Starting off with academics, I already assumed that there would be more hurdles for me before I entered college. The University of the Philippines is best known for its academic excellence. I had to admit that there were fears inside me thinking that I might not be able to survive the standards and all. The professors are perfectionists and brilliant. They want everything to be in place and to become smooth. Oodles of papers and exams are always in the line. But I really thank God because I only have five subjects, meaning I can concentrate very well on them. Unlike in high school, there are so many subjects I had to deal with. I had to finish my drafting plates, to attend my CAT stuffs, to practice ballroom dancing, to do some debits and credits, and many others. This was my burden in high school – to shoot so many birds with one stone. It was as though I were bereft with so much wonderful things in the world. Some of my former teachers were strict. Some were not who, most of the time, reminded students to study harder and to perform better in class. In college, all these things vanished. No professor would tap a student’s shoulder to warn him about his standing. Everyone should be independent. However, rigorous training has not changed most especially in Mathematics. Brain-squeezing problems are still given during examinations.
I have met people with different faces from all walks of life in my stay in the university. Truly, this is a melting pot of people with different perspectives, ideas, and principles in life. Some are affluent. Some are middle-class. Some are bizarre. Some are typical. Some are nerdy. Some are carefree. Some are from the province. Some are from the metro. In contrary, most of my high school classmates were rich. It was reflected on the way they dressed up and acted as well. That’s why I could get insecure all the time. I would see them bragging about their latest models of mobile phone and other techie gadgets as the sign of their social status. Nevertheless, despite the social status, opinions, or attitude, I could still find real friends.
Furthermore, everyone studying in the university exercises the freedom – freedom of expression and freedom of speech. Everybody can wear any kind or style of apparel they feel like wearing. Everybody can voice out his/her own opinion through any medium – newspaper, protests, and campaigns. Every time the government imposes a new law or order that is against human rights, rallies would spring up. Sometimes, there are signature campaigns to go against a rule of the university. Also, the newspaper serves as a medium to publish criticisms on the government officials. On the other side, I was not able to feel that same freedom when I was in high school. Since it is a Catholic school, everyone should act and behave well. No one can go against the flow. I did have some criticisms on the system of the school then. I tried to write an article about it so that I could publish it in the school paper but, unfortunately, my moderator prohibited me to do so. I had no choice but to keep all of those to myself.