The year 2018 was one I will never forget. It was one of those fast-paced moments in my life when I made a leap from high school to college.
Another added pressure was that I was among the guinea pigs of the K-12 curriculum.
In 2017, the K-12 system in the Philippines was still a work in progress. Schools were still beginning to adopt it. Teachers were still getting the hang of it. We, students, were still confused about why it was needed at all.
College entrance tests were my worst nightmare. I was someone who liked writing essays based on a concept I have learned. Thus, I am not proud of the results of my college entrance tests.
That summer, I looked beyond the well-known universities. Luckily, I was accepted in a college. The program I chose was something I excelled at in high school. I chose Communication over Economics, my dream program.
In my early days in college, I felt different being enrolled outside the Big Four (University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas). I kept comparing myself to my friends from high school. Their experiences felt way different from my experiences at their respective universities.
I think that some students doubt their capabilities because their university is not among the Big Four. They feel bad because they did not pass the Big 4’s entrance tests. Feeling down over this is normal. We all have expectations of ourselves. But what matters are the steps we take to go higher, despite this setback.
Valuing my time in college
Fast-forward to now, I am nearing my college graduation. I had to take an on-the-job training. In my resume, I compiled the experiences and accomplishments I had in my university. Looking back at the activities I had, I started to value my time in college.
I learned that it was never about universities. It’s how I made the most out of the time I was there. I was able to do more and be more active as well, in both academics and extracurriculars.
If you start to doubt your skills, there are many things you can do to be better. You can volunteer with a youth organization. Do freelance work. Attend workshops based on your interests. You can also update your skills through online courses and videos.
In college, I learned about finding your passion. I found that instead of Economics, Communication was a better fit for me.
I always thought that there were more job opportunities only for those who come from well-known universities. Not exactly. Some part-time positions I applied for wanted someone with relevant experience. Some wanted prior experience. It was always a mixed bag.
Both 2018 and 2020 transitioned my life to different environments that helped me grow.
To quote Theodore Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” After numerous years of comparing myself and my progress to others, I have learned that it was never worth it. Your university would never define who you are, but what you do will. —CONTRIBUTED INQ