what's best for others, is it also what's best for me?

This year is my first time fasting as MAS staff and MBA student.

At work, fasting month is fun coz work ends early so I get to go home at 4.30pm. Though the lunch break is cut short to 15mins (just enough to do Zuhur prayers), fine by me.

But as a student, is not so much fun. We are given longer breaks for Maghrib prayers and to break our fast, yet I find myself not having much appetite to eat in such a rush. Also maybe because this so-called student life has taken such a toll on me.

It's so draining, I have so much to do, things I mostly don't enjoy doing. Well, I do enjoy studying, I like going to class and engage myself in intellectual discussions with my classmates. I don't mind sitting for exams either. But what I really really really hate (yes there's a lot of hatred going around) is having to do mini research (with literature review and all), assignment and case study - all that just for one subject. And for another subject I have to do another mini research, two assignments and summarization of 10 journal articles. So when I say I'm busy, I'm not lying, I really am busy.

I'm physically and emotionally tired by this entire MBA thingy. I'm so very close to giving up. I feel so drained. My quality of life is deteriorating. Gone were the days when I could swim twice a week after work, go out for dinner with friends and spend my weekends window shopping at Mid Valley. I hate it when all those little things that make me happy are taken away from me.

What am I doing? Didn't I leave my pressure-cooker job in EY to have better quality of life? And to think of how I already had it within my grasp but eventually let it go, man.. it feels really awful. How would I know the moment I enrolled myself into MBA, I actually unknowing let go of the precious wonderfully fulfilling life that I enjoyed so much?

I never thought doing MBA could be this bad. Maybe it's the fact that UM's MBA program combines coursework and research. That might explain the volume of work expected out of students (i.e. mini research for every subject - mindblowing!). Maybe because it's the most sought after MBA program in the country, which only translates to be the toughest of its kind. I can’t help but to ask myself, would it be different if I had done my MBA somewhere else? I’ve known a long time ago that I really don’t enjoy doing research. I’ve wanted to do an MBA that is 100% coursework. However, when UM came calling, I just couldn’t say no. How could I possibly say no to the best business school in the country? I already knew there was going to be a research project, but that was scheduled for the final year. Little that I know in every single subject there would be this so-called mini research. That’s the thing that's driving me crazy right now.

Many times I wonder why am I subjecting myself to so much toture? Just to get another scroll? Is it even worth it? Do I really want it that much? So much that I don't mind going through all this?

Yes, I'd love to have an MBA, but no, I refuse to torture myself to get one. So I've made a decision to give it a try, at least for one semester. I've decided to go through this semester the best way I possibly can, without succumbing myself into huge pressure or becoming completely insane. I'll see how my results are going to be at the end of this semester. That will be a gauge whether or not I should proceed. Perhaps the best MBA program in the country is not the best for me.

Some people may not agree with my approach. My dad, for one, believes in cutting losses early. He doesn't see the point of continuing to do something that you don't even like. The moment I told him I was thinking of quitting, his asked me to go to the registrar office, delist myself and get a refund.

On the other hand, my colleagues at office keep telling me not to quit. We will support you from behind, they say. I'm thankful for the support, but in the end, it's all on me. If my cousin Farah reads this, I bet she'll be upset to hear me wanting to quit, after all I was the one who always told her not to quit ACCA.

I really admire my friends who have been able to juggle studying and working, sometimes more. Ila is juggling with being a mum to a 2-year-old daughter, being a lecturer and doing MBA with UUM. Sheri is juggling between 2 kids and an ongoing PhD. Najwa just graduated with an MBA from MMU, having done it while working with TM. They all seem to be managing it well.

My selfish answer would be none of them do MBA in UM. Some of them do their post-graduate programs full time. Some do it while being in academic line which allows for more flexibility to do research while at work. But those are merely excuses for me to justify my own shortcomings. I have to go back to myself for the solution. It's within me, whether I have the capability, whether I can do it or not.

That's why I’ve decided to give it a try anyway. Just to see where my limits are. I refuse to be a coward and quit just because I think I can't do it. I want to give it my best shot. If the results reveal that it's not meant to be, then so be it, I shall accept it with an open mind. After all, I have done my best.

There's more to life than an MBA. For now, I'm content with doing my best and let the rest be in Allah's generous hands. For He always knows what's really the best.


sheri said...

I'd be lying if I tell u that things will be easy. It won't. My advice: never give up. Don't ever throw in the towel.

I did my masters a few years ago, full time la tapi, memang standard setiap subject ada project gile2.. and it really wasn't easy.

If doing MBA is easy, everyone leh ada MBA. It's hard babe, takde bende yg senang, and semua orang ada dugaannya, so this is your dugaan. Takpe susah2 dahulu, sacrifice sket, hidup yg kurang senang lenang, bila dah habis MBA nanti, u'll get your swimming class and leisurely life back PLUS an MBA with UM! And when that happens you're gonna be soooo proud that u didn't give up.

