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Reported by Toh Boon Kheng

This is not a scene from a television drama. Nor is it a scene in the Malaysian Bar Council. This is simply your average IMU Cup Debate Finals. The motion was ‘This House Will Abolish Prisons’. With teams Pegasus BR in opening government, Griffin NA in opening opposition, Taurus AS in closing government, and Draco SK in closing opposition, one can expect no less than an explosive finale on that Thursday night, on the 29th of October. Despite the heavy competition, there can only be one team in each spot. In the champion’s seat, Goh Ni Kol (ME214) and Ai Ven (BP112) brought pride to Griffin.

Meanwhile, Arjun (ME114) and Sree (ME115) from Taurus came in second, with Raaj (ME114) and Bryan (ME214) from Pegasus trailing closely in third. There was some humour to go around; “Butt sex is a scare tactic. It helps scare people from committing crime. We don’t condone it, but it does help deter (in response to a question about gang rapes in prison).” There was also some anger in the air; “Please use some logic before you say a Point of Information (POI). Don’t POI like a fool.” All in the name of sportsmanship. It was truly a ‘colourful’ night.

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“You have had 400 years, why hasn’t it worked?! If your system is useless, why do we still have to put up with it?”

“We feel really, really happy. Because the competition was really tight this year, so we thought we could not defend our gold from last year,” said Ni Kol, “And super surprised when they announced we are winners,” continued Ai Ven. “Everyone was really intense and emotional. We were like, let’s just not get last,” described Ni Kol. “I think (we won) because Ni Kol is a very good speaker. She delivers the matter really well,” as Ai Ven praised of Ni Kol, who was announced as the Best Debater.

As advice to new, aspiring debaters in IMU, they both were pretty certain, “Join Debate Club!” Ni Kol followed up, “We have a proper coach, who really teaches you everything he can, and the club pays everything, so you can go for free. And we always send debaters for competition. It’s actually the competition that shaped both of us. Also, read up on a lot of stuff. Go BBC, read up things, stay updated.” “Debating is a lot like, when people ask you two plus two, you have to show the working. And that’s debating, it’s not the answer, four. So, like, it’s analysing it,” concluded Ni Kol.

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/airwaves1/

On October 14 2014, a tornado hit the rural town of Pendang in Kedah, Malaysia. Many were astonished, as Malaysia is not a country that is accustomed to extreme weather phenomenon (except drought, thunderstorms and floods) and many of nature’s other wraths. We are geographically shielded by many other South East Asian countries, and are even located marginally out of the Ring of Fire.

Ring of Fire

Tornadoes, how do they work?

Like many things in the field of science, the exact series of events leading to the formation of tornadoes has yet to be completely understood. To be able to truly understand the mechanics of a tornado involves a lot of meteorological mumbo jumbo, so let’s just make do with the general idea of things.

This video explains how tornadoes form very well in layman terms, while this video gives a good explanation of the grander picture of the whole formation.

The mixture of rising hot air and fast flowing cold air in the atmosphere forms a rotating column of air, which results in a huge thunderstorm cloud known as a supercell. A supercell is the birthplace of tornadoes – given the appropriate wind conditions, amount of rising hot air, temperature difference and pressure.

Waterspouts and Landspouts

Similar to tornadoes, both are essentially smaller and baby version of tornadoes.

Landspouts are generally weaker in strength, and are not associated with a supercell.

Waterspouts form over water surfaces, and are a common occurrence in tropical areas, including Malaysia. Although they are not as devastating as the average tornadoes, they can move onto land, and even grow into “tornadic waterspouts”, which can dangerous.

Will it happen again?

According to the trends and the National Weather Centre, it is likely.

In Malaysia, we do not have a shortage of the ingredients required for the formation of a supercell, and are actually no strangers to tornado-like occurrences.

For now, these winds and moisture are not be strong and abundant enough to form a full blown tornado, but that might soon change. With extreme weather cases on the rise across the world, and the warmest years consistently being recorded globally, it might be time to abandon the usual assumption of our climate conditions, and maybe even prepare for the worse. Even recently in Malaysia we experienced perhaps the worst flooding in history, and Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest typhoon to ever made landfall (reach land) happened just back in late 2013. With wind speeds reaching 315km/h, it hit multiple countries and killed almost 6400 people. For comparison, storm Ivar in the Nordic lands had top wind speeds of 115km/h and only disrupted power supplies, and people could barely walk in the winds below the maximum speed, and the only reason they managed to do that is probably because they have Viking strength.

