Ahmad Zaki Bin Yazid
Why study History?
I believe history has great relevance in society today. Much of the world can be better understood through the study of the past. As the saying goes, “History is to the nation as memory is to the individual.” It is undoubtedly an important aspect of our society. From our roots to our future, the study of history has much to offer.
On a more personal note, history as a subject captivated me. Since young, I have been an avid follower of historical documentaries and reader of historical accounts, non-fiction. I have often found it interesting that a single event in the past can be recounted with so many interpretations. I think finding the interpretation you decide to believe in is what makes it worth studying.
Why NUS FASS?
The faculty has a great reputation and is largely known for its credibility. It also has a vibrant culture that doesn’t just centre on academics. We have numerous clubs and societies that organise activities and care for the welfare of the students. The History department also has a wide range of attractive modules that made me want to study here. The seniors and professors at Open Day were friendly and honest about academic life at FASS.
What were some of your concerns about coming to FASS?
I was anxious about the nature of studies and examinations in a university. Having come from a school system where results were based largely off the final exams, university assignments and a cumulative CAP system made me apprehensive. I was unsure of the academic workload and non-academic commitments I was required to undertake. I also didn’t enter the faculty knowing many friends beforehand.
Now in my second year, I can say that I have adjusted fairly well to university life. There are many seniors you meet through orientation activities who are willing to give you advice on modules and assignments. I’ve also made many friends through the History Society with whom I can go for lectures and study for modules.
Was History your intended major?
Yes, History was my intended major. As mentioned, it had been my interest from young and I have not regretted that decision. I find that the knowledge from my major has also helped me in other modules I take beyond History.
What has been your biggest takeaway from class so far?
I think my biggest takeaway from the knowledge I have gained in classes is the ability to understand and consequently view the world today from a different perspective. When you have more knowledge of the history of a people or country, you can better understand their actions and the circumstances they are in today. It’s enlightening.
What do you intend to do after graduation?
As part of my scholarship bond with MOE, I will be training to be a teacher at NIE upon graduation. Subsequently, I will be teaching History in secondary school. I think teaching is a fruitful way for me to use the knowledge I have from the study of History.
I think History or FASS majors have to battle the still common misconception that it will be difficult for us to find jobs upon graduation. Our experience has been the opposite. I see so many fellow FASS and History majors who, like me, already hold scholarships and have job opportunities even before they graduate.