Out of nowhere, I suddenly remembered that recognition day in our college that my friend asked me to come to with him. I was hesitant at first because, he asked me to stay in the venue while he’d have to go home and change his uniform because a pinch of sauce from his lunch spilled on it, plus the fact that there were parents there and I thought I only knew a few of the awardees.
So he went home and left me with our friends. As soon as the recognition rites started, I was asking myself a few questions.
- What are your regrets, dear self?
- What are you feeling right now that you are not included in the list of the awardees when way back in highschool, you were at the top 1/4 of your batch?
- What happened to you, Rej?
I was there in the corner, keeping quiet and self-internalizing. I suddenly realized that I got off-track. That I might have just wasted my 3 years in college, and that I didn’t grab opportunities that were coming to me. I didn’t know what happened to me. I had everything figured out before I went to college. I was supposed to be a dean’s lister every semester. I was supposed to be top of the class. I was supposed to excel. Then I realized, was I the one who had it figured out? Or was it my alter ego who wanted to match the expectations of the people I love? I was confused.
I was there in the corner, keeping quiet and asking my self those questions over and over again. What happened to you, Rej? Back in highschool, you knew what you wanted. You were on the honor’s list every single quarter. Whatever extra-curricular activity there was, you were there. I was repeating that what-happened question on my mind. I knew deep within me the answer. I wasn’t afraid of it.
I had my goals set before college. I wanted to maintain my love for campus journalism. I wanted to still be active in the student council. But my mom bargained with me to just focus on my academics. I obeyed her. I gave up my love for campusjourn, I didn’t run for any office. Although I was elected as External Vice President of our org. Yes, I was a dean’s lister before, only once. 1st year, 1st semester. And I wasn’t even able to attend the recognition. Second semester became hard for me already. Physics is my waterloo. 2nd year was even harder, Physics and Discrete Structures joined forces. And since then, my objective to become a dean’s lister every semester, deteriorated. I had another objective: just pass the subjects. No need for high grades. But now I realized, I had the wrong new mindset back then.
I have a lot of regrets with my 3 years in college. There were things I could have done, subjects I could have had high grades on, activities I could have joined. But I can’t turn back time, and I can’t fix it. All I have now is my last year in college. And though my 3 years might have been sad, frustrating and rueful, I have but one goal in my 4th year: BE THE BEST I HAVE NEVER BEEN IN MY WHOLE COLLEGE LIFE.
I will make the most of it. And maybe this last year, will overpower those 3 years I have regretted the most. 🙂