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You're not alone if you've been having more dreams lately.
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Choosing between dreams and practicality is never easy. My CETs season just ended with the release of the UPCAT results. Anxious as I logged on the website, I started to think about what would happen if I didn't pass UP. Ever since I was six years old, I fixated on the idea that I will become an iska, serving the country and studying at my dream school, which is UP. I strived and studied hard for the UPCAT, sacrificing a lot of things like hang-outs and gala weekends for reviews.

Throughout my CETs journey, I started seeing myself studying only in UP, and while there were no results yet, my friends and I already started planning our lives around the fact that we're gonna study in UP. It was a big deal for me, my friends and my family that I get the chance to study in UP since it's so far from my hometown which is Benguet, and better yet, it's a very well known university.

January 2020 came and universities started releasing CETs results. I was expecting my DCAT and ACET results that month. I passed DCAT but brushed it off because even though I liked the school, I never really saw myself studying there. Same thoughts with Ateneo, since it never really crossed my mind that I might study in ADMU. In fact, Ateneo was never really a choice for me, I only took it just to have another choice in case I failed the UPCAT. I also applied for financial aid not because I was really planning on studying there, but more of "para lang sure na may college ako". I know it's a bad thing but they were just my back-up schools because my main goal was really UP.

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One Friday afternoon, ACET results came out. I passed, managed to get a scholarship, and in that moment, my plans just started to crumble.

Seeing that I got a 100% tuition and fees discount, free dorm fees, and an additional book allowance got me into considering studying to Ateneo. Suddenly, I got torn between UP, my dream school, and Ateneo, which offers so much more.

As the months passed, and after talking to my parents, my plans and decisions got more jumbled and messy. I still wanted to go to UP even if there were no results yet but Ateneo offering so much would mean a lesser burden to my parents in terms of finances.

Even though my parents told me that they'll support me no matter where I choose to go, the practicality that Ateneo offers in terms of finances was not an easy thing to waive. Sometimes I would laugh at the fact that I'd spend less on a private school than on a state university. Talking to my friends helped somehow, but they also have various opinions about the two universities. I managed to tell myself to hold off the problem until UPCAT results get released, and so I did.

UP released the UPCAT results and seeing that I passed made me scream and cry, literally. At that moment, all I was thinking was that I passed my dream school and I'm officially a QC college student.

My parents were so proud of me even though they got scared because I screamed, but ultimately, they were happy for me. The next day, I sat down, stared at my UPCAT and ACET results, and told myself that I needed to decide. This was the hardest part. I tried deciding using the pros and cons method but it didn't really work. Talking to my parents also didn't help because they'd support me either way, so their judgement was not a factor at all. I also had the same course in both schools so that wasn't a big help. I was 99% close to letting go of my dream university and decide to go to Ateneo.

I weighed options and Ateneo was the cheaper and more practical option. I also started to see myself studying as a blue eagle, roaming around the campus etc. And financially, I didn't need to worry much except for food. At that point, I started to really like the idea of going to Ateneo more than studying in UP. But then, as the weeks went by, the Ateneo Plan started to lose my interest.

I realized that studying in Ateneo would be a great opportunity, but not something that will really make me happy. The finances and all would be so much better but I wouldn't be happy and content, and I felt that Ateneo couldn't give me everything that I wanted and needed. Then a light bulb lit up.

As I was imagining myself at UP, I ultimately felt that happiness and content that I didn't feel with Ateneo. I realized that, if I didn't study in UP, I know later in my life, I would regret it. I would regret not choosing my dream university because I didn't choose what would make me happy.

In short, I chose my dream over practicality. I know that I would be successful in both tracks, but I simply chose my dream because it is where I'm happier and more content. Besides, we can make our dreams practical but not all the time can the practical choice equate to our dreams. So to those having a hard time choosing between dreams and practicality, weigh it out and always remember to put yourself and your happiness first. And of course, choose the choice that you know you'll not regret later on.

Ellinor Chase A day ago

Confessions of a College Drama Queen: 8 Things I Hate About University

Since the suspension of classes started due to the pandemic, I did not open or read any of my notes, I didn’t do any requirements, and I didn’t bother browsing through my assigned readings. Well, I did try to get some requirements done. Call me lazy but hey, I bet that you’ve also done anything you can do this quarantine period except for your academics.

I call this time period getting all the sleep I can, slacking off as much as I can, and mentally preparing myself for the full-blown physical and mental fatigue I’ll surely get once classes resume again. Now that the continuation of the semester is uncertain, let me share with you 8 reasons why I hate going to University because I’m so not planning on going back anytime soon, and I’m pretty sure you are, too. Who knows, maybe we have the same reasons *wink*.

