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I am not going to lie, or exaggerate here. Everything in here is exactly what college made me realize.

Some I guess, are things that college DIDN’T make me realize.

Warning: This blog post would not make sense because I know I will finish this unorganized. But I’ll try to make it as clear as possible. I want to write this for you, college freshman.

This first part you can skip.

The happiest thing I remember about elementary is meeting people with the same interests as me — writing, reading, watching. For my whole four years in high school, I was writing (sometimes for the school newspaper, sometimes for my friends, sometimes for my blog readers in my anonymous blogs, sometimes for my special someone, sometimes for my English or Filipino teachers, but most of the time for my text buddies). When I was still in high school, I didn’t know what would happen after graduation. I never thought it would soon put me in a place where I would be made into what I am today.

And then college. My first year in college was a total waste of tuition. Most of the things that I know today are things that I learned from my college friends (they were 4th year students). Joining the campus publication was the push that I needed. My editors were my teachers. Sometimes I tell people that my style of writing evolved because of my best bud, Kuya Jay. And then after telling them that, I realize that it’s an insult to Kuya Jay since I am not even half as good as he is. And since most of my friends were graduating students, I thought I’d be alone on the year after my first in college.

I became the Associate Editor of the publication, Budyong, during my second year (and during my third year). The position as the Editor in Chief in the university publication, The Bicol Universitarian, was a bit enticing. When I was in first year, the EIC of the Universitarian told me to take the exam for the university pub. I took it, but I didn’t submit my entry. I have to thank my reason for not joining the university publication. I do not feel any kind of regret today.

There was something about the college publication that was keeping me from joining the bigger publication. I enjoyed the bond that we made inside. As a matter of fact, my time inside our office or with my co-writers is a double of my time inside the classroom.

My third year was eventful. While keeping communications with the past editors, I was busy meeting other people. I met new friends inside the university and from other schools in the Philippines. Again, I was out of the classroom most of the time. But I soon came to a realization that being an island when I enter the room is making me feel a bit unwelcome sometimes. So I tried my best to be close to some people I trust. (I don’t know IF they trust me, though. But I hope they do.) I built a bond with the people whose habits don’t include bragging about stuff they know or stuff they do.

While away from the classroom.

Things aren’t similar. And things are in your control. During my elementary and high school year, it didn’t occur to me that I would soon recall what I did with all my years and call my self a retard. Yes, everything back then seemed to be important, but I forgot all of them after tests. It was like I was cheating my self. Learning was one thing, memorizing was its anti-matter. And they still ARE.

While I was away from the classroom, completely aware that my classmates are keeping their heads busy with the classroom discussions, I told my self, “I am just glad this happened to me. I am learning stuff that I would soon hear my professor teach us two years from now.”

For a reason I already mentioned earlier in this blog, I will not be graduating any time soon. That means I will undergo more pain than needed.

The real point of this blog post is…

I realized many things. Other things don’t mean anything to anyone but me. But here are some of it:

  • What you learn in college stays in college. That is, if you 1) Believe that you are wasting time in college, 2) You didn’t take the course that was right for you, AND 3) You wish to do a completely different stuff after graduation. If you didn’t understand my point here’s number 2 realization.
  • You need to do stuff related to your course during your stay in school. Why? It’s a war out there and your resume is both your gun and ammunition. If you’re a Journalism student like me, try writing for a community paper, for a campus publication, or for anything like those two mentioned. So, start creating a name for yourself while you are still a student, unless you want whatever you learn in college be wasted.
  • Build connections.The best times to build connections are when you’re in a contest, you’re in your internship, and when there are forums (or fora, or fori, whichever). Now what do you do after you built your connections? Keep them. You want them to be kept, and kept strong. Trust me.
  • Don’t rush things.When I say things, I mean EVERYTHING. Rushing things, and thinking that things need to be rushed, would just give you stress. BUT, always manage your time.
  • Enjoy, don’t stay displeased about things that have gone wrong. Someone once told me that for every one reason to be angry, there is a thousand reasons to smile. Myself is someone.
  • Be genuine.

Good luck in your first year in college.