Looking Back: Pressure Na!

In less than a week I will leave my hometown to pursue a degree in Journalism at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. As a kind of countdown, I thought I’d take a look back at the past few years of my life throughout the week and connect them to what lies ahead for me. Specifically, I’ll be linking to blog posts or websites that I think are worth pondering on and discussing them briefly.

* * *

“Regretting Section One [RANTING/BITCHING]”, published here on July 4, 2008.

When I was a first year high school student, I was part of Section One of the Special Science Curriculum of Agusan National High School. The Special Science Curriculum, or “Science High” as it’s colloquially called, is the most advanced curriculum ANHS offers. To qualify for it, incoming freshmen must pass a rigorous testing process (admittedly, it was easier then compared to now, but it was hard to get through nonetheless). Being in Section One of Science High, therefore, means being part of the crèmè de la crèmè of the school.

Needless to say it was an honor for me, a so-so student who had never gone to public school before, to make it. I felt proud.

At the end of freshman year, I found out that my dismal grades meant that I would probably be demoted to a lower section of Science High. So as a sophomore, I bade goodbye to the glow of Section One and said hello to Section Three. At first, I felt awkward, ashamed even. I had fallen from grace. As the year wore on, however, I found myself having the time of my life in Section Three, feeling no pressure and being able to enjoy high school as a high school student should.

When I qualified for reinstatement to Section One as a Junior student, I hesitantly accepted. Barely a month into the school year, not having recovered from the euphoria of Sophomore year, I wrote the above post, lamenting the seriousness of Section One and wishing for a return to simpler times.

I thought of this as I was preparing for UP and all the pressure it will give me. Admission into UP was one of my biggest dreams, and now that it has come true, I wonder if I should have been careful what I wished for. I know, of course, that for its notoriously rigorous environment, UP is an almost-absolute guarantee of future success for its student. Pressure, they say, forms diamonds after all. But I think it would be more apt to think of UP as a trial by fire for me. If I’m really made of gold, I will come out shining brighter than ever; if I turn out to be anything less than is expected of me, I’m screwed.

It was easy for me to whine about the pressure that comes with being part of the cream of the crop as a high school student, but I resolve to look at the pressure that comes with being a student of the country’s premiere university in a different light. I know it will be anything but easy, and I can’t say I’m confident about my chances, but I’m more than willing to have a go at it.

This is it. Pressure na. Kaya ko ‘to!

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