I FOUND home in the University of Santo Tomas.
When I first entered the Arch of the Centuries during our Thomasian Welcome Walk in 2013, I never thought the University would give me the best moments of my life by far.
Even though I expected a bumpy academic life upon entering the halls of St. Raymund de Peñafort Building, which houses the Faculty of Arts and Letters and College of Commerce and Business Administration, I found that I was still emotionally and physically unprepared.
There have been moments when I felt my threshold is not strong enough to handle the pressure of being a Thomasian.
But UST has been like a caring mother, backing me whenever I feel like quitting.
It has taught me to endure through the semesters, to form solid and supportive friendships, to learn from failed examinations. It has motivated me always to be better and to prepare me for challenges in the wider world.
UST’s age-old traditions and academic rituals have also made me appreciate the value of history and heritage.
But with the looming graduation, I can’t believe that I would no longer witness another Thomasian Welcome Walk, Paskuhan, Yellow Days, pyromusicals, hellish exam weeks, joy and pain, and everything in between.
These unique events made me love the University more.
UST also gave me the Varsitarian. Years back, I had been among the faint-hearted souls hoping to get a shot at the official student publication of the University.
My decision to enroll in AB Journalism was validated by the V. I remember how my insecurities worsened during the first two years in college because I was surrounded by a lot of talented writers.
When I received the message that I passed the qualifying examinations, I took it as an opportunity to improve the potential that the selection committee has first seen in me.
I will always be thankful to the V for believing in me even before I learned to believe in myself.
The Varsitarian gave me a glimpse of what to expect after college. It taught me a lot of lessons I never learned inside the classroom such as persisting to write a story on a controversial issue in the University, working with my fellow staffers to organize an extra-editorial activity and making the best decisions for the publication’s sake.
To the V, thank you for bringing out the best in me. I don’t think I could be the person that I am today without you.
The University has given me the best set of people who served as my inspiration to finish what I started. I would not have withstood the heartbreaks, frustrations and stress if it weren’t for the support of my parents, fellow Varsitarian staffers, blockmates (4JRN1), professors and closest friends — Gaea, Charissa and Chai.
But above everything else, I will forever thank the Lord for being with me in this journey. All glory is His.
Just when I thought I was ready to leave the University following the emotionally and physically draining academic and publication works, I realized that four years is too short a period to enjoy the vibrant campus life at its fullest.
You will always be home, UST.