Dieya yang i kenal is such a strong person, she can manage, i know she can, cuma tough, but u'll pull through babe. i know u would.

You're gonna do great girl. i know u can. You can do extraordinary feats Dieya, don't ever give up, ok dear :)

Hugs and support from Perth xoxo

niSamiR said...

Yup....agree with sheri..Don't give up k..maybe if u're in FT study and it will help u to co-up more with ur studies..but u r different in such away that u're capable in doing both things in one time..just b strong n don't give up k..yeaa..it's easy to say but everybody will gonna face it if they were in your shoes!!!!!so..work smart k...

dieya said...

Sheri and Niesa,

I get all teary-eyed reading the comments from you both. Thank you for understanding what I’m going through and the motivating words. I agree, it won’t be easy, who am I kidding. If anyone ever tells me doing MBA is easy I’ll shoot him in the ass! It takes me a while to realize that some things come easy, some things don’t. I’ve had many things easy in life, perhaps it’s time to work a bit harder for what I want. I’ll give it my best shot, that’s what I’m gonna do.

kartini said...

assalamualaikum, dieya!
long time no hear from you. it's great to know that you are continuing your studies and planning to bring yourself to greater heights. doing a degree fulltime is hard, but doing an MBA whilst working, is harder. UM is known to use the 'do or die' system and it will be your own hard work to pull you through.

there will be endless times when you will feel listless and the studies will be too great to handle. But you must always remember, Allah will never test you more than you can cope. so, if possible, never give up hope! in the end, the fruits of your labour will be much sweeter because you know that you've done your best.

you need to make time for yourself. meet up with family or friends once a fortnight , preferably go out and do something fun together-gether or stay in and do some activity together-gether, because no man is an island. now, even swimming or going to midvalley on your own will not make you happy. trust me, you need more than the usual things that you do to make yourself happy now that you are pursuing another degree. undergrad days are different because the responsibilities are different and your circle of friends are always there. so, you never saw the need for balance in life.
your alone time will be the remaining time you are not with them. yes, you need space from the rest of the world as well. if your life revolves around another person, you'll find it hard to cope with your assignments.
actually, i'm giving you advice from my own experience. right now, i'm also studying, but fulltime in UM. maybe i'm just trying to give myself some good advice.

whatever you do, don't take the chicken way out. try your best. if really after one semester, you fail really bad despite all the effort you put into it, then maybe, you should solat istikharah. but the key point is to do your best. never say die.
think about the 'doing some fun activity with friends/family' because this is actually what your soul needs. and during your alone time, you have to do something you want to do. when you are grocery shopping, take half an hour to do whatever you like, be it window shopping, walking about in midvalley aimlessly, or going to different shopping malls. at home, rest when you need, take good care of your health/hygiene, do your assignments early and most importantly, you must make time for yourself, be it 5 minutes after solat, when you cook/eat/bathe or when you are online. 24 hours a day is never enough. it was more than enough when we were in primary school, because life was all about rehat, tidur, main, makan and the occasional book. life changed while we weren't looking.

all the best. take care.

Fertzy said...


perasaan yg kau rasa tue lebe kurang sama dgn aper yg aku rasa sekarang.

cuma aku tak sambung MBA, tp aku tuko tpt keje seopis dgn sepupu kau.

dulu aku ada leisure time, extra time nak cuti, nak balik awal, nak itu, nak ini..semuanyer ok!lagik2 masa dgn family dan anak2.....skarang....no more.

aku tak penah nangis dlm toilet opis sbb pressure keje, tp dkt opis sepupu ko nie, aku dah berkali2 nangis sorang2 dlm jamban sbb rasa pressure yg teramat aku rasa. oh, kenapalahhhhh aku pilih keje ni...sbb dulu ingat nak back to my skill, belajar susah2 benda lain, buat keje lain....tp skang....masya allah!

kekadang ada rasa mcm apersal lah aku pegi carik penyakit tuko keje baru - dari buat benda senang (tp rasa mcm too complacent pulak thats the rezen tuko keje yg baru nie), but biler dpt keje yg baru nie, nak amek cuti yg diperuntukkan cuti pon susah! huwaaaa

my boss mcm boleh "rasa" tekanan perasaanku tue, but he said....bertahan.....skang nie waktu nak 'polish' la. stp kejadian polish2 nie, manada senang dan tak sakit? cth mcm nak dapat bentuk berlian yg cantik & mahal tue...mcm mana depa asah diamond tue sampai jadik soooooooooo luxurious...aaa...take a look at the processes.but, look at the outcome!

i hope im a diamond in the makin, and you too beb. i can feel that actually ko boleh pull through it, cuma ini batu batu di tgh jalan la nie...

nonethless, kekadang aku rasa mcm tak mampu nak teruskan aper yg aku baru mulakan, tp im giving myself certain period to see how it goes.....masa masok tpt opis baru nie, aku ckp, aku bagik diri aku 5 tahun ajek ada dkt sini...and lepas tgk how much will it worth me? tp aku rasa mcm 5 thn tue laamaaaaaaaaa jek lagik. ko bagik masa 1 semester jek lagik dieya - wic i positively sure ko boleh buat benonyer! tp aku camna dieya?? huwaaaaaaaaa

wakakkka...dah tumpang masalah didalam masalah...ekekekek

dieya said...


