Challenging oneself

As a pretty average student entering college, I didn’t really expect to be where I am at right now. Starting out as a Legal Management student, all I wanted was to breeze through this phase of my life and go wherever life takes me after. But certain opportunities and perspective-changing decisions steered me into a different direction—one that I am very grateful to have been
led to.

In my very first term as a DLSU undergraduate student, I was fortunate enough to be enrolled in classes with very talented professors. Although the subjects at first were not as challenging as those I would take in future academic terms, I really learned a lot everyday, which gave me the drive to study hard and open my mind to new ideas. This then became a habit, and by the end of the term, I was surprised at how much my hard work paid off.

It became an addicting feeling to see how putting in the effort can lead to great things. By my second term, I considered shifting to the School of Economics (SOE), following the advice of my older brother, who is one batch my senior. He explained what the culture was like in his experience—for him, students worked hard and strove to achieve great things. I knew that if I wanted to grow, then I should have the
same mentality.

Shifting was, in a way, a leap of faith. DLSU’s economics program is math-intensive, which I knew wasn’t my greatest strength. Nevertheless, I took the challenge and shifted on my third term, right when I was eligible to shift. Everyday, I tried to put in the work and push myself to my limits, and everyday I would see how much I grew as
a person.

In my sophomore year, I decided that I wanted to take on a new challenge. With zero journalistic experience, I signed up for The LaSallian as a sports writer. Upon being accepted, I knew that I wasn’t the best and I still had much to learn, so I read plenty of the publication’s previous works and tried to apply that into my articles. It was something very new to me, especially since I don’t consider myself as someone who is creative. This made coming up with new, exciting article ideas every month a struggle
for me.

With everything going well both in terms of academics and extracurricular activities, I felt a sense of accomplishment with my personal growth.

Every third academic term, the publication holds the Editorial Board (EB) Race, where aspiring editors and managers throw their hats in the ring. Initially, I didn’t want to take part in the race, as I was very much content with my role as a sports staffer, and partly because I didn’t want to risk my academics with the demands of an EB position. However, my editor at the time somehow convinced me to
sign up.

Long story short, I got the position of Sports Editor, and immediately, I was filled with fear and excitement. Being in the EB requires one to sacrifice a great deal of time and effort to do the job effectively, and I wasn’t sure if I was the type of guy cut-out for this type of work. But I knew that I had to take on this challenge if I wanted to reach the sense of achievement that I had craved. I realized that it is only through taking risks and diving into the unknown that we can find new avenues for growth.

Looking back at how I was when I first entered the University, I can say with conviction that I have grown greatly as a person. It was through these challenges that I took, some of which I wasn’t even sure if I could handle, that I learned something about us human beings: we should never put ourselves in a box. Going out of one’s comfort zone allows one to grow and develop new skills. We can achieve so much more if we just take that leap of faith and challenge ourselves beyond what we perceive our limits to be. Just enjoy every moment and be surprised at how much you
can achieve.

Alfonso Reyes

By Alfonso Reyes

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