School’s about to start in a few days already. Though I have graduated the second time already, I still have this excited feeling in me of attending my first week of classes, meeting my new professors, and expanding my network with my newest classmates. (And decide with some friends who’s the hottest girl in class hahaha!) As I stare at my syllabi, my feeling of excitedness slowly evaporates into thin air and before I know it, the semester is over. Time to take a break and in a span of time, start all over again.
For the BS Chemistry/BS Materials Science and Engineering course, taking Summer classes is a must, especially to us who took up Minor programs. Thus, fresh from graduation, I was initially shocked when I started work this summer already. My mind was still set to sitting in a large classroom and pretending to listen to what the professor says while my imagination floats away to that blue place over the rainbow.
Now that I am about to be employed (again), allow me to be emo for the moment and recall what “life” for me was way back then. Below are the things (in order) I will miss as an undergraduate chemistry-MSE double major in the Ateneo:
10. Super long laboratory experiments. And include the explosions from those carcinogenic chemicals as well. This is why I like chemistry. Hahaha. My longest experiment would be during Senior year Summer, where I was extracting cinnamic acid and cinnamaldehyde from cinnamon bark. I started 1:00 PM. I ended 1:30 AM the following day. This is probably where I started to befriend my life mentor (then Ch136: Modern Analytical Chemistry Laboratory instructor), Ian Ken Dimzon, MSc. And this is the first time I had a road trip with my [second] thesis mentor, Dr. Erwin P. Enriquez (who drove us home then).
9. Oral examinations at Dela Costa Hall. Ateneo truly excels in Philosophy and Theology that’s why our oral exams are no joking material. To get that high grade you dream of, it’s either you prepare really well or make up your own stands in the most intelligent but reasonable manner (a.k.a. pambobola). In a sense, oral exams will really give you a reflection of your totality as a person — especially the spiritual and religious aspects.
8. Sleepless nights for academics (and probably org work). Mostly cramming for long tests, reflection/research papers, and laboratory reports. The professor gives you three or so weeks to prepare but you actually start on it the three days before (or sometimes less). The real killers are papers required for online submission — they really redefine my meaning of mañana habit. Nonetheless, the thrill of cramming your papers and beating the deadline by a hairline is one of the most awesome feelings an undergraduate can experience.
7. Thesis! Thesis! Graaaah THESIS!!! The peak of your student life. Produce an original research supported by previous works else you will not graduate at all. The good side is that negative results are STILL results. It’s also lovely to have a mentor who turns your negative results into useful bits of scientific discovery. I had two theses during my stay at the Ateneo as an undergraduate. It really made me feel engaged in the field of research. I love my two topics (polymeric modification for medicinal applications and alternative energy sources from carbon-based nanomaterials). They really gave me the feel to be a nation-builder.
6. Non-academic events: Blue Roast, Blue Christmas, RecWeek, etc.. And other events which are not small org-based. Events like these also help in expanding my network, that is outside the classroom. Here I get to meet more people from different courses, share interests with them, etc. Blue Roast would be the best in terms of reminiscing the good old days and crying out woes on thoughts of unemployment in the future.
5. Integrated Non-Academic Formation Activities (INAF). I was so lucky to belong to the last batch where IntACT was offered one sem per year only. I really did not like that class. But I appreciated NSTP, JEeP, and Immersion. Especially Immersion — it allowed me to be in touch with my other fellow human beings. I am so happy that more than how I was able to touch their lives, they touched and transformed mine more.
4. Lining up for UAAP tickets. The most intense probably as it leaves me sleepless and unproductive, bad combo. Prepare for the worst for Ateneo-La Salle and Ateneo-in-the-Finals games. My strategy: I sleep over at the University Dormitories, wake up at 3:30 AM, sneak with a blockmate, hide from the guards’ views at 4:30 PM, then rush to the ticketing area and start a line at 5:00 PM. As one of the first ten to arrive, I have the leisure to make the rules of how selling of tickets will be done. And that Upper A ticket as well. This year, I hope to get a Season Pass!
3. Hanging out with blockmates: mallings, out-of-towns, and “group studies.” They are simply the best classmates and friends I have in the Ateneo as we theoretically have the same workload. Being with them are treasured moments, you simple forget everything about school and laugh your worries away… Over drinks and Magic Sing of course. Hahaha!
2. Being an OrSem TNT. Chuga on! Banana! I am super disappointed that I did not start when I was a sophomore! But I am super happy that I was able to handle two of the most wonderful freshie blocks ever — G1 2012 (AB European Studies) and M 2013/2014 (BS Chemistry and BS Chem combination courses). To be a TNT is to inspire and I am happy to be part of these people’s lives. Being all tired after three days of extreme movement? Naah. It’s just my physical body. My soul leaps for joy and is wanting more!
1. Student leadership. I once imagined. My ultimate dream is to inspire as much people as possible by touching their lives. Then, I want to influence them to take on higher roles and accepting greater challenges. Imagine, inspire, and influence. I am happy to say that I have succeeded in this three-fold task of a leader (as John Maxwell claims). Thank you: PACS, Inc. for allowing me to be VP-Publications/Editor-in-Chief/Webmaster; ACheS, VP-Publications and Documentations; and COA-STC, Head. Student leadership was really the true highlight of my undergraduate stay in the Ateneo! 🙂
There you go. In as much as I will soon come back for graduate studies, life in college will never be the same again. So to those memories, adios! You all have a special place in my heart though. 😀