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My Rainbow After the Storm; I passed my dream university!
It's been a while since I published something here. Unfortunately my phone already gave up three weeks ago that's why I'm inactive here. Nice to meet you again. My friend let me use her old phone so I can publish my works soon.
I spent my boring weeks reading and writing stories. Gonna publish them as soon as I can.
This phone still have issues such as unable to connect to 4G network and hard touch screen (I've been typing this for days) so maybe I won't be able to reply etc. immediately.
I really wanted to share this with you because I already published something about my concerns on college admissions. It was a long one.
From Kindergarten to Grade 12, my journey in school and with education is almost coming to its final chapter. It is in beginning of an end. I will be a college student and the admission and enrolment was not easy as what it was way back in elementary and high school. My college admission journey was a storm.
It is a story of my college admission journey. A story about failures, achievements, disappointments, frustrations, the effects of pandemic, and hope.
My friend and I took the Philippine Military Academy Entrance Exam around August of 2020 in Bacolod City. We came there with their private vehicle from a two-hour-drive away city. I was lucky by saving money and avoiding being late and lost in an unfamiliar place by coming with them rather than commuting.
Before the exam, the men-in-uniforms checked our required documents, inspected our body for tattoos and piercings, and measured our height whether it reaches the minimum 5-feet requirement.
You might already know that I love coffee. That’s why I became the definition of ‘coffee-addict’ in the midst of the entrance test. During the examination that started at around 9:00 a.m. that ended at noon, I was drinking three bottles of coffee specifically Kopiko 78° and eating biscuits. Prior to that, I already drank a bottle, giving a total of four. I would prefer a black coffee but I didn't have time to go to a fast food or cafe, so I just bought some in a nearby convenience store. Coffee aided me during the exam, I guess by boosting my memory, increasing my alertness, and improving my logical and reasoning skills. That's why I always have my cup of coffee when competing in quiz been, reviewing and even when writing.
Then the day came that PMA FB page posted the list of PMAEE qualifiers. I was glad to one of more than one thousand passers from tens of thousands exam takers. My family and relatives and of course my friends are happy for me too. There was still sadness in my heart because my friend didn't pass the PMAEE.
The second part of the qualification process of becoming cadets was next—the ‘Complete Physical Exam’(CPE). It was quite expensive but it was worth taking risk for. The qualifiers from Visayas should go to Cebu City for CPE. I just came to Cebu when the location was later changed to V Luna, Quezon City. I’m lucky to be accommodated in the military camp there before my flight—free food and lodging. On the bright side ,the flight there was two to four thousand pesos cheaper than in Neg. Occidental. Besides, I was able to see a glimpse of Cebu even for a short time.
I won't be specific because I'm planning to write an article about my experience on CPE in Quezon City eight months ago. Probably when I qualified for CPE again after passing this year's PMAEE. All I want to state is this two-week CPE was my best experience in these worst times. I made friends and met new people, hearing about their reasons for applying for PMA inspired me. I was able to escape the imprisonment in the house because of the pandemic and I gained new memories and experiences. Some of these running 3.2 kilometres in 21 minutes; being completely naked with other guys in a small room; taking a bath with just a super small bucket of water, the same size with the one containing biscuits; and wondering where my thousand-peso went even though I seen on the honesty store downstairs buying snacks, notably turon and a carton of sterilised milk. There are more and I hope to share it with you soon.
Time flew swiftly and the list of incoming cadets was posted on the page. I wasn't one of them. I already expected because it was a tough competition. I didn't perform well in the Physical Fitness Test and interview. Besides, the outcome of the Neuro-psychological test was not really good. I learned that I have high level of depressive, anxiety, and impulsive traits. Those were not any diagnosis though but I think the pandemic and academic stress on distant learning really affected my mental health. Now, I'm working on my fitness and mental health, not just for the next CPE but for myself. Anyway, I am very happy for my friends that will be future soldiers in the country; they deserved it.
Honestly, I don't see myself in the field of military and law enforcement [yet still rank 5thamong 15 fields on my National Career Assessment Exam (NCAE) results]. The opportunities, benefits, and privileges in the PMA are my motivations. And I have a plan when I became a cadet I will choose Air Force so I can become a pilot when I retired. PMA is a prestigious military academy with quality education and facilities. Being a cadet will guarantee a secured job in the future as 2nd Lieutenant and there is a salary being cadet. Being not wealthy, admission to PMA is a big help for me and my family, so I was kind of disappointed. Also, people are lot on me; the pressure was heavy just like the rain in the storm that just came after a peaceful and sunny day.
PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MANILA (PLM)
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, most universities and colleges didn't conduct entrance exam. Many based the admission on grades and PLM was one of them.
I wasn't confident with my school grades even my GWAs exceed 90%. I took the chance of online application and admission to apply to many universities as I can to have multiple choices or backup schools. I applied and processed my documents not just with the reason I said earlier, but also this university has a good quality education and did well on board exams.
When the list of qualifiers for the essay exam based on the grades was released, I was frustrated. My application was not yet verified when the results were out so it means I was not part of evaluated applicants. My small chance of passing was reduced to zero because of that. Because of frustrations, disappointments and over thinking, the thoughts in my mind got louder just like the heavy drops of rain as they hit the metal roof, accompanied by thunders.
PHILIPPINE STATE COLLEGE OF AERONAUTICS (PHILSCA)
PHILSCA was also one of the colleges with grade-basis admission. I was happy to be apply there because it was too far there was an exam. Still, I'm not confident with my grades.
I always check the applicant module online to check my status, nothing changed. Just like my experience in PLM, my application in PHILSCA was not evaluated when the results were out. I became more disappointed with myself when I learned most of BS Aeronautical Engineering passers have GWAs higher than 95%.
When I was a kid my dream of being astronaut became more attainable—becoming a pilot. That's why PHILSCA is one of my dream state college because it offers programs related to aeronautics and aviation. Even if I can’t become a pilot, I still want career in the aviation industry (or engineering). With the released results and what happened to my application, I didn't stop myself from shedding a few tears from my bottled up feelings. The tears was countable by my fingers, but not the million raindrops that seems unending, with a chance of flood.
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES (UP)
Ever since, UP was my ultimate dream university. I’ve always seen this one of the most prestigious universities in the country on TV since I was a kid. I really want to be admitted there because of the good quality education and performance of the university. Other reasons are the diverse cultures in the campus knowing that UP is a melting pot of Filipinos coming from different provinces all over the country; and the activities and programs in the campus. I also love the academic freedom and freedom of expression there—no uniforms and hair dyes are allowed. I was fascinated the campuses too; I can't imagine what my campus life would be.
Before the start of classes last year, months before I became a Grade 12 student, I spent nearly a thousand pesos for reviewers. I set aside animal and social media and spent my time and focused my attention on studying. While others were still asleep and before the bird sing, I was reviewing at 4 am.
My GWAs in Junior High were still high though, but on my subject that will be needed for evaluation, my grades are disaster especially on Math. In the UPCAT, 40% is based on grades and the test itself is 60%(there were still other factors that will affect the evaluation though), that's why I was dedicated to review so I can increase my chance of passing.
The moment it was announced that there will be UPCAT, my high hopes fell and reached the rock bottom. I was devastated. My grades were nothing compared to others’. And I thought that I just wasted my time, effort, and money on reviewing (but I didn't, I’ve used what I learned in PMAEE and other exams).
I still applied with a little hope because grades was not just the sole basis. Course and campus choices, socioeconomic status, school grade system, and performance of the school on UPCAT etc. are in their algorithm.
In July, the results were out. When I checked the portal, “THANK YOU” was what I got not “CONGRATULATIONS”. I didn’t pass and my University Predicted Grade was so low. It didn't reach the cut-off so I was not able to apply for reconsideration. I checked the results at 5 am and tears flowed from my eyes then I went back to sleep.
I was sad for my friends and other friends because we didn't make it. There was still happiness in my heart because some of my friends way back in Elementary and schoolmates passed. I was happy for and proud of them yet there’s still “sana all” in my mind.
With the previous results from PHILSCA and from UP—my dream university and college, July was when the storm reached its peak strength, velocity and rainfall. When will the weather change?
TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-MANILA (TUP)
With failures after failures and disappointments after disappointments, I had a change of heart. I decided to stop and enrol for college next year. I didn't learn at all with the modular learning with subjects like Chemistry and Physics that are important with Engineering courses I will be taking. I wasn't ready for college yet. I’m planning to study and improve my math skills and knowledge to be ‘college-ready’ and look for a job.
