No Campus Life for Us: Personal Reflections of First-Year Students at a Malaysian University


Ireena Nasiha Ibnu, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia
Wan Hartini Wan Zainodin, Universiti Teknologi MARA,Malaysia
Faizah Din, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia
Published: December 18, 2021

Citation: Ibnu, I. M., Zainodin, W. H. W., & Din, F. (2021). No Campus Life for Us: Personal Reflections of First-Year Students at a Malaysian University, 9(6).


The purpose of this qualitative study was to look into the online learning experiences of first-year communication and media students. The study was conducted by gathering 45 written reflection papers from first-year undergraduate students covering their opinions, challenges, and feelings about online learning. NVivo 12 was used to analyse the contents of these reflection papers. The findings of this reflective narrative study offer valuable insights into how first-year communication and media students perceive online learning classes in higher education, the challenges of working with new virtual classmates, the adjustment and role as student and daughters at home, as well as their mental health and emotional feelings towards online learning. Students learned vital lessons about time management, environmental awareness and independence as a result of these experiences. Students experienced anxiety and were demotivated as a result of the lack of face-to-face interaction and effective self-introduction with new peers. Most importantly, they were dissatisfied because they had lost out on the experiences of living on campus during their first year of study. Furthermore, this research looked into another component of the qualitative technique, which is a reflective method to study the first-year students’ experiences with online learning in a Malaysian public university, an insight that can be useful for both lecturers and students.


COVID-19, higher education, learning adjustment, online learning experience, qualitative research