by Lea Katrina Canizares | February 7, 2023
There is no denying that the past couple of months felt as though they had slipped away in a blur. After an extended holiday season and more than a month-long break, it is now the time of the academic year where Sillimanians gear up for a fresh start in the second semester.
After surviving the transitional first semester of the school year, more challenges await as students face and go beyond the halfway mark. While most confront challenges academically, emotionally, and socially to acclimate to the college environment, it is important to keep in mind that you have all made it to the second semester. This is a pivotal milestone that should be worth celebrating.
The second semester is an incredible opportunity for every student to take their respective college experiences to the next level. When asked what she wants to work on to have a better college experience this semester, Alyssa Glorydale Algo, a second year Medical Technology student, answered, “From the perspective of a second year medtech student, given the amount of studies we have to do, I look forward to be more balanced with my academic and my social life this second semester. It is easy to become overwhelmed with acads but I need to be more involved with stuff outside of it too like in different orgs.” She also expressed that college life around Silliman should not only be entirely revolved around academics or good grades. Rather, it should also be about investing in genuine friendships, networking, and your personal growth as a person. Through this, a student’s college experience can be a lot more meaningful.
Embarking on the start of the second semester marks a more deliberate return back into the campus. Students will have a better notion of what to expect, which may make adjusting to the upcoming semester much easier and bearable. Mariella Valbuena, a Grade 8 student, shared that some of the positive feelings she has upon returning to campus is the excitement to meet people and build a positive mindset. “Kanang positive na akong outlook, motivated na ko to get good grades, and ma-achieve akong goal gyud. [The positive outlook and motivation to get good grades and achieve personal goals]” she shared.
As students venture into the second semester, there can be a number of interesting things that they can look forward to in their student and social life, or perhaps some pressure—maybe even a mix of both. Students may come back to campus with some mixed feelings due to the seeming unfamiliarity of what is next to come—and these are all valid feelings. When asked what she was worried about the most for the second semester, Mikaela Marie Valbuena, a first year Biology major, shared, “Probably the adjustment of the schedule”. She also added that adjusting between face-to-face classes and online classes can be challenging at times, especially if online classes are in between face-to-face classes.
Still, the second semester is not just entirely about worries and stresses. Starting afresh for another semester has its share of fantastic advantages such as returning to the campus equipped with abundant knowledge and college wisdom from the experiences and learnings that students have gained over the previous semester. Even if the first semester was tough in its own way, the mistakes made and challenges faced were valuable learning experiences that can encourage one to grow better and stronger.
Halfway through the school year, students are concerned with starting off the semester on the right foot by setting their personal goals, assessing their study habits, and ready to incorporate their new year’s resolutions—and these are all normal concerns. Actively working to make oneself better in areas that need to be addressed is a starting point towards daily progress. Students have already come so far and time flies so fast before we even realize it. Though it is better to see the glass as “half full,” one must remember that there is still a half of the school year left. Students must be able to keep their heads up and brace themselves as they approach the midway point of their academic year. Nothing is ever perfect, and unforeseen circumstances may always surface.
Reaching the halfway point of the academic year is already a fulfillment in itself. Being able to survive all those coursework, term exams, and long nights spent studying is commendable. Students can make the most of their second semester of college by understanding that it has a character of its own, and while it is different from the previous year, the wonderful experiences that await and that are yet to unfold will remain.