The Complete Senior Year Guide

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Just me on a regular day in high school. Legit missing those days. (Wow kala mo naman ang tagal na.)
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED OR A PAID POST. THE VIEWS AND OPINIONS ARE MY OWN AND THEY DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS AND BELIEFS OF THE SCHOOL.

This is it. This is going to be your final year in high school and you’re about to graduate after ten months. At long last. It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for as the Department of Education deprived you of this for two years. I know the feeling. You are officially graduating from basic education and congratulations for making it this far. It is going to be a blast!

Grade 12 is the make-or-break year of your high school life. Why? It’s the “filtering” stage because one mistake or failure can cost you your diploma and one bold move can launch you into the spotlight. You either take the stairs to success or dig your own grave. The decision is yours. I won’t talk much further because everything I want to address is already written down below. Let’s cut it short.

Here’s the final chapter of my Senior High Guide series and perhaps the last entry dedicated to my alma mater. Let’s get down to business. Allow me to share my senior year experience in full detail. This post holds nothing but the truth. It’s a LONG READ but I promise it will be helpful! Read on!


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THE BASICS

  • Mind over matter. – This will be my first tip because it’s the most important. You have to condition your mind that it’s your best year ever, that you’ll do everything you can to make it worthwhile. It’s your last shot in high school so you better get focused. You need to have this I’m-gonna-do-my-best-whatever-it-takes mindset. Dapat motivated ka to ace your graduating year because it’s a make-or-break year. You have to imagine a prize waiting for you at the finish line para ma-motivate ka. Actually, may mga weird akong motivation. Minsan iniisip ko na dapat kong gawin ‘to para mahaba yung sasabihin ng emcee bago ako mag-bow sa recognition. (Dapat mapagod magbasa yung emcee sa dami ng awards!) O kaya dapat mahaba yung caption ng Facebook post ko or ng parents ko. O kaya minsan isipin niyo na lang na dapat naka-reserved seats yung parents niyo pag graduation na.  And that helps too! Akala niyo ha! Hahahaha!
  • Review your old Biology and Physics lessons. – Once again, your notes in JHS will be of help. Your lessons in Bio and Physics will be taken again in your senior year and you might as well review them! Good luck sa Physics! Hihihihi.
  • You’ll miss Math. – Life is so much better and lighter because there’s no Math.  And it worked to my favor because most subjects are more on linguistics and arts. Physics lang talaga ang kalaban nating mga bobo sa math.
  • Creativity is a prerequisite for STEM. – Yep. Dapat marunong ka sa mga scrapbook scrapbook doodle chena and all. Hindi ko alam bakit ang tatanda na namin tapos ganito pa rin, well kung mas mahirap naman ang ipapagawa mas magrereklamo kami. Hay, kaya di tayo umaasenso eh. LOL. Basta ayun, dapat may art skills pa rin because Grade 12 is more on creative work. Magazines, music videos, short films, presentations, name it you’ll do it. Star Magic workshop lang ang peg. Tip: If you struggle with creative ideas, the internet is there. Just as long as di ka deretsahang kumokopya ng trabaho ng iba.  Nakakatuwa rin kapag creative projects kasi nai-insert ko yung mga interests and ideas ko. I remember one time I reinvented skin products for a business proposal. Then we produced a magazine and I chose Lifestyle as the theme. Haha! Share lang.
  • Memorization skills are vital. – There’s Bio, SocPol, Contemporary Arts, Theo, ETech, Entrep, and all the other subjects na puro terms ang inaaral kaya kailangan ng matinding memorization skills. Tip: Rewrite your lectures at home. I use my laptop to type lectures inside the class and then I rewrite them at home for memory retention. Guaranteed effective guys! Don’t rewrite the stars, rewrite your lecture. LOL.
  • English Proficiency is key. And because most subjects are research-centered and more on humanities, expect essays, written reports, and research work as your performance tasks and outputs. Tatlong thesis pa niyan! English proficiency is very crucial. You’ll experience producing magazines, advertisements, short films, TV and Radio broadcasting and all that research work. Feel ko nga AB Comm talaga inenroll ko eh, hindi STEM.  
  • Google Docs is a life saver. – It’s very very convenient to use as long as you have a stable internet connection. Basta online lang yung mga ka-group mo magagawa niyo yung dapat gawin. (Sana maayos na groupmates nga lang!) Oh and by the way, high tech na ang ibang teachers! May pa-Google Classroom na sila!  I just love how we are able to utilize these apps, super napapadali na yung mga ginagawa. And these apps are suited for our education system. Our generation is very lucky indeed, so don’t complain!  Di ko maintindihan bakit tinatamad at nagrereklamo pa yung iba eh mas convenient na nga ngayon. *rolls eyes* 
  • In Voice Records We Trust. – My classmates can attest to this. Using my laptop, I voice record my teachers during discussions. Lalo na pag Bio, Theo, at sa mga Research subjects because it helps when you listen to them again at home. Parang nadi-discuss ulit sa’yo. Bale lecture sa laptop, voice records, tapos lecture ulit sa bahay. Yes, this is peak GC. Oh, record your teachers during discussions to keep receipts too! “Sir, wala kayong tinurong ganyan, may ebidensiya ako!”
  • Th(re)esis – You have THREE (3) Research subjects. Practical Research 2; Inquiries, Investigation, Immersion; and Capstone Project. And please, don’t ever take these subjects for granted, makakatulong din sila kahit di mo nakikita yung relevance nila ngayon, promise yan. Promise. ‘Wag niyong unahin yung reklamo. I’ll dedicate a category for this! Continue reading!
  • Socialize. – Dapat marunong kang mag-PR, mag-salestalk, makihalubilo. Dapat marunong kang makisama. ‘Di ba sabi ko nga dati dapat pang Mister/Miss Friendship yung attitude. Hahaha! Make sure that you have connections, dapat kilala ka nila at dapat kilala mo rin sila, iba kasi pag kilala ka ng mga tao. This isn’t just about the fame, but you know you’ll need each other in certain events too. Mutualism oh. Haha!
  • Dance Again. – Gird your loins. UGH, THIS WAS MY MAJOR STRUGGLE. After a year of intense work outs, prepare yourself for dances again. Samba and Chacha were one of the lessons and sadly, wala talaga sa DNA ko yung pagsayaw kaya mababa grade ko sa PE. Then the next sem fitness ulit, so dapat pumayat ka o ma-maintain mo yung katawan mo kasi kung hindi, babagsak ka. Joke lang! Haha!
  • Connections can be very helpful. – Dapat may kilala kang sikat or professionals; i.e. nurse, doktor, negosyante, priest etc. You need to have connections too! Why? Because they can help in your research, school projects, and in other shoots! “We need to shoot in blablabla.” “Ay may kilala kami diyan! Perfect!” This will make your life easier and I’m very thankful to have connections with so many people.
  • Learn how to drive. – This isn’t totally necessary but it will help you during shoots outside the school. Dapat may marunong magmaneho sa mga kagroup mo kapag shooting ang projects, kahit pagmaneho lang yung naambag niya ayos na. Bayaran niyo na lang yung gas niya non! I ain’t kidding!

