Alarm bells early Monday morning
Last night Randy and I slept late, as we consider Mondays our day off (we work the hardest on weekends). More so this Monday, as we have already been bitten by the Holidays bug. But then something roused us from our deep slumber before 5 A.M.: consecutive beeps of my mobile phone and of his iPad. I tried to ignore it but shortly after, I heard another series of beeps. And then Raviv, who has been waking up quite late for the past months, woke up early too. So I had no choice but to wake up and check my cellphone. This was what removed any trace of antok in me:
At first I thought it was a joke, or that Arianne (the student who messaged me), was mistaken! After all, the previous UPCAT results were released in February this year! Way, way AFTER the release of the ACET and of the DLSUCET! As far as I know, the earliest previous UPCAT results were released mid-January, and definitely NOT before Christmas! But then I also saw another message:
And then I got a notification of a “mention” on IG:
So I checked my news feeds on Facebook and true enough, almost everyone awake was posting something about the UPCAT.
Like what I’ve said in the past years, I really get ambivalent feelings whenever the UPCAT results come out. And this batch’s result is no exception. Of course, I feel great when I receive “thank-you” messages or even when I read status posts of my students expressing their extreme elation.
But then of course, my heart breaks too. Although we (BRAIN TRAIN) always have almost a thousand UPCAT passers annually, there are always so many who do not make it too (FYI, the UPCAT is taken by 60,000-80,000 high school seniors annually; out of these, only about 10,000 pass). Someone even posted that the UPCAT should not have been posted a few days before the UPCAT. And I agree—kung maraming napaisip na ang caroling ng UP ay “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”, mas marami namang napakanta ng, “Ang Disyembre ko ay malungkot…” Sigh. 🙁
To the UPCAT Passers…
To those who made it, eto nanaman ako: that’s just the beginning, guys. Prepare thyselves for more difficult exams! You need to do a really good balancing act. UP is a great avenue for you to learn not just lessons in school…but more importantly, lessons in life.
I hope in your years in the University, you will learn not stop at being overwhelmed that, “Hey, pwede palang magmura at cool pala ‘yun!!!”…that after spitting out expletives like crazy, you’ll realize that while it may be accepted it still does you no good and that it will never be music to anyone’s ears.
I hope that after you feel as though you’re finally from the “reins” of your parents, you’ll still feel choked and feel that lump on your throat as you realize how much you miss your parents, and then value them more.
I hope that your overlapping exams, reports, parties, org activities, and lovelife problems will teach you to prioritize well. And that in the end you will remember the reason your parents and the government pay for your tuition.
I hope that your being an Isko or Iska will make you well-rounded yet disciplined; more intelligent academically yet also smarter in life; and tougher yet more compassionate.
To those who did not make it…
I feel you. I really do. But aside from my “sagacious” words from the post I made years ago, here’s another insight from Dr. Wen Raymundo, a woman whom I so deeply admire:
Although I am fiercely proud of having had my premed, med, residency, post-residency training and faculty position at the University of the Philippines, I believe that now is an appropriate time to gently remind ourselves that UP is not the center of the universe, and that there is an equally – if not even more, at times – brilliant academic world beyond it. Whether one qualifies in the UPCAT or otherwise, things always happen for a reason. Both children and parents need to carefully discern before making final decisions about what course to take and what university to get into. Parents, we should learn how to cut our children some slack and let them follow their hearts. They need to live their own lives and follow the dreams they want for themselves, and not the ones we want for them.
And another one from a former student who will definitely be a famous writer in the future, Carlo Nemo:
Passing the UPCAT is overrated. One damn test doesn’t define who you are. You are not your bloody UPG; you are the long days and sleepless nights of review and hard work and anxiety while waiting for this dreaded announcement to arrive. If after the nth scan your name still isn’t on the list, grieve for a moment then move on. Life is full of opportunities: if one of your dreams got broken, just go ahead and create another one.
Keep marching, brave one. It gets better.
Sige na. Ampalaya na tayo kung ampalaya (Nakikisali ako sa inyo. Love ko kayo eh!), pero totoo naman. Passing the UPCAT is just a step (although we cannot deny it’s a great step), but it still is JUST A STEP. There are hundreds of UPCAT passers who can’t even graduate on time; a handful who can’t pass the board exams; and a thousand who live in mediocrity. Probably because they quickly rested on their laurel: Pumasa na ako sa UPCAT eh, ‘yun na ‘yun!
And if my, Dr. Raymundo’s, and Carlo’s words do you no comfort, then take comfort in His promise:
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Image lifted from ohemmawrites.com
So hang in there. If you know deep in your heart that you did EVERYTHING for your plan to come through and yet it did not, then He has another plan for you. And I bet, mas bongga ‘yun. 😉
That’s it pancit! Good night everyone! No matter what, have a merry Christmas! That God sent His Son to this cruel world for our sins is always a reason to celebrate.
PS: You may find my previous posts helpful:
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