Four years ago, I was accepted to Ateneo De Manila University. When I first entered the university four years ago, one of the things that really struck me was how now, I had a lot more free time and could decide for myself what I wanted to do. My life as an Atenean student was here, and today, I’m going to tell you about that life through some of my favourite things in the Ateneo.

1.THE ORGS

The Manuel V Pangilinan (MVP), home to the org rooms of the accredited orgs of Ateneo

One of the things I was determined to do was join a lot of organisations, and during my first and sophomore years and I did just that.  In Ateneo, organisations can either be credited or uncredited, and there are hundreds of them. There is one for any interest, from Japanese culture to psychology and you can join as many as you want.

I know of some people who didn’t join, doing so undoubtedly helped me integrate better into the Ateneo community because they helped me find friends easier, and the activities  definitely helped me enrich my Atenean life by challenging me to step up and help make the event as successful as possible.

The New Rizal Library

2 . THE LIBRARIES

Studying is of course a big part of what it takes to do well in your classes- you  probably won’t be able to get by through your “stock knowledge”. One of the places you can study in are our libraries. The Ateneo libraries are quiet and cold, and is perfect for studying alone. However if you want to study as a group, the top floors of two of the libraries are available for your use.

During Finals week, the top floor of the New Rizal library sells snacks and powdered drinks for their “chill at the fifth” program, and the balcony of the Matteo Library (also called “matteo up”, and one of the previously mentioned places you can study as a group) is open 24 hours.

Personally I use the library mostly for groupwork. The library, being set apart from the usual hangouts spots on campus, really has a way of helping me and my group mates focus. (Not to mention how the fast library internet is)

Inside the Gonzaga Cafeteria

3. THE CAFETERIAS

While Regis is right outside campus, there are multiple cafeterias on campus you can eat from as well. One of the most accessible ones is the Gonzaga cafeteria, as it is located in the middle of the college area of campus. It has two floors (the upper one being referred to as Gonzaga Up), and has multiple stalls, offering different cuisines, like Korean and Japanese, among others.

My favourite cafeteria, however, is the one at the Loyola School of Theology. while being the most isolated of the cafeterias on campus, the food is really cheap and there’s an area that offers a really magnificent view of Marikina below the hill.

4. THE GARDENS

The Social Sciences Garden

If you need to take a break from the hustle of academics, Ateneo has gardens that are really beautiful and peaceful in the mornings. Even if they’re busy during the day because they’re located in places with heavy foot traffic, going is a perfect way to just take time and just focus on yourself and just breathe before going off to class.

I personally used to arrive to school early because it made me feel peaceful, and helped me feel more awake.

And there you have it, my favourite things about Ateneo and how they contributed my Atenean life.

When I was applying for colleges five years ago, as with most students also applying, one of my biggest concerns was that I wouldn’t be able to get into one of the “big four”. One of the ways I helped quell these concerns was by taking review classes. Not only did they help refresh my memory about the lessons that were going to be covered by the entrance tests, they also helped me prepare for what it would actually be like to take these tests with their practice tests. If I didn’t take those review classes I probably wouldn’t have gotten in to the Ateneo, so I’m glad I did, because while life as Atenean is challenging, it’s a whole lot of fun.

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