T-minus two weeks until I cap off my stay in this University. After four years, two program shifts, and 56 units of unnecessary classes, it would be an understatement to say that I am ready to graduate. However, instead of finishing the mountainous amount of work I have due in the next few days, including my thesis, I am here contemplating on whether I am ready or not to enter the workforce. Were those weekly PERSEF classes worth it? Have all my majors prepared me for a job of my choice? Is there even a job for me out there? They say political scientists are high in demand now to make some sense of the turbulent and polarized times. However, there seems to be a trend against facts and empirical data, so I don’t even know if it’s an area where I want to work in.
Over the past few years, I have forgotten a lot. I don’t remember much from my one year in engineering. My days as a business student are also vague, and truth be told, I can’t recall all my lessons in political science. This is not to say I haven’t learned anything. I know about the variations and elements of democracy. I can differentiate realism, liberalism, and constructivism, Additionally, I am a master at pulling all-nighters—something I only truly needed in the University. But even more than the things I have forgotten and learned, there is so much more I don’t know. Excel and its wide array of functions and capabilities are a mystery to me—but the sum function is my best friend; turning theory into application still seems like an impossible task; and, getting people to care about things like climate change and political participation is another great wall I have yet to climb.
But in my four years, I have learned things that I never expected to. In my first year, I learned how to campaign and talk to complete strangers. I was also introduced to legal language and used it to write and amend resolutions as a legislative representative. News writing is another skill I only started and honed in college when I joined this very organization in my second year. The academic year after gave me the opportunity to learn how to negotiate and understand the dynamics of international relations through NMUN. My senior year, the most difficult of all, started with a team of twelve which I had to lead to organize a national conference for four hundred Filipino youth in the Senate. It also came alongside financial management skills with my position as managing editor.
The last paragraph may seem like a bragfest, but that is not the point. While my academics have taught me many things—political theory, research, and writing—my extra-curricular activities have really made my stay here meaningful. My most practical skills in communication, organizing, and management came from my experiences outside the classroom. Sure, I have lost sleep and given up some time with my friends, but in the process, I have made new friends and irreplaceable experiences. The skills I’ve developed have acted as the perfect supplement for those I’ve learned from my professors.
I don’t regret picking DLSU all those years ago. While the professors have been thought-provoking and my classes interesting, I am most grateful for the opportunities La Salle has given me. All the organizations I have joined and all the people I have met really made me appreciate this tiny campus in the middle of all the traffic of Manila.