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The Final Nail in the Coffin

The final nail in the coffin—QUAMET. My final absence was the final nail.

I'm calling it, at 7:17 p.m., my chances of even passing that subject has, unfortunately, flatlined. It's dead, Jim, there's no coming back from that.

This week (and the week before) has been one remarkably different week for me. To kick the week off was the excruciating and agonizing pain of a freshly-minted sprain on my left ankle. Ah, you should've seen it, it was all red and swollen and had the telltale signs of "You shouldn't go to school because you are injured." Nevertheless, I pushed (well, limped) on and was en route to Asia Pacific College (APC) because I had to take my midterm exams. Fortunately, and I don't mean to brag, but this batch of midterm exams has been "fairly easy" for the likes of me. With an astonishing victory on the first day with WEBPROG and followed by a perfect combo for COMPORG, eventually ending the day with an "okay" win against the likes of DATAMA2. It felt like I was on cloud 9 after Friday, but little did I know that the tables would soon turn, and my luck would run out on Monday.

After a painful commute and 13 minutes of limping towards APC, I finally arrived and got my first exam handed to me. It was riddled with landmines as far as the eye can see, with enemy troops like the mean, median, mode, and range taking quick jabs at my battalion. Not wanting to be outdone, I quickly grabbed the calculator and started firing away at those summation signs and factorials. Regardless of my attempts, I came to this battlefield unprepared and unaware of the dangers that loomed ahead, despite knowing full well of the obstacles that would come before me.

And, well, the other exams were quite easy after that. On the next day, Tuesday, I was already late after dealing with several issues and I only attended COMPORG and DATAMA2. We didn't have P.E. yesterday because, for some reason, they decided to call it off.

Which leaves us to now, Thursday, November 10, 2016. This day started fairly normal, but around 5-6 a.m., things sort of got out of control. I woke up to the fact that ankle is still sprained and I can't walk properly, but now the pain was worse than before. Coupled with another issue and another one, and, well, things just kind of piled on after that. At 6:30 a.m., my fate was sealed.

7:20 a.m., I have officially incurred 6.5 absences for my first subject, QUAMET, thus making my grade into a 0.0. You might ask, "What happened?" and I'd also look at myself and ask the same thing, but I could name a few petty reasons.

First the traffic, as it seems to have gotten worse ever since my first term. The second being my wake-up time. To tell you the truth, I haven't had a 7:20 class in the 4 months before this term, and I am extremely struggling to shift my "night owl" circadian rhythm into an "early to bed, early to wake" cycle. Then comes this annoying sprain (which, really, is the reason why I shouldn't go to school in the first place). And, finally, money problems.

I saved the most gruesome one for the last because, in reality, I'm afraid to admit it. You see, when I started studying at APC, I had a pretty decent daily budget of 150 Pesos. Not much, I know, but 43 Pesos for the commute to and from, and with 103 Pesos to spare, it was an "okay" budget for a student from a low-to-middle-class family. But recently, we had problems with the billing, payments, tuition fees, and so on. We are currently struggling to make ends meet and to budget around 2,500 Pesos every two weeks for billing, my daily budget, food, and other materials. If you're here to ask why we only have that much money every two weeks, then I'm afraid you'll find no answers here. The only thing I know is that I only have a single parent, with the other one sending 0 Pesos every month; I've only paid 4000(?) for my tuition fee, and the term is half over.

There's an underlying question in my mind (and I'm sure, in yours as well) that wonders where I get the money from in my daily budget. To be honest, I don't really know, but when my grandmother says that we currently don't have 50 Pesos, we often just ask the neighbors or our uncles who are awake. It's not much, but it often gets me through the day. If you've been with me for a long time and have kept an eye on me, you'll notice that I no longer eat during lunch period (heck, I barely eat in school at all). The embarrassing part is when I would have to ask my blockmates for money just to fight off hunger, to which I'm very thankful for those who do.

And, yeah, that's the main reason why I have trouble attending 7:20 classes—that and a few others. It's really hard to admit it, but it seems that, with each passing day, I am struggling to afford the college I'm studying in. I don't even know how to pay off the rest of the tuition, and neither does my mom, and we've exhausted all our options. Talking to dad won't help because everyone in my family knows he's stingy and asking from him is just a dead end.

So, with all that, where does that leave me now? I'm sorry to say this again, but even I don't know.

I don't know what's going to happen, and that leaves me petrified. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to pay the tuition in full by December and then pay again for the next term. The thought that I might be leaving APC soon just to continue my college education is what keeps me up at night, especially since almost everyone in this household is telling me to quit studying and get a low-income job. That's always been my greatest fear on this world—not dying, nor rejection—but the fact that I have to wake up everyday and for the days to come always expecting the worst to happen.

I've hit rock bottom, but I'm sure there's a way back up. I'm defeated, but I'm not destroyed, and that's what will keep me going. I guess I should use the remainder of this day as a means to "regroup" again. I'm lucky that I still have the courage to lie low for now in order to regain my health because, in reality, that's what really matters. The way we all stop fighting for a day so we can fight again another day is what awes me the most. And so, with the night ending, I guess I should make some finishing touches before I fight again tomorrow.

To be frank, I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. I don't know if I'm going to pass or fail tomorrow. I don't know what's going to happen if I continue attending classes with this sprain. But I'm here to try, aren't I? I'm not ready to give up after fighting deadlines, take-home quizzes, and projects for so long. And I'm sure as hell I'm not letting it all go to waste.

I know that the full extent that my situation looks grim, but I'm not really asking for anything here. I'm fine with responses such as "You can do it" or "Good luck" because it's all I ever wanted; for people to know what I'm currently going through and to understand my tendencies. I'm thankful to have friends who are willing to help me out during lunch, and to my friends whose home I'd stay in when days get rough, as they are one of the reasons why I keep fighting.

I guess my main takeaway (if there is any) from this whole week is to just try to slow down when things get too fast. It's better to fight and lie low once things get out of hand and to fight again another day; rather than just fighting nonstop. It might be the final nail in the coffin for that subject of mine, but not the others. Just so you know, the reasons I stated above aren't excuses. I know that I'm at fault and I should've done better. And I'd be lying through my teeth if I was going to tell you that I'm fully ready to tackle on tomorrow's endeavors, but I am ready.

I don't have much stuff in this world. I have a starlight that guides me, I have a passion for computer science, I have a 4-year-old laptop that's on the verge of death, I've got a dream I want to fulfill, and I've got awesome people around me. It might not seem like much to you, but it's more than what I'm asking for, and I'm thankful for all of that.

I'm here to try again, and that's what counts. Tomorrow's a new day.

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