If you’re smart, you get a blue certificate. If you’re smarter, you get a gold certificate. If you’re the smartest, you go up and down the stage for a number of times to get your numerous awards for being the best in certain subjects. Well, I’m just smart.
I have six blue certificates, because I did a bit poorly in the first and third quarters of second year (dapat eight yun najirits). But I am still happy, because my parents are consistent in being present in every year-end honors assembly (since grade one) and being slow walkers on stage. Of course, I am happy with blue, but there is Au (ohyes chem). To be first honor (even for just one quarter) has always been my goal ever since my frist honors assembly in high school. I never really aimed to be Best in English or Best in (insert another subject here). It’s okay for me not to be part of the top three in the batch, AS LONG AS I GET ONE GOLD CERTIFICATE!
Gold has always been my goal, and looking back, I never really got gold despite my honors. I knew that I could have done better. I settled for “mediocrity” (because some might not see it as mediocrity, but it is to me). I could have pushed myself harder. But, it happened. The only thing I can do now is to focus on my present. I should focus on my lessons now so that I can finally get gold.
Every honors assembly, one student is to give her insights (on being an honor student, I guess). My homeroom adviser (who’s not my English teacher) sat beside me during the whole ceremony. While listening to my batch mate’s insights, my teacher and I kept on looking at each other (because I sensed that she wasn’t really liking what she was hearing). To be honest, I didn’t really get her message, so I started to make my own speech, and here it goes:
(pretend that I got first honors and Best in English in third year…I am giving this speech in fourth year)
Dear administrators, faculty, parents, and my fellow students, good day to you all. Up to this moment, I still could not believe that I am here, speaking in front of all of you, to share my insights and to “inspire” my fellow students. To be honest, I do not find myself worthy to speak here right now because of what I have done as a student in the past. But at the same time, I find myself worthy to speak today because of the changes I have done to be in where I am today. I know that what I have achieved will take me to a good path; a good future for me and for my country, because I really want to be president of the Philippines.
There was this one time that a friend asked me about how I study, because I got perfect in the Math test we had. I answered her, “I don’t study. I just listen to the teacher.” What I said was true, and I did that most of the time. Back in grade school, when pre-quizzes were never given, I never opened my books except if we had homework or if the exams were coming. I brought that “study habit” until second year high school. I managed to survive two years in high school without reading in advance without being told to do so and without reviewing for a big quiz in Math. But unlike in grade school, I never got perfect in tests that I never prepared for. I did not bother changing my “habit”, until I got a B- in Math in the third quarter, and my numerical grade was 83 – one point away from a B; one point away from a blue certificate. I was really broken, and I nearly cried in front of my mom and my Math teacher. I will never forget that mark; I never will because I was pushed to move on and never settle with mediocrity again.
To study in the University of the Philippines is my dream, but in order to get in, I must give my all. I realized at the end of March 2012 that what I did in 2010 to 2012 was not enough to surely get me into UP, and even Ateneo. Since then, I told myself, “When junior year comes, I will work. I must get the best grades I can get. It’s for my future anyway, not for the honor or popularity brought by my high grades.” I was really worried for my future, but when June came, I really haven’t convinced myself that I should work. One day, our Chemistry teacher gave us a surprise 10-point quiz about the history of Chemistry. Since I still did not read, I got my first ever zero in a recorded activity. Thank heavens, it was recorded as a seat work, but that activity served as my true wake-up call: I really needed to study, if I want to get a good future, if I want to get into UP. The words of my second year Math teacher turned third year Science teacher added to my motivation: Madaling makapasok sa UP; mahirap makalabas”, and I would like to add to her statement: mahirap makalabas nang may degree.
Inspired by my grades in the past years, I set a goal: to be the best I can be. I would go home with a bulky bag because I had to fit my books in it just to prepare for the next lesson. I would fix a schedule whenever I get home just to get things done. Of course, I would not forget to rest and have a little fun, because it is through these that I will be refreshed for the new things to come. I would always come to school prepared, or at least be prepared before singing the national anthem. I had to do everything to be the best I can be, even if it meant staying up until 12am just to finish researching. Distractions, like a member of One Direction going online on Twitter at 10pm and the kilig story my friend told me, were always present, but I learned to manage my time and to know my priorities. Sacrificing a few things, like writing a blog post or filling up the application form for the World Youth Day in Brazil , were painful to me, but all the pains were eased by my successes. Of course trials came, academic and personal, but I learned to go on with those trials present and without knowing, I was able to surpass those trials. Third year was never easy, but it is really true that hard work does pay off.
Now, even if there is a fork on my road, I know that what I have achieved will take me anywhere I want to be, and I will do good. All the mistakes I have done, I have learned from. All the things I have learned, I will take with me forever. All the things I have learned, I will share with those whom I meet along the way so that they may do the same and achieve for their own future and for the future of those around her. And always remember: it’s okay to make mistakes. Just make sure that you don’t do them again. Thank you, and a blessed day to all.