For us kids of batch 2021, this whole quarantine situation hasn’t been friendly in so many ways.
One’s final year in high school is usually packed with a lot of “last chances” and, as seniors, these have been taken away from us, making this online distance learning setup all the more frustrating.
We’ve missed out on things ranging from intramurals and sports festivals to school fairs and school concerts. The laughs, the class-bonding activities, getting to know your classmates and new faces in school . . . these are memories that we never got to make and can never be substituted by what happens online.
Another thing that won’t be the same is the graduation that we have been looking forward to since the start of the tumultuous school year, with most schools opting for online graduation ceremonies.
How does our batch move forward with smiles on our faces? Why shouldn’t we just give up now? Because we believe that the light we seek is after graduation: college.
College applications pose more challenges because most colleges are changing their admission system, switching from entrance exams, which, in a way, used to be a level playing field for students, to just basing admissions on past grades.
How to survive
But I think that there is still a bright side to all of this. First, how do we survive the college application process?
You should make a list of all schools that you have applied to or will be applying to. This will help you remember deadlines and which applications have closed, so you know which ones to focus on.
Prioritize the school you want to go to the most. Make a list of the things you need from your school, your own documents, and things you need to write or take to the school you’re applying for.
Don’t worry about the past and think of the present. This is honestly easier said than done. I admit that I worry constantly about whether or not I’d make it into my dream schools with the grades I got in my Math subjects in junior high. But, that’s all in the past. No matter what I do, there is no changing it.
The best thing to do now is to study harder during our final year. Not all schools will take into consideration our grades from this year in the admissions process, but that shouldn’t stop you from changing into the person you aspire to be.
Expect nothing but the unexpected. No one is 100-percent sure that they’ll get into their dream colleges. Don’t put yourself down if you don’t get in. You can cry when you get rejected, or you can cry when you get in. But remember that only you can define your college experience, and your perspective can make all the difference.
Lastly, don’t forget that the colleges accepting or rejecting you aren’t the be-all and end-all. This pandemic may have taken so much from us, but we can continue to make the most of everything. Try to keep smiling. If we continue to go on with an equal amount of realism and positivity, we’ll be able to make it.
Stay strong, fellow high school seniors! —CONTRIBUTED
Isobelle Cleofas is a 17-year-old student from Quezon City.