When I started attending university, I started to change a lot from who I was in highschool.
In highschool, I was more shy & timid. In my university, I had to be extra assertive / aggressive since I wanted to pass all my subjects and graduate on time. But it didn't happen, because I failed a subject + I had to pause for a while.
I took Advertising Management in DLSU-Manila, the university that was in my "least priority" list since: 1) It's an expensive school.. and 2) It's really faaaaaar away from where I live. If I have to be in school by 8:30 AM, I have to wake up at 5:00 (or earlier lol), walk to the "sakayan", ride the tricycle (and wait for other passengers), take 2 jeeps, 1 MRT train ride and 1 LRT train ride. If I feel too tired or I am lucky, I get to be dropped off by my dad at the nearest MRT. Imagine me, doing that for almost 2-3 years. @_@ Consider the Manila pollution, everyday traffic, evil guys everywhere.. it was a "struggling student" stage for me, haha!
I didn't pass the schools I rooted for but I still believe that it was one of the best kind of "blessings in disguise". My saving skills were put into test and you wouldn't believe that my allowance back then (considering that half goes to transportation / money) was roughly PHP 800.00 a week or 1,600 JPY. For a university student who had to buy her own books, school materials, and eat (lol), I had to save up. Since my parents had decided to enroll me in a prestigious school, I would be too selfish if I didn't help by trying to be frugal on my own.
Although "Advertising" sounds like an art major, in my college, it was a business course. I had to pass all those dreaded accounting, finance, law subjects for the first 2 years (or less?) before I get to experience the real "advertising" major subjects. At first, I was a little bit envious of my batchmates who took Graphic Design / Multimedia Arts as their college degree because it was my #1 choice.. but my parents weren't too keen about the artsy path. That's why I chose a degree that is both a mix of business and a little bit of graphic design. Actually, in my course, you're not really required to be good in photoshop and editing programs but.. because I love tinkering with computer programs and had been educating myself with HTML / coding, it really contributed a lot in my class projects. Whenever I am grouped with my classmates, I would be that girl who would photoshop and do the "execution" of creative collaterals. I may not be studying in my dream design school but because I was self-studying and learning a lot about the creative brainstorming process (how to think out of the box / marketing / sales / managerial etc.), I was learning by my own + through school.
As what I have mentioned, I was this timid girl in highschool / ever since. Although I am the bright / cheery girl (as a friend lol).. I actually lacked self-confidence, especially in public speaking. I sucked a lot during presentations because I wasn't comfortable with the way I spoke in English + I got intimidated by my classmates who could speak so eloquently. There was a time that I was a leader in our group (had to make a "skit" / act out) and my group and I failed. I cried and got depressed a lot because I felt like as a leader, I failed my group. But that event really pushed me to become better & to find a way on how to pass the second round / chance. And we did, and I was very proud of that. We were the first group to pass a "pitch" under a "terror professor" class. I felt that I got my dignity back again, lol.
At first, I thought that I would just go to university, and study like everyone else, try to pass.. and try my best to get out of it as soon as possible (a.k.a. graduate without delay). But I didn't. When I first joined my course's official organization (AdCreate Society) in my univ, I thought that I would just become a neophyte / officer.. and maybe when school would get more demanding / more stressful, I would just stop doing the officership. My position as an officer was "multimedia manager" or something .. (memory fail lol). Honestly, during my first months as an officer in my org, I lacked the drive of continuing it. But when we had to elect for the next round of Executive Board.. my batch officers voted for me as the Vice President (VP) for Creative. The responsibility was overwhelming but I had to gulp down my fears. We had a lot of replanning & reorganizing to do.
During our batch as the EB members, our org.. from the 17th position (I forgot, but somewhere far haha) suddenly became one of the top 5 in the whole UNIVERSITY! It was so shocking!! At first, I was very clueless on what to do as a team leader for my creative committee because I wasn't trained enough for the position (my ex-VP and I weren't close enough).. but when my orgmates and I became a "family" / support group, I became very motivated and inspired to go to school everyday. Finally, I could have an outlet where I can practice my graphic designer dreams + learn leadership even if I had to learn it on my own. When my "era" ended and had to pass the baton to someone (since I was about to graduate already), I really cried a lot because I knew I was going to miss doing the org work. Up to this day, even though university was what.. 3-4 years ago(?), I know that I must have left some "legacy" to my juniors (just like my other ex-EB's). And I feel that as a leader, it is the most important thing to leave behind. I believe that a true leader is someone who can help another person to unleash his/her own potential by becoming a leader too. I may not be that person in class & in my majors who would get 4.0 (perfect).. but I know that everything that I invested my time in during university is now something that I apply in my own current gigs / work. This is why I would suggest that while you're still in the university, don't just pass and perfect your report card ... be active! Look for something you will dedicate your time and where you are passionate about. Try out something crazy that will challenge you and stretch your capabilities. If you find that earlier, you will find that years after.. you will be applying your learnings from that. Don't just learn from the books or from your professors.. learn from others & self-produced projects while you're still a student (and you can still get support from your parents, haha!).. :D
Before I got into the organization, I had to take a pause from my school for a while to work with my brother (online) since we were having a lot of financial troubles (some folks from my school probably just thought I stopped for fun / Japan / etc.. didn't really tell about my situation to many friends). For a person like me, I consider it as a very risky thing to do because.. I thought that I might stop school for good (what would happen if I got lazy, etc..). But like what they say, sometimes, the bigger the setback, the greater the comeback. And I think I did a pretty good job with the comeback, haha! *pats self* (huhu.jpg)
Honestly, I am so farrrrrr to be an A+ student (I am more.. C lol). If I want to pass something academic-related, I would have to make reviewers / go early to school & study in the library / get a friend to tutor me (with math huhu) / visit the chapel for extra confidence (haha, #truth.. "Lord, sana pumasa po ako.. "). I realized that it's not always about the grades. It's about real-life experiences. Real learnings from real events. Real interactions with people from different walks of life & how you find a way to maximize the learnings from these & apply to real-life situations. Yes, good / best grades can get you far, but if you're not "smart enough" to utilize your brain / intelligence by doing something worthwhile.. that's the only kind of far you will get. Challenge yourself to aim for the extra mile. ^_^
Engage, play for a team, support a cause, invest your time in something you are genuinely passionate about, contribute your time, initiate to become a leader in the group, forget your shyness, get to know other people...
Make the most out of your university life and the tuition that you pay. Don't let the university / your school just earn from you. When you graduate, you should be the one who earned more. :-)