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How Coming From An All-Boys High School Shaped This DLSU Student: 'You’ll learn when to joke around and when to be serious'

There are some things from high school that we'll carry even after we graduate.
IMAGE Courtesy of Benedict Lim

No matter how hard we try to forget about our high school selves, we can’t deny that some parts of who we are right now still have traces of who we were back then. Sure, college will change us, A LOT. But there are some things from high school that we’ll carry even after we graduate.

We talked to Benedict Lim, currently a sophomore taking up BS Applied Corporate Management in De La Salle University – Manila, about his experience coming from an all-boys high school and how it helped shaped his college self.

College is a totally different world, and it might take some getting used to.

Any college student might agree with the fact that college will stun you with culture shock in the beginning. It’s a new world and there are new sets of rules. “One thing I really had to change was my attitude in the classroom,” says Benedict. “I got used to being in an environment where noise, pranks, or relatively inappropriate jokes were all over the place. Eventually, that came to be a problem when I entered senior high in DLSU. Most of the boys in my section came to dislike my attitude during our first semester together, and eventually decided to have a little talk about it. Thankfully, that made me see where I had to improve on, and eventually I got to adjust.”

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Most universities are also co-ed, so there’s the subject of struggling to interact with girls. “I mean, imagine living with guys for a decade. That's pretty much a mess,” Benedict admits. “Personally, I only had academics, sports, or computer games in my mind back then. I didn't really put the possibility of socializing with girls into the equation, you know? So there was this point in life where I was extremely awkward during interactions between my alma mater and all-girls schools, but I'm glad that it didn't prevent me from making good friends along the way.”

You’re wired to be competitive, which can be a good thing, too.

With the yearly honor roll rankings and extra-curricular activities, high school can get cutthroat. But going to school with fellow guys can get next-level competitive. This isn’t always a bad thing, though. That air of competitiveness could be a great source of inspiration to do better in the things you’re passionate about. “Seeing my friends and batchmates excel in the things they did inspired me to do well in my activities and interests,” Benedict says. “I used to be a Boy Scout and played for the football team for a few years. I didn't expect to carry that in college, but I did. During my freshman year I got to take part in leading a religious organization, and now I'm heavily involved in the university's official literature and visual arts publication.

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“Not a moment goes by without the thought of someone being able to one-up whatever I can do. It sucks, to be honest, but I guess what matters is that you keep moving and developing in your own pace.”

You’ll learn when to joke around and when to be serious.

High school is quite the hodgepodge of personalities (just like college!). If you want to survive, you’ll have to learn how to interact with people whose traits are polar opposites. This opened Benedict up to all sorts of friend groups, where he learned that you can be both playful and serious—you just have to know when it’s appropriate. “I'd like to say that studying in an all-boys school (especially one that's Catholic) built a rather flexible kid,” Benedict shares. “I grew up living with the healthy mix of quiet and rowdy boys, and ended up falling somewhere in between: Someone who's grounded when situations call for decency, and able to keep up with the liveliest out there when it comes to playtime.”

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“That formed my strongest suit: Empathy,” he adds. “I understood (to a certain degree) how each of my friends felt, and I was always there to share with their feelings.”

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Mylene Mendoza
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A community page where you can share your feels and show your skills! Learn more here

"Today, I Won"

I always caught feelings for someone, and hoped so much that one day there could a thing between the two of us. I'm usually the one that makes the effort to buy and/or make cute gifts, chats them every other day, and stays up all night with him.

When I was 16, my childhood crush suddenly came back into my life. We'd constantly send updates to each other, recommend favorite songs and talk even the most random things. He'd even text me as early as 6 to just greet me good morning almost everyday. I hoped so much that when I confessed, he suddenly stopped talking to me.

For short, he ghosted me. Those 6 months I spent talking to him, allotting my time for him, and staying up until 3 am for him - all gone in a simple confession. Although I had a few crushes before him, he's the only one that got me in real pain. It was the kind of pain that I never thought I'd experience. It was the kind of pain that I couldn't believe.

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After 7 years (it happened back in 2017), I thought he came back into my life to stay, but I guess he's just one of the guys who distanced. I felt a complete loser that time. But during this quarantine, everything was different. I caught feelings for someone else, but he treated me with the best kindness yet.

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It happened at 2 am, May 30, 2020, when I impulsively confessed my feelings through messaging him. After saying my feelings, he responded with genuine and kind words. We both even complimented each other. Although the feelings didn't reciprocate, I still found a connection that can't be replaced with any guy.

To my 16 year old self, here I am, 18 and happy. You may have felt that time was the biggest regret and loss, but I'm here to tell you, we won. Today, I won.

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Juliana Rebong 22 hours ago

Why our high school barkada is the best?

Remembering our high school years entails quite a lot reminiscing of the things we all been through when we were younger. You’ve experience a lot of new things during those 4 wonderful years and did most of them with the few people you consider your barkada. And through a series of all the lunch breaks you had together, the walks you took on the way home, and taking the same classes, you never thought you’d survive, you have made your life’s greatest friends.

Here are some of the reasons why your high school barkada is the best:

1. You figured out early teenage life together. The transition one have undergone from being a kid to a teenager wasn’t easy. For a moment you are not sure whether you should have played with your friends during recess or you should have just sat down and ate your food because you were too old for games. But whatever it is you chose to do, having friends who were as clueless as you make everything feel easier because you know, deep down, you’d figure things out eventually. You just need good company.

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2. They were with you during your “jeje“ days. I bet you have pictures taken with Camera360 and Retrica. You also have pictures edited using Pizap with embarrassing captions and you somehow kept some of them so you could have something to post online during their birthdays.

3. They know all your exes. They will never EVER forget the name of an ex-boyfriend, an ex-fling, an ex-crush, and an almost you had. They will remind you of your every questionable love decision but you’ll just laugh anyway while saying “Past is past”.

4. They never judge you. They have welcomed you to their lives when you thought jelly shoes and checkered polos were the bomb! They were quick to have told your teachers that you were not feeling well so you could go home when you really just needed to poop. You tell them every embarrassing story you have and were fine with it.

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5. You can always count on them. From the moment you first fell in love and the moment you first had your heart broken, they were with you. They were with you the moment you lost a parent and at moments when you thought you had nothing. Through every break-up and breakthrough, they were there to be your support system.

6. They are your family. Your high school friend’s family is your own family’s extension. Their parents are like your own. Don’t you feel a little kilig whenever your friend’s parents call you “anak”? And then eventually calling them mama and papa became so natural? I felt that, all the time.

7. They will always be your home. They are your place of refuge and security, the place who offers you their hands when you feel lost and the place you run to when you need saving. No matter how much time and distance separate you, they will be the one’s that you always long for and they are the one’s that you will always return to.

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