What to do during a tornado?

If in the future when mother earth decides to go “Day after Tomorrow” on us, perhaps this will become more useful. The main reason for casualties and injuries during tornadoes is actually due to falling or flying debris hurling towards you at breakneck speed, and not by being pulled into a whirlwind of death. Generally, you would want to cover yourself with some protective layers, and make yourself as small a target as possible (crouch, or do your best impression of an egg).

If you are indoors during a tornado:

  • Get to the lowest floor and as close to the center of the building as possible.
  • Stay away from windows (exploding windows can kill), walls and ceilings.
  • Cover and protect yourself with thick paddings such as blankets and mattress.

If you are outdoors:

  • Get indoors (if able).
  • If not shelter is to be found, lie face down flat on the ground and cover the back of your head with your arms.
  • Stay away from tall structures (trees, power line poles, etc.), they might fall on you.

In a vehicle:

Apparently the worst place to be during a tornado is on the road in a vehicle, as they are easily tossed and flipped by the winds. So don’t choose to stay in your vehicle over going indoors, no matter how precious it is.

  • Get indoors (if able).
  • If the tornado is far away, you may attempt to drive away from it, in a right angle direction from the tornado
  • If the tornado is too close, sit in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows and cover your head with your hands and other paddings (coat, cushion) if possible.

Here’s to hoping that none of us will need to use this safety guide.

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Two words to describe my experience: Roller Coaster.
What do I mean by a roller coaster? Throughout this experience, from deciding to take up the post, planning to executing, I have had emotional fluctuations. However, I am still grateful for what I have been through and skills learnt from this experience.
At first, I had a hard time deciding whether to take up the Chairperson or Public Relations Representative post, or just be an Event Assistant. Many things have held me back and the worst case scenarios in ruining the entire Career Day have crossed my mind for uncountable times. I have been worried about my soft skills and if I can manage people well. I would like to thank Miss Carina for not forcing me into any posts, and my Student Ambassador (SA) mate, Jen May, for her encouragement in achieving something bigger before our term as an SA ends.11160291_10204328259228434_603804280_n
During planning, everything has seemed to go well. Due to my inexperience, the first day of pre-preparation has been the lowest point of my entire experience. I panicked when I was informed that only one helper showed up, out of five who had signed up. I contacted them and found out that some of them had forgotten about it. I have learnt to think in depth and foresee possible happenings.
During preparation, I learnt to be flexible and to be open to all possible changes. Miss Carina pointed out to me that I tend to plan in detail and expect everything to go accordingly. I am grateful that I have an efficient team. I have learnt from them on enjoying the process as my team has established friendships with each other and the whole atmosphere in the work station was filled with positive vibes. In addition, due to my worries and stress, I would like to thank my team for being understanding and supportive.
Throughout the whole process, I have learnt to always refer back to the big picture before going into details, so I will always stay on the right track. I have learnt to be more observant and hence could correct my team efficiently when they make mistakes as correction could not be delay or worse consequences may result.
The most important thing that I have gained from this experience is to stay optimistic. As mentioned above, I tend to be pessimistic before I even try. From this experience, I have regained my confidence in managing people and realized it is not as tough as I had imagined. I have learnt to do my best with love as the central motive, instead of fear. When love dominates, I am calmer and people around me will feel more comfortable working together. When fear dominates, I tend to be so demanding and people around me will feel stressed as well.
I am blessed to be granted this opportunity to work as a Career Day Chairperson. I believe I will continue in improving my skills and achieving more in life.

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11158152_10204331855038327_619273438_n Melody Ng Min Ern (ND113)

 

 

 

 



 

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Entomophagy is the practice of consuming insects as a food source. Spiders, grasshoppers, larvae, scorpions, beetles are widely and commonly consumed in some parts of the world. To some of us, the graphic thought about putting this in our mouths is enough to induce a gag reflex, but to others, it simply a highly nutritious, bacon tasting delicacy waiting to be cooked with sago.

