Entering college in the midst of a pandemic was a really difficult life decision to make back then. The overwhelming amount of adjustments everyone had to make was very stressful and we felt like all of our future plans were scrapped in a blink of an eye, right? But thank God for family and friends who became our support system through it all. This AB Communication Program of CEAS journey at NU Manila wouldn’t have been bearable, non-existent even, if not because of God’s grace through them.
The decision-making to enter college took numerous discussions with my mom, numerous inquiries to different universities, and even constant searching for companies because I was already considering to start working, thinking online classes would never work for me. But by God’s providence, I saw an ad that National University – Manila was accepting pioneers for their AB Communication Program. I will never get tired of telling this story because I remember being in a really dark place where I have to choose and decide for myself and my whole life. I was really anxious thinking that choosing either one of the options would guarantee that I do not end up in a good place a few years from now, at least not somewhere I wished to be in before a virus took the wheel.
However, the Lord did not stop there. I was also able to apply and got accepted for a scholarship, though only for one term, when I eventually processed my enrollment. I also did not have a laptop or computer to use at the time, but thank God for my mom and tita who went the extra mile to provide a laptop for me to use. Not me getting very emotional as I reminisce. Needless to say, I was provided with everything that I needed, material stuff and even the strength to continue despite the crippling anxiety.
The first few months were definitely very difficult as everyone was only starting to adjust with the setup and are in our own learning curves. But looking back at those times now makes me realize and appreciate the efforts that the university has exerted to make the system work, therefore making the education that we get, work as well. Few months in, I was able to apply and get accepted for a better scholarship, which motivated to continue excelling in my studies.
They say that college life wouldn’t be as worthwhile without friends. And I think I would have to agree with that. Although, communicating effectively and building relationships online was never my forte. It was a challenge that I acknowledged right from the start and decided to not to overcome.
Yet! Good things really find its way to us. I cannot be more grateful to have my friends now, at this point they’re already my soul sisters! I also had the luxury to be able to work with them on different projects which really makes everything so much lighter.
My friends and I were also part of the creation of The Comm.pendium, AB Communication’s official organization! We heeded the call of our program chair and really had fun working altogether. Sadly though, most of us already left because we had other commitments such as work, and personally, the online setup for org works wasn’t feasible for me. The Comm.pendium is now in the hands of our other block mates and we are so proud of them and all their efforts to grow the organization. I also spent 2 years with The National, NU Manila’s official student publication. I was a TNTV artist, then became the Assistant Director, then TNTV Director on my last year. I also worked on sponsorships and marketing of some events.
My point is, this AB Communication Program of CEAS journey wouldn’t have been this interesting to read about if not because of NU Manila’s efforts to give us education that works. Not gonna lie, but I can be as frank as I can and say otherwise. But hearing my friends’ experiences from different universities, I was really assured that this was not accidental at all. I even became thankful that I failed the UPCAT, even though it was a full-blown cryfest before I came to acceptance.
Right now, with only a few months to go before I graduate (hopefully!), my anxiety of entering college is now replaced with anxiety of entering the workforce, or adulthood as some may say. But realizing how I already survived three years here and remembering how I managed to get to where I am now is surreal. God is really good all the time. I hope to write another article again soon and show that God is still good to me even in a different season.
Read more from Jannah Janela Martos here!