I consider my college years as one of the turning points in my life. I happened to feel and understand the real meaning of “life” and “world” in the four years I stayed in the university.
I initially did not like the idea of going to PUP Manila for college. I was hoping for either UP or UST. Unfortunately, I did not pass the UPCAT. Financial problems were the main reason why I did not pursue UST. My plans and ambitions did not materialize so I was left sad and upset during my first month in college. I never wanted to be in PUP so I made an alternative plan. I will study for a semester at PUP, make good grades and later transfer to UP.
I remain dedicated to my plan. For the first time, I saw myself as a diligent student. I left home 2 hours before classes (LRT2 was not yet operational in my college years. This meant that if I have 730 am classes, I should wake up as early as 430am and leave home at 530am) and comply to all requirements even before the deadline.
However, as months passed, I slowly become detached to the idea of leaving my school. I learned to love my course, classmates and friends. I felt that all my efforts are being paid off. I started to have my own circle of friends too. My college classmates were better because the mean girls, discriminators and dictators were gone.
A new start, a new chance, a new opportunity… this was the best thing about my college life.
I managed to maintain good grades. This was something I never experienced in high school and elementary years.My efforts in studying gradually paid off too. I was starting to get small academic recognitions, which I never ever had in my 16 years of existence. I believe I was likewise beginning to earn the respect of my classmates.
Too long introduction? So what was that great achievement showcased in a notepad?
When I was in my senior year in college, the Philippine Council of Economics Students (PHILCES) organized a national Economics Quiz Bee. Our college is an active member of the organization so a representative for the individual category should be named. I was luckily recommended by some of my classmates and professors and I honestly didn’t want to take the challenge. I was contented with my academic standing and I felt that I wasn’t good enough to beat students from other schools. I love my quiet life and I wouldn’t do anything to place myself in a bad light of making the school as a sore loser.
Me? join a quiz bee? I have never been into one. I had no choice though. There came a point when everyone was pushing me to that cliff. I accepted the challenge and everything was history. The venue of the quiz bee was guess what… in the school where I am currently employed. Coincidence? Early Signs?
I luckily and surprisingly surpassed the elimination round. On the final round, did i make it? I did not emerge as the champion but I landed as the first runner-up. I can’t believe it!!!! Call me boastful but I am proud to say that a PUP Economics student was able to beat an Atenean and Thomasian! The PLM student was declared as the champion. But for me, even though I wasn’t the champion, I felt I was one already!
After the competition, our council officers organized an assembly of all the Economics students. I never expected it, but on the latter part of the program, I was recognized. Our area chair acknowledged my humble win. At the end of the program, I was called on stage and was a given a simple gift of appreciation. This is another first time for me. As a result of successfully representing the school, I was given a small gift? One of the “firsts” in my life.
I opened the gift at home and it was a stack of a small white notepad! Call it coincidence or exaggeration, but perhaps it was God’s way of telling me that notepads will mark a significant trace in my life. That small stack of white notepad will always remind me of my perseverance and hardwork in college. It reminds me of the following lessons
1. The best things in life are free.
2. Success tastes better, if it was a pure product of patience, perseverance, determination, honesty and faith.
3. Lastly, to get something you never had, you have to do something you never did!