I BELIEVE that there will always be great endings as long as people are aware that their future is in their own hands.

Just like any other kid, I was asked a hundred times what I want to become in the future, and I always had an answer.

Back then, I told myself that I wanted to become a doctor. By the time that I graduated in grade school, I wanted to be a writer. When I graduated in high school, I decided to take up Journalism. But when I finally finished my degree, I had a bigger dream of becoming a lawyer.

My answers may have changed many times as I grew up, but my desire to become someone great in the future was always there.

Born in a simple family, I learned that if I want something, I have to work hard for it.

My parents made me realize that I do not get what I want, but instead, I get what I deserve. When I wanted a new toy or a shirt or a gadget, I had to excel in school.

That is why, until now, I work hard to get what I want. Sometimes, I even feel bad when I get something that I want easily. Due to that, I also know that the journey toward greatness is long and difficult, and that it entails patience and dedication.

When I enrolled in the University of Santo Tomas, I knew it would not be easy. Though I was able to finish my four years of studies as a scholar of the University, I could not count how many times I doubted myself if I would be able to maintain my scholarship.

When I joined the Varsitarian, I knew that I would be carrying another huge responsibility but I still decided to push through with it because I knew that joining would make me a good writer.

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There were instances when I wanted to quit because of the time and effort that the publication demanded from me but I decided to stay because I knew that I would only get better with ‘V’ than without it.

I chose the Latin word “excelsior” as my column name for the paper because of its meaning, which is “higher” or “ever upward.” It also serves as my mantra.

As human beings, we all have the tendency to reach for something higher than where we currently stand. This was the reason why four years ago, I decided to study in UST, the royal, pontifical, and Catholic university of the Philippines. I knew then that pursuing my collegiate studies in one of the top universities in the country is an opportunity for me to move forward. This was the same reason why I also decided to become a part the Varsitarian.

I learned that in order to be the great person that you want to be, you have to make the right choices. And I am glad that I made the right choice to become a Thomasian and a Varsitarian staffer because I was only able to push myself to my limits because UST and the ‘V’ have taught me how to continuously strive for greatness.

It gives me comfort to hear children say that they have dreams, that in their young age, they realize that they can be better not only for themselves but also for others. Because having a dream gives our lives direction, a purpose.

An accumulation of dreams, coupled with hard work, have made me an excellent student and a good writer. So I am also confident that I will be able to survive law school no matter how stressful it will be, because when I tell myself that I want something, I do my best to make it happen.

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There are things that we cannot stop from happening. There are moments when things get out of control. But it will always be up to us on how to get to where we want to be. Even the most underprivileged people can change their lives if they just believe in themselves.

We should not lose track of our dreams no matter how many times we lose or fail because when we are down, there is no other way to go but up. We will experience defeat and feel hurt but we will also have triumphs and joyful moments. Now, whenever I feel like giving up, I just go back to the moment when I realized my dreams and decided what I really want to become in the future, because it gives me back the enthusiasm that first fueled my passion to aspire for greater things.

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