I hate the way that being in college is so stressful. There are quizzes and lab exercises every day. There are readings that must be read (but to be honest, I just print or download them, but I don’t even take the time to read them!) and papers that must be submitted.

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For each subject, there are individual and group works to be completed. It’s just an ongoing cycle of this “4 more days ‘till Friday comes” mindset until you graduate. The everyday routine of getting up early, attending class and going back to the dormitory to study is tiring. Why is there no pause button for the workload?

I hate the way that being in college eats up all my time. Instead of going home during the weekends, I have to stay behind and work on my requirements. I only get to see and bond with my family once a month. University demands almost all of my time that I can’t even have my “me” time any more. Is Uni even my boyfriend for it to demand a lot of time from me? You sure are special, huh?

I hate the way that being in college makes you feel like you’re just an average student. Since grade school, I’ve always had straight A’s and I was always an honor student, but then college happened. It led me to believe that all of my so-called achievements are nothing. I eventually find someone who’s better than me, and then I realize that I’m just another mediocre individual who happens to attend the top university in the country, or that maybe my name was just a typographical error in the list of passers. My stomach always churns whenever our exams are coming up, and I get so anxious every time our scores will be announced. I always feel like I’m going to vomit on the test paper. Luckily, I haven’t yet. (Phew!)

I hate the way being in college means that you have to compete to survive. Don’t get me wrong, learning is absolutely fun, but the academic time frame and pressure makes it a vicious race. If you get a failing grade in your prerequisite subjects, you will get delayed your whole college life which will disrupt the academic and career plan that you laid out for yourself, and you’ll eventually get upset and disappointed. College is seriously the epitome of Charles Darwin’s Survival of the Fittest. Plus, it’s considered a heinous crime to get sick! A day’s worth of lecture is enough to make me fall behind, or worse, delayed. I literally can’t afford to get sick, but shamefully, my body is living off of coffee and instant noodles almost every single day. Also, there’s really never a time where I get a good 8-hour sleep without worrying about anything. It’s either I don’t get sleep or I oversleep, and both are absolutely terrifying.

I hate the way being in college makes me laugh and cry at the same time. I can’t believe I was given the opportunity to be able to laugh and shed my tears in the grounds of one of the most prestigious Universities in the country. I cry whenever I get a low score on an exam I studied all night for, but then I laugh because my friends also failed the exam. I cry because it’s only a Tuesday and I’ve literally spent all of my money on Monday, but then I laugh because my friends are all broke, too. There were times when my friends and I would get out of the examination hall and just laugh at the difficulty of the exam. Then, we’d go out to eat to cheer ourselves up and just have those deep talks about life until the wee hours of the morning.

I hate the way being in college means that I have to socialize every single day. It’s too much for my introvert self to handle. Sometimes, I just want to stay in and never talk to anyone for the time being. But I was fortunate enough to have met and encountered genuine people along the way. We were all struggling in our own degree programs, yet we always find time to support each other. We’d laugh at our professors together when classes get too boring, go out to eat during class hours, pull a prank on some of our classmates, do our assignments, study together, and have fun with each other’s company. College is unbearable, but it becomes slightly less unbearable journeying it with the best people.

I hate the way being in college means having to experience a lot of ‘firsts.” Being raised by strict parents and going to the same Catholic school for 14 years (yes, kindergarten to senior high school, and no, there was no loyalty award), I was kind of scared to go out of my comfort zone, but I was also excited at the same time because I’ll finally be released from my cage. I experienced getting a low score on an exam I stayed up all night to study, not being liked back by my crush, breaking laboratory equipment, having my first meal of the day at 6 pm, and partying with people I barely knew. There were many victorious firsts and there were also numerous sad firsts, but one thing is constant, I always have my friends to celebrate those “firsts” by my side.

Lastly, from the immortal words of Ms. Kat Stratford, I hate the way I don’t actually hate it, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.

I hate the way I miss University life so bad. I hate the feeling that I took normal life for granted and wished that college would immediately be over. I miss studying, hanging out with my friends, procrastinating assignments, cramming for an exam, and attending my classes. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I do miss living the student life. As much as we get exhausted of experiencing hardships, there were also many lessons we picked up along the way which helped us grow. However, with online classes, it’s just a simple click of the send button to submit your requirement, then off to finish a new one again. It’s tiring. There’s no pat in the back from your friends and no more dinners with them once you’ve all finished a difficult task. If only I knew that on that bright and sunny day of March 1, everything would go spiralling into hell and that would be my last day in the University grounds, I would have cherished it and not take it for granted. Unfortunately, we don’t know when we’ll be going back to school or if we’re ever going back. Amidst all these uncertainties about life, there is only one thing that I’m certain of: I love University life so much, and I’d give anything to come back home once again.

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