I wasn’t really that excited by the prospect of having insects as a daily food choice. In my impression, insects are only either eaten raw or deep fried, sometimes stir fried. But when I read about an Asian-style locust noodle served with extracted fat of black soldier fly larvae, I somehow can’t wait to try it.

Why Insects?

So, why should we contend against house geckos and other animals to eat such disgusting things? Aren’t our normal animal food sources enough for us? Firstly, you wouldn’t need to contend with other animals for insects, seeing that insects are the most common and most abundant species (that could serve as human food) on earth. Secondly, no, it isn’t enough.

Our primary sources of protein – cattle, goats, pigs and chickens require huge amounts of land to develop and sustain, which means that increasing the production of meat from these animals will only accelerate the rate of deforestation and land clearing. The animal waste produced and veterinary medicines used in rearing the animals also cause water and land pollution, even seeping deep into the soil. That’s not all – the agricultural and livestock industry actually generates more greenhouse gases globally than planes, trains, automobiles, and ships combined.

The agricultural and livestock industry actually generates more greenhouse gases globally than planes, trains, automobiles, and ships combined.

With fishes, there are similar problems in fish farming, not to mention the possibility of the total depletion of fish species. Given how poorly managed deforestation, pollution, overfishing and rising global temperatures already are, ramping up these sectors to accommodate the growing global population will probably spell doom. By 2050, it is estimated that the global population will reach 9 billion, and we will need to produce twice as much food as we are currently producing to sustain that number of people.

Insects, on the other hand, are not only abundant, but are more nutritious (if not as nutritious), than our current meat sources, containing a large range and amount of essential nutrition, such as omega 3 fatty acids and many amino acids. For example, 100 grams of caterpillar can contain more protein than 100 grams of beef, even almost as much protein as cod fish, and house flies per gram can contain more thiamine and riboflavin than milk or beef. It is also much more efficient and environmentally friendly to grow insects, requiring less water, less land, less energy.  When compared to raising cattle, raising grasshoppers require up to 4 times less feed to produce 1kg of meat, and produce 75% less greenhouse gases.

Edible (and appetising) insect dishes

Here I’ve compiled a few examples of insect dishes that are beside the usual deep fried batter and tempura insects, just because they look potentially delicious.

Witchetty grubs with bunya nuts and quandong dipping sauce.
Witchetty grubs with bunya nuts and quandong dipping sauce
Chapuline taco
Chapuline taco
Fried stink bug.
Fried stink bug

 

Zimbabwean stirred fried mopane caterpillars, with shallots, tomatoes, onions, clove garlic, ginger, curry powder and ground black pepper
Zimbabwean stirred fried mopane caterpillars, with shallots, tomatoes, onions, clove garlic, ginger, curry powder and ground black pepper
Stirred fried red palm weevil larvae, with vegetable oil and stir fried with Thai basil, finely chopped hot chili peppers, salt, black pepper, and soy sauce
Stirred fried red palm weevil larvae, with vegetable oil and stir fried with Thai basil, finely chopped hot chili peppers, salt, black pepper, and soy sauce

Insects will very likely be a food for the future, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to be forced to give up normal food choices and be forced to swallow caterpillars and cockroaches. In the end the choice of adopting the diet will still fall to us, if the choice still exists.

If you’re still feeling squeamish about eating these adorable freaks, feel free to know that everyone consumes insects and related fragments (and other disgusting things) unknowingly on a regular basis. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have a whole handbook for manufacturers and food producers that provides guidelines for “acceptable fragment levels”. So try and give your meal a good scanning the next time you’re about to dig in, if you’re lucky you might find a pleasant surprise – or two.

 

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Crow (BM113)

Scholar. Gentleman. Handsome. Also a bird.

 



 

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“Welcoming freshies to IMU!” . If you asked me, I would say so as well. But orientation has much more to it than just welcoming juniors. Orientation helps juniors to know their way around IMU, easily help them to integrate into the system and also help them know the ‘important people’ around IMU such as members of the SRC and the House Captains.

