So you did pass the NCE, be it an outright passer or an alternate. You may feel proud for quite some time, but don’t let it go to your head. Your Freshman year will teach you that life as a Pisay scholar isn’t that easy. You will be presented a bunch of papers that will mean nothing for you in the meantime, as you are merely a 12 or 13-year-old who is blinded by the wonders of free tuition and monthly stipends. Little do you know that those bunches of papers will change your life from the moment you sign them; it’s a contract that will bind you to Pisay and will enclose you to the world of science and technology.
Maybe it seems too early to be thinking of what course you need for college, but think about whether you’re ready to live your life in this field in the near future, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, ‘til death do you part. It’s a marriage between you and science, so be ready to be committed. You will sacrifice a lot, but you will gain more in return.
For your subjects, you will be introduced to Integrated Science which is not just your ordinary science subject but rather a combination of Chemistry, Physics and Biology. You will be studying Earth Science, which is quite hard (no pun intended here). You will be reading Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere for Filipino - a novel which is read by Juniors in other high schools. Your Math will be called Introduction to College Algebra, your English will be a series of debates, talks and essay writings. Your PE will be stressful even though you’re in a science high school; they want you to be physically fit after all. You will be taught Music, then Arts and Drafting for your electives. After that, you will also have Values Education for your spiritual strengthening. Accompanied by heavy hardbound books as thick as dictionaries and medical encyclopedias, these subjects may be challenging, but do not fear, your teachers will go easy on you - you are only a freshman after all.
You will be amazed by the sort-of freedom in Pisay. You will find out that walk outs exist, that some teachers will allow you to eat inside the room, let you take pictures of the lectures instead of writing down notes, and be late for a few minutes as long as she hasn’t arrived before you yet. You will learn from your classmates, find out what it’s like to be in the province, to be in private schools, to be elite, to be simple, to speak in fluent English, to speak in other dialects - you will be open to a world you’ve never seen before.
You will fail many times in Pisay, despite being the valedictorian, salutatorian or what-not awardee you were in elementary. It will hurt, so much, but it will bring you to your senses that there’s so much more than just failing because you will stand up and learn from your mistakes. Pisay will make you cry, but it will make you laugh as well. Just like falling in love with a person, you will fall in love.
Yes, you will fall in love, maybe not with someone, but with the wonders of the golden lettering engraved outside the gates. It’s Pisay after all, even though it’s a public science high school. You will learn to love the tablecloth skirt and the tropical-colored blouse, as well as the white polo and black pants which you can buy almost anywhere, even in the market. You will admire the scenery of the orange sunset (even though you will find out that it’s the pollution of Manila causing it), you will inhale the summer wind when the kalachuchis are blooming and the cherry trees, fire trees and cotton trees are in season. You will enjoy walking around the oval and the campus, while talking with friends and sharing secrets you’ve never heard of before.
So don’t take this Pisay education for granted, so many students wanted this opportunity for themselves, so make the most out of it. You are now an Iskolar ng Bayan.
The feeling of seeing your work immortalized in print is just one of the best things in the world. I swear, I couldn’t contain myself last night when I finally witnessed the final copies in its physical glory. I guess what makes it even more fulfilling is the fact that it’s truly a labor of love to our batch.
While I absolutely love the whole yearbook, the covers and the flyleaf have a special place in my heart.
Man, my lungs are drowning in pure nostalgia and insane amounts of joy.
When the world stops understanding you and you start understanding yourself, remove the phrase ‘giving up’ in your vocabulary.
There are many things that may be running across your mind, but don’t be agitated by what’s happening around you. Start learning to learn yourself even more. Stress will be onto you as you have been notified that the grades in your Junior Year will be critical as these are the basis for your UPCAT and ACET performances. They will inform you that your whole college life depends on these bunch of decimal numbers that you only get to see on a piece of cardboard every quarter, and for consolation (just in case something goes wrong with them), they will tell you that grades are not everything. This everything will be a jumble of mess-related activities in your mind, all pushing themselves in front of you simultaneously.
After that, you will start realizing that there is no truth in what the others are saying that Sophomore Year was the hardest since they worked you up with overloaded units. This time, you know that the subjects can be deceiving: a 1.5-unit Trigonometry can be really challenging, and before you know it, your 2-unit Chemistry has already taken its toll on you. You will feel like you’re being drowned in an ocean that has no water, and you will then end up being stranded in a desert all by yourself. And in that desert, you will see two objects equally dangerous: an STR subject that’s struggling to claw you inside out just for a simple topic proposal, and a carnivorous subject called Statistics - STR’’s forever companion - which will make you grateful for cheat sheets of various formula for ANOVA and T-tests.
Delight yourself in the Lord. Your first ever high school Retreat will prove itself worthy of all the tantalizing requirements in Junior Year. You need a break, after all from these. And of course, a few Junior pranks never hurt - as long as nobody gets hurt either. Stay up late in school, sing out loud in the corridors with a bunch of friends, lay down on the field on a hot school day, “accidentally” break a glassware because you don’t know where your anger will take you (instead you blame your raging teenage hormones). Reflect again and again, with the matching sunset that accompanies your solitude when days seem so bland.
As for your electives, choose from various fields of science or dare yourself into a non-science elective. Push yourself to the limit, as long as it’s not off the cliff. Take Journalism or Creative Writing and write down your heart’s desire. Write plays. Direct. Act. Get involved with current issues and politics. Make a small change. Meet people in and out of the school; befriend them, even if they’re the pedicab drivers or the kid on the other side of the gate. Who knows, maybe there’s not much difference between the two other sides of the road - just a big gate emblazoned with the letters of the prestigious high school.
You will also have your first taste in Prom Asking. Finally, after year of waiting and watching the upper batches, it will be your turn to be mystified and demystified from the wonders of Prom. Break a heart, break your heart, stitch it, mend it back together, misplace yours or others - haven’t they told you that life is a series of trials and errors? Sometimes, there is no exact answer, almost the same as imaginary numbers and irrational ones. Even Math can prove you that.
And of course, appreciate your friends. They come from almost everywhere - from provinces, from private schools, from dorm rooms, from library couches, from behind the shady trees and even from the middle of asphalt and under the heat of the sun. I tell you, they’re quite hard to get.
Probably my last post for the week (not HAHA), before I start spending the rest of it studying for countless long tests, passing mountains of homework, and reviewing for one of the tests which half of my life depends on. But yep huhu, from now on no more lazy and idle days for me.