Y-Speak: Counting down

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

TODAY marks the 34th day of the semester, and my fifth year in college. Just two hundred and fifty eight days more before I leave the halls of my beloved university.

What do I have to show for all those days that have passed?

Well, I have yellow papers with red marks all over, stacks of photocopied subject hand-outs, hurriedly scribbled notes, text books that sure have seen better times, and a bunch of two-digit numbers called grades. Add to the list my almost empty pocket and wallet. And to think, this school year has barely even started.

Is this really what I went to school for?

Sometimes, I ask myself, why do we students even bother going to school when we are fully aware of all the stress that awaits us, all the mind-blowing homework we have to make, all the boring classes we have to attend?

Why indeed?

It’s simple. We want to learn.

Why do we want to learn? Because we want to know how to find our way in this world.

The bottom line is: We learn to survive.

That’s why they say that grades don’t matter; it’s the learning that counts.

I have repeated that in my head too, countless of times.

Yet, despite such idealistic mantras held by other students as well, I notice that no one is really living up to it.

Deep inside, we still equate the amount of the things we have learned to the grades that we have earned.

That’s why we willingly lose sleep over projects, why we still squeeze our brains out in class, and why students still cheat during exams.

We’re still scared of the bunch of numbers we get after every grading.

We still believe, deep inside, that these numbers truly measure our intellectual worth.

But grades aren’t all that. When we go out in the real world, it’s not really going to be about how high our grades have been in school

If we want to survive life after school, we have to embrace this truth first.

If we keep clinging to the illusion that grades are everything, we will miss the whole point of getting ourselves an education.

We need to remember that in the big world we’re about to enter, it’s going to be about our guts, about our determination, about our attitude, about our skills.

The school is merely our training ground; a place where we could hone our skills and mold ourselves into better individuals fit to survive this world.

We need to take every opportunity to train ourselves. The days are ticking. Soon, we would have to leave the halls of our alma mater.

How we would fare in the days after we bid school farewell will depend on how we use the remaining school days well.

I just hope that by then, we could truly say that we have gained a lot from all the efforts we have put into while at school.


On-the-Job are articles written by student interns of Sun.Star Davao. Jeffer is a student of Ateneo de Davao University.

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