Summer break is right around the corner. I mean, summer break for students! /facepalms
I can’t believe it’s already been two years since I graduated. When I was in school, I wanted to graduate as soon as possible. When I finally finished school, I wanted to go back and live like a student again. I can’t express enough my feelings on how I think students have it so much easier! One, you get allowance from your parents (lol). Two, you get to have all these “breaks” - summer break, semestral break, and holiday break (on top of suspensions due to storm signals!). Three, you get to learn so much in general! From your classes, teachers, classmates, organizations, immersions, etc. I remember taking up some of the nicest electives and becoming so engrossed in them that at one point it felt weird - it is actually possible to enjoy school this much.
Unfortunately, I’ve been locked up in my room since graduation so I haven’t been able to socialize and go out into the real world and experience a normal life…
Well, I can’t do anything much now except to live and think like a student. Learning can still well continue after school and outside the classroom!
College (or uni, as some of you would prefer to call it) was a major part of my life. Where I studied, I met a lot of wonderful people who continued on to be some of my best friends ever. I was able to meet people with the same interests, so having “Let’s make art!” conversations suddenly wasn’t weird. My weekends were spent with college friends I practiced my photography on.
Sometimes I’d get emails about how I managed to pass the university of my choice and why I chose to take up Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with a major in Information Design. How come I’m in this course and in this school when all I’ve ever wanted in the past was to become a professional photographer?
Easy. Graphic design was something I enjoyed doing way before I got my first proper camera. I remember creating a nonsensical blog, just so I could practice my Photoshop and html skills by changing my whole layout from scratch… every two weeks. I was also part of my high school publication, not as a photographer, but as a layout artist. Of course, now and then, I was able to include some of my pictures in the school paper because they were instant fillers to awkward blank spaces… but that’s another story, lol.
Why didn’t I go to other more popular Fine Arts schools? Well, I’ve always loved this certain school along Katipunan. My dad used to teach there way back early 90s. My mom started her Masteral degree in English Language and Literature when I was a high school junior/senior. I still have vivid memories of me waiting for her to finish her classes and me sitting on a stone bench under a giant tree near De La Costa. My famous cousin Mark also encouraged me to take up Information Design (ID) because he kept on telling me stories on how awesome his first year was, always bonding with the older ID students.
And so I was set on this university as my top choice. My parents and relatives graduated from that school along Taft which turned out to be my second choice. The whole deliberation process was quite easy for me since I already knew about the things I was passionate about early on.
Now, the only problem left was to actually pass these universities. And boy, college entrance test can be quite demanding! My high school batchmates were already scheduling their college entrance test reviews the summer break before senior year. Everyone was panicking, and I couldn’t understand until my brothers (Chase and Juju were students of Ahead Tutorial Center one summer break too, and by the time I was slightly jittery about entrance tests, they were already in their top choice universities.) gave me an idea how college entrance tests worked. Right minus wrong, time pressure, quota courses, etc. (This was not the reality I wanted! /rage)
I thought to myself, I should probably make good use of my last summer break in high school because I don’t know if I can survive 4 years of my life in a university and a course that I’d hate to be in!
And this very crucial summer of mine was spent in the Ahead branch in Greenhills, where my older brothers also went to and where my younger brother eventually went to as well. The pictures in this post were taken in their BGC and Galleria branches, btw.
One of the best things about going to the Ahead branch there is its distance from all the shopping places in Greenhills… But I was there to study, okay?! /semi-bad example
Anyhow, what I really liked about studying there were the stimulated entrance tests. There’s one for each top university, and they test you before and after the review so you can see the improvement. It’s also a good way for students to have an idea how college entrance tests work. I can’t imagine the shock I’d probably get if I didn’t enroll in Ahead at all. It’s been more than 6 years since my college entrance test review but my memories of it are all still super clear because everything about it was so organized!
I never had any low grades back in high school, but I certainly wasn’t too confident when it came to the entrance tests! I mean, seriously, there are like a million other students from a million other schools with the same desire to enter the top universities!
Only those who are… ahem, ahead, can secure a spot! /cue flying tomatoes
Ahead was so good that I had a really easy time taking the ACET! I had such a nice feeling while answering all the questions and I was so confident with everything. So glad that I was one of the few people in the country who really passed Ateneo without having to be waitlisted or reconsidered. <3
So I really, really, reaaally recommend you spend a few days from your summer break prioritizing studying for your college entrance test, if you’re a high school junior/senior. College is something that’s going to form you as a person in ways you cannot imagine (Sounds scary, but I swear it’s a good thing!). Learning is also something that you have to really want, so it’s a lot better if you’re in the environment of your top choice.
I’m going to squeeze this in because I found it pretty cool. There’s such a thing called Ahead Interactive, where it’s all based online. High-speed video conferencing for K to 12 English, Math, and Science as well as reviews for the SAT and GRE. I was spazzing the whole time when I got to try the whole interface out because… this is the future! Their current students are all based abroad, and the Filipino tutors follow the clock of the students, wherever they are. If you’re not based in the Philippines and cannot afford to go out of the house for tutorials, but need a really good review tutor, you can check this site out.
Stay ahead! :)