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"Minsan Nakaka-OP Siya": Being An Irregular Student Is Tougher Than It Seems

A fourth-year marketing management student shares his experience being irreg.
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/espinozajosh

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 

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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.

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You'll have to work extra hard because of your extra load.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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Serene Fae A day ago

"The paradoxical idea of attaining a happier life and how to withstand these beliefs."

The Revolting Truth About Happiness by Theserenefae

If people ask you about your vision of a happier life we automatically envision ourselves having more money, true love, a better job, Instagram-worthy vacations, etc. But let me break this to you this, According to Dr. Laurie Santos, Professor of Psychology at Yale University and the voice behind The Happiness Lab podcast, "Most of the goals we think would make us happy do not really make us happy." And why is that? Simple, being happy is all in our minds. The human mind ploys us with these lenses on how we envision ourselves and our lives to be happy. The perception of "having" or "gaining" is the exact opposite of what will truly make our lives better. So how can we really be "happy"?

• Seek happiness inside you. This is a quintessential reason for our vision of happiness: misconceptions about having a lot of money would make me happy; owning this and that would make me happy; entering a relationship would make me happy. This is not the case, if you want to be truly happy with your relationship, you have to be already happy on your own. If you want satisfaction from others, you have to be satisfied with yourself. And so on.

• Fill that hole righteously We all have that tiny hole inside our hearts, tampering it with temporary band-aids. Fill this hole with purpose. Have you ever heard about The Three "M's"— Master, Mission, and Mate? Define who will be your Master, is it God? If that's so, your Mission could be following his words and will. Mate would be the last for they will be the best companion to fulfill your mission. Now hear me out, it is important to do this accordingly. We often times jumble it or invert it which can lead to failures.

• Give gifts to others. The wonderful grace in giving. There’s nothing like the rush of pure joy when you get a chance to give. However, this may not be something that we're used to. But apparently, openhandedness is our soul's true shape. As Eugene Peterson put it, "Giving is what we do best. It is the air into which we were born." This doesn't necessarily mean we have to give away our stuff but we can also present love, kindness, gratefulness, etc. in our own simplest ways to anyone such as giving time, encouragement, helping hand, or even forgiveness. Try giving and you'll receive inconceivable gifts in return.

• Savor moments. Savoring deeply intensifies our positive emotions while doing something that we love the most by simply stepping outside of the experience to review and appreciate the moment. You can practice this by having a delicious meal, reading a good book, or any activity that you enjoy and love. It can also be enhanced by sharing these experiences with others, appreciating such amazing moments, or staying present the entire time.

• Choose to Love Deeper Today's society relentlessly pressures all of us to have this "perfect" lifestyle such as pursuing careers that drain you, finding value through virtual world and purchases, letting achievements become your whole identity, and yet after all that you still feel empty and failure inside. Consumption is just skin deep—a shallow perception of happiness. Deep life brings the best out of us and others. It is about nourishing what you already have, focusing on the relationships than material wealth, becoming vulnerable at times, and being self-aware.

• Understand that Sufferings and Pain are part of Human Being. Always remember that loneliness and sufferings are inevitable. That is completely how life goes. You may be happy for a moment or a month but sooner or later great tribulation will start to kick in. Combat despair with graciousness. Count all the blessings that you have (and will have in near future, claim it!) by writing it down on a piece of paper or typing on your phone. Viola! an instant boost for happiness. We all know the fact that this superficial happiness won't work, but why do I keep on wanting? I already have all this wisdom about how to be happy for ages, but why can't I apply it to my own life?

First, you have to understand that simply knowing doesn't change your behavior. Care to realize that all the tips that I have mentioned are all verbs? Because at the end of the day, it is all about how you choose to be happy and initiate actions towards success. Know, reflect, visualize, believe, and do something about it. All of these are Actions! This is the secret of all the happiest and most influential people in the world—actions. Furthermore, do know that some of these tips do not work instantly most of the time. It requires a lot of time, motivation, consistency, and effort. I do know it's easier said than done. Take each of them slowly, one step at a time.

If it wasn’t for pain, I wouldn’t be alive. It may sound contradictory, but it’s true. Pain reminds me that I can feel, along with other emotions. Pain reminds me that I can heal, just like how I did in the past. Pain reminds me that I am strong and I can do better. It reminds me that life can be bitter, and it is up to us to make it a little sweeter (or saltier, depending on what the person wants).

With this epiphany, I take pain in a positive light. It’s normal that it can break me and make me want to stay in bed all day, but having someone or something remind me that there is hope is enough. It’s normal that I cry my heart out, but it’s important to remember that there’s a calm after the storm. If it wasn’t for pain, I wouldn’t be who I am now. It has shaped me and how I look at things. It has changed the way I approach circumstances that can challenge me and my beliefs.

Pain, back then, made me cower in the dark. Pain used to be my biggest fear, and I used to do my best to avoid pain. However, I realized that avoiding pain is like avoiding life. Because of how I wanted to protect myself, I closed myself off to people and opportunities. I used to tell myself that “this will end badly”, or “this is going to hurt in the end”. I always focused on how much pain I might endure in the end that I forgot to enjoy the process.

It’s inevitable, you see? Endings, most of the time, may hurt. It’s natural for us to grow attached to someone or something, and their disappearance might bring us a lot of pain. However, one should always remember that the pain is a reminder of how close you became, how many memories you had. If it wasn’t for pain, life would be pointless. If it wasn’t for pain, we would be nothing.

margaux marie A day ago
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