The Medic Orientation is an event that takes place twice annually, for 2 weeks long. I believe orientation brings people closer, not only the medical student but students from other cohorts as well.

This year, ME115 Orientation started on the 24th of February and lasted till 6th of March.

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There are many activities that took place in that 2 weeks of orientation such as ice breaking, dry games, telematch, track trip, dress code night, outdoor treasure hunt, indoor treasure hunt and finale night.

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Happy faces

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The pros of orientation are to ensure that the juniors are not feeling stressed in their first few days in uni. It also gives the new students a sense of belonging and that they are not alone. Furthermore, orientation reminds the students that it is possible to reach out and ask for help any time they need it.

However, orientation is multifaceted too – the orientation committee had faced difficulties in booking lecture theatres, ordering shirts and assuming sizes of the shirt, filming the orientation movie and cleaning up after games. Moreover, orientation is definitely time consuming as the students had to stay back late into the night to practice for events and dances.

In a nutshell, orientation is a golden tradition in IMU as the pros overcame the cons. No pain, No gain. With so many new friends to make and less strangers around, IMU is a little piece of heaven itself.

 No pain, No gain. With so many new friends to make and less strangers around, IMU is a little piece of heaven itself.

More pictures of happy faces and funny antics:

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The spirit of the recent medical orientation was successfully captured by Yeoh Jie Cong. A medical student himself, Jie Cong also moonlights as a freelance photographer. Check out JieCong’s Photography for more photos! 

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Who are the Infinity Milers?

You can call us the running or adventure club of IMU.  Our club caters to students who are passionate about running, hiking and those with the aim of keeping themselves in shape.  We strive to organise weekly trainings and outdoor adventures as well as to participate in road races as runners or volunteers.

Contrary to some beliefs, you don’t need to be good in running in order to be part of the Infinity Milers.  As long as you are ready to push boundaries and step out of your comfort zone, you will find a place with the Infinity Milers.

After all, our motto is ‘To Infinity and Beyond!’

Events

White Ribbon Run
White Ribbon Run

Road Races

  • The Blood Donor Fun Run
  • Nottingham Run
  • INTI R.A.C.E (Run Against Cancer Event)
  • Larian Bandar Diraja Oren Sports Run
  • Standard Chartered KL Marathon
  • Light A Life 2.0: End Child Trafficking Run
  • White Ribbon Run
  • NIKE We Run KL 21K 2015
Standard Chartered KL Marathon
Standard Chartered KL Marathon

Volunteering

  • 2XU Compression Run
  • Great Eastern Live Great Run
  • Standard Chartered KL Marathon
  • NIKE We Run KL 21K 2015
Volunteering for Great Eastern Live Great Run
Volunteering for Great Eastern Live Great Run

Adventures

  • Gunung Datuk, Negeri Sembilan
  • Chilling Waterfalls, Kuala Kubu Bharu
  • Gua Tempurung, Perak
Chilling Waterfalls, Kuala Kubu Bharu
Chilling Waterfalls, Kuala Kubu Bharu

Inter-University Competitions

  • MAPCU (Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and University) Track and Field
  • MAPCU Road Relay
  • MIVG (Medical Inter-Varsity Games) Track and Field

Achievements

  1. MAPCU Track and Field: 1st Runner-Up
  2. MAPCU Road Relay: Champion for 7 consecutive years
  3. MIVG Track and Field: Overall Champion
MAPCU Road Relay
MAPCU Road Relay

About Us

Our 2014/15 committee consists of:

President: Loh Chooi Shawn

Secretary: Saw Jia Huey

Treasurer: Alicia Tay Shiau Voon

Race Coordinator: Wilson Wong Wei Xiang

Adventure Coordinator: Kenny Wan Te Jin

Event Coordinator: Kan Ka Hou

Join the Infinity Milers on Facebook!

 

 

 

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Theme : The Role of Religion in the Upbringing of the Society

Interfaith forum is an annual event organized by all the religious clubs in IMU (Buddhist Society, Catholic Society, Christian Fellowship, Hindu Society and Muslim Society). This year, in 2015, the religious clubs with the guidance of SRC will extend the one-day event into a week called Interfaith Week. This Interfaith Week will comprise of activities such as flashmob, exhibition, fundraising and the forum itself. We believe the Interfaith Week will serve as a good platform for students and even staff to enhance their understanding towards the major religions in Malaysia and the world. We hope that this understanding will translate into positive attitudes such as respect and tolerance during the studying and working years as well as within the larger society itself.

