Ever since the K-12 curriculum was implemented, high school students have been given the option to take one out of three specific strands to focus on: Accountancy, Business, and Management (ABM), Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS), and Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM). These strands have specific subjects that will help senior high school students prepare for the college course they wish to take in the future.
The typical course a student takes is to choose a strand closest to the college degree they wish to pursue in the future, but that’s not always the case. For first year Medical Technology major Alexandra Guzman, there was a whole new world of possibilities outside of the ABM strand she took in senior high school. Thinking of taking up a course that isn't related to your SHS strand? Alexandra's experience might help you decide.
Initially, she wanted to take STEM.
The STEM strand seemed more related to the medical track compared to the ABM strand, and that was what Alexandra had originally planned on taking. “I pursued the ABM academic strand because I was inspired by my late grandmother who became successful in life,” Alexandra admits. “I'm aware that taking the ABM strand can affect my dream medical career but I still took [it].
“In the middle of eleventh grade in senior high school, I was doing great in my subjects and I even got high honors. I thought that I could stabilize myself to take a major or program that is close to the ABM strand.”
Eventually, she got inspired to switch fields.
A trip to the hospital with her mother sparked her interest in the medical field once more. “Since I came with my mother to the hospital, I always see and observe a lot of medical frontliners. I got more interested in involving myself in the medical environment when I met and talked to some professional workers.”
YouTube was also a big factor. Alexandra began watching vlogs about what it’s like to take up a medical-related course in college and other related videos. While she has received feedback saying that working in the medical field isn’t worth it and that she’d just be putting herself through hard times by taking up a course that isn’t related to her strand, Alexandra pushed through with the changes in her plans.
“As what I heard from a med vlogger, the good thing about being a medical frontliner is that you're being rich by the feeling of happiness when you serve people with the knowledge you learned for a lot of years. The hard work will really pay off.”
Taking ABM strand wasn't exactly a waste.
Despite focusing more on the management and business fields, there are still subjects in the ABM strand that proved useful for Alexandra. "Academically, the topics we used to discuss in SHS are also encountered in my major. For instance, I can apply the things I learned in general math since we have math-related subjects in my course. We also have chemistry and earth science. This strand also helped me enhance my management, organization, analysis skills, and more."
While the strand you take in SHS is meant to help make your college life easier, it doesn't mean you can't explore fields outside of it. There are still valuable lessons to pick up from the experience, even non-academic ones. "Among all the things I learned in ABM, the leadership, management, and cooperation are the favorite things I learned in SHS years," shares Alexandra.
"Since our strand is also about human forces or tackles employee relationships, it also made me [understand] the bigger picture and the art of teamwork and cooperation that I can apply especially now that we’re in new normal."
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