When I received a message from my relative that I would go to Cavite and study there, I panicked. I told my aunt that I’ll have a gap year and she got angry because time will be wasted. She was right but it's already around August. Most university already ended their admission period and some already started classes.
I looked for other open schools online and TUP-MANILA was one of state universities with engineering courses that still accepts application that time. The only engineering courses with remaining slots was BS Electronics and Communications Engineering. I didn't want it but I don't have other choice and applied anyway.
Because I’m a little bit dumb so I missed the pre-assessment exam for engineering courses. I waited for an email for days. In my surprise, it was just in the Spam section of my mails. I was three days late.
Few days later, I received another email. There will be another pre-assessment exam that will be the final one. When the date and time of the said test came, I don't have cellular load or money too buy load that time.
With my negligence and stupidity, I decided to give up. I had a change of heart again. There was still one university I was waiting for, for more than six months. It was my last ace. I was being pessimistic so I told myself that I won't pass and will stop. But there was a part of me hoping.
One university to go, what does the storm will leave behind?
TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES – VISAYAS (TUP-V)
And CARLOS HILADO MEMORIAL STATE COLLEGE (CHMSC)
I just applied to two state university/college in our province of Neg. Occidental. I don't have intentions to study in this province. I want to live in solitude or in a dormitory in my college life away home which I don't like the environment. And I am planning to be a working student when there will be face to face classes in the campus.
I just took the exams to spend time with friends and travel out of the house. I passed the entrance exams on both. I was wondering whether the outcomes were because of what I’ve reviewed for UPCAT, the coffee I was drinking during the exams, or the lucky pencils and eraser that I used to pass the PMAEE.
You might be wondering why I would rather stop when I passed the two. I already told the reasons earlier. Additionally, I don't like the courses offered which are the Electronics Engineering in TUP-V and Civil Engineering in CHMSC (the only engineering course it offers ). I was still glad that I passed both, boosting my confidence when I was doubting myself because of failures here and there.
I appreciate the rays of sunshine in the midst of the storm but I want to experience bright sunny day. The storm will come to an end, either with a drastic aftermath or new beginning. Or both.
I would love to study in PUP with the same reasons as UP. Students have academic freedom and freedom of expression. Both are two of the most prestigious universities in the country. Just like UP, PUP is also my dream university.
I applied around February. At first, I thought I can't apply for any engineering courses because these requires at least 86% subject average on Math, Science, and English from Grade 10 and 11. That time, I don't remember my grades, but I know I got an 80% in Math on the second quarter of tenth grade. I was worried about my subject average in Math, my weakness. When I got my Grade 10 card, I was relieved. It was 86.
Because my subject averages and GWAs reached the minimum requirement and I was from STEM strand, I was able to choose Mechanical, Civil, Electrical, Industrial, and Railway Engineering respectively.
Days were passing. I was always checking the portal if my application form has been verified. I was traumatised by my application in PMA and PHILSCA. Days before the said date of release of results, my application was not yet evaluated. I don't want to experience the same fate again. And I'm glad I didn't, I got verified.
On August 25,on my time schedule, I opened the website to check my results. I didn't qualify to any course I’ve chosen, just wait listed. Disappointment and giving up came to me.
When I checked the results, I was instructed to wait for an email on September 6 about my admission as a wait listed. I waited and hope.
My prayers have been answered. I received an email just like the other hopeful wait listed passers. I was instructed to check the website on September 8-10 for my results.
I nervously visited the website. Gladly, I was qualified to my last choice which was Railway Engineering. This course was pretty new not just in PUP but also in the country. I chose this for less competition. I’m happy that my decision was right , knowing that engineering courses are easily depleted—thousands are competing for limited slots.
I was still thankful to pass in my dream university even in my last course choice. I’m happier that I have friends and former classmates that will be soon my schoolmates. And I won't waste a year of being a NEET if I didn't land to any job.
With the last university I'm waiting for, my last ace, I got the last laugh.
After the storm with rain as heavy as my feelings through the months; loud raindrops and thunder just like my mind and flood caused by the tears. There is a rainbow in the sky.