Terminal is commonly used to refer to DLSU students who are in their fourth or fifth year or those about to graduate or leave. But why terminal? It has other different meanings, depending on how it’s used. It could mean a display monitor and keyboard, a life-ending illness, or a place where passengers begin or end their journey.
As a student, I’ll define it as place where I began and ended a journey—then, began again. Although I’m only taking a four-year course, this academic year is already my fifth as a student. Finishing my college education was delayed as I shifted to another course, the reason why I overstayed.
Shifting from BS-EPSY to BS-INSYS was my choice and decision. The process wasn’t easy but I don’t regret it. It was a challenge to meet the criteria, submit documents, take shifting exams, and be interviewed by the Vice Dean—all the while thinking of not making the cut. I still remember my interview with the College of Computer Studies Vice Dean where I was told that “It is normal to fail in CCS.” He even asked me if I am prepared to fail and see a grade of 0.0. I simply nodded and thought to myself that it was a welcome and, at the same time, a warning that I have to study diligently.
Moreover, as much as I want to graduate on schedule, the course I have taken also has its prerequisites. I can appeal and request to take the prerequisites and post-requisites simultaneously, but it’s risky since they are major subjects. Aside from the prerequisites, some subjects are only offered on a seasonal basis, dependent on the availability of the professors. I experienced waiting for another term because of this, thus another reason for delay.
Still, there are perks of overstaying in the University, as I can enroll with lesser units than what is indicated on my flowchart, giving me the opportunity to focus more on the subjects I am enrolled in. Though I was forced to underload with the units I enroll, it gave me more time to have a part-time job as a web designer and a chance to join this very publication and be part of its Editorial Board.
Graduating on time is a blessing and an advantage. However, extra terms for a delayed student could also be a blessing as you can still see your friends and acquaintances more often, may they be overstayed or not.
College life is not a race, it is only a terminal where you begin and end one particular journey in your life. It will also be your jump-off point for another journey, as well as another challenge.