I always thought of how I would never see the day that it would already be my final (school) year here in Xavier, a place I have called home for as long as I can remember. I have only recently realized that I would already be going to college in a little less than a year from now. This perplexed me. Incessantly asking questions to myself such as: How am I going to be spending this last year in Xavier? How do I ensure that I am making the most of this school year? Am I sure of my (after Senior High) plans? And those alike. With this said, a great wave of anxiety and doubt got the best of me which got me in a paradox of worry. This all stopped when I sought help from my guidance and career counselor. Apart from the usual (personal) consultation sessions regarding my college plans, the guidance department has prepared career fairs, informational sessions, and batch talks to assist us, students. Not only did these events help me in preparing for college applications, but they also helped me develop a sense that everybody either has or will be going through this same dilemma at some point in their lives.
Along with my batch mates, I recently attended a talk which encapsulated the lives of fellow Xaverians who have already graduated and are now university students. Xavier alumni James Gordon and Joseph (Niño) Macababad shared their experiences applying to college and all their ventures within the campus. Their shared experiences ranged from how applying to the college of your dreams may not always go your way to how they managed to secure a spot on the dean’s list. But the one thing that struck me the most was how they were still able to embody being a Xaverian above all else whilst outside the walls of Xavier School.
One prominent aspect of being a Xaverian is to foster the Chinese-Filipino (Chinoy) culture when I heard the speakers mention that despite studying abroad, they were able to find a home amongst the other Filipino students in the university. This mightily reminded me of how the place/situation one is in does not necessarily matter, yet it is the people you care about and how they are always there for you that makes the journey worthwhile. Furthermore, this urged me to spend more time with the people around me. May it be with my friends, family, or my ‘chers as I find establishing better relationships with others an apt way to make the most out of this school year. Likewise, James has mentioned that it was with his fellow batch (Xaverian) mates that “helped him cope with the struggling times he faced in college.” It was with those people that made him feel most comfortable. Making him forget his homesickness and other worries alike.
Another striking experience James shared was when he decided to skip a day of school and would, later on, learn the consequences of not paving a path for his future. In the end, on the day when he returned to school, he was informed that there was going to be a pop quiz, and ultimately, he failed it. Although, if I may say something, the road to success is not made entirely of one’s achievements, yet it also consists of times where one grew, stumbled, and of course, learned something new. And it was through this experience, Mr. Gordon was able to establish a sense of responsibility, knowing that the decisions he makes will surely affect him and his future depending on what he decides to do.
On the other hand, Niño discussed one remarkably relatable factor to us, senior students, commitment. Now, there are two types of commitments Mr. Macababad tackled, Extracurricular and the value of staying committed itself. In essence, being involved in extracurricular activities (ECA’s) is something I should be taking advantage of. He states that “it is through joining ECA’s that helps students develop various values and disciplines such as leadership, time management, and communication” Consequently, Niño also discussed developing the value of commitment itself as well as its importance. One may be asking: “how is staying dedicated to something important?” Well, after further analysis, keeping the focus on one thing (big or small) pays a great contribution to one’s personal growth. It also sparks the fire within a person to find a passion within what they’re doing. To be frank, this is one of the reasons why I continued developing a passion amongst my current ECA’s since dedication played a major role in molding me into a self-disciplined individual. And through this, I have the hopes of inspiring my fellow students to be more engaged, involving themselves in more extracurricular matters since joining these organizations was greatly beneficial in terms of character development.
To sum up, the choices one makes today are equally important to the one’s yesterday and the one’s tomorrow. I also realized that I should already be laying the foundation for my future this early in my life. It has changed my mindset to the quote: “Work hard, Play harder.” This is very much in line with this quote from Oprah: “Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.”