Hassle, challenging, and stressful. These are some of the things that come into people’s minds when they think about courses like accounting, engineering, and double degree programs. Although these are just some of the conventionally heavy programs offered by DLSU, there are athletes who are able to prove themselves worthy of tackling these difficult programs just like any other student.
Jed Diamante (II, CE) from the Men’s Football team, Jamaica Sy (IV, BSA) from the Lady Paddlers, Betto Orendain (II, IE) from the Green Tennisters, as well as Ace Agustin (II, CAM-ADV) from the Lady Tankers, share how they not only try to excel in their sport, but strive to excel in their chosen academic field as well.
Choosing the degree program
Not all students are given the ability to choose or enter the program that they wish to pursue, but for these four athletes, they were all given the freedom to decide on the course that they wanted. Orendain considers himself lucky to be able to do so since choosing your own course is an important factor itself in his opinion.
“I liked the idea that with IE, you’re not just stuck to one specific thing. There’s a wide variety of work open for you depending on your preferences,” he shares.
With Diamante, he says that he was able to choose the course that he wanted based on the skillsets that he had developed back in his old high school, together with what he really wanted to do after college.
As for Sy, she applied for different courses in different colleges and chose accounting for DLSU since it was the university’s forte. “Sobrang ironic nga, ayaw ko ng may law subjects and ayoko magkaroon ng board exam pero eventually, napunta ako sa accounting.” She also mentions how her parents supported her during her first year of taking up majors and notioned to her that they had no problems with her shifting degree programs in the event of difficulty.
(It’s ironic, I don’t like law subjects and I didn’t want to have board exams but eventually, I went into accounting.)
Lastly, for Agustin, she states that she chose to take a double degree program since she could not decide between Communication Arts and Advertising. “I really wanted business so I didn’t just want CLA. I wanted both [CommArts and advertising] and they appeal to me, so when I found out you could take two majors in La Salle, that’s what I chose.”
Striking a balance
As these student athletes were able to select the college degrees they wished to pursue, along with these choices came specific attributes that personally appeal to them. Sy shares that it is personally fulfilling for her and enjoyable when she understands the logic of accounting.
As her course is not desk-based like writing, Agustin marvels in how her double degree program is very engaging. Diamante enjoys the fact that his course demands a lot of time for him to really put himself into it. “It’s really…challenging,” the midfielder explains that he pushes himself to learn every aspect of whatever there is in civil engineering.
Similar to Diamante, Orendain reveals that he appreciates his course as there are a lot of different subjects to learn, not just solely focusing on one. “I like but also despise the fact that the subjects in this course are tough. It teaches me to become disciplined and to work hard in order to succeed,” he states.
Being a student-athlete is not just fun and games, especially when trials and tribulations come to a rise. “Either I skip training to study or I force myself to train even if I lack sleep,” Orendain explains that there are points when he must sacrifice one for the other.
Similarly, for Agustin, it’s about having to exert that extra effort as she states, “It’s really a struggle [when] you have to choose if you want to rest and recover or you want to study for the exams the next day.”
Furthermore, Diamante believes that the task of balancing everything in itself is simply difficult enough for any student-athlete. However, for Sy it was having high expectations for both academics and table tennis that was challenging. “Sobrang hirap kasi no one understands you not unless nandoon sila sa shoes mo,” she explains. (It’s difficult because no one understands unless they’re in your shoes.)
Overcoming high hurdles
As a student, it is important to set one’s priorities straight. Consequently, as a student athlete, you need to juggle and weigh your priorities. Agustin shares that she tells herself, “Get up and just do it.” Through this, the swimmer is reminded that it is her choice whether she should slack off or go for it.
Diamante, Orendain, and Sy are all able to overcome coinciding events through the process of weighing out the momentum of their priorities. Diamante explains, “I can make the most out of one instead of not being able to pursue any of my responsibilities [to] both.”
Likewise, Orendain weighs in the pros and cons of both the priorities on the table. The Green Tennister states, “I think first of what is more important in that moment… As much as possible I try to give my best in both every opportunity I get.” As for Sy, she consults with her mother with priorities. Furthermore, she knows that sacrificing one for the other is necessary as she accepts the fact that she cannot have the best of both worlds.
The right mindset is key when it comes to staying consistent in the world of academics and sports. The four athletes share their prized mottos and mantras. Diamante always has two of his favorite mottos on his mind: “Doing everything for God’s greater glory” and “Keeping fit in mind, body, and spirit.” Both gives him purpose in the things he does.
For Orendain, the quote “Nothing worth having comes easy,” fits perfectly with his belief that hard work pays off big time. “Whenever people throw stones at you, pick them up and build something with it,” is the motto that motivates Agustin to face the obstacles and the people that put her down.
Sy aims to break the usual stigma towards student athletes. “Hindi sila yung happy-go-lucky na papasok lang sa school, kaya din namin mag–excel,” she shares her belief that student athletes are capable in both academics and sports. (They aren’t just happy-go-lucky, we can also excel.)
When asked about their plans for their athletic career after college, Diamante shares that he has not decided since he would like to prioritize his plans for his career in the future.
“Ang una ko talagang gustong gawin is to review for board then take the boards.” He also plans to pursue taking up masters in another country since he mentions how it gives his field of study an edge, though he’s not trying to put the possibility of continuing his career as an athlete away.
For Agustin, she concludes that she will not be continuing her swimming career after college. She states that she will primarily focus on swimming only at the collegiate level but will continue to exercise to keep herself in shape.
Sy expresses her intention to continue her career as an athlete after college but worries about the board exams and how she would find it difficult to continue pursuing table tennis. Despite her worries, she states that she would still practice her sport from time to time.
As for Orendain, he is fixed on the plan of testing his tennis career after college. “I want to see how far I can go within a certain period. I want to figure out how much better I can be when I purely focus on tennis without having to worry about my grades,” he says. He also shares how he sees himself working in the industry that is related to his course, but he would put that aside first since he considers his tennis career a big “what if”.