It has been 795 days. Isn’t it fascinating how fast each day passed by? Now here I am today, on my third year as an electrical engineering student.
Everyone tried to warn me with lines like: “It’s a trap!” “Big dreams. Start here. Finish elsewhere” “Beware of the LEADS.” and more. Like every Mapuan frosh, I was taunted with the horror stories students on the higher years have experienced. But no matter how terrifying the Mapuan tales were, I didn’t have fears back then. Not at that time.
Back when I was a freshman, I slept as early as 7’o clock in the evening or maybe an hour later than that. Never stayed up too late. Although, I would wake up early. As early as 4 A.M., even before the sun rises or the rooster chuckles cock-a-doodle-doo! I’d get up and prepare to set off to the university. Around 6’o clock, I’d be sitting in the canteen eating breakfast with my friend while we study together. I was that kid. Yes. The kid who opens up her books and do her homework as soon as she finds a break time. Where else can you find me in the university grounds? In the library. Sometimes with a friend or two. Mostly, alone. I was fond of all of my classes. Even physical education. Well, given that I am athletic, I liked (loved) it. Though, PE classes led me to what I was fonder of – Taekwondo. Situated at the right timing, my PE classes were concurrent with that of the training of the Mapuan Kicking Cardinals. So, having stared across the other side of our gymnasium for a week or two, I decided that I should be jousting with my fellow jins rather than doing some silly jogs. No offense meant though. Other than that, I was devoted with my academics. I studied right away at every waking moment till the late nights when my eyes get too tired and my body needs some sleep. Every single submission I gave in, I made sure that it was perfect. Nothing less than perfect. I had no problems on the so-called hell week. I was prepared, all the time. I was relaxed throughout the term. How so? I studied at every opportunity I had. Every end of every term, celebration occurs. I had no worries of opening my myMapua account during the releasing of grades. Why? I was so sure of the results I’d obtain from each course I’ve taken for the respective term. Unos or 1s were raining, all the time. I started from soft dawns and went on for sunny days. Then, everything changed.
Dark days? Sophomore year. I crumbled little by little. Maybe I’ve lost motivation. Maybe I’ve lost interest. I’m not sure at which specific point, but it happened in my second year. It was a slow process, but it happened. Starting with unorganized study habits, I lost track of my study schedule. To be honest, I stopped studying. Listening and paying attention during classes went well for me for a long time. It was a sufficient strategy for me. However, I lost that too. My mind started to wander off during classes. Studying and listening gone? It was a disaster. I came to classes unprepared. I crammed hours before examinations and submissions. Some of my grades were lower than 2. Though nothing more extreme than 3, my standard of 1s were not met all the time. I didn’t care anymore. The sun didn’t show up anymore.
Dark clouds covered the sky and thunderstorms roared. I was called second. It was incomparable to being the first neither the last, as it’s its own feeling. I never really realized that I was crashing till the news of me being second was brought upon my face. I’ve always thought I’d remain on top. Yes. The answer is yes. I broke down. A couple of times. A lot, actually. And honestly, I cried. It wasn’t because I was lowered, but because I knew that it was my fault. Raindrops poured for a very long time.
I then realized that everything happened because all actions have their consequences. Then it occurred to me the saying, “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” I’m picking myself up. I’m now getting up. I’m finally coming back. Rainy season is over. The rain stopped pouring. The clouds are turning blue and the rainbow is starting to show.
As accurate as the words of Paulo Coelho, “However good we are, however correctly we seek to lead our lives, tragedies do occur. We can blame others, look for justification, imagine how our lives would have been different without them. But none of that matters: they have happened, and that is that. From this point on, it is necessary that we review our own lives, overcome fear, and begin the process of reconstruction.”
The sun is about to rise. Here I am now, breaking dawn.