The Finish Line

I had the pleasure of spending some time with a remarkable man during the recent convocation, Byron Melvin Benjamin. Byron just graduated with a Bachelor of Information Technology (Information Systems) with honours and a CGPA of 3.84. A mighty achievement in itself but what caught our eye was the fact that our friend Byron is also the recipient of the UNITEN Industry Excellence Award 2019 due to his overall excellent academic performance, high achievements and diligence in programs that he took part in. A recipient of the award would also have had to build a good reputation and relationship with the lecturers and staff at UNITEN which made sense given Byron’s kind and cheerful personality. Byron explained that building such a good standing with lecturers and staff also require much interaction and cooperation through projects and external events

Byron also accumulated around 240+ scorun points which a staggering amount considering we only need 40 to graduate. He said he was keen on accumulating scorun during his foundation years but over the years it just comes. “I realized I don’t actively chase after scorun but gained more and more as my friends dragged me to join events “Byron shared. It is relatable having joined a lot of events simply due to your friends inviting you along. I agree with what Byron told me how having good friends around throughout your university years truly sets your university life. How our friends play a huge part in determining the things we participate in and how we go about our day to day activities. What is important is to find good friends and enjoy your university life as Byron said you are not going to get the same opportunities after you graduate. This includes finding the right clubs for you, joining, stepping out of your comfort zone and learning new things, even stuff like dating. I asked Byron at some point I am sure he was a 4 flat student and eventually that number declined. Did he have regrets? Was he worried? He simply told me at first he was. But later on he realized, his scores are still good and on top of that he learned a great deal through his involvement in clubs and societies. It is better to compromise a bit of your studies and gained other soft skills through extra-curricular activities than obtain perfect scores without having any soft skills.

University life encompasses a lot, our studies, clubs, social life and even our own personal growth. So like myself, you are probably wondering how someone who has his hands in a lot of things like Byron goes about his day and manages his time. Well as Byron told me, he is the kind of person that goes with the flow and does what he wants to do. I am sure we can all admire a person who takes charge of his day, but Byron also shares that some days he would have to compromise, make sacrifices and focus on a particular thing like his studies for example. He told me that there were a lot of times when he had to decline going out with friends and sacrifice his sleep in order to come through. I believe this is something we all need to realize, the price of success is not cheap. We have to pay with not just money but blood, sweat and tears, sacrificing precious moments with friends and at times deprive ourselves of sleep. Sometimes it gets too much and when that happens we have to learn to know our limits and what to let go. Byron told me that we cannot be octopuses stretching ourselves out too much, over time it is going to come back and hurt us. Hence, we have to be wise in choosing our paths and figuring out who we are throughout our time here in UNITEN.

As I spent more time with Byron, I noticed his friends coming up to him wishing him success and saying their goodbyes. I can see their bittersweet smiles, the thanks and apologies. To be honest, I felt a bit guilty interrupting such precious moments. I asked Byron what is it like? Excited that you have graduated but at the same time, you will be parting ways with your friends. He smiled and said “With a heavy heart you have to say goodbye to people you have considered as family over the years”. “We will see each other soon, most probably most of us are going to work in KL” he shared. “We try to say goodbye and leave behind good memories of each other” he added. I had a good time with Byron and learned a lot about what it takes to succeed. It all boils down to having the passion and motivation to get out there and get things done but also the wisdom to know your limits and strengths. It requires you to find good friends you can rely on and last but not least to enjoy your time at university to the fullest so at the end you can say as Byron said to me, “I am satisfied”.

So to my fellow UNITEN friends who are struggling, doubting if you can make it to the end. Just know that you can succeed too. It will not be easy and many sacrifices will have to be made but you can just as Byron has in your own way. Our time here in UNITEN is like a marathon, a long stretch filled with hardships and heartbreak but also laughter and good times.

Thank you for reading and I will see you at the finish line.

Your friend,


Written by,Syed Muhammad bin Syed Hood

Edited by,Rayvathi a/p Theivindran

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