5 Hugot Tips Para sa mga Bagong Isko at Iska

4:55:00 AM


I know that as freshmen in the university, you want try a lot of new things, you want to do everything you want, join organizations, excel in academics, be a student leader, athlete, artist and whatnot. But you need to master the art of saying "no" sometimes. Because if not, other people's priorities will take precedence over yours. If you say yes to all things and requests from other people, you will end up being frustrated because of all the things that you need to do. It will not be a good testimony to accept everything and in the end you will not be able to finish all of them.You need to know your priorities. Remember that everytime you say "no" to something that is not important, you are actually saying "yes" to things that are more important and really matter. Don't spread youself too thinly. Accept work and responsiblities you're sure you can handle and finish.


I remember what Dr. Carmencita Padilla told us last year during the Global Health Forum. "Nothing is served in silver platter. You've got to be ready for a lot of frustrations". Life in the university is not easy. There will be a lot of hardships, struggles, challenges, pile of paper works, saga of exams and projects plus extracurricular activities in your organizations. Be prepared for these challenges because if not, these things will crush and break you to pieces.

One of the challenges in a student's life is academics, we want to excel and get good grades. But don't just focus on grades. Focus on the learning and skill and more importantly, enjoy! It does not matter if you don't get a grade of 1.0. What will matter in the future, when you are already in the real world is your skill and your ability to apply everything your learned from college. For medical and allied health students, study for your patients. Study not for grades, study because you want to help your patients in the future. Remember that when you face your patients, they will not care if you have 1.0 GWA, what matters to them is your service, care and compassion. What's more important for them is how you will help in treating their illnesses and alleviating their pain.


Always remember that before being a university student, you are a social being. You have family, friends and there are things that you love doing and you are passionate with. Don't lose them. Continue doing them especially if these things make you happy. If you have sports, continue playing. If you love dancing, dance. If you love singing, sing! These things are not just hobbies that can give you satisfaction, these can also be your emotional outlets. When you feel overwhelmed because of a lot of problems in the university, take a break, do the things you love doing, then go back and find solutions to your problems.

I still continue doing the things that I love. I love Filipino children's book and so I still collect books, go to book fairs and read children's stories to pediatric patients in UP PGH. I still continue teaching and mentoring students in research. I still continue writing and blogging. I love doing these things. And if we love doing something, we will always have time for it.


Your journey in the university is not supposed to be taken alone! Life in the university will be difficult and boring if you don't have friends or support group. I kid you not, your bestfriends in college will be among you lifelong friends. My friends when I was in UP Diliman are among my closest friends. I go to them whenever I have problems I seek their counsel and advice and whenever I have victories, they are always there to congratulate me. I hope you also find your real friends here in the university who will stick with you through thick and thin. Friends who will not just be there for you during good times but also during tought times. Friends who will not just praise your good actions but friends who will be courageous enough to teach, correct and rebuke you if you do something wrong. I remember one verse in the Bible: Better is an open rebuke than hidden love.

You have to be careful in choosing your friends. Make sure that you are in a good company. Make sure that you stick with friends who will influence you to change for the better. I am very thankful because I have found a lot of real friends from UP Diliman and even now in UP College of Medicine. 


Remember that life in the university and life in general is a very long marathon. You need endurance! You will need a lot of patience and hardwork. Nothing good comes from easy. You need to work and exert a lot of effort to thrive in this university. There are lots of challenges that you will encounter in the university, terror professors, multiple exams in a week, numerous papers, failing grades and what have you. You have to be strong! You have to endure. Because these challenges are actually preparing us for the real world. UP wants us to be prepared to face the challenges in the outside world. UP wants us to be the best that we can be! I like to think of UP as a silversmith, us students are impure silver and the challenges in the university is the fire. In order for us to be refined silver, UP needs to hold us in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest to remove all of our impurities, in order for us to be pure and refined silver.

Lastly, always remember the reason why you embarked on your journey here in the university. Always remember why you want to be in the profession that you are taking up right now. When you are down, when you are at the verge of giving up, just go back to these reasons and be reminded of your goals and aspirations in life. You have reached this far, might as well continue and finish this race. Because I tell you, it will be worth it in the future. I remember what our professor in community medicine, Dr. Lopao Medina, always tells in class: You will never lose your way, if you never lose your why. 

Why am I in medical school? Why do I still continue this journey? It's because I know that God put me here and He will see me through. I know that I can glorify him most as a medical doctor. I want to make His love known to people by giving them holistic health care and service. I still continue this journey to be able to help at least on "Rosario" in the future (If you want to know the context of Rosario, click here). I want to be used as God's healing hand in this country and contribute to increase the quality of healthcare service and delivery in the Philippines.

God bless you! I hope you learned something from these tips!

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