Sunday, August 11, 2013

HIGHWAY TO HELL: A Freshman's First Sem (with updated notes and comments)

Taken from "The Gainers," the Joint Official Publication of the Management Circle and Junior Finance Executives at the University of the Philippines Visayas Cebu College (Management Division [now Management Cluster]) Academic Year 2009-2010. Volume II


by Leo Jaymar G. Uy, freshman

UP Cebu, BS Management, 2009-4****

When I learned that I passed the UPCAT, I knew from that moment that I would be spending the next 4 years of my academic life as an “Isko”. My parents did not really care about the other entrance exams that I’ve taken. Expectations boiled down to the much talked-about UPCAT. Forget Ateneo, Santo Tomas, and Xavier, regardless of which campus, UP without any doubt occupies the top spot on their list.

From then on, I spent a lot of time thinking about what to expect in college. I thought of ways to cope with the transition that I’d soon undergo. I would be thrown into an open sea of indefinite possibilities. Having to spend my college life outside of my comfort zone I call “home” and having to deal with a new bunch of people, I’m well aware it’s not going to be a walk in the park. Going there would mean giving up my habit of spending much time on the computer and on playing video games. [1] It would also mean that I would have to leave my best buds and family behind. Of course, I tried not to be too much of an optimist since screw-ups from the early get-going are to be expected from a freshman. My expectations proved to be true when I went there for pre-enrolment and enrolment processes. It was so frustrating that I began having second thoughts whether I made the right decision in taking the risk of leaving my comfort zone. That has got to be the most frustrating, infuriating, hair-pulling, *expletive*, *expletive*, and *expletive* experience I’ve had to date. [2]

Putting aside doubts and expectations on the enrolment process, I pushed myself to embrace life as a “UPian.”[3] However, sometime during the adjustment process, homesickness kicks in. Not that I’m not expecting it to happen, but it was still a very dreadful experience. I was left clueless on howto deal with these situations since it was my first time to face them by myself.I would often talk to my parents or my best buds from high school for advice or just for the sake of company. I could still talk to them through SMS and make calls through my cellphone, but I seldom communicate with them since I know they’re also busy with their own lives. Now for most of the time, I’m left on this new milieu all by myself, besieged by the pressure and confusions of first-year college hysteria. It was then that I realized that college was way different from my happy go-lucky days in high school where you can just dimwittedly act around with your friends… and still get good grades. It took me a few weeks to finally get over the hump and resumed doing my things as an Isko. From what I’ve learned in the university, every exam counts – your life depends on it. Also, you must have the energy to read lengthy materials in a short time and know its point. Most teachers no longer care about class attendance and they would no longer give follow-ups if you’re lacking requirements. One failed exam and that could spell disaster on your part. Bringing that in mind, I decided to spend most of my time doing paper works and lesson reviews no matter how it sounds “geeky”to others and still have an adequate time to leisure myself. [4]

I’ve been hearing stories about the Management course being as hard as hell. One time, I asked one senior about the course and said that the “fun” starts upon reaching the third year of our college life (if I make it). [5] So far, the first semester has been an up and down experience. I get to meet new friends, live semi-independently,and experience almost sleepless nights just to finish writing my reports and term papers. [6] Things might get draggy as a college student but as a Chinese proverb once said, “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials." [7]

Welcome to college! [8]


[1] Not quite, but no high-end video games for me. I’m stuck with playing “dated” ones.
[2] There are worse experiences at this point, though as a “freshie,” it was still discouraging.
[3] Sue me! 
[4] I miss writing reaction papers.
[5] I didn’t. I transferred to Diliman the next year.
[6] One of the biggest problems a freshie could experience. I miss that.
[7] Still applicable, just because of the fact that it’s a Chinese proverb!
[8] I’ll miss the academic stress.

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