Life Experience by Ahmad Qawiy bin Mohamad

2018, a year that I will never forget.I was a Form 4 student, in SM Agama Persekutuan Bentong. It was during the second half of the year. Though form 4 was said to be a honeymoon yearfor the SBP studentsas it stands between two big examination, being elected to become a secretary for the Student Council was not helpful. Ever since I was given the task needed to be done after replacing the current secretary, I found myself not really enjoying my honeymoonlife. Plus,all the curriculum activities and homework just worsen it more.Then one day,theschool counselor met me and offeredto join a leadership camp at another school in Terengganu. I jumped with joy, in my heart.Being an introverted secretary does not help in allowing me to show my true feelings.I was happyas it was such a good chance for me to rest and enjoy my time. Also, the camp will include snorkeling activities. It hypesme up as I will gain new experience during my rest. It was truly agodsent relief for me at that time, but yeah happy times does not last long sometimes.

I was a president in the Correctional Cadets. As it was not really a well-known uniform, I will tell a bit about it. Correctional Cadets is a uniform body that was formed by the Malaysian Prison Departmentfor high school students. It’s just like the Police Cadet but more onto prison.As my school was really close to “Penjara Bentong”, we had the privilege of having the prison officers to guide us in our curriculum activities. At that time, we were practicingin preparation for theauditionto enter theCorrectional Cadets’National Camping trip.Everyday was training day. From marching in the middle of the street, under the scorching sunto practicing martial artsinside a stuffy hall, it was not a pleasant time but looking back, it was a pleasant memory. I had so much fun from all the training and actually all of it indirectly crafted my personality. I became more disciplined than before, more punctual,and even gain more confident in myself. Then came the fateful day. My friends and I went through the audition against around 50 other students from other schools. Long story short, I was accepted to join the 30-personteam.

And that was the start of my dilemma.Should I join the leadership camp or should I join the uniform camp? Both of it could give anational level certificate sotaking either would not be a lost for me. One week. One whole week for me to decide which to choose.Maybe it seems simple. But no.Choosing one means to leave the other. And I will need to find a replacement. Also, at that time switching participants washard to deal with because both camps were already at the last stage of preparation.I could not even sleep soundly in that one week.I approached teachers, friends and siblings asking for help. One night, after night prep session, I went to the surau, alone and prayed ‘hajah prayer’, not ‘istikharah’. Although usually muslims prayed ‘istikharah’ when conflicting between two choices, I believe ‘hajah’ was better in my situation. I prayed for only one thing:” Allah, help me choose the one best for me and ease me to handle the aftermath after making my decision.” That night, I slept soundly.

Waking up the next day, I felt guided. Everything feels connected. Even though I have been on this routine for years already, that one morning, each of my action was like following a straight, invisible line. And it led me to choosing the Correctional Cadet National Camp. It also led me to phone call with my sister who was an alumnus of the school that holds the leadership camp. She said that changing the participant’s name is not a problem though already at such a late stage. It lead me in finding the best person to join the leadership camp, which later he became one of the leaders approved by teachers and other students for his achievement. That day, was a turning point in my life. The day that I started to prepare myself for the uniform camp was the day my life started to point to a certain event. I would never be the person I am now if I were to choose the leadership camp. I don’t think I will even enter UTP by going to the leadership camp. All my sufferings in making decisions, my nights of not sleeping was not for a naught. What happened during the uniform camp, was like a reply from God to me, that this is the best choice for me. This path is what I needed to make sure I will be able to handle the outside world. The path that changed my life forever.

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