I laughed when I read in The Star, a comment by a worried parent about her son's "nightmarish" orientation in UM.
The funniest part was her rather sarcastic bout the seniors in the medical faculty.
Life in UM is not what he thought it would be – it's been rather like living together with a group of gangsters or in a secret society. Medical faculty students are future doctors.
I did not do my undergraduate programme in UM but I can guarantee you that almost all universities have the same kind of orientation. Come on, there is no big deal with about seniors trying to intimidate the freshies just to show them what respect and the real life away from parents might be. The one-week orientation week is just a small challenge to the mostly pampered freshies.
I've been through humiliation as well during my orientation week; I was asked to sing in the public, then being laughed because of my 'Kuantan-Cantonese' (which is slightly different from KL and Ipoh. Not to mentioned the torture of wearing the same orientation t-shirt for days, waking up at 5 am having to jog for hours, having swollen feet, and lecturing from the seniors who never failed to remind us not to be cocky. And yes, we only went to bed at 2 am. And for the guys, there were room service waiting for them every night.
When I looked back or chat with my friends about our uni experience, we loved to talked about the funny and intimidating moments during our orientation. We laughed the fact that we were so naive and weak.
To the worried parents, she just need to let her son to be on his own and learn to be independent. If she wants her son to be involved in motivational activities, asked him to join camps or society. Orientation week is definitely not similar to national service.