What If I’m Not A Fighting Maroon?

There are nights when I wonder about what my life would be like if I accepted the challenge to be an Atenean or a Thomasian. Tonight is one of those nights.

Hey, being a Fighting Maroon is a privilege, but I can’t help but imagine life in other schools. So in this blog post, I will weigh the pros and cons of studying in Ateneo and UST.

What would my life be like if I studied in the Ateneo De Manila University? Well, based on my friends’ stories, I would probably go through:

  • Katipunan traffic (since kindergarten, man)
  • tough Math (THE HORROR);
  • tough English and Literature;
  • a lot of org(s) activities;
  • the struggle of getting my QPI at 3 or above;
  • wearing my ID even if I’m not in the campus;
  • short walks when classroom hoping;
  • free cuts because of a holy mass;
  • studying AB Communications to be a teacher
  • NSTP on Saturdays; and
  • having a bloc (and all issues concerning clingy or irritating blocmates) until sophomore year.

No doubt, Ateneo is a great school. It’ll probably help me transition from a pampered high school student to a confident young adult. The problem is, Ateneo’s tuition is…demanding. It’s like taking two years in my high school for one academic year in ADMU. Sure, there are scholarships, but my family’s background may be a bit of a barrier for me to get a scholarship. My grades aren’t enough for any academic scholarship. So finances is one reason why I’m not attending college at Ateneo. Another reason is that it’s not my dream school. If I had to choose from the three schools that I passed, I won’t choose Ateneo simply because it’s not my dream school. Period.

Now, what would my life be like if I studied in the oldest extant university in Asia, the University of Santo Tomas? Well, based on the stories of my mom’s friends (some are UST alumnae and some have children who studied in the university) and not my friends (because I have no close friend in UST), I would probably go through:

  • traffic everywhere going everywhere;
  • “swimming” just to get out of school;
  • countless ghost stories;
  • uniforms;
  • seeing the same faces until I graduate; and
  • life in my original dream university in my dream course (secondary education).

UST is still part of the Big Four (UP, ADMU, DLSU, UST), but its students are often underestimated when applying for jobs where there are many competitors from the other three schools mentioned above. But I didn’t consider that when I chose to abandon my UST dream. What I considered is the fact that España Boulevard in the city of Manila is far from my house in Quezon City. No doubt, Ateneo and UP are closer to home. I was practical. Besides, I can always shift from BA Journalism to B Secondary Education once I get into UP. And hello, many tried to get into UP but failed. I succeeded, so why not take the opportunity? So I abandoned my dream of being a UST Tiger, and chose to be a Fighting Maroon.

I mentioned what would probably happen if I studied in other schools, but one thing is not for sure: would I be on a leave of absence for a whole academic year if I went to either of the two schools? Well, I guess not. Why? I feel like I would have more interaction with people in both schools. I bet there is pressure in getting into organizations, but I guess applying for orgs isn’t as tough as it is in UP. I can still be an activist in my own way in either of the schools. My life could have been better if I became a Blue Eagle or a Growling Tiger.

Every time I filed for an LOA, my mom would tell me that she thinks that not entering UP would have made my life easier. But I guess God has a plan for me in UP. I just don’t know what it is yet, but I know UP will make me a better and stronger person. Besides, I don’t need to graduate on time. I need to take my time.

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