Tough love at the Varsitarian

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COMING from the province, I admittedly had this obscure fear of the city. I have always been a stickler for routine so when I started my freshman year in UST, I was unsettled. Unable at first to acclimatize myself to surroundings without my family, I spent nights of homesickness.

Likewise, I missed my high school friends, and I struggled to make a   new set of friends, uncertain of what people would expect from a petite “probinsiyana.”

That was when I knew I failed at being independent. I was enslaved by my insecurities.

I somehow mustered the courage of joining the Varsitarian, but my first year in the paper found me unable to relate well with the staff.

The problem was I: I seemed to have erected barriers without really knowing it. As a result, the staff couldn’t reach out to me.

Part of my insecurity was that while I was assigned in the art section of the paper, I was taking up really a liberal arts course, a departure from the fine arts or architecture track taken up traditionally by members of the art staff. But since I wanted to really settle down in the paper and in my discipline, I sought to improve my craft and reach out to the rest of the staff.

What I found out was that I had sought to erect barriers between me and the world largely through self-projected fears based on imagined dissimilarities—social class, rural versus urban divide, religion, sex, etc.  The stark dissimilarities I imagined limited my growth and personal development; they likewise restricted my relations with others.

I could not have discovered how I was limiting, even damaging, myself and my relations were it not for the Varsitarian.

It was the Varsitarian that nurtured my growth and development as well as my emotional and social health.

Looking at the history of the “V,” I discovered that this organization has not only molded successful and even renowned writers, photographers and artists, but it has also provided an environment where persons accept themselves—their potential and yes, their limitation, their strengths and promises—while also accepting each other’s differences. It was one of the few places I felt comfortable being myself.

Now on my third and last year in the Varsitarian, I have learned that I should set aside my anxieties and other fears about having to leave the paper, a prospect that brings me mixed emotions.

I have realized that through the Varsitarian I have been given the chance to serve the Thomasian community, a fitting preparation for serving the wider world outside.

I have discovered that all my emotional, mental, artistic and social resources have been trained for me to serve a higher goal. Surely, one cannot achieve big goals without making big sacrifices.

V has served as my constant provider of stress and anxiety, but it has also been my pillar and my strength. V was the embodiment of tough love.

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