Tag Archives: realization

Almost There

There are only 4 requirements left for the rest of the semester: a paper, two exams and a business  plan presentation.
(However, counting the non-academic things I have going on.. *loses count*)

I can’t believe the semester is almost over. Still, some things don’t change. I’m still awake at 2 in the morning, watching an episode of Fringe Season 2 and writing this blog post, instead of getting some much needed sleep that I haven’t been able to indulge in since forever. I don’t have class tomorrow, but I go to school to hang out and study with my guy, going to organization events later in the afternoon. My bags are messy, there’s a tab where Facebook is open, and I just killed an hour earlier tonight browsing Instagram.

Many things don’t change.

Yet I believe that this semester changed me in many ways I didn’t expect. I didn’t make as much progress on my thesis as I’d be comfortable with, yet I feel as tired as the rest of my block mates who got to present their preliminary results in local and internation conferences. I almost didn’t read a single fictional book for the entire semester, giving in just this week (and it’s the last week of regular classes). I actually read multiple textbooks on the same topics, never mind the repetitive principles. Surprisingly, I even got to score high enough as to be the top 8 scorer (we were only 30+ so it wasn’t that great of a feat) on an exam in a subject taught by our institute director . I didn’t know I was capable of these things: of discipline, or a more efficient strategy for time management, of actually excelling in my academics while trying to be more involved in my newest organization and also maintaining a relationship.

It wasn’t easy, but it seems that  I pulled through.
And now, there’s almost only 6 months left before I have to face what’s out there.

When people say that being a student is the easiest thing to be throughout your whole life, career-wise that is, it’s because students’ lives are predictable to the point of being boring and cumbersome. They are provided sets of predetermined tests and lessons to plow through for a certain number of years, with the expectation of absorbing at least a certain amount. Never mind that they may end up an insurance agent even with a Math degree. I have never really believed in that–in fact, I believe that being a student was harder in that you had no choice but adhere to the path that the academe has laid out for you. There is little room for maneuvering, and those that don’t survive or choose to drop out statistically end up with menial jobs and a lack of opportunities. I viewed it as societal manipulation in the most clever way: targeting both fear of the inability to provide for oneself and the desire to live in comfort, even luxury.

But when I think now of what I plan to do after graduation (if, God willing, I graduate on time), I begin to realize that the saying is true. The ‘real world’ sounds scary because there are a lot of unpredicatabilities. I realize that, in 6 months’ time, I cannot simply just wake up in the morning and worry about what to wear, whether all my notebooks are in my bag, if I have my ID with me. I cannot plan if I’m going to be studying during the weekend for an exam in the next coming week. I would have to look at schools to apply, a visa to apply for, scholarships whose basic requirements I qualify for. I’d have to finally apply for a passport. Most importantly, I will be subjecting myself to the utmost unpredictability of getting accepted to both a (full) scholarship and a forensic school. I know that these, in my case, cannot be mutually exclusive.

The line I’d have to traverse seems fairly straight, but experience teaches us that it is rarely the case. I guess that’s why they had to differentiate distance from displacement. Yet this unpredictability is what most crave for: the ability to choose what they want to do and the freedom to follow through with it. For me, it seems almost like a challenge to my upbringing, if what I’ve garnered over the years is enough to earn my survival in the wild.

I feel excited but I don’t think I’m ready. Not yet.
I still have six months to procrastinate, as typical of most students.

But I do know..
I’m almost there.



The Day I Realize that I Can’t Live Up to My Mother’s Dreams

Yes, in my life’s bucket list is making my mom really proud of me. For details, read on.                   Photo courtesy of http://thebettermanprojects.com.

March 12, 2014.
Just in case I don’t get to upload this blog post on the actual day.

It’s Saturday and we just got back a couple of hours ago from Tagaytay (Philippines), where my mom has decided she’d settle in when she gets older. It’s pretty cold and windy up there and one need not be paranoid about floods anymore (compared to where we live now, which is in Malabon–again in the Philippines) since, as the land-seller says, “If it floods even one inch up here, you can be assured that the rest of (Metro) Manila has sunk.” I can say it’s a really great place to settle in: no need for airconditioning despite the Philippines’ tropical climate, relatively friendly neighbors, quiet village but not so far from civilization, et cetera.

Anyway, we get back home and my oldest sister tells me about this series entitled Veronica Mars. It’s basically an old series (2004-2007?) starring Kristen Bell who is the daughter of a private investigator and has taken to following her father’s footsteps. Kinda like Nancy Drew, but more independent and whose ‘hobby’ is semi-supported by her dad. So we’re watching this series in the dining room since my mom was busy multi-tasking and cleaning out the refrigerator, when I checked out my CRS site to view my grades this semester. See, despite being a sort-of decent, well-rounded student with no harmful vice to speak of (i.e. drugs, alcohol, smoking), I just got to be a College Scholar (hereafter referred to as CS) this semester.

