Monday, July 15, 2024

College Conundrums

By Franciss Nikole A. Elli | February 24, 2021

The technicolor prints on the university’s promotional ads entice every college freshman, selling a wondrous “experience” once the students enroll. But though universities create tailored brandings of themselves, there are generic problems that college students have to face. Here are four stories detailing discomforts that one may face in college.

Passion and Purpose

Red, 21, though in his third year of college, looks at his friends taking the secure routes while he ventures into the uncertain road fueled by his passion. His one-year stint as a student under the College of Computer Studies unmasked his fears of getting left behind. Under the blanket, stifling his whimpers in fear that his mom discovers his absence in classes, he thinks about his confusions. But when he courageously punched his way out of the bubble, he realized that somehow, pursuing his passion despite the fears and what-ifs would create the best version of himself.

Today, he rambles on about his Integral Calculus assignments as he laughs over the tough questions. The journey even became tougher as he chased his dream of entering the College of Engineering. But certainly, he does not forget to celebrate the small wins, like answering six out of the ten questions or finishing the problem sets on time. Perhaps this is the best reward for pursuing one’s passions. He says, “as one gets greater satisfaction even from the smallest of wins.”

Career over Choice

On the other end of the spectrum, some have no choice but to choose the career laid out for them. Jane, 22, in her junior year of college, cannot choose her passion for singing because the Filipino culture dictates that the Arts are for those who can afford to waddle through life. Instead, she prepares herself as she is set to apply for internships, hoping to land a spot in the large hospitals.

Though sometimes, as she skims through the thick Nursing books, glancing farther than the large windows of the library, she drifts into a daydream. She watches herself in a laced red gown as she performs for a crowd, feeling every bit of confidence running into her veins. But soon enough, she wakes from her reverie, as the library’s AC wafts a cold air unto her consciousness, reminding her that her thick books shall not read themselves and answer the examination for her.

Blending in or Being you?

Belle, 19, a freshman who just graduated from Senior High School, sits in front of the small mirror that hung awkwardly on her wall. She preps herself for the first day of university, with her newly dyed green hair. She swipes her purple lipstick across her plump lips, excited about her “newly acquired” freedom to express herself.

She enters the portals of the university witnessing friends engaging in small talk with their peers while some shy away from huge crowds. They all pause at the sight of her “unique” appearance. Belle has gotten used to the attention. She giggles over the indifferent stares as she roots her confidence from her name, Belle, meaning beautiful.

Pampered but Pressured

Finally, some belong to the smallest percentage of the population. Megan, 20, in her sophomore year of college, rides on the boat of certainty. She is the type who had the luxury to write different applications to the big universities and aced every entrance examination. She enjoys the privilege of support and influence from her parents and relatives. Oftentimes, she is the epitome of  “Sana all” since she does not spend extra time on side hustles or compete for limited scholarship slots.

But the weight of responsibility is heavier on her than everyone sees. Both her parents running a law firm, expects a Latin honor as she graduates with an Accountancy degree. Sometimes, her nose bleeds on sleepless nights in preparation for long examinations. She silently slides the bloody handkerchief in her pocket as she resumes to punch her calculator faster while the clock ticks 15 more minutes before the exam ends.

College is Tough

No matter how much we control and prepare a secure path in college, we face conundrums that lead us into loops of anxieties and uncertainties. Surely, college is tough. There are issues about ourselves that we unpack, realize, and rise from. It is not necessarily the best four years (or more). It is the most uncomfortable one, but it can breed the best versions of ourselves as we face the real cold world.


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