Say hello to college and goodbye to your comfort zone! One of the biggest life lessons that being a college student will teach you is independence. You’ll learn to be self-sufficient in many ways, whether in everyday things like public transportation or opportunities uncommon in our culture, such as living on your own. You can become street-smart while on campus or pick up a lot of shortcuts while living in your condo or dorm. It may be daunting at first, but you’ll eventually appreciate this newfound independence.
Proper Time Management
In college, you, dear students, will have a less-regimented schedule, since you are now allowed to leave your campus when you don’t have classes. Also, you can now be absent without leaving an excuse letter. However, this does not give you an excuse to goof off, but these are opportunities for you to learn how to manage your time. So, feel free to use your breaks to prepare your papers ahead of time, study your readings, or do some org work. Just make sure you can balance all your priorities without snapping, OK?
Leaving Your Comfort Zone
College presents you with a lot of opportunities to leave your comfort zone, like doing fieldwork, joining organizations, or going to archives in other places. An example of this is ACIL’s caroling, for the carolers not only get to meet alumni, but they were even able to sing for Vice President Leni Robredo and meet Arnel Pineda. Another example would be Ambeth Ocampo’s Rizal course, since he would require his students to write about historical places like the National Museum and Intramuros, so students had a lot of chances to explore the wonders of the Philippines. As a result, college is indeed a place to leave your comfort zone and find yourself.
Treasuring Your Mentors
College is more than just free time, org work, or simply cutting to do papers. Remember, your profs are more than just teachers, but they can be mentors who can really change your life. In Ateneo, Theology professors like the legendary Ray Aguas can help you appreciate the Catholic faith, whether you are Catholic or not. In UP, Teodoro Agoncillo really brought out the best in his mentees, as Dr. Ocampo would mention to his students. So, dear students, treasure your profs, since they can really change your life for the better. All you have to do is open your mind and put in the work, since legendary profs can only give you opportunities. It is up to you to make the most of these.
College is a Time of Self-Discovery
Finally, all the experiences that you will experience in college, like joining orgs, leaving your comfort zone, learning how to manage your time, and studying under legends, will allow you to discover yourself. This is what college is ultimately for, to allow you to find out who you truly are and find new things about yourself, like your vocation. Also, you might even learn that your course was not the one you really wanted after all. Some may even meet the person they will spend the rest of their life in college. After all, college is a journey of self-discovery, so, dear students, it is like your own personal Bodhi Tree.
In the end, college is indeed an opportunity to learn new things, but the most important thing to be learned is not to rush. Some may take 4 years to finish, while others might take 6-7, because of their courses or other reasons. So, don’t panic if you take too long, just enjoy college while it lasts, and make more memories!
Overhauled, Edited, and Revised by Daniel Francisco P. Del Rosario, 10/27/19