This is IT! THIZ IZ REALLY IZ IT IZ IT! This is the day that the Lord has made where about 10,000 high school seniors are rejoicing, but around 60,000 are in sorrow.
I feel both. In fact, I feel everything that UPCAT takers have felt today. When I heard that the UPCAT results are out, I got excited and anxious, and couldn’t wait to check it out. But before I was able to, a mom of my student last summer called me. She told me that her son passed the UPCAT, and thanked me profusely. You see, I talked to this mom just yesterday. She was worried that her son might not pass the UPCAT, but grateful that I personally assisted her son prior to the UPCAT. Her son is very diligent and really smart, but seemingly has problems when taking standardized tests under time pressure. I could not bear it if he didn’t pass the UPCAT, thus I went the extra mile to assist him weeks before the UPCAT. And now, he did pass the UPCAT! Praise God! So I was very happy. My happiness furthered when I saw the several messages akin to this on the BRAIN TRAIN Facebook Fan Page:
But then, of course, not all of our students could pass the UPCAT. When I searched for the names of some students whom I especially wanted to pass the UPCAT (of course I want EVERY ONE of our students to pass the UPCAT but there are some who I think really deserve to) and didn’ t find them, my heart started bleeding. Seriously. Dumudugo talaga ang puso para sa kanila. I honestly feel ashamed of myself—nagawa ko na ba lahat? Baka kung sinabi ko ‘to, or ginawa ko ‘to, baka pumasa siya. I fear that they would blame me and my colleagues for not passing the UPCAT, and that when I bump into them on the streets, I’d run out of words to say, even with my natural kadaldalan. What do I tell them? Do I tell them, “Hindi mo kasi ginalingan siguro.” or “Hindi ka siguro nakinig sa akin ‘no?” Or if I tell them, “Baka pasok ka sa waitlist”, would that appease them and give them further hope (although of course, you know that despite not being on THE list, there are several ways of still getting in. Alam na ninyo ‘yun, di ba?) But for now, I guess I just have to say, “I did my best, I really did. If you did your best, your absolute best, then you should have no regrets. I am sorry that you did not make it, but my regard for you does not decrease. In fact, I dare tell UP: ‘Shame, shame! You should’ve gotten him/her! What a loss–you don’t know what you missed, UP!’”.
While passing the UPCAT makes one a step nearer to having a great career and people thinking of him/her highly, it’s JUST A STEP. UPCAT passers, remember how much you wanted this moment…‘yung ia-update mo ‘yung Facebook profile mo at lalabas sa News Feeds at Top Stories ng lahat ng friends mo na, “Blah blah blah added the University of the Philippines to his schools”. Saya ‘di ba? But again, it does not end there. You are just beginning. I know for a fact that the intellectual freedom (and for many, the freedom from parents) that UP offers can make you or break you. And because your tuition fee will be partly (or wholly) shouldered by the sambayang Pilipino, make sure you make yourself worthy. I am not being holier-than-thou here. Honestly, I was the opposite of what I’m advocating you to be when I was in college. And it did not take me long to regret it. I guess that’s one of the reasons why I devoted myself to working in an NGO for quite a while, sa arte kong ‘to.
Graduating from UP will be a huge advantage–that’s a fact. But, that’s just what it is–AN ADVANTAGE. It does not necessarily define you. Remember, the Sorting Hat also told Harry Potter “You could be great, you know, and Slytherin will help you on the way to greatness, no doubt about that.” Meaning, Harry still would have been great even if he ended up in Slytherin. Or notice that even if he didn’t go to Slytherin (the house that was supposed to be the bridge to make him great), he still became great. And, both Ninoy (not P-Noy) Aquino and Ferdinand Marcos were UP alumni, but history describes them very disparately.
Tell me what you think!
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