Back home in high school, I was a big fish in a small pond. I was outgoing, and any opportunity that would be thrown at me, I would gladly take. Coming to the Ateneo, I shrunk back into myself.
When I came to the Ateneo, all of my peers were suddenly so much better than me. The expectation from my professors were higher than what was expected back from me in high school. I wasn’t used to it and I faded into the background.
I existed, but I wasn’t really existing. I was a normal student, going to classes everyday, not really achieving anything. I just went to my classes and I studied. The classes that I thought I would do well in, I just merely passed. I didn’t aim for anything, because I thought I could actually achieve anything. I was scared to join any of the organizations, seeing that I might not be good enough to be a member. Seeing that I wasn’t accepted into one of the organizations I applied to, that dampened my morale more. I was afraid to try anything out. For my first year in college, I did nothing but just be there.
I didn’t know where to begin. I thought I was at a disadvantage because my other peers have been exposed to this kind of academic rigor since they were in high school. I was afraid of falling short next to them. I was so afraid, that I forgot to try.
I forgot that what I achieved was a result of what hard work, that I didn’t start that way. I was taught by my parents, and my teachers. I forgot that for me to achieve something, I had to put in a lot of effort. It took a lot of time, and it wasn’t always a bed of roses. I forgot that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
I realized that I was the same as my peers. But they weren’t afraid to try. They weren’t afraid to fail. They had emerged from the il y a. They had become independent, they had become different. What made them different was what made them so remarkable. They had moved beyond the il y a and had emerged into their being.
Going into my second year, there was a subject that I really liked that I really did well in. It might seem like such a small thing to others who always do well, but I was really happy. It made me try harder. After realizing that I could actually do well in my classes, a friend of mine told me that she wanted to join the JTA program.
After hearing about the JTA program back in freshman year, I didn’t think about it again since I already assumed that I wouldn’t be eligible for the program since it required the students to have high grades and a lot of extra-curricular activities. Hearing my friend talk about it made me interested in it again, and I realized that I could do it. That it was possible. After that, the rest is history.
Here I am now, writing on a blog for PH101, a few months away from flying to another country.