Some terms:
CS is a recognition given to those who manage to acquire a 1.75 general weighted average (GWA) for a semester. Our grading system is such that 1.0 is the highest, 3.0 is the passing, and anything below that is failing; ergo, the lower the grade, the better. Those who get a GWA of 1.45 and ‘below’ for a semester are recognized as US or University Scholars.
CRS is our school’s online..database of sorts where we enlist our subjects and view our grades and whatnot. Oh, jsyk, I’m in college.
Latin honors.. I really don’t think I need to explain anything about this except that in our grading system, you get to be a cum laude with a GWA, for your whole college life, of at least 1.75; magna cum laude for at least 1.45; and summa cum laude for at least 1.20.

Back to the main story.
Needless to say, as it is my first time to be a CS, I was ecstatic. Of course I want to be at least a CS for my remaining summer and 2 semesters now that I know I can do it, so it came to me to calculate the lowest GWA I’d have to get in my remaining 33 units to qualify for Latin honors. The short of it is I’m gonna need 1.1212 to qualify for cum laude. Thing is, if I could do it, I would’ve done so ages ago.

I’m not limiting myself by saying that, partly because I don’t want to jinx any chances of getting higher GWAs in the future. But given my extracurriculars and apparent capabilities (and other things), I think that getting a GWA above 2.0 is already an achievement for me. Furthermore, it will be my senior year when the next academic year starts. I’m not belittling my siblings, but I am proud that I will be (with God’s will) the only one among us who will graduate on time, besides the only one who hasn’t failed anything during her undergraduate course (and hopefully, will continue to be so), along with being the first to be recognized as at least a CS during her undergraduate years.

However, other realizations come to mind. See, I was a really bad daughter when I was in elementary–which was also when, ironically, I was at my best when it came to academics. I always told myself that it’s okay since I bring home good grades, that my easily-aroused irritation and bad attitude should be excused because of the high grades I bring home. Despite how mediocre my grades were during high school, I was still proud because I studied and graduated from one of the top high schools in the country and got into a prestigious course at, dare I say, the top university in the country. Needless to say, it was the only school in the country that is offering my course. I now realize that the things mentioned above, along with the comparisons I made with my siblings’ alternate academic journeys, made me complacent and developed a somewhat dampened sense of superiority in me. It made me put my self in the area of exceptions. I realized that the way I thought when I was in elementary never really went away, that I still was a douchebag of a daughter at times since I believed that I can still redeem myself in my mother’s eyes with my grades.

But when life throws you a curveball, you either gotta meet it head on or avoid it, if you can. I don’t think I can avoid this particular curveball, so now I’m facing it head on. I’ve always been so proud of my academic achievements, no matter how small they may be to others (most people, actually) since, besides being testaments to my brain’s capacity and my ability to multitask, they make my mother proud. See, my mother has this habit of owning other peoples’ actions and decisions. With my sisters not exactly rushing to graduate and the other troubles that I will not mention here, I feel proud of making my mother feel that she succeeded in raising us. I want to be the exception among the three of us, in a good way, because she raised us all the same way and I believe that having at least one of us turn out the way she expected will make her realize, “Look, I did a great job of raising my kids after all.” With all these in mind, I had two goals upon entering college: 1) graduate on time, and 2) graduate with honors.

Of course the second goal was replaced with “SURVIVE”, especially during semesters of taking prerequisites to our majors, some of whose relevance to my course I cannot fathom. Now that I realized that I most likely, by which I mean 95% probability, will not graduate with honors, I feel disappointed in myself and for my mom. My mother herself graduated magna cum laude, and that is without the comforts of our living situation today, either financially or brought about by modern times. Our grandmother was super strict on her and her siblings out of necessity, and she did household chores everyday while she was a student. Not one of us followed in her footsteps (both honors-wise and in the chosen field), and I know it must be hard raising us as, virtually, a single mother.

I know that I’m a pretty decent person but now I realize that I’d have to grow up a bit more, and not hide my faulty attitude behind a wall of numbers. Now that I know I won’t be able to make my mom proud of me in the way I hoped to, I have to redeem myself not just through grades but also through being a better daughter. I know this means less tantrums, less shouting, less arguing, and more patience, more persevering, and more succumbing to her ‘will’. I know this will be hard, because I think she has more than enough control over my life as of the moment; but the thought of having her realize that her best was, and will always be, more than good enough to make us the best versions of ourselves (besides our ‘soulmates’, if we are to meet them. hoho) is more than worth it. Starting tonight, I resolve to be a better daughter in all aspects.

And unlike my apparent attitude towards my New Year (2014) post’s goals (finishing at least one Tribesports challenge every month and blogging every month), I intend to stick to this.

“He mounted the broom and kicked hard against the ground and up, up he soared, air rushed through his hair and his robes whipped out behind him — and in a rush of fierce joy he realized he’d found something he could do without being taught — this was easy, this was wonderful.”
— excerpt from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone