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"I'm Groupmates With My Friends For Thesis And It's Making Us Fight"

Will your friendship survive the wrath of thesis?
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Thesis is one of the biggest academic commitments we get to have in college, so naturally, we’d want to work with the people we trust the most, aka our friends, right? After all, you get along so well that working together will be such a breeze. However, this isn’t always the case for many friends-turned-thesis mates. For the group of friends who decided to be thesis mates, will this be the end of your friendship? Here are some precautionary do’s and don’ts when working with your friends on thesis.

Do: Set some ground rules for your group.

Your relationship with one another may not have rules, but working on thesis together is an entirely different circumstance. Agree on certain ground rules for your group to make the workload easier on everyone. Set aside a day in the week for thesis meetings and do it when everyone’s free (so no one has an excuse to miss meetings) or list down the tasks each of the members are doing to keep track of your group progress and to make sure everyone is contributing work fairly.

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Don’t: Be too strict with the rules and force your groupmates to agree on something they’re not okay with.

If your groupmate suddenly had a make-up class and can’t make it to your scheduled weekly meeting, don’t stress too much about it. If they don’t feel confident working on a certain part of your thesis, try to make some compromises. Do take note that you each have other academic and non-academic commitments outside of thesis so be patient with one another and learn how to give and take.

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Do: Voice out your opinion (even if it opposes that of your friends).

Challenging your friends’ ideas isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it might actually be advantageous for your group if you hold a constructive discussion about your thesis. Make sure that your ideas are built around convincing points, and deliver it in a collaborative—rather than competitive—manner. Remember: It’s not a competition amongst yourselves! Thesis is first and foremost a group effort and isn’t about who has the best idea within the group. 

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Don’t: Personally attack your friends if you meant to challenge their ideas.

You may be used to bantering outside of thesis, but that doesn’t make it okay for you to tease or poke fun at your friends because they suggested an idea you don’t agree with. Different viewpoints may be hard to reconcile, but personally attacking your friends’ character instead of critiquing their ideas isn’t the best way to handle it; this is called Ad Hominem, and it’s not a convincing way to argue or prove your point especially in an academic setting. Don’t get personal and focus instead on building on their ideas and pointing out parts that could use improvement.

Do: Remember that despite the disagreements, they’re still your friends.

You were friends before you became thesis groupmates. Whatever disagreement that surfaced during thesis season, you’ll know it in your heart if it’s something you can still fix and work out. At the end of the day, and despite the countless squabbles, you are bound to find the same friend who’s had your back since day one.

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Don’t: Be afraid to say goodbye to friendships that did not survive the wrath of thesis.

But if it took working on thesis to make you realize that your friendship is built on an unhealthy foundation, it’s okay to take a step back and reassess your personal relationship. If you find that letting go of the friendship is the best way to move forward, don’t be afraid to cut ties, or at least, give yourself some space once thesis season is done. Who knows, maybe you can find a different way to resolve your issues then.

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Mylene Mendoza
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Katherine Go A day ago

Cold Food

The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.

Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.

Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.

For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?

Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.

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