The hardest question about going into college is “What course do you want to take?”
The second hardest is “Are you sure?”
There are times we answer yes to the second question, certain with the choice we have made and excited for the future, our decision draws for us. There are days when we smile knowing that this will bring us closer to the dream of being a doctor-lawyer-businessman. Then there are days when we dream differently. Shifting has become the plan B for many students who have lost their purpose along their college journey. While many students resort to shifting because of conflict in their interests, others find shifting to be a means to an end. It can come from either wanting a new course or simply wanting out of the current one. With a large number of reasons to shift, none of them guarantees success. Join The Menagerie as we peek into the dreams and realities of Lasallian students who have revisited college’s second hardest question.
Bernadine, (IV, AB-PHS), recalls her first shifting experience, “I didn’t feel I’d survive my [first] course.” Having shifted from BS Chemistry minor in Business Studies to AB Philosophy and ultimately to her present course, shifting for Bernadine made her realize what she wanted to pursue after all, “I wanted to shift into a course I knew I would like so that it wouldn’t feel much of a burden. Not that I’m saying it’s not, but if you like what you’re studying then it wouldn’t be much of a hassle to you.”
Nobody said it would be easy. Shifting doesn’t ensure rainbows and butterflies towards the end of the tunnel. It can be difficult for some students, especially for those who actually took the plunge. The process of shifting itself can be a challenge – with shifting exams and interviews, the thought of not making the cut can be stressful but the implications of shifting can be even more of a struggle. Carl, (IV, BS-MGT), who experienced both external and internal shifting, shares the challenges he encountered with shifting courses, “[I felt] pressure from siblings [about] how much time it will take me to graduate.” Shifting comes with a price, it could possibly be a cause for delay but in the long run, it could bring students what they’ve always wanted: the right decision. As Bernadine puts it, “If you don’t like your course and it’s really reflecting on your academic outputs, go shift. School by itself is already stressful so why burden yourself with a course that only makes you feel bad?”
But is shifting always the answer? Melissa, (IV, CAM-ADV), not only considered shifting out from both of her double degrees but also entertained the possibility of dropping one. “It was a question of whether I would be able to attain [a good job] using my course or not.” Wanting to shift her Communication Arts degree to Organizational Communication or her Advertising to Marketing, she found herself with a plethora of options which she did not forget included remaining as is. The idea to shift can come from a bad experience like unfulfilling class or a good experience like seeing your friends happy with their course. “I’m kind of ambivalent about taking Advertising but it is also because I don’t know what else to think. One class can’t be the basis of my decision.” She knew that a different course does not guarantee a solution to her problem and could simply be a replacement. Although it was common for her block to either shift or drop, she eventually opted to stay with her course. Deciding not to shift is as big of a decision to do so. People can find new purpose or be reminded of old. She is currently finishing her thesis for her Liberal Arts degree and has already begun majors for her Commerce degree. When asked whether she had any regrets, without skipping a beat she says “None.”
Transferees, or half-blooded Lasallians as some would say, also undergo greater, if not the same grind as shiftees do, and unlike the latter, we know less of their stories of struggles precisely because the green blood has already seeped through their veins that they almost seem like everybody.
Deciding to move out from one university to another itself requires a lot of circumspection and planning to transfer in DLSU is surely not a walk in the park. Before taking the transfer exam (which is very much like the DLSUCET), transferees need first to pass the strict criteria of having no failing and incomplete grades, no unofficial dropped subjects, and a GPA of 85%. Only after which follows the submission of heaps of documents, but the hardships don’t just end there. Entering DLSU in such way entails lesser chances of feeling the Lasallian experience to the fullness.
The baptismal ceremonies before entering DLSU, the LPEP, which is regarded by many Lasallians as one of the most exciting part of their frosh days, is not a big deal for transfer students. Formerly Black and Yellow blooded Jericho Gutib, (PSY-BSA), shares, “LPEP for me was a bit boring because I barely know anyone.” Unlike freshmen LPEP, it only takes a day and there are no performances from Animo Squad and the like which makes it less exciting when it shouldn’t supposed to be.
Transfer students also realize the importance of block section, as this is basically the adjusting period to cope up with the overwhelming Lasallian culture by acquainting with other froshies and finding companions to be with for the rest of their stay. This, however, is one of the few things transfer students are deprived of. For Jericho, not having a block can be inconvenient. He shares, “It’s hard not to belong in a block in the sense that I have no one to remind me of homework and deadlines which I also find a good thing because I learn to become more responsible.”
Among the reasons why students would transfer to DLSU is because of the school’s proven reputation in the academe. When asked why she transferred, Sabrina Sy, (AB-HIS), while expressing her intents of shifting once more, says, “I transferred because DLSU is the premiere institution of providing business education.”
But the journey doesn’t end with shifting or transferring. With so many fields to step into, deciding which career to take can be difficult – but you are not alone in this problem. Go talk to someone who is in the course that you want. Do not just ask about the good things but also the difficulties found there. You can also go back to a current course mate who can remind you on the positives which you might have forgotten. For those still not ready to make the decision, try joining the orgs of the courses you want to shift to. Buy or borrow a textbook or even a thesis paper used in their majors.
There are many ways to help make your choice but never let fear or pride decide for you. Life will be full of decision making moments and it will come to a point that what matters is not what you pick but on how you carry on with your choice.