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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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