A new term has begun, and it is the last for this academic year. Where some are still beginning to feel, maybe even struggling, the realities of college life and culture, others are nearing the end of it all, the road to the world of work just a short distance away. The start of a new term and the last push for a proper close of another academic year is an excellent time to reflect on what these last months and years have brought to our lives as Lasallians, and contemplate on what the future will bring, all to remind us of our actions in the present.
But thoughts from such reminiscence and contemplation are never easy to generalize for any Lasallian when we stop to realize that we are all in entirely different learning backgrounds despite a comparatively small campus. How much do we know about the lives of students in colleges other than ours? What does it feel like to be a student of a particular college, and what kind of memories and experiences are unique for each college?
Join us as we take a moment to discover the unique realities of life on each college in the perspective of their very students.
School of Economics
“There’s a reason why SoE was established as a separate college from CoB (College of Business). Subjects are intense, and the intensity brings you and your classmates together. YEC, Intercon, EcoWeek, etc. will make your stay in the college oh-so worthwhile too. However, what sets SoE apart are the professors. ALL professors are just so passionate about their craft, and they will infect you with their love for economics too!”
One can really feel Sarah’s* mentioned enthusiasm of Economics professors rubbing off to her. When asked of which subjects define the School, the third-year economics student considers the MACREC and MICREC series, because “here you will really get to appreciate economics and its applicability.”
In fact, Sarah considers such combinations of related economics subjects as one of the highest or most enjoyable points of being an economics student, since the interconnectedness make each subject much more sensible in both theory and application. She says further, “METRESE under Dr. Largoza was extremely memorable too. You’re really pushed to your maximum point,” referring to a thesis-prerequisite subject which trains students in methods of research. On the other end of the scale, she considers the econometrics subjects, which make use of math, statistics, and economic concepts on economic data to explain relationships, as the lowest points. “Don’t get me wrong. The subject is extremely interesting, and the sole professor is world-class. You just have to push yourself to the core, or else your grades will suffer with you!”
Economics is a difficult science, but one that is highly rewarding. Looking back to her frosh years, Sarah only has this to say to her frosh self: “Don’t give up on pursuing excellence. Never, ever, ever.” Her life as an economics student has exceeded her expectations, and would like to remember life as an economics student as “fun, and also something that defined me.”
Gokongwei College of Engineering
There is so much more going on in the world of engineers than other eyes can see, just like how much of the intricate inner workings that bring many of today’s man-made wonders around us to life remain unseen. Steven*, a third-year Civil Engineering student explains, “It is really the hands-on activities that define the College – things like mechanics, and laboratory activities. Through them, the theories and concepts learned in the classroom are brought to life.” He notes that the first and second years of Engineering life are mostly classroom and pen and paper oriented, and years third and onwards are when the sense of being a real engineer begin to emerge.
The mind that loves to stereotype will scarcely find anything fun with seemingly nonsensical diagrams, computations, and numbers, but Steven says that life as an engineering student is not without its enjoyable and defining moments. “Our Canlubang experience, where we did things such as excavating samples and fieldwork, is one. I felt it was a truly involving experience.” Another was the team-based contests and quiz bees in which, explaining as best as he can, “your computations come to life.”
Steven considers his first year as his lowest point, but not because of adjustment issues. “As I said, the first and second years are mostly classroom-based. You are taught many mathematical stuff, and sometimes you can’t help but ask yourself ‘What am I going to use all of these knowledge for?’” From his observation, it is also the year when many students unfortunately fail and shift courses.
What then, would Steven advise his imaginary frosh self? “Join your Engineering course’s organization as early as possible and
become active. You’ll thank yourself for doing so when study time comes, and you’ll need all the help from your peers you can get.” Though he admits guilty of video game preferences back then, he adds, “Resist temptations of your unhealthy obsessions. Also, no matter how hard this will seem, allot a few minutes of your time to study every day. One-time, big-time studies are not only tough, but are also highly stressful.” Sounds like the usual advice we get from our parents, but coming from Steven who braved three years in the field, it is unarguably a sound one.
