Dear Ben Part 2

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

(Writer’s note: I dedicate this article to my youngest brother, Benedict, who will turn 17 on the day that this is published. I wrote the first part of the article in this column, which was published five years ago when he turned 13. The theme then was about surviving high school. For now, the theme is about college life.)

CONGRATULATIONS, dear brother! You have hurdled high school for the past four years. Another milestone has been reached and I could not agree more how mom and dad, kuya and ate are very proud of what you have achieved. I mean no offense to the Pro-K-12 but I consider you luckier for you belong to the second to the last batch of high school graduates that would immediately leap to college instead of to the ‘TESDA-centric’ senior high school.

You are now ready to enter the portals of college, so to speak. I trust that your ‘formators’ in high school have prepared you for this not only intellectually but also emotionally, morally and spiritually. After all, you are a product of a Jesuit academic institution since kindergarten thus, making you a Loyalty Awardee.


College is entirely different compared to high school in so many ways. To point one, professors and instructors would not pamper you like a baby as in high school. They would not run after you for missed homeworks, projects and quizzes.

Secondly, college is about earning a degree or profession. Expect that you will not have the same classmates for all your subjects. Your high school friends who will be studying courses different from yours will have subjects that you don’t have and vice versa.

In another instance, you will also meet people from different walks of life. You will stumble across working students and those who have been blessed with silver spoons: extremes when we talk about the demography of the students especially in the university where you wish to study.

Mom and dad have told me that you intend to take up a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture majoring in agricultural economics. Wow! You need all the endurance you could get. I did a little research of my own and I found that such a degree is a four-year course with a licensure exam. You will have subjects about animal science and husbandry, crop science, a little chemistry and a ton of statistics, algebra and other branches of mathematics since your desired degree is also about numbers -- economics.

You have to be assertive if you want to finish your degree on time. Be wary for there are also those who do not finish their schooling on time because of wedlock. Thankfully, you are a dude. Unfortunately, dudes in our family are undeniably attractive (pun unintended) and I hope you’d keep distance from temptations that are ever a reality in this generation.

The key to surviving college is time management. You may engage in extra-curricular activities if you desire but always prioritize your academics, which are the very reasons for your existence in college.

Likewise, carry yourself very well by acting your age. This is quite a dilemma shared by most instructors in colleges or universities. There are freshmen students who had not gotten well in their heads that they are already in college: they run in hallways, screaming, making boisterous laughter that disturbs other classes. Worse, there are some who still engage in fistfights over matters that could have been dealt with by simple talking: so much high school! I hope you do not become part of their statistics.

And may I reiterate, since I have mentioned this in my column for you four years ago, that you need to choose your crowd. They could either make you or break you so stay away from bad company.

I can only say much from my personal experiences in college. The rest is all yours to discover.

Always remember, mom, dad, kuya, ate and I are here for you. We love you Ben!

Kuya Pid.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 08, 2014.


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