Waalaikumussalam! It’s great to hear from u again, even greater to read your words of wisdom. It feels really good to hear from someone on the same boat cruising UM’s turbulent sea (I have no idea why I’m suddenly metaphorical, but u know what I mean!) and knowing that you know exactly what I’m going through. You got me thinking, especially about doing fun activities with friends and family. Lately I have been using my studies as an excuse not to hang out anymore (I can’t even remember the last time I watched a movie which is ridiculous coz I love watching movies). You are right, I have to make the time to do these. Thank you for helping me to put things into perspective!


Oh babe, memanglah sama macam apa yang aku rasa. Keep asking myself why am I doing this. Orang buat MBA aku sibuk nak buat MBA. Sekali bila dah buat baru tahu langit tu tinggi ke rendah, then dok pikir nak give up pulak. Funny how sometimes the thing that we want the most ends up being the thing that makes us miserable. Life is ironic kan? I guess your boss is right, it’s polishing time. Hopefully we both will become diamonds. Kalau tak jadi diamond jugak, kenalah cari batu lain untuk di polish. Yes I’m giving myself a timeline, takmolah selamanya miserable kan. Maybe timeline ko panjang sikit considering what you are doing, but it’s ok. At least we have some hope that there will be some kind of ending, positive or otherwise. In the mean time just usaha, tawakal and keep reminding myself of the words of encouragement from family and friends to accompany me along the journey.

-farahsu- said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
-farahsu- said...

Nadiah my kazern, sorry la lmbt menghantar talian hayatku ini.kau bukan tidak tahu kesibukan aku melayan korperat2 pekerjaan ku itu :D.sampai lg 10 minit nk bukak pose pun bos bleh call suruh submit keje.terkurang pahala pose aku sbb kutuk bos. :D klu tak caya tanyela si noli tuh. now she knows. kan aku dah kata kt ko noli, pk betul2 seblom membuat kamikaze dgn menjoin opisku itu. takpela ye noli.sama2la berusaha.bos ngko tu ok orgnye.hehhee..back to ngko prob ngko ni nadiah. aku ingat lagi dulu masa aku skolah menengah, ustazah aku kata dlm Arab, 'man jadda wa jadda'.maksudnye siapa yang menanam die akan menuai.so kat sini jangan la kau give up cepat sangat.at least give a try.u've nothing to lose pun.u've already got a good job.good pay. even good qualifctn. degree, ACCA, trainings, seminars, workshops just name it. sume ko dh ade, dh attend.so let's just treat ur MBA as something for betterment.biasela,setiap satu benda tu manela ade yg mudah.ko nak blaja berenang tuh bukannye automatic boleh wat macam2 gaya.mestilah awal2 tuh tenggelam gak kan. :D .mari berusaha nadiah.ayuh2.aku ni pun tgh berusaha nak ngabeskan ACCA ni.walaupun sesak napas aku,aku ingat nasihat ko.nasihat pak long pun aku ingat.aku pun sedih hari tuh fail satu paper.tapi aku tak let benda tu bother aku sgt.aku hanya tahu aku nak berusaha lagi supaya aku dapat abeskan benda yang aku dah start ni.kita pilih jalan ni.kita yang decide kan. so mari kita abeskan.aku doakan kau,kau doakan aku.aku abes ACCA, insya Allah aku join kau. bolehla kita wat literature review sama2 macam dulu.tapi tuh kalau aku layak masuk UM la.kalau tak, kenela aku amik tempat lain. Sob sob :D . hehehehe.for now, ko try dulu ye.kalau dah mmg tak boleh, istikharah then decide.pastuh no turning back.okla,selamat berpose, bersahur, n terawih.take care.ko tak balik kg ke bukak pose?boleh pekena nasik briyani kegemaran ko tuh.

dieya said...

Oh Farah, ada juga response dari ko :-) Dalam bz tu sempat juga hantar talian hayat. Itulah, betul cakap ko, I should give it a try. Sama2 laa kita doa agar kita berjaya. Cepat2 laa ko habiskan ACCA then join me in UM. Ada geng nak baca journal articles yg bordozen2 ni. I’m at kg already, dari semalam dah berangan nak nasi beryani Ujong Pasir.. nyam nyam.. Kalau dapat kuih tako pun sodap kannn..