“Excuse me, where is the College of Arts and Letters, Miss?”
Yesterday morning, a mother asked me this question while she was towing her daughter with her while her daughter was holding a map, a UP Diliman map with a sharp pointed Number 2 pencil on her opposite hand.
It has already been two years since I took the University of the Philippines College Admission Test or famously known as the UPCAT. I still could recall the experience I had been through. The application process alone was very complicated. We had to prepare meticulously each and every detail of the requirements which include our high school profile and our family backgrounds. Different kinds of rumors spread all throughout the high schools in Bohol, at least for those participating schools for the UPCAT. Many allegories had been drawn with conclusion from those very simple to ones to the nearly impossible ones; all because of favorable intentions as to who was advantageous when it came to information pertaining to the said admission test.
When testing day came, many of us, if not all, admitted that the feeling we felt was strange. For one, because it was the ultimate challenge for us as high school students; another, if by chance we pass into that prestigious university it would, for sure, mean a lot for us. The examinees were from different campuses all over Bohol, and I thought these examiners were the most determined in their respective places, all gathered in a single event that might change their lives forever.
And it changed the course of my life when I learned that I passed UP. I was so happy. I was so blessed. I just thought, I passed without me taking any review sessions that would cost me about three to ten thousand pesos for me to fail.
But the issue is not on whether you passed the exam or not. What matters is you tried to take the exam, setting it as a challenge for yourself as to how far you already go. Like me, I passed the UPCAT; but failed in the ACET (Ateneo College Entrance Test). But it does not matter for me. Taking the exam requires courage and taking it and passing it is a concern of destiny. You see if you are really meant for one thing, with all your perseverance and sincerity in achieving that goal, with all your wits and all your fortune, with the His help, you can have it. After all, as my friend Jean said, “Destiny is not a matter of chance, it’s a matter of choice; it’s not the thing to be waited for, it’s the thing to be achieved.”
With the girl I met yesterday and to all the youth concerned, sail on…Let us continue mapping our destinies.