I was studying to become a dentist somewhere deep in the jungle of Kolej Matrikulasi Pahang..
when one Thursday, I got a call from Ms. Asmah saying that I got the Yayasan Sime Darby scholarship to go to China. I just couldn’t express my feelings! Too good to be true? I thought so too till I received an email with the subject “Invitation to Scholarship Award Ceremony”. It was finally beginning to sink in.
(Receiving the university offer letter)
(The beautiful, high-spirited girls who also got the scholarship. From right : Choo Yan Ning, Nadia Majid, Natalie Ong, and finally me..Sharmaini. Athiff Akalili not in the picture.)
And so I guess…
“Light shines when you least expect it to”
…and I am thankful to YSD for giving me that opportunity, trusting me with a scholarship and restoring my hopes and dreams that were crushed. I walked out of my school gates with little hope after accepting my SPM results. The B+ in my physics devastated me beyond words. I felt like the whole world turned its back on me but now, everything is different.
My first step into YSD began during the Scholars Development Programme in Merlimau, Melaka. Merlimau? What? WHERE? Hold your horses. Don’t go on Google Maps just yet.
Let me tell you, it was the beautiful, most magical experience in my life and I gained so much experience, strength, motivation and memories that would last a lifetime, maybe more. I learned to stay on the right path and how to look at mistakes as lessons and to never give up, no matter what. I met really great trainers and the bond between us all lasts till today.
(Best part is, we put aside our cultural differences and lived as a family.)
And finally I arrived in this majestic palace where so many memories were created!
Beijing Language and Culture University/ BLCU or also known as 北京语言大学/北语
Communication was a huge problem for me. At the beginning I thought that my 3 years of studying Chinese in primary school would help until I realized, it didn’t. I struggled a lot, I do not deny that. I felt inferior as the other four girls were much better than me, but I am a Sime Darby scholar, remember? I strived and I gave my best and I will continue doing so.
Sime Darby gave me a chance to explore a new country, learn new culture, meet new people and create new memories. Not to mention, the one thing I look forward to every month are the emails I receive from Sime Darby. How their words of encouragement never cease to amaze me, because I know that through this scholarship I have learned a little bit more about myself. I have learned to try new things, to look over the horizon, to accept criticism, to conquer most of my fears and fall a little more in love with the new me. I have learned to set my priorities and goals, and here I am determined to soar higher and stand strong with the rest.
I couldn’t have done all this without the support and love of these wonderful people in my life.
(This beautiful woman-mummy )
(These awesome brats)
Thank you Yayasan Sime Darby.