College of Education
The future teachers walk the halls of Andrew building, for their classes are mostly there. Men are a rarity in this college, but the few that are there just have the same intentions as the many women there-to educate and touch hearts. But what do they do now while they are still students? We all know teaching is a noble profession but what do they do while they are still in college? We talked to Raph, a CED student. “Being able to participate in the various activities of CED in advocating proper education is one of the defining moments in CED life for me. It means a lot.”
We do know that they are trained to become competent individuals in the field of education in the future, but at present, they experience the same dilemma all students have while in college. “Going to class each day is always a high because each class, each activity is a new and worthwhile experience. One of the hardest I have had to endure is hell week.”
His advice for his frosh self was to stay steadfast amidst the hardships of college. “Always be optimistic as college is a fun and unforgettable experience in which each memory will be cherished. Also, I will advise my frosh self to be good in time management skills, for this is key in everything we do, not just in school.”
For him, College of Education is sure living up to his grade and expectations. Finally, when asked about how he would like to remember his university education, particularly CED, he said, “I would want to remember it as a time in which I was able to contribute a lot during my college years and know that I may have made a difference (even a little bit) and as a fun and memorable experience.”
College of Liberal Arts
Easily recognizable as the populace that plies their trade mostly in Miguel Hall, and also deemed the most sociable and fashionable, Liberal Arts students are the creative bunch. They are forced to work with their creative minds through papers, more papers, tons of papers, and also the videos, not to forget. When people say that they are from CLA, students from other colleges tend to be judgmental, saying that CLA subjects are lighter as compared to theirs. CLA also arguably boasts of the most gorgeous people in La Salle with exquisitely stunning girls which engineering students would die to just even talk to and dashing adonises worthy of being candy cuties. Recently, we had a chat with college president Raymund Nejal and Justine, a regular Arts student. He thinks that being in college itself is a defining moment for everyday, every trial is a definitive learning experience. Justine on the other hand sees that the many opportunities given to express their creativity are the defining experiences in her college.“There are many contests and events offered to us which shape us to evolve into better achievers for God and country, and as the saying goes, it is about redefining liberal identity.”
When asked about highs and lows in college, Raymund adamantly says, “Personally, my highest moment in the college is just being a part of it. I feel perfectly right belonging in the college of liberal arts and I am glad that I am nearly graduating under CLA.” He adds that the lows he experienced are only blips in the enigma that is college. “For sure, there is something that I have learned from each disappointment, frustration, failure, or defeat.”
If he could only advise his frosh self on matters such as this, according to him, he would tell himself to take risks and opportunities as they come. “Get out of your comfort zone and try interacting with people whom you didn’t expect to get along with at first. You’d be surprised by how the people who seem to be your exact opposite end up being great friends”, Justine said. CLA has lived up to expectations, Raymund says. But more important are the students and professors in it. “I believe that students, professors, staff, and everyone else involved in this college live up to the years of existence and prestige this college has given the university, and we should continue doing so.” With some wishful and nostalgic thinking, we asked him how he would see college years after. Five years from now however, he would remember college as a moment in his life where he achieved so much more than what he had initially planned for himself.
One is a college president, the other is a regular student, yet drawing parallels between their testimonies and advices is quite straightforward. For they are both Lasallians, both students, both risk-takers and both dreamers.
College of Science
They have all the subjects other colleges would dread having: plentiful science and much mathematics. As a matter of fact, these are an integral part of their curriculum. They dissect cats and frogs, make chemical solutions and so much more. This is the breeding ground for future doctors. But for now, they will experiment on cats and examine them. “If you don’t have good study habits, a good circle of friends and a tough stomach, COS is not for you”, says Rudyle, a biochemistry student. “What sets Science apart from other colleges is the closeness of the college since it’s such a small college”, he recounts. “You basically know everyone. Everyone is so simple and so approachable. It makes it so much easier to tackle college comfortably with them.”
