"Minsan Nakaka-OP Siya": Being An Irregular Student Is Tougher Than It Seems
College… just saying it makes me want to cry and sleep at the same time. It's hard enough for a regular student, but what irregular students face on a daily basis can sometimes be harder to handle. Not only because they have to take more units than us or take classes twice, it's also due to other inevitable underlying factors that come along with it. Josh Espinoza, a fourth-year marketing management student at San Beda University, shares his ups and downs on his journey as a current irregular student.
The reason behind becoming an irreg
It began in the school year of 2017 when he transferred from UST CFAD as a Fine Arts student majoring in Advertising Arts to become a BSBA Marketing Management major at SBU. He shifted courses because he couldn't see his work receiving the grades it deserves. “It wasn't really worth it for me because I used to create plates as big as 15x20, or even bigger. I usually stay up for a total of two days with minimal food intake because I have to focus on finishing my plate, after doing that, I usually get a grade of 2.75 or even a 5.” He felt useless, unwelcomed, and unworthy. So he thought, if continuing the course he had in UST meant that he would endure negative feelings throughout college, it might just be better to shift courses despite knowing that he will be an irregular student.
You'll have to work extra hard because of your extra load.
A recurring problem that irreg students face is that the load they take every semester is often heavier than regular students’ since they are catching up on their classes. So, since then, time management became his friend in order to excel. And that is true, balancing everything and knowing what to prioritize can be overwhelming at times, but as you get used to it, it can help you be successful in your future endeavors.
It makes you feel O.P. sometimes.
Besides catching up with classes for his new course, various problems started to latch on to him as well. In his first semester in SBU, he failed one of his classes and got mixed with a different block as he had to take it a second time around—which was a tough fate to go through since he did not know anyone from there. "I didn't know anyone... the profs they have, the blockmates of the section I enrolled in, no one. I didn't know what I was going to do. When the first to the third week of classes came, I didn't know what they're talking about."
Adjusting to a new class is one of the prevalent dilemmas that irreg students encounter: Not knowing who to contact when you need help on your subjects, missing reminders often because you're not included in the class group chat, and witnessing the block’s bond and inside jokes and not being able to relate and laugh along. He shared, "It all went fine but it was so hard not being with your blockmates. You don't know what they are up to because they have a different schedule than you, you have no idea where you can reach for help since you're just fairly new to the other section. Everything was so confusing."
You'll feel unsure of yourself sometimes.
Intimidation also got the best of him along the way. Since he's new in the program and all of his classmates already had a working idea of what they are studying, he felt like he was below his peers.
"Siguro iyong time na nagsabay-sabay ang deadline in one day and I was so anxious to the point where I didn't want to pass it all because I wasn't really satisfied with the requirements I did. Then ‘yun, I did [submit] my requirements but I flunked them all," he said.
That did not let him slow down his pace though. He began to change his perspective on his situation into a more positive view and changed his behavior towards the hardships he encountered.
You’ll find your way around it.
He knew that the only way out of his misery was to change his attitude towards it. He shared what he did to adapt, "I worked on building connections with other people outside my block [since I realized we could] help one another pass the subject rather than compete with each other."
College is not about who's on top and who's not. It's breaking your barriers to explore and create connections that can help you grow not only as a student, but as an individual. Take it from Josh's experience—"I've learned how to compromise and mingle with others. It really takes time for other people to get used to what they have or what they are given..." This shows that taking the time to know how you can fix the problem is better than just letting it be that way and going with the flow. You can't move forward until you make an effort to get out of that deadly zone.
Just a reminder from Josh to his fellow irreg students, "Don't lose hope if you flunked a subject or two... there's still someone willing to help you get through whatever problems you're having. Try to build connections in your school because it'll be a huge help to your college and work life in the future."