SERENDIPITY has always been one of my favorite words. Merriam-Webster dictionary describes it as “luck that takes form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for.

Something not looked for but, against all odds, has been found. This kind of magic strikes the inner child in me; it will at all times be a mantra of mine. Serendipity showed itself in the form of the Varsitarian.

Despite holding more than eight decades of student journalism excellence, the publication was no more than a mere information sheet to me back then.

I saw its prestige, yes. I saw and admired the students working to release an issue every month or so. But anything beyond that, I did not bother to look.

I joined the “V” in my junior year. I kept my eyes straight at the thought that it would make a wonderful, shiny accessory to my otherwise bland resume, that it would make my writing achieve, at the very least, decency to be published.

I was not looking for anything other than validation that I can make it in the media business and training to actually help me make it.

I did not know what I’m getting myself into.

Work in the publication was more than just training. It provided a smack-in-the-head dose of reality of what was in store for me in the actual field. Many times, there would be no guiding hand, no baby steps and spoon-fed instructions.

Work in the publication was more than just affirmation that one could write. It made me humble to be in the midst of others who had as much passion for the written word as me.

It was in “V” that I found more about myself as much as the details of the University. It was a parallel track I had not expected when I passed my application form two years back.

Being a V staffer opened my eyes to what it took to be a real Thomasian. I became aware of the ills of the student body as well as the concerns of the people running the academic institution.

I got to taste insecurity and moments of worthlessness whenever criticisms were thrown my way but I also formed a stronger personal foundation.

I was able to experience organizing extra-editorial events that tested my patience, my stress tolerance, and ability to both listen and direct others.

The realizations were quite a load for someone who was expecting to write articles at home and wait until the work was published.

I was not looking for any of these but I found them and the ride was anything but ordinary.

Serendipity was in the experience of covering life, not just events. It was in hearing people fight for their advocacies in rallies, understanding new concepts in university forums and lectures, witnessing people cry during the papal visit, and encouraging Thomasians to practice their right to elect their representatives.

I had not been looking for it but I also found a family in the publication and friendships that I would forever treasure.

Being in the V has made me realize that good things do come at their perfect timing—be it that elusive diploma or that dream job after college. They might not manifest in the way I want them but they are the “fortunate happenstance” I have not looking for but just the same I have found.

After all, there is no easier way to tread on life but to find joy in stumbling upon possibilities and serendipities in its little corners.

The University life is fleeting and I have been very blessed to come across a serendipity as pleasant as the Varsitarian.


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