Raniel Madrona is a NightHigh School alumnus from Siena College, Quezon City. He graduated from Siena College, Quezon City at the end of S.Y. 2009-2010 and is one of our 69 ABC College Scholars.
He is currently a freshman at the University of the Philippines, Manila, majoring in B.S. Occupational Therapy.
U.P. Life – By Raniel Madrona
The University of the Philippines – the country’s premier university, where the leading students of the nation come together to be taken on one heck of a ride in learning!
I never expected I would someday be a part of this learning institution, and my dreams of being here would not have become a reality without the help of A Better Chance Foundation.
I really don’t know where or how to start describing my life here in UP, so I decided to divide it into 3 parts and describe my financial life, my social life, and my academic life.
My Financial Life. Tuition and other fees, such as books, and uniforms are part of my scholarship in ABC Foundation, which is why academic expenses is not a big problem for me. However, other stuff that deals with money including transportation, food, photox (UP term for photocopy or xerox), and computer rentals for doing research and assignments, have become a very evident problem. Knowing that the money I get from my parents is not enough to cover all those, I have to find solutions to somewhat lessen my burden.
The first solution, is to be thrifty by not wasting money on unnecessary things. Practicality is truly needed, especially these days, when prices tend to increase rapidly and suddenly.
My second solution is to bring “baon” to school instead of buying unaffordable goods here in UP, so that I can save money. Sometimes I wonder why the food here in UP Manila (UPM) is very expensive, even though, it is a “State University.”
These two solutions are only some of the ways I deal with money problems, and I’m constantly thinking of other methods that can be of great help to me.
My Social Life. I am very thankful that God has placed me in Freshman Block 20 – B.S. Occupational Therapy (O.T. Block). Why? Because we are considered by all as being the happiest block among all the other freshies (1st year students) in UPM. We were even awarded as being the “Loudest Block” during the Mind Breakers Quiz Bee, sponsored by the Tao Omega Mu (TOM) Fraternity, held last July, 2010.
Our class is united through music – jamming sessions, soundtrips, etc. Of course, I also have my own group of friends in our block. We are called the Gogigo gagagigo, a group composed of me and my friends Roi (who coined the name of the group), and Edren. I am also part of the Baon Gang, who, obviously, with a name like that, bring baon for lunch everyday. I’m also a part of a college-based organization called the Society of Occupational Therapy Majors (SOTM), and I’m planning to join a university-based organization called the Karatula, formerly known as the Kapatirang Dramatista, which concerns itself with the social issues of our country and presents them through plays (theatre), music, dances, and art.
My Academic Life. TOXIC! This is a term uniquely heard only in the University of the Philippines, Manila, which is used by the students to describe a subject or a workload which is too hard, and to describe the students themselves, who become very haggard from over studying. And, in my experience, I can say that almost all my subjects are indeed toxic! Since I entered UP, my life has become much more stressful. I have had to “level-up” when it comes to improving my study habits, like, studying everyday (seriously), doing advance reading for the lessons (because you will be left behind in the subject if you do not), and by avoiding cramming. Take note, watching television shows is not a part of my life anymore; I have had to neglect them so I that I could study more.
With regards to my subjects, the most challenging exams, quizzes, and even assignments is found in Math 11! I didn’t expect that the algebra I loved in high school would be my “hell subject” in college. If I could compare, I would say that Math 11 is 10x more difficult than any of the other subjects I am currently taking. My other subjects for the first semester includes Philosophy 1 (with reaction papers of different movies, “Things-to-Do” (TTD) in modules, etc.), History 1 (two to three chapter quizzes every meeting), Natural Science 1 (appreciation of Physics and Chemistry), Natural Science 5 (Ecology and Sustainable Development), Communications 1 (which is full of writing essays, outlines, and reaction papers), PE 1 (which is of course, too tiring); and NSTP (CWTS 1, in lieu of ROTC).
I experienced all these within only the first three months of my stay here in UP, and yet, I feel I have mentioned too much already. How much more in the span of 4 years? And with all these, I have had a major realization: that college life is a lot different compared with elementary and high school life. Being in the tertiary level of education is not a joke indeed, because this will dictate our future. Therefore, everything must be put into order, and time must be managed and balanced. There is a need to be more serious in dealing with the requirements; to focus more during class discussions and activities, and to observe self-discipline in my study habits. The opportunity given to me to study here in UP must not be put into waste, nor be taken for granted. Instead, it should be seen as a blessing to be nurtured and as a responsibility to be appreciated. But then again, I truly hope that I can enjoy my UP Life, though full of toxicity, pressure, and stress; and that I may graduate with flying colors with my head held up high. I owe it to God and to ABC Foundation, for all their help and support.