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My First Year at Asia Pacific College

I still can't believe that it's been a year since I graduated from high school, a year from my usual beige-colored school, a year from riding the school service. What's most shocking is that I've gone through a year full of 6-day classes, commutes, hard take-home lessons, online quizzes, cafeteria "turon" breaks, Titan-filled lunch breaks, Mall of Asia lunch breaks, religious gatherings, public speaking trainings, printed assignments, yellow pad seatworks, and 2 to 4-hour classes. Ah yes, seeing that I've managed to have gone through a lot is really quite an achievement for someone going all-in on his own. Though I have to admit that there were times when I just wanted the year to end due to stress, it ultimately didn't stop me from continuing to study and enjoy my days as a freshman at Asia Pacific College (APC). Since my first academic year at Asia Pacific College has (finally) come to a close, I believe it's fitting for me to make a post about my experiences during my first year. This will be a lengthy post, and I hope that you can all bear with me until the end.

Like most high school graduates, I was excited (ecstatic, even) by the fact that I would be studying at a nearby college. I had prepared everything that I would need to start off my school year with a shebang—and boy it sure began with a shebang. My first term in college was my all-English term, a term filled with mostly English subjects and activities. It was filled with the most fun classes like EGRAMCM (English Grammar and Communication), PUBSPE 1 and 2 (Public Speaking), ETECWRT (Technical Writing), EEXWRIT (Expository Writing), and another class that was, for some odd reason, about blogging. Now, I don't mean to brag, but I can pretty much say that I excelled on my English classes, and I'm more than proud to say that I've gotten a grade of 3.5 and above (with 4 being the highest) on these classes. Academics aside, I was pretty enthusiastic about my new classmates ("blockmates," as they're called) and, since I didn't know any of them, I was so eager to get to know them all. It's sad to say, but I was still fairly shy during my first term because I was having trouble adjusting to this new environment, and, in the end, I suppose it hampered my ability to get to know my blockmates more. Thankfully, I was able to make up for the lost time on the terms that followed.

A lot of events and a lot of changes took place during this term. I joined a public speaking and debate organization—APC Speaks; I joined many activities and competitions such as the Inter-class Public Speaking Competition, the Speech Choir, and a few more; I also had my first love interest in college; I learned many alternate routes on my commute; I went to Manila with my blockmates (Intramuros, specifically); I ate at a mall with my blockmates; I felt the effects and the frustration of heavy traffic for the first time; I had my first mock job interview; I was among the top students in my class; and so much more! It was hard to take it all in at once; however, as the days passed by, I soon realized that college is a genuinely fun and enjoyable experience—AT TIMES. With fun and merriment, stress is usually around the corner. There were times when I had to forgo my spare time to watch YouTube videos in favor of studying on further lessons, learning about programming, and finishing my assignments. Still, my seemingly small sacrifices were big enough to propel me at the forefront of my class in certain subjects.

Our trip to Intramuros during my first term was unlike any other.

The term ended and I soon found out that most, around 80% or so, of my teachers for the all-English term would either retire or stop teaching at APC. The most notable of which was Miss Mina as she was the one professor who influenced me the most. I still see some of my professors, albeit not often, and the ones that retired or left are the ones I miss the most. Nevertheless, my life had to go on, and my second term was just around the corner.

My second term proved to be more of a challenge compared to my all-English term, but I'm sure that the longer I stay in APC, the harder my subjects will get—and my second term was no exception. It was chock-full of extremely tedious and almost unbearable lessons, assignments, and quizzes. If my first term was a breeze, my second term was like doing a "belly dive" from a 90-foot drop onto a shallow pool of boiling water. The academics during this term was like hell. My academic experience during this term was like going through a battlefield, and, like in a battlefield, I wasn't able to get through without a casualty. Academics aside, my social life was pretty good and it seemed to have drastically improved during this term. I made a lot of new friends and befriended most of the members in APC Speaks. The improvement of my social life didn't stop at school, as I became closer to +Elaine (and we made a blog), I made a new best friend through Twitter, and I got closer to my highschool friends. My love life (or lack thereof) seemed to have been kickstarted this term; however, as with all of my previous attempts into romance, it ultimately failed.

Oh Elaine ❤️

This term (finally) ended and I posted all of my experiences in this blog post. Oddly enough, not a lot of happened during this term and this term was the "odd child" of my first three terms as I can't really recall much from this term. While I do remember making a Windows Store developer account through Microsoft Dreamspark and finalizing this blog for general release during this term, I don't really remember a lot of the things that took place during this term—which is probably the reason why this term seemed so bland and uneventful.

Huzzah, I'm officially a developer :)

After my seemingly-uneventful second term ended, a small break followed and I tried to prepare and regain my lost composure after the beating I took during the second term. Then, without hesitation, my third term finally began.

This term was unlike the other terms as I mostly focused on non-academic activities and events. A lot of the noteworthy events that took place during my third term aren't related to my academics as I seemed to have gone astray from the "academics first" path. Though I have to admit that I mainly focused on enjoying myself this term, it came at the cost of my academics as they all seemed to have plummeted down. It's also worth noting that this was the term when I seemed to have distanced myself from my blockmates. Most of the time, I was commuting with my highschool friends, playing at Titan (the computer shop nearby), or spending time with members of the APC Campus Ministry.

I'm in the middle wearing a black polo and a Microsoft lanyard

Yes, this was the term when I joined the APC Campus Ministry and this was the term when I started to become religious. This is also the term when I seriously started to try and court someone, C. Now, trying to court C is an entirely different story—one that requires a series on its own—but, for the sake of storytelling, I tried to court C with all my might. I tried to look good every Thursday just to impress her, I helped her in some of her seatworks, I made her go to this event with me, I tried to ask her out, and all of those stuff. While it's depressing to say, I tried my best, but I guess I wasn't good enough for her. So, as I've said before, as with all of my previous attempts into romance, it ultimately failed.

Romance and heartbreak aside, my third term wasn't as eventful as the first one. In hindsight, this term will probably be one of my worst terms in APC. Despite wanting to, I didn't really focus that hard on my studies this term, and I seemed to have focused more on goofing off with my friends, and following what others tell me to do. Still, in the process of doing so, I grew closer to my friends and some new ones.

Despite starting the year off with a shebang, I ended the year with a weary cry from all of the stress and pain that was starting to pile on top of me. Still, I'm glad to say that, after all of the stress, pain, and horrible moments, I was able to see the light shine through the clouds and see the true beauty of college. It didn't really make much sense to me in highschool, but I do have to agree that college is really a "rollercoaster ride" with extreme highs and lows—and it sure did leave a lasting memory.

I'm still quite new to life at college and I have a long way to go in terms of my professional skills, but I'm more than glad to have such an amazing and, most of all, memorable first year at Asia Pacific College. I do hope that the years that will follow will leave an even more lasting memory, whether it's good or bad (though, I don't mind a bad memory, as long as it's not that bad). At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that I've gone through it all, managed to whether the storm, and see the light of a new day—and the light of the new academic year awaits.

With one year down, three more are to follow.

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