EVERBODY makes plans, but it’s disheartening to note that things may not always come one’s way. I’ve experienced these upsets many times, especially in high school.

Upon entering our high school’s pilot section during my sophomore year, I planned to stay until I graduate with honors. But as competition grew intense and as I devoted less and less time for studying each day, I found myself booted out of the section at the end of the school year.

It’s not just with academic life that I got screwed up. I also failed with my love life. I had a best friend, also from high school, whom I really grew fond of. We had known each other since first year, and I planned to court her on our senior year. It went nowhere.

Then there was also my plan to join and lead our school paper. My friends encouraged me to join after I placed third in an essay-writing contest in second year. Procrastination crept in, and I set aside thoughts of joining the paper. I tried for the paper during my fourth year, but I was never accepted, despite good comments from the examiners.

Frustrated, I stopped planning for an entire year, catapulting into college without any clear trajectory.

But things only became worse. I almost always crammed my way through my assignments, projects and reviews for exams, having less time for my family, myself, and my classmates. My health also began to deteriorate as I spent night after night without much sleep.

As the months passed, I became more tired of this setup than with my plans failing. I began to think if there was something wrong with the way I planned before.

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Looking back at these plans and their results, I began to realize that nothing was wrong with them. Instead, what went wrong was how I carried them out.

Hindsight told me that I failed my academic goal in high school because of poor study habits as a result of watching more TV, surfing the Internet longer, and going out more often. As for my love problem, I should have courted her earlier, knowing that our senior year will be more busy and hectic. I should have pondered on whether what I felt was love or simply infatuation.

But above all these realizations, I must confess that for the most part, it was lack of desire and perseverance that caused all my setbacks. Add to that my timidity and low self-esteem. One thing I should have realized earlier about planning is that it requires commitment and dedication.

Little by little, I started changing my habits. I began by setting priorities like doing homework instead of sitting in front of the computer or TV. I set definite sleeping time. To boost my confidence, I chose clothes I want to wear, the haircut I want to sport, and the friends who will support me through thick and thin. Lastly, I prayed to God to help me execute His plan for me.

The changes in my disposition became evident after a few months. I have become healthier in mind and body aside from being more active in class. I also started to fulfill my dreams, like being part of the University’s official student publication. I passed the exams, and I am now a member of this prestigious campus paper—proof that I can get what I want if only I would believe in my ability to overcome complacency and self-doubt.

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Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for this life you lent me. Thank You for all the experiences, the triumphs, the victories, the challenges and the failures that I have experienced. Forgive me for the times when I failed You and for those times when I did not heed Your plans. Lord, as You prepare me for the ending of another chapter in my life, may You help me discover Your ultimate goal and plan for my life. Help me to become a better person by fulfilling my goals for Your greater glory, Amen. Nathaniel R. Meican

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