He also does know that COS has one of the most rigorous training in the university. “It is hard to stomach a failure when you know you’ve given it your all, but heck, that’s part of college. That’s why many shift out. But knowing I’m halfway through my degree program gives me a sense of fulfilment and pride that I came this far in this hell course.”
Whilst the carefree days of first year are long gone, he would still advise his frosh self to strive for more. “My frosh self should be more serious in whatever subject I endeavour in, stay myself and don’t forget to have fun and unwind.” This way he says, they get to live up to the reputation of Science graduates because of the very rigorous training they get from high-calibre professors.
Albeit merely halfway through college, he would not hesitate to envisage how he would see these four years when he works. His words epitomize the standard yet ideal college mentality which applies to all colleges. “I’d want to remember this as a bang in my life, as the years I would love to revisit when I get old. The opportunities to enjoy and learn are everywhere. We should seize them. Those drunken yet eventful nights, that euphoria after passing a strenuous subject and those people you meet everyday, each of them paint a beautiful picture of college which would stay with me.”
College of Computer Studies
As the training grounds of people who aspire to understand the workings of the revolutionary machine that we next-gen youth are guilty of spending much of our lifetime with, the University’s College of Computer Studies is undoubtedly a technology-centric learning environment – and possibly one of the most mind-straining. Machine Projects or MPs, are (in)famous projects that challenge students’ abilities to put their classroom learnings into practice. “Sit in front of the computer. Think,” as Bert* – an Information Systems student – describes what it feels like to do an MP.
Though MPs are also tackled in other colleges, Bert considers those of his College as possibly the hardest. “Doing MPs properly eat up all the time of students.” He recalls the sleepovers and numerous midnight-to-dawn sessions spent finishing them. On the bright side, accomplishing MPs are seen as one of the finer points of being a CCS students by Bert. “I feel very accomplished when I finish MPs, especially when they are very hard, and when I belong to the few who actually do finish.” Truly tough, as anyone like Bert would attest.
Being a CCS student means being willing to understand and sacrifice. As Bert would advise his frosh self, and current frosh CCS students out there, “Study hard and focus. Master programming. And don’t cut classes.” Life as a CCS student far surpassed Bert’s understanding of hard college life, despite him considering himself neither a total slacker nor honorable mention material.
Challenging may be the life of a CCS student, but the rewards of mastery over one of mankind’s world-changing inventions are definitely within the grasp of a graduate. And for Bert, who’s willing to brave the sleepless nights of programming and MPs, seeing the College as the place where his passion for computers rewarded him with superior skill and critical thinking is a desirable memory he would like to have.
Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business
Mention College Of Business to anyone and he or she might come up with words associated with it: accounting, economics, more accounting, and organizations that produce parties. It seems a fair enough description of this college which has churned out tycoons in the Philippine business sector. But underneath all the chaos of parties, RVR COB life remains business as usual. “We are known for our organizations and rightly so, because org work defines a big part of our college life, but it’s better to join an org which is in line with your degree.” These are the words of Josh, an Advertising student. He adds that joining organizations teach you how to manage your time and make you a mature person. On what his highs and lows in college were, he says, “When we won an IMC competition. It made me realize we were at par if not better than other students in other schools. My low would be praying hard just to pass a subject. I know it’s ridiculous but it’s definitely one of my lows.”
Like past interviewees in the other colleges, he would also tell his frosh self to seize chances, take risks and maximize college’s opportunities because the future is just around the corner already. “Join organizations, never be shy, create connections, be serious and grow up. College will have a lot of temptations like hot girls and vices but never stray from the path you are taking. Stay focused”, he said.
We asked about his expectations as a COB student. He nonchalantly says that his expectations were far from what COB really is, because for him, COB is better. “It trained me very well in the different aspects of business which I know can only do me good. I want to remember college as the time when I built a new me. This was the time when I stopped dreaming like a little boy and started acting like a really awesome man.”