This is—or was seven years in the making. After countless all nighters, insurmountable relapses, and failed exams, I’ve reached the end of my undergraduate journey.
As someone who’s finishing two years late, it’s something I’ve been dreaming of for years now. It’s a milestone in life that I value very much due to my difficulties in achieving it; victory is sweeter. It’s a milestone in life that I cherish because it marks the close of a chapter and the start of the next.
But beyond the celebrations and sentimentality, this is the phase in my life wherein I’d probably have to bid goodbye to my childhood and to realize that my being an adult has its own intricacies.
Although I’m not entirely sure I’m ready for this transition. I haven’t even figured out with finality where I’d be working, nor do I have a concrete path set before me. I have a lot to figure out. However, starting is almost always the most difficult. This is something I’d have to brave through.
I’m just unsure if all these uncertainties are due to my lack of preparation, to my subpar performance in academics, or to the lack of opportunities. Have I not maximized my expensive and academically challenging Lasallian education?
Of course there are many factors that go into answering such a question, and among them is how one navigated their college life. Personally, I think I didn’t do too bad in terms of that. Apart from joining this organization I’m in now, I got to immerse myself in the operations of my batch government, 70th ENG, and of La Salle Dance Company-Folk in my earlier years. They have their own cultures and objectives, and along with those are shared knowledge and lessons that cover various aspects of character formation and career development. But I’m wondering if these were enough.
There are matters that also go beyond organizational work. There’s the case of job interviews, job applications, and actual hiring—concerns I believe would be more challenging compared to the already-hard-to-secure internships. Not to be ungrateful, but the IPERSEF modules that allow us to interact with professionals as a sort of immersion don’t do enough. Perhaps we aren’t entitled to privileges beyond that, but having interview simulations and mock application processes might not be too much to ask for.
My concerns seem minimal, but these provide more support to students who are about to start their careers. I think the University can afford that much at least. More than support, they can better ensure that we will be graduating as rookies of the workforce.
But yes, apart from what I see lacking, La Salle has given me invaluable lessons as well. Especially through my organizations and required academic internships, I have developed my work ethic, my sense of organizational awareness, and my character.
Through the student-run organizations I became and are a part of, I came to know that there are things greater than my personal ambitions. There are causes that need to be supported. And there is a dire need to be a participative citizen of this country in matters that especially deal with politics. Especially considering the current sociopolitical climate in the Philippines, my being aware and open-eyed to our realities I can never discount. “Ang namulat, ‘di na muling pipikit.”
These aren’t easy undertakings; in fact, they’re probably the hardest to be involved in. But these are just as essential as our varied interests in life—perhaps more important than most of them. But they’re a prerequisite to being a functional human being—to being a Lasallian achiever for country. It’s a commitment we should keep, a responsibility we should honor.
Considering all these, the trade off is something I can be satisfied with, regardless if it’s just. What my professors, advisers, supervisors, and seniors have imparted to me are things I still take with me now. They are things I will take with me even after leaving this institution.
I am lucky, proud, and grateful to have experienced a Lasallian education. After all, it’s what shaped me to be who I am now. There are things it could improve on—from figuring out a more effective delivery of online classes to actually listening to student concerns especially with regard to the quality of services the University offers. I hope my clamors become a thing of the past, and that what I hope become realities of the student body.
Here’s to wishing that the past seven years serving the University can forge a better future for the younger Lasallians—a future that benefits the students as well, and not just the University administration.