Letters of Youth


/ 23 September 2020

Have you ever felt like being torn apart on what do you want to be in life? Or, perhaps even questioned yourself if you are heading towards the right direction? While these dilemmas are often experienced by everyone, students, specifically senior high school students, are the most affected by it.

Entering college for them feels like the beginning of a new journey, embarking on their way toward their dream careers. Admittedly, some are still testing the water in hopes of finding what’s suitable for them, yet some may seem like they already knew what they want to pursue in college.

I am part of the latter.

Ever since I was in Grade 5, I always knew that I wanted to become a journalist someday. I always told myself that if I just put my mind into it, I know I can achieve this dream of mine. This is also the reason why I studied so hard during my elementary and junior high school days. I have an inspiration; a goal in life.

But those changed when I entered senior high school.

Honestly speaking, senior high school is nerve-wracking. It’s like a simulation of college where you get to pick your own “course” (specifically track and strand), except that you are still under the Department of Education and not Commission on Higher Education. I took Humanities and Social Sciences since that is the scope of my chosen field.

As usual, because of my dream, I studied hard. I knew that I must give it my all to achieve this. I told myself that this is just a step away from taking my dream course, AB Communication Arts, in my dream university, which will shoot me in my dream as a journalist. However, I snapped my way out of this idealistic thinking when the results for the college entrance exam came out.

I did not pass on the course that I wanted. I tried applying for reconsideration, but it was rejected. It crushed me. It did not come out as I planned. I thought that I am already set to achieve my goal. For the longest time, I was weakened by this news. As I hear my classmates, one by one, being accepted in their dream courses at their dream universities, it saddens me as days went on. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of them. It is just that I hoped that I am also one of them.

This college application is an ‘all or nothing’ type of choice. At that point, I do not know what to do. My entire plan is thrown in the trash. However, it all changed.

Our senior high school is one of those institutions where it is a department of a university. They announced that they will be having a qualifying exam for their students, and if you passed the exam and interview, you will be given a recommendation letter to your desired course in either that same university or to others. And we all know how important a recommendation letter is to a college applicant.

I lit up. Maybe there is still a chance that I can still achieve my dream of being a journalist. So, I re-plan. However, instead of being idealistic and putting so many expectations to it, I became realistic and started looking at other options in case I did not pass. The exam came and the interview was conducted. Luckily, I passed. And the rest is history.

Sometimes, students tend to look at their future career lives like a single journey ride. Once you hopped into it, you will be automatically directed towards your destination. But that is not the case. Often, what you envisioned yourself when you were in senior high school may not be the same as what you will be in the next seven years, especially at this time where the pandemic limits and constraints both our physical and mental mobility.

Life always has its way to surprise you. And for the most part, these surprises are experiences that will make you mature. It’s okay if you must ditch your original plan. It’s okay if you must change your aspirations in life, or if you are not able to pass in your dream courses at your dream universities. It’s okay to embark on several courses. It’s okay to go on a pleasure trip for a while.

What matters the most is that you are learning along the way. Life after college is much bigger and more complicated than we know. Enjoy the process, and do not let these plans hinder you to open new and bigger opportunities.