Welcome to college!By Gideon Isidro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Congratulations, you’re now entering college!
But what is college like, and how do we adjust to it? We asked a number of students their impressions and their advice.
Kamille Joson, a BS Tourism sophomore at the University of the Philippines, describes college in the words of the hit song from “Aladdin”: “It’s a whole new world. Having your own freedom teaches you to become independent.”
For Francesca Legata, who recently graduated with a degree in BS Management, minor in Chinese Studies from Ateneo de Manila, college is “a crucial stage in life where you learn not just the technical know-how, but also discover who you are as a person.”
“College is serious business. You have to take it seriously,” says Austine Espino, a fourth year Chemical Engineering student of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and also a cosplayer, “It’s not the time to slack off. It’s the training ground where you plan your life for success.”
College may also prove to be academically difficult. Jasmin Lim, an Accountancy sophomore at the University of Santo Tomas and a creative media associate at the Accountancy Student Council, comments, “college is a big contrast to the spoon-fed type of education we all had in high school.” Katrina Yap, a third year student of DLSU-Manila taking up Manufacturing Engineering and Management with specialization in Biomedical Engineering, says, “college is definitely more fast-paced and competitive than high school.”
Having so much freedom and opportunities makes us likely to lose focus on what we consider important. Austine explains, “There are a lot of distractions and other things you want to do. Prioritizing will take a lot of effort.”
Executing tasks in a timely manner also removes a lot of hassle. Jasmin says no to procrastination, “It might have worked in high school, but try to avoid it in college as much as you can.” Austine adds, “Things may pile up if you become reckless. Push yourself if you’re losing hope. You have no one to blame but yourself in the end.”
Once you’ve resolved to do your best academically, you can proceed to joining organizations, which will help make college a constructive experience.
Join the community
Joining school organizations is helpful in helping you adjust. Katrina tells why. “It’s a good way to expand your network and ask advice from upperclassmen who have experienced your concerns.” Kamille expounds further. “You’ll meet new friends who will help you survive your college life. They can guide you in the path of your chosen course.” Jasmin agrees. “They give you a sense of belonging, which a freshman usually have a hard time finding.”
Organizations may also develop different things in you, as Katrina notes. “They promote holistic growth. You learn how to interact and work with different kinds of people. You learn how to be professional and are able to practice building connections. It’s a good opportunity for you to acquire leadership skills that you cannot otherwise learn inside the classroom.” Francesca talks about the result of such development. “It builds a pristine résumé. It sends the idea to future employers that you’ve managed to do something in college aside from studying. In the end, it is not all grades. Employers are likely to hire well-rounded people.”
I choose you
It’s important to be careful in choosing your organizations; Jasmin says, “Make sure you get to see all the choices first before you take your pick, and make sure you know what the organization is all about. Ask what they do and what activities they offer. I remember paying for a membership fee and never hearing from that organization again.” For Kamille, it must be personal. “Choose an organization that defines what type of person you are and brings out the best in you. Choose an organization that you’ll love to spend time on and makes you happy.” Francesca further adds, “These organizations must offer things that suit your interests and needs. Make sure that your organization can accommodate you and offer you opportunities to be active.”
Kat explains, “A student’s first priority must be studies. Professional organizations provide various activities that can help you with your academics.” Austine recalls how it helped her, “Our upperclassmen oriented us on things that we should know about our course. They hosted tutorials for the subjects which they knew were difficult for us.” Francesca agrees that it’s a good move. “It’s the perfect opportunity to meet people who can give you tips and advice. It’s also where you find upperclassmen who can help you answer a difficult assignment or even lend you their old books and readings.”
Best time of your life
Kamille recounts her first few days in college. “It took me months to adjust to the college world and the college culture. I always felt homesick and missed my family and friends. Every day, I kept telling myself that I wanted to go back to high school. But as time passed by, I made new friends. I kept myself busy with academics and extracurricular activities. From then on, it was a lot easier for me. You’ll have a new routine, totally different from high school, but eventually you’ll get used to it.”
College is the door of opportunity to either destroy your life or turn it into a beautiful one. The door is now open for you to enjoy one of the best times in your life!