Interfaith week was held from 26th to 29th January 2015.

Activities and clubs in charge:

1)Flashmob (Monday) by Hindu Society

(A flashmob in the middle of atrium during lunch time to kick start the interreligious week)

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2)Fundraising (Monday – Thursday) by Christian Fellowship

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3)Exhibition (Monday – Thursday) by Muslim Society

(Exhibition on each religion)

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4) Forum and performances (Thursday) by Buddhist Society

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PR and IT was handled by Catholic Society while F&B  was handled by Muslim Society.

There were many hurdles faced by the committee of the interfaith week event. Firstly the lack of manpower, as there were only slightly more than 10 committed members to run the whole event. Next, the date itself proved to be a problem as many students were either on breaks, or having exams, so it was quite tough to get the crowd. To overcome this problems, the committee went all out to advertise this interfaith week,  from sending spam emails to everyone, to changing desktop background of each computers in IMU and giving out flyers.

 

 

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Organized by IMU Table Tennis Club Committee 14/15 dated on 7 Feb (Saturday). The main objectives of hosting this tournament is to provide a platform for table tennis players to learn from each other by interaction, and to enhance relationships among universities.

The committee consisted of Chai Kah Chun (Head) and the rest of the committee members are Jia-Min Tan, Yip Cha Ming, Chen Xue Ruu, Ou Chai Shin.

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The event began at about 9am and it ended around 3pm. There were 4 universities (including IMU) that took part in the event. The participated varsities are IMU, UNMS, IPGKBA, and APU. The ranking of the competition are as follows :

1)UNMS

2)IMU

3)IPGKBA.

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The competition was carried out in the format of ‘team round-robin’, which actually means each university had to rival against all the other universities. Each university had to send in 10 players and the particular 10 players are allocated to play for 5 categories (Men’s Single, Men’s Double, Women Single,Women Double and Mixed Double).The winners were decided based on the total number of the winnings in term of categories. There were a total of 40 players who participated in the competition.

Since there is always another side to the coin, there was some problems faced in this event too. One of the major ones is that, some of the invited universities did not respond to our invitation before the stated deadline. Besides, our first scheduled date clashed with their break or exam so we shifted to a second date to accommodate their issues. Furthermore, the limitation of the current facilities was one of the hurdles as well.

 

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Who could forget the miracle of the day you first appeared? A moment when fantasy and reality lapsed and a lag cursed the thought, in what seemed an eternity of disbelief. Time left, beauty personified, and every obstacle dissolved. The world was free and impossibilities were void. You gave me life, and I was born a second time.

As quickly as you’ve made me, you’ve wrecked my balance and sanity against the shores of truth, shattered it into pitiful bits as thick as an atoms’ edge. I was poisoned with hopes and fantasies, ifs and maybes, and rendered useless to pass every day, every waking and unconscious second without the immortal pain of possible disappointment. I was torn and tormented, in an ferocious, ever shifting climate of unsettling bleak and warmth, and I’ve imagined hell to be a bliss if I would die in that moment.

As quickly as you’ve made me, you’ve wrecked my balance and sanity against the shores of truth, shattered it into pitiful bits as thick as an atoms’ edge.

As I bleed profusely, picking up every razor of truth and myself, I had glimpsed the future, and discovered my fate was non-existent without you.

Every time I see you or beheld you in my eyes and mind, I would know nothing but humility. Under the spell of beauty incarnate, my heart fell through endless heights, my mind in a trance of dreamful intoxication. And for the time we first spoke, I swore my life had closed on its final chapter. And for that time when our hearts were mutual, not even the glory of heaven or the horror of hell could impress me, for I had you.

And for that time when our hearts were mutual, not even the glory of heaven or the horror of hell could impress me, for I had you.

