It is coming… exams!

It is that time of the semester again. Yes, our final exams are just around the corner and I can already see people stressing out in the library at night.

The biggest change that I had encountered in terms of education when I transferred from my hometown college in Penang, Malaysia was exams. Now I’d have to tell you that I came from an Asian country, and you’ve seen the stereotypical Asian parents on TV where results are everything.

Since coming to Mount Union, I have had science classes for general education requirements where students are quizzed every week to make sure we are kept up to speed on class material. These classes often have tests three to four times a semester. To top it all off, there’s that comprehensive final exam at the end of it all. Brilliant, isn’t it?

That is pretty much the norm where I came from. Our academic achievements are based on exams and test scores. Academic excellence is nothing but a number or a grade. That all changed for me when I came to Mount Union.

Being a communication major, I had the opportunity to take classes that go easier on the exams and crank up the practical side of education. I’ve taken print production, advertising, audio production and video production. I believe that classes with a more practical approach helps prepare one for life after academics more than classes with constant examinations.

Since coming here January of last year, I have spent sleepless nights in the 24-hour area trying to work magic with Adobe to create posters for my print class and create advertising campaigns for mock products are clients. In addition, I’m currently hosting my own show on WRMU that shares foreign cultures and music with the public. Talk about being practical.

Education in America really changed me, although I have remained pretty much the same in terms of how lazy I am during final exams season. All through high school and college in Malaysia, I always felt like it was never meant for me. I felt exhausted by constant examinations. Most of all, I was tired that my intelligence was being judged by what I could do on paper. I am happy that education here takes a different approach and with that I can be better prepared for the real world.

Not to freak out and all, but the real world is only a semester away.

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