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My First Term in APC Speaks

Asia Pacific College Speaks (APC Speaks) is a public speaking and debate organization at Asia Pacific College, and it is the organization I'm most proud to be in—and for a good reason. You see, this organization was unlike any other club/organization/group I have joined in the past, and none of them can compare to APC Speaks. There are a lot of reasons why I find my stay in this org so enjoyable, but first, let's get down to how I got into this org in the first place.

It was around 2014–2015 when a close friend of mine who's a year older than me, Paula, messaged me to tell me how enjoyable her stay was in this org of hers, and she quickly made rounds to tell me how great it was and that I should try to join it if I enroll at Asia Pacific College. I was still a high school senior at that time, so I didn't really take a lot of interest in Paula's org, and I just shrugged it off.

An entrance examination and a 2-month summer vacation pass and I didn't expect that Asia Pacific College would be the school that I'd call "home" for the next four years. As a freshman, everything was new to me, oh how I looked at everything wide-eyed and with awe. During the org fair (an event occasionally held at the 1st multi-purpose hall), I was with Paula and I asked her what were the good orgs to join, and she immediately pulled me towards the APC Speaks booth. It had a small fishbowl filled with sayings, a sticky board where you can get a sticky note and write your presidential candidate, and a sign-up list. Without hesitating, I quickly signed up for it (without even knowing to the full extent of what the group was all about), and I took a saying from the fishbowl, and it all started from there.

On June 27, the org held a screening for potential candidates to join the org. Being a college freshman, I have never heard of this before and I immediately thought that I was in the org already by signing up. Nevertheless, I still continued to attend the screening event (on the second-to-the-last day of screening, that is). I was all alone when I entered that pre-screening room, and the room was as cold as ice—just the way I like it. Despite being a cool, chilly room, I still managed to get extremely nervous for what lay ahead. An asian-looking man soon entered through the back door and my time of preparation was up as he got my attention and directed me to the main screening room. What I experienced in high school could not prepare me for what happened next.

I went through the door and I immediately saw around 15-20+ students sitting in chairs or standing in the back. What made it all worse was the fact that most (if not, all) of these students are my upperclassmen/upperclasswomen. So, there I was, frozen to the bone in front of these people who are 2-3 levels above me. As an antisocial person, I was scared—heck, I was petrified down to the core.

My heart raced, my eyes widened, and my hands sweated (yes, "sweated" is a word, look it up). Within seconds, I had turned into a human ice sculpture; however, after a few heavy breaths pass, I managed to regain my composure and managed to speak up in the best accent I can. I said that I was ready and I was put through the hoops by these people in front of me. After a grueling screening session, I immediately felt that I wasn't good enough to get in the group—and my thoughts were correct.

When they had announced who got in through their Facebook page, I immediately ran to my laptop and looked at the list. To my dismay, my name wasn't on that list. The name "Dartegnian Velarde" wasn't in the list of members in the public speaking cluster nor in the list of members in the debate cluster. I was heartbroken as I knew that my best wasn't good enough for that org.

The following day, during my Expository Writing class, I received a text message from an unknown number congratulating me that I got into APC Speaks. As any normal person would, I was shocked, puzzled, and, most of all, baffled as to why I received a text message like that. My initial thought towards the text message was, "Whoever did this is a sick person. Telling me that I got in despite not being on the list is not a good prank. I never knew people would go this far by telling those who didn't pass the screening that they got in the org—all just to get a laugh."

Once our class ended, I immediately got load to message and confirm the congratulatory remark earlier and the Public Relations Minister at APC Speaks told me that I was able to get in and that they forgot to add my name to the list. After further clarification, I confirmed that I was a part of APC Speaks. The feeling of trying your best and eventually succeeding felt A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. An intense feeling of euphoria (not exactly, but akin to it), and excitement soon filled my still-frosh heart as I got into this org at Asia Pacific College. The idea that these people judged me, and, despite my horrible performance, decided to take a chance on me was an idea I haven't had in years—and if that was really the case, then I'm more than thankful to them for it.

After I got home, I immediately checked APC Speaks' Facebook page to see if the list was updated and voila! My name was added at the bottom part of the list. I felt tears start to pile up in my eyes as I look with disbelief at the list of students who got into the public speaking cluster at APC Speaks. It was the (second) best day of my entire term. I made a post about it on my old blog and looked forward to my stay at the public speaking cluster in APC Speaks.

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