And when we met reality, like flowers approaching summer, beauty and perfection became temporal, and we spiraled down and fell and were almost lost. The kingdoms of passion were not constructed on impulses or in the first seconds alone. It demanded offerings, for us to be tortured, ripped apart and put together and ripped apart again, the hopes and wishes crushed so fine for a lone and secret purpose, and that was only to assemble the purest, truest essence of love. There we saw each other, crystal and thorough, hearten and complete, disproved and proved countless lyrics of love songs, and reality instead became the best teacher we have known, and few will ever have the fortune to discover.

Now, with a paved and concrete path of blind determination shot, stuck, and sunken ahead into the midst of a once wild and frightful time, we can begin to indulge the sweetness sown in those innocent times. When we are someday swaying slowly and silently to some slow music, hand in hand, warmth against warmth, heart to heart, all that will be needed, and ever will be needed is –

Love.

 

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Crow (BM113)

Scholar. Gentleman. Handsome. Also a bird.

 



 

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I think I have been comparatively stress-free during my stay in IMU Bukit Jalil or in Seremban, and whenever I describe my life during medical school – especially the time in Seremban, I would say I really have had the time of my life, and it was mostly a joyride.

Of course, it was around about 75% luck – I have had amazing housemates and we were extremely close friends – a bunch of happy-go-lucky kind, and that made life probably a hundred times easier. But I believe the other 25% is my mindset.
I was fortunate enough to not repeat any exams, (considering my batch has had a failure rate of somewhere in between 5-10% each big exam, this was really lucky) but this is neither because I am intelligent nor hardworking. Of course I attribute this to a big pile of luck as well, but I think this was also thanks to the mindset against exams in general – and I am slowly learning that these sets of mindsets can be expanded to life in general.

So I thought why not just share this mindset to people who might be interested – if anybody can at least learn something from it, even if it may be one person, I would be glad.

First message I would like to give – Be Realistic.

I know that most of you whom entered IMU are over-achievers in your own lives. However, here’s something new – you don’t have to blame yourself for not having a distinction or a gold medal. Chances are that most of the students in your university were high-achievers in all through primary, secondary, and high school. In the midst of all the high-achievers, is it understandable that you have a few gifted students who would achieve double with half the effort?

I know, I know…with our Asian culture and mindset, it is difficult to change the mindset that A=average and B=bad, C=complete failure and nothing else exists, but if you don’t try, nobody will change it for you and beating yourself all the time is plain unhealthy.

Most of us have to realize that passing in a medical/dental institute is already an achievement, and aiming for distinction should come only if passing is a breeze for you… but for most students, it is NOT! The important thing here is to do your best, and not kill yourself in the process. I learnt this early, because I was never that over-achiever. I failed my A-levels and took it again to be able to enter university at all! – But I have been fortunate enough to not re-sit any exams in IMU. Again, half luck, but the other half is skill.

So how can we improve the efficacy of learning?

  1. Concentrate when you’re studying.

This applies to every aspect of the learning process. Whether you are in class, during group projects, or studying by yourself, it is definitely better to concentrate for an hour than studying with half the concentration for 2 hours.

I don’t suggest playing music when trying to retain facts – especially music with lyrics. Classical music may help you relax while studying when you’re too tense (I will talk about STRESS shortly) You may listen to music however when you’re trying to pull out information from your mind and to check which information you can access in your brain – i.e. when doing past year papers.

One suggestion to make such concentration possible, is to time yourself while studying. try to achieve the maximum amount of learning in the shortest time possible – this skill of “mental sprinting” will also be useful in various aspects of your life. The faster you can finish a task, the more things you can do!

  1. Control the amount of stress, and use stress to your advantage.

Everyone gets stressed out before exams – but not everyone knows that stress can be beneficial!

You should have an optimal amount of stress for you to perform maximally. If you’re feeling too sleepy or relaxed, drink a coffee or think about the semester fees.
If you are having palpitations because you are too stressed, accept the fact that you won’t function so well, and go talk to your classmates, joke about something, or go for a drink.

Try to be at the middle of the curve (the part that says “optimal arousal”) or a little right of the curve, so that you will recognize your stress and slowly move your stress-managing capability.

