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High School to MBBS: A Journey of Self-Discovery and Growth

17 Apr 2023

I am Raveena A/P Pannirselvam and not too long ago, I embarked on my journey as a medical student at the International Medical University (IMU). Prior to joining the medical programme, I was studying the Foundation in Science (FIS) at IMU. The constant guidance from the IMU staff and wonderful student community has made my transition from being a FIS student to a medicine student easy and adaptable.

I felt honoured to be awarded the 100% scholarship to further my undergraduate studies of MBBS in IMU. I am eternally grateful to the scholarship board for this opportunity, as this scholarship will be an excellent stepping-stone for my future triumphs. For this, I had to go through a challenging scholarship application process and stiff competition following my application for the IMU Merit Scholarship. This application was made after graduating from my one-year FIS programme with a 4.0 CGPA and discussing this with my parents, my lovely mentor, Chow Kit May, and my peers.

For me, choosing IMU to pursue Foundation in Science  was an easy decision to make. IMU has an excellent reputation as a private medical university and countless years of experience providing one of Malaysia’s best healthcare educations. Although classes during my FIS year were conducted in hybrid mode, with online lectures and physical practical sessions, my lecturers have always succeeded in keeping my attention through interactive and engaging teaching styles.

IMU also encourages its students to be well-rounded, where again, I had lots of opportunities to partake in extracurricular activities. I held a position as secretary of the Tree of Life Project, participated in many community service events under the Giving Vision Project, and competed in various IMU Cup competitions, all within my FIS journey. I deeply value the opportunities IMU has extended, which have allowed all students to provide to the community through education, funds, and services. The community service projects and fundraising events I was involved in have instilled in me values that all healthcare professionals should embody. 

The Years Before Joining IMU’s Foundation in Science : Memorable High School Experiences
Even with all these experiences at IMU, I still cannot forget the memorable experiences that I obtained at Sri KDU. Although my childhood memories are hazy, I still vividly remember how I felt when I stepped foot into Sri KDU Secondary School for the first time as a 13-year-old. However, I would be lying if I said I was thrilled to begin my high school journey because all I felt then were my hands shaking and my breath laboured.


I have always been a timid child, and I chalked it up to being a part of my personality for the longest time before beginning my journey with Sri KDU. I had the most growth and development as an individual during my 5 years in secondary school and it is all by virtue of the content and structure of Sri KDU’s curriculum and extra curriculum. I was given many opportunities to partake in various events, projects, and competitions, which allowed me to polish my communication and leadership skills.


By the age of 16, I still felt jitters and nervous before a big presentation or speech, but I knew by then how to compose myself and not let my fear hinder my goals and aspirations. The skills I gained as a Sri KDU student allowed me to be nominated and hold the position of head prefect for the 2019/2020 term. Being a full-time SPM student and a student leader was an arduous journey, but these challenges were a blessing in disguise as they gave me a better outlook regarding my time management and discipline.


Well, then, we all know what happened. The pandemic struck, and lockdowns were in place. However, as quick and drastic as the changes were, Sri KDU could adapt to conduct interactive lessons online swiftly. This allowed the students to stay up to date on their academics and extra curriculums. Nonetheless, with the lockdowns in place, the SPM dates were being pushed back indefinitely, and this occurrence had a significant effect on my mental health. I could not bring myself to a halt my studies and this sometimes made me feel burnt out. However, my parents and support system in Sri KDU were able to guide me and help me persevere through tough times. By the time SPM had ended, I felt satisfied with my hard work and willpower.


I graduated with 11As, but I could not have had this dream realised without the constant guidance and support of my teachers, parents, and many inspiring peers. As a graduate, I was resolute in pursuing a career in medicine. I immediately started on a search for universities that matched my aspirations.

Now that I am a medical student, my journey thus far has been fulfilling, and I hope to reach greater heights with IMU.

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