Here's What I Learned From Getting Delayed in College

Some journeys may just be longer than everybody else's.
by Maia Ebora   |  Aug 1, 2023
Art: Shannen Gardon
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When I was in high school, I used to write letters to myself about my plans for the years to come. I would add phrases like “In X years, you should already be in med school” and “go my cum laude!” as little notes all over the letters.

But no matter how many letters I wrote, life didn’t always play out like how I wanted it to be. During my second year of online classes, my family went through a financial slump and we made the difficult decision to switch schools. I was attending Far Eastern University Manila at the time, but studying in Manila wouldn’t be ideal once face-to-face classes resumed. We would have to account for dorm fees and living expenses since I’m from Laguna.

Right before the beginning of the second semester, I was already resigning from my position in an org at FEU while going back and forth with the admissions office of University of Perpetual Help System Laguna. It was a university much closer to home and tuition fees were remarkably lower, so it was the easiest option for transferring. The initial plan was to still graduate on time after transferring, but this plan didn’t work since there were mismatched units and delays in my admissions procedure.


So there I was, accepting the fact that the love letters to myself wouldn’t come through this time around. I wouldn’t be graduating in 2024, and I wouldn’t be graduating with latin honors at all. There were times that I did keep wishing things had turned out different and that I would still be graduating on time, but today, I find resolve in knowing how to find the good side of things.

The first good side? I had free time for my two years of being an irregular student. My current situation requires me to spend two years completing all my third year subjects before proceeding to my intern year. While others might find the delay quite unfortunate, I find it an opportunity to focus on more things aside from my academics. Less units for me meant more free time, so I read books, indulged in watercolor painting, and focused on my mental health.

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Another good side to this delay is that I can review for the Medical Technology Licensure Exam in advance. This way, I won’t have to spend extra months reviewing for the licensure exam, so it almost cancels out perfectly.

Lastly, I realized this delay is just the universe being kind to me. Being a girl who’s prone to burning out, having my professional subjects spread out over two years instead of one is the ultimate blessing in disguise. Just last semester, I was only reviewing four subjects for the final exams instead of six, and I wasn’t cramming so many lab reports in a week.

This situation is by far one of the hardest to get through, as there were a handful of doubts and disappointments when I found out about the delay. But it’s also taught me the value of rest, optimism, and being kind to myself—that the delay wasn’t my fault and that I should never beat myself up for it.


Another important lesson? There is always a good side to things; you just have to take your time finding it.

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About the author
Maia Ebora
"Parang iniisip ng mga tao na mataray ako, suplado, but actually may nafi-feel kasi ako sa umaga na bigat."