  1. Recognize that learning involves input AND output

Memory has no use if you cannot output it from your mind. therefore, you need to make conscious efforts to practice on out-putting what is in your mind… through writing, ( like exactly what I am doing right now!), teaching others, through discussions (PBL!) and doing essay-based past year questions.  It takes practice to put concepts into coherent sentences, but it really does promote learning because when you try to put things into words, you realize that you need to recall the facts, and link the facts together when doing so.

  1. Do past year questions

Past year questions are your strongest allies when tackling exams. every examination has its own trends, and you should make every effort to attempt past years – sometimes multiple times. not only to recognize the trend of the questions, but to realize which areas are your weaknesses, so you can revisit them. Get these from your immediate seniors, and make them for your juniors.

  1. Plan your learning early

Why do we have to plan early? various reasons. One – we have to allow ourselves some time to fail. If you set your plan too stringently, say, 5 repetitions of a particular topic over 2 months and you figure out that you can probably do only 3, you need to readjust your plan accordingly. Two – it is always better to study a little every day, than to study for the whole day for a day in a week. early planning will enable you to spread out your learning so that studying everyday would be a breeze. Victory loves preparations!

  1. Find your own studying methods

Everyone has different strengths in cognition. Some people can remember better when they read things aloud, and some others remember better when writing things down. Try to find how you study best, and stick to it. When it is not working, change it! Try many methods to find the one best suited for you.

  1. Improve memory by associations

Memory improves with emotional involvement.

We remember things better when we FEEL something when we try to retain facts. Therefore, try to make opportunities to link emotions to facts – a good way to link them is through humor. Try to make jokes out of facts. The sicker the joke is, the better, because that sense of disgust will also enhance memory. Have friends with a good sense of humor around. They’re usually good at turning everything into jokes.

Memory improves with associations.

When we are young, we can remember facts as it is, but as we get older, we tend to remember more when it is associated with other information.

For example, if you were foreign to English language, and to remember the word… say, “ubiquitous” – if you were 5 years old, you would probably be able to recall it next week. But if you were 55, you most probably will not. On the other hand, if I were to explain the meaning of the word, that it means “Being or seeming to be everywhere at the same time” and because this 55 year old man is a religious man, I tell him – “like god and his holy presence, it is ubiquitous”, he may be able to remember this word not only for a week, but his whole life.

Try to relate everything you have learnt, to each other, and to something you known previously -which brings us to my next point.

  1. Don’t just study all the time.

I just mentioned that people remember better when things are associated together. This means that your ability to memorize things will increase proportionally to your current memory of various other things.

If you have spent your whole life studying locked in your room, you won’t be able to easily relate things together – simply because you have a lack of retained facts to link together! This explains why people who does lots of sports, and has lots of hobbies seem like they have less trouble remembering new things.

Having lots of things to do is good for your hippocampus. “What is that” you say? It is the part of the brain responsible for remembering new facts. You can memorize new things thanks to this organ in your brain. In a nutshell, doing new things in life will stimulate your hippocampus, therefore making your ability to memorize more powerful.

Having hobbies will be hugely beneficial in relieving stress. doing extra curricular activities in university will help you find friends whom you can turn to. The list of benefit is endless. When in university, join at least one extracurricular activity. Trust me, it will be worth it.

  1. Teach people!

Teaching is a highly complicated task that requires a lot of skill! but when we actually attempt to teach someone else, we are forced to search into our minds into our retained facts, and summarize them and output them as coherent words so others can understand. this will make us realize parts of our memories that are lacking, so that we can go back and learn them again, and train us in the terms of output. the person who benefits the most from teaching, is actually the teacher him/herself!

  1. Have zero tolerance for boredom

I know studying can get boring. But boredom is the no.1 enemy to memory retention and recall. Don’t allow this to happen. Use many different ways to study, like drawing out mind-maps, conduct PBL-style discussion with friends, make quizzes for your friends to attempt using free softwares like “Kahoot.it”, make presentations, teaching other students, asking others to teach you etc etc etc. be creative.

In summary, learning is a skill we can learn to make learning less stressful and exams less scary. If you want to enjoy university life as much as I did, one thing you could do is to change your mindset. If you already have great friends, you are just one step away from a great university life!



 

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Author: Tatsuki Abe (CM114)