De La Salle University is the new home of several starry eyed senior high schoolers. Beginning their classes last June, the senior high students are now the new faces in the Lasallian community. They’re not that hard to spot; their IDs are worn horizontally and they move in droves, at times carrying with them an air of anxiety and excitement.
DLSU’s strong reputation as one of the Philippines’ best universities still holds water, this being one of the most common reason our community’s newest members decided to take their last year of high school in the Taft based school.
Choosing senior high in DLSU
The University offers three tracks for senior high: ABM for business courses, STEM for science and engineering, and HUMSS for liberal arts courses. Choosing DLSU as their school for senior high school is a very large decision akin to when we chose which university to select, since senior high in DLSU promises a streamlined entrance in DLSU and the subjects taken in a track could be credited for their corresponding degree programs.
On the surface, Tria Lucas’ choice was extremely simple. Her old school did not offer the track she wanted to take. A student in senior high’s HUMSS track this year, she said the main reason for choosing DLSU was her drive to challenge herself.
Before coming to DLSU, Tria heard many stories from her teachers in her previous school about DLSU alumni and their many achievements. These stories coupled with what she had heard from her own friends’ experiences studying in DLSU made Tria see the university as an opportunity for personal growth.
Another student, Michelle Domanog from STEM, was looking for a change in environment. After staying in her previous school for thirteen years, she also saw DLSU as a place for new people and new experiences, and as a bridge to enter college in DLSU. Despite living far away from the university, Michelle came to DLSU believing everything DLSU had to offer would be worth the effort.
Big school, big expectations
With DLSU’s reputation having a lot to do with their choice of senior high, the students came in with understandably high expectations. Tria expected to find a diverse group of people with varying thoughts and beliefs, luckily for us she was not let down by the ragtag crew of misfits that call DLSU home.
Unfortunately for the likes of DLSU’s two legged residents, Tria had been introduced to the numerous feline furries on the Cats of DLSU Facebook page and had high expectations of meeting them before anyone else. She was also among the many who were excited upon seeing the massive Henry Sy library students all love to study and sleep in.
However, not all of Tria’s initial expectations of DLSU were strictly speaking positive. It seems the “conyo curse” that plagues the reputation of its students and the rich kid stereotypes that have proliferated over the years gave her fears that other students might react negatively if she did not fit this idea of the typical DLSU student.
Some also felt that their feelings might be similar to what older students went through as they moved from high school to college. Czarlyna Celestial, a student from the ABM track, recalls that she and her batchmates from her previous school were conditioned to believe that senior high would be different and much more difficult.
Instead of the old “college na kayo” speech, high school teachers are now saying “senior high school na kayo, di na junior high,” to make students nervous about their next years of education.
Luckily, these senior high students have had nothing but good things to say about DLSU and its residents so far.
Senior High is the new freshman year
Expectations about DLSU’s community and facilities aside, everything their teachers warned them about senior high’s academic challenges turned out to be true. Senior high is no free pass to becoming a college student in the university. The standards are grueling and it’s as if they are college students too.
Before even starting their lives in DLSU, the senior high students were already pressured to choose a track and be absolutely sure about it. Changing tracks later on or taking an unrelated degree program afterwards would be the equivalent of external shifting as the student would be delayed or courses would not be credited.
Czarlyna remembers that for many of her batch mates, this was a decision that might’ve kept them up at night, thinking hard about what they want to be doing many years in the future. This was a feeling many of the older students might have been all too familiar with a few years back.
Fortunately for Czarlyna, this wasn’t a problem because ever since she was a child, she already saw herself taking a business related course in college. It was when the school year started that the fight for academic survival began.
Courses taken in senior high were specialized according to their tracks. For these courses to be credited at all for college, a grade of 85 and above is required. Czarlyna notes that there was a huge jump in difficulty because in junior high, people could pass exams without having to study for them. In senior high, this was no longer the case.
On the bright side, Czarlyna notes that despite senior high being more difficult, there were at least more fun changes that came with becoming senior students in the University. Meeting new people and gaining new experiences kept things interesting; Czarlyna and her friends also get to go out more since their parents became less strict when they became senior high students.
Moreover, not having to wear a uniform added to that feeling of freedom for those who were used to everyone dressing up with their school’s logos.
Senior High in DLSU is definitely no walk in the park, but there is light at the end of the tunnel for those who work hard and give their all. At the end of the year, those deserving enough get to move on from their fishbowl to the big aquarium, ready to learn more from the rollercoaster ride that is college life.