Time flies so fast. Things have drastically changed to me for quite some time. If I will have a glimpse of myself several years ago, I’d say that it was very different.Life now is a lot, lot more complex since I entered my beloved university. I can still remember every detail. From the moment I decided to take the UPCAT (University of the Philippines College Admission Test). Here’s the truth, I was just forced by my cousin and Ninong to take the exam. Before, I have no plans of the future- at all. I did not know how to answer my friends whenever they ask me what course I was going to take on college. I would just shrug my shoulders off of them. I remember the moments I had during the actual UPCAT, the feeling when Ate Joy sent me her greetings and told me I passed the exam. Many people greeted me, they were enthusiastic of the news. I remember the whole enrollment period. How my parents were struggling just to get me enrolled. How we’ve been to very loooooong walks and lines. And I still remember how the university has honed me to the person I am now.
But here’s a bitter reality: I did not graduate on time. I was three semesters late. I shifted my degree course and I was enrolled with underload units for some semesters. If you know the culture that prevails in UP, you might have a pinch of idea that getting slots for the courses/subjects one needs is already a battle itself. It is no joke to keep waiting, fighting and enrolling the slots gained after a tough on-line enrolment/registration.Nostalgic it is to still remember how it hurts after being rejected from prerog-ing (teacher’s prerogative). I was always competing for slots with the graduating students during my sophomore year for the slots I needed. Competition was fierce, survival was at stake. Can you imagine yourself being rejected in front of a class because the slot is more needed by the graduating students? That hurts. That broke my heart.
There were instances when I felt like giving up. I cried a thousand tears and I was having this existential crisis. That, I do not belong to such kind of university. I was such a fool. A mess. That I was a stupid. My world was arguably shitty to me. I didn’t even know why I was qualified to UP. There, I have realized, it was difficult to enter UP. But it was more difficult to survive and exit.
UP life isn’t that easy. It took tons of effort, hardwork and perseverance to accomplish one task. One must know how to manage time efficiently. Do multi-tasking. And even sacrifice personal happiness to academic pavements. Countless sleepless nights, river of tears, exhausted body, deteriorated mind, tormented soul. I’ve had ’em all! Everyday is unusual, everyday is a challenge. I seemed to be slipping back into hold habits I’ve spent a day and months-those heavenly times- trying to salvage myself from. I was serene for so many times that a parcel of me believed that my thoughts were locked in an eternal slumber somewhere. Amidst consciousness. But a bigger, unrelenting part refuses to brand me a vague throb in someone else’s life. In my own complicated life. I was pulsating veins. Locked but never hidden.
But this brave soul continued its way towards the spectrum. I didn’t give up. I learned that being strong is the only choice I have. Things are not being and going the way it should be. But thankfully, I was able to surpass every hailstorm I’ve encountered along the road. The road, for sure, wasn’t a smooth sailing ride. Things were totally different from the way they were before. Completely opposites. I was exposed to the real face of society. Of life. I was exposed to glaring contacts between splendor and squalor; between riches and poverty; intelligence and ignorance; in order and chaos. There, I realized, the world is not only about the things we normally see. That, there is always the other side of it.
The world of sociology is diverse. I was also exposed to different kinds of people- in all walks of life. What I love in my course is that, I am learning not only from the subject/course itself. But I am learning much more in life through the different stories of the respondents/participants, how they are engaged to the more complex society, how the vulnerable sector and people belonging to the grassroots levels cope with the judgmental eyes of people. It feels like I am learning lessons outside the classrooms and function halls. That is the most fulfilling benchmark of the course I did pursue. This is something really near to my heart.
During my university life, I also learned the art of letting go. I’ve realized that some things are not meant to stay with me- forever. Some things were just there to serve its function and then eventually, vanish. Some things (and people) were only meant to show cameo appearances to add colors and flavors to this ethereal life I’m having. Some things are just meant to teach me lessons. That is, I should stay strong no matter how many people leave me for personal reasons. I should come up stronger and a lot better. Not only to serve my own purpose, but to also serve others in the years to come. Because before I could even help others, I needed to first feel the heat of my rage, be scalded by my surroundings and consumed by my experience so I could be a true bearer of light to others.
So, I am dedicating this triumph to my family and to every people who loves me; this is a success of the skin, of mind, of body. Of everything and everyone that has ushered me out of my darkness and into the light. Into hope. For people who inspired– for collective aspirations.For everyone who has crossed lines and boundaries to see me triumph over my elegiac mindset and conditions. For the select few who have seen and helped me cultivate the strength that pulsated within when I am doused in and crippled by the dictates of my fears and anxiety.
I thank everyone who- in one way or another- showed their ultimate support as I pave my way towards this success. I thank my God upon having these people in my life. People who made me strong. People who kept me going. People who highly believed that I can. They were those who never put doubt on me no matter how stubborn I
was am. Been proud of me, be it uno or tres. And constantly cheer me on whenever I felt like my world was at the verge of collapse. God must have sent his angels upon my crib and blessed me with the love I found in them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
To those I’ve caused disappointment, to people who let go of my hands because of the failures I get in life, to people who casted off the crown from me, I AM SORRY. If I caused you pain and if you became disappointed in me. But I am not sorry for being myself and staying true to myself. In proving something not to you, but to my own self. Because if I was not, I might not be the person writing this down. I might be completely different. I may not met your standards and the measures of success you have set.
Surely, the university life will be one of the best chapters of my life I will never forget and will treasure for the rest of my life. The lessons I learned, in and outside the class, will be my baon towards the road ahead. For each every little thing, for every heartbreak, for every moment I grinned from ear to ear, for all the epic times, for the tears, friendship and camaraderie. For all. Thank you for everything, UP!
I haven’t worn my Sablay yet. I will be receiving my graduation rites on June the following year. I just passed the October 2016 National Civil Service examination for Professional level. Through all the hardships I have fought and survived, must I say, everything was worth it. Towards my success. If the battle is big, so is the victory. And I still feel accomplished and steady. I want to start anew, on a clean slate, and I am already looking forward to the things planned by God for me.
Congratulations, self! I am so proud of you!
Signing off. Consummatum est.