy course by Kingston University London on the same day. On 16 April, it was one of my friend’s birthday and my friends celebrated it for him. Out of my expectation, they also celebrated my belated birthday at the same time because they did not manage to celebrate it for me earlier due to examination and holiday. On 18 April, I and one of my friend joined the field trip to IMU organised by my college. My friends celebrated the birthdays of a few of our friends on 23 April and 24 April. Then, I attended the interview for Perdana University on 25 April. One of my friend attended the interview for Pharmacy course at University of Nottingham Malaysia on the same day. During that time, some of my friends often asked me for help in their studies. On 1 May, the water rationing finally ended. 2 May was my last day of class in Taylor’s College.
3 May 2014 – 22 May 2014:
There was no college from 3 May to 7 May and I spent most of my time doing revision for the A2 final examination. 6 May was a very disappointing day for me because I unexpectedly received a rejection letter from Perdana University. I also felt ashamed about that because my friend who attended another interview on the same day as me was successful in getting an offer, so I did not tell any of my friends about that. My parents knew about that because they saw the rejection letter before me and they were also disappointed. On 8 May, my teacher gave us revision for Biology Paper 5. My A2 final examination was from 9 May to 22 May. For the first half of the examination from 9 May to 13 May, the papers were quite difficult and I felt very stressful. There was a break from 14 May to 18 May. At that time, I applied to SEGi University as a backup option in case I was later rejected by both IMU and NUMed Malaysia. For the second half of the examination from 19 May to 22 May, the papers were easier and I was quite relaxed. 22 May was the last day of my A2 final examination, so technically it was also my last day in Taylor’s College.
I have written in detail about my A2 final examination here:
23 May 2014 – 18 September 2014:
Even though my A Level course at Taylor’s College had ended at that time, I often had outings with my college friends during that few months. So, in reality my college life had not yet ended. That period of time was very interesting for me. On 12 August, the A2 final examination results was released and I obtained 4A*. On 18 September, I met up with my friends at college for the last time before entering university and that marked the end of my college life. After that, I moved to Johor Bahru on 20 September and started studying at NUMed Malaysia on 22 September.
I have written in detail about the incidents happened during that few months here:
In conclusion, my one and a half years of study at Taylor's College Subang Jaya had been very interesting. It is the time I spent together with my college friends which made my college life interesting. I consider my college friends to be my most important group of friends, and this fact will remain the same in the future. I am glad that I chose Taylor's College instead of Sunway College and I chose to began my A Level programme in January 2013, because otherwise I would not be studying together with them. I had to thank my parents for this because it was them who caused me to make this decision. At the same time, I am glad that I did not switch to Matriculation or the July intake of Taylor's College. Now, I really miss my life at Taylor's College very much.
If you find this story interesting, you may want to read this too: