Four years ago, I was decided. I was decided with everything that’s about to happen. I knew what I wanted, and very seldom had I questioned myself for wanting those things. I was in sophomore year in college when I made these decisions. I even did a new Twitter account! That was how certain I am that I’m headed to a new path—the one which I wanted, the one which I’ve always dreamed of. My papers were ready—application for scholarship programs, enrollment forms, even go-to contacts—all prepared in front of me. Okay but, what the hell am I talking about, right?
I am talking about the 17-year-old version of myself. Pretty much the hopeful, goal-oriented, ambitious, me. Everyone who knows me that well probably knew that I was a huge mess when I failed the UPCAT. Technically, my grades didn’t make it to the cut for UP Diliman, but luckily it did for UP Los Baños. UPLB is too far from where I live, and that was one of my problems. Fast forward, we did considered it, but a lot of things were just getting in the way. Expenses, transportation, and the mere fact that I am going to live alone far from my parents’ home got them really worried.
But I wasn’t.
I wasn’t that worried at all. Living in a dorm excites me. Studying in UP was what I am most excited for. So you see, I made my decision long before I entered my freshman year in college. I’ll study in PLV, and eventually, I’ll transfer to UPLB. If my grades are high enough, I’ll transfer to UPD. Just because that was the ultimate dream. All UPs are UP, but when I saw UPD’s Sunken Garden, I can already imagine myself sitting on the bench during class breaks, observing. Listening. I was ready to embark on my UP journey, and be the world’s bestselling author, but just like any other’s sob story, life happened. Sophomore year turned to junior year, and then senior year, and now I’m already a graduating student. Not of University of the Philippines, but of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela.
Things didn’t happen as what I had planned. I am not a creative writing student. I am not some English lit cool chic that sits in one of those benches around Sunken Garden. Calculators are nothing similar to classic novels. 17-year-old me would have questioned 21-year-old me’s life decisions.
I don’t want this to end with some petty life lessons, like some consolation in exchange of my failed plans. I’ll even admit—I still regret a lot of things I never did in the past. I may have made a mistake in picking my future profession, but life sucks in giving us the right options so, I’m taking this one as a challenge. As a matter of fact, no one ever told me that I can’t be a writer and a Certified Public Accountant at the same time. I still love UP, a part of me seem to have stayed with that university when I first entered it in 2012 to apply for UPCAT, and I love PLV just the same. Two universities, two sides of me. The other one molded my dream of becoming what I wanted to be, and the other made me the smart, independent, and strong woman that I am today.
Dreams shouldn’t remain dreams; and the future ahead of me excites me more than anything else right now. I’m off to achieving greater things, and my younger self couldn’t be more proud of me.