Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Conquering Fear

My residential college, Tun Hussein Onn, feeds off the fear of its students.
It practically runs on fear.

Why do I say that?


I just got back to my college after a long, exhausting day out buying the stuff and materials we'd need for our Entrepreneurship course (we're selling ice-blended drinks, but that's another story :P), and I was absolutely looking forward to coming back to my homely little room with a missing window pane and sitting down to my sweet tong sui dessert after a nice, em, cold, bath.


I saw two girls, standing outside the door of one of my floor mates, and I almost froze in terror.

Oh, my God. They're here
Oh no. What do I do??

I rushed into my room and locked the door.

Okay, maybe I should pretend I'm not here. Shit, but they saw me come in.
Or maybe I can hide myself in the bathroom? Have my bath immediately? Yes, I'll do that. They'll have no choice but to leave once I'm in the bathroom, right? Good idea.

So I practically grabbed all my things: my towel, my undies, my toiletries; my heart was pounding, praying that I wouldn't be too late.

Knock knock.

Oh, my God. I'm too late ! I'll just pretend I'm not here. Shit ! That's stupid, they know I'm in ! Oh crapcrapcrapcrapcrap where can I hide now? Do I really have to open the door?

Knock knock knock.

A sigh of resignation. I didn't have a choice now did I?

"Selamat malam, kak. Kami nak kutip RM25 untuk t-shirt FESSAT."

I stared at them. I tried to sneak my way out by saying I wanted to take a bath first, which was really the only excuse I had, seeing as I was in my towel and holding on to my toiletries. When that didn't work, I said, "Kalau tak nak beli boleh tak?"

"Tapi wajib, kak. Sebab ni program kolej. Kena pakai t-shirt tu masa program. Tapi kalau kak tak nak beli jugak, kena jumpe dengan En. Rahim dan Pengetua kolej la. Rasanya, cam tu tak de masalah."

I stared at them again, unblinking.

"Tak nak la." I said.

Then they jotted down my room number and left.

All that bravado I had put on earlier faded away like a puff of smoke after they'd gone.

Frankly, I was scared. En. Rahim (a member of the administration staff and also ex-military personnel who was renown for his booming voice and harsh words >.<) and the Principal???

Now you guys must be wondering why on earth I refused to pay in the first place right? Like, Hello, it's no big deal. Just pay the stupid RM25 and be done with it !

Well, I'll tell you why.

For the past 2 years this is what happens when I pay RM25 to RM27 for a t-shirt from college:

They never fit.

I am completely serious.

Those who know me, know that I am petite and small, smaller than a lot of people. 

The sizes, though apparently S (for small) NEVER fit me. I end up with t-shirts that are well below my mid-thighs, sleeves that cover my elbows, shoulder seams that droop below my shoulders onto my arms, long-sleeved ones that cover my hands !

They're like freakin' NIGHTGOWNS rather than t-shirts ! @.@

You know where they all are right now?

Stuffed in the bottom of my wardrobe at home, never to see the light of day again because who on earth would ever wear such ill-fitting clothes out in public? >.<

But like I said, I got scared. What if they kick me out of college? What if they call me up and demand an explanation?

While I was in the shower, I totally freaked myself out thinking along those lines. But after a while, I just got really pissed off.

I mean, why do they like to threaten us and twist our arms into doing stupid things that we don't want to? Why do they like to force people to do their bidding? Why do they abuse their power and threaten us when they certainly have no right to?

I damn well pay my fees to stay in this college. I deserve a room in this hostel. They have no right to kick me out, and they can't, especially not in the middle of the semester.

I've always been supportive of this college. I've paid my dues in first and second year when I naively joined every program they asked (read: forced) us to, jumped through every hoop they commanded us to, just like the circus animals we seem to be to them, just cos they have all the power.

I did not say I no longer support this college. I love it for it's relatively spacious single rooms, strategic position beside the main hall where Choir practices are held at night. The college is also a mere 10-15 minutes walk to my Faculty and the Language School, and only 5 minutes from Pusanika.

I do love this college. And when they conduct the stupid FESSAT (Festival Sanjungan Satria) and MAP (Malam Anugerah Pelajar) this semester, I can promise that I intend to be there to provide moral support.

But I will not, I repeat, not, pay another sen to buy a damn t-shirt that will most probably never fit me and I would never wear. It's a waste of my, damn, money.

I know it may seem a small thing. Like, Come on, it's just RM25.

But it's not just RM25. It signifies their control over us students, threatening us again like they have been for the past 2 years in this college.

Well, I will not fear, or be scared anymore.

I'm no longer that doe-eyed twenty-year-old that you think you can just push around and bully.


If it comes to that, and En. Rahim or the Principal calls me up, I think I'll be glad for the chance to speak my mind.

You can threaten all you want.

I'm not scared of you. Not anymore.


yee chia said...

wahseh...brave ...u r very very brave...i admire u!!!! i will learn with u when i meet tis kind of problem in future...
n i giv u a big applause!!!!! clap clap** :) hahah

Liz ^^, said...

>>yee chia

Ahaha, thanks ! But seriously, I'm not THAT brave. I'm still scared a lot. Do you get it in your college too? Don't you feel damn geram that they keep doing this to us? I suffered through 1st and 2nd year cos of all the "wajib" things >.<

Hope that I'll learn not to let people push me around, and stand up for what I want to say ! @.@

Jian said...

This is a good start to many more occasions as such that one may face in the future. Your piece is here and you've taken it, make the full use of it! :)

SandraC said...

kudos!! u stood up for what u tot is right!! i support u..i have never bought anything from that stupid hostel of mine ever!

jcdagreat said...

lol....good one missy... why shud u be afraid... my kolej sucks too. Just after i complaint about the water problem, instead of saying sorry, they shoot me back. So, be proud of ya self for u have done a right thing~