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2/3 of my Research Studies. I remember doing both of them simultaneously (see the checklist above). So stressful!

#ThesisIt

  • A GOOD RESEARCH PROBLEM WILL SAVE YOU.–  I repeat, THREE RESEARCH SUBJECTS. Not just one, not just two, but THREE. DepEd, why the hell?! Tatlong thesis in ten months?!  Ito yung tipong ultimo paninigarilyo o pagtapon ng basura ng ibang tao problema mo rin. Ganung level! So dapat magaling kang mag-isip ng research problems. Make sure you have available respondents for the topic you choose and see to it that you’ll be able to solve the problem (even in a little way lang) in the given time span. Hindi yung singka-ganda or singka-galing ng title pero pahirapan naman pag nag-data gathering. Yikes. Again, ‘wag niyong pahihirapan ang mga sarili niyo.   Dapat isipin mo, “Saan ako kukuha ng respondents?”, “Is this feasible?”, “May enough bang RRL for this?”, “Malalaban ba namin sa title defense ‘to?”, “Who will benefit from this?”.  In the first few weeks of Capstone and InqRes, your life will revolve around Variables. Yes, how this independent variable impacts the dependent variable chuchuchu. Bakit ba ‘to nangyayari, ano ang causes, anong effects, what can we change etc. Dapat alam niyo lahat  ng basics na ‘yan. 
  • Choose your workmates wisely. – Only if possible. Choose the best of the best. Make sure you get someone na masipag, magaling sa salestalk, magaling sa writing, sa Math, sa Arts. See to it na lahat sila may maiaambag. If not, weightlifting fairy ang kalalabasan. 
  • Work in a systematic way. – Because I’ve been the leader and main writer in all my thesis subjects, I make sure that my groupmates aren’t stagnant. I jot down all their work for them. “O eto mga gagawin mo, do it this way, ganitong time dapat tapos na, if not I’ll give you something else to work on otherwise you’ll pay.” This is what I do to exercise fairness. Naka-lista lahat ng assignments nila para alam nila yung dapat nilang gawin. As in organized lahat. Kung leader ka palagi, siguraduhin mong all their tasks are written or posted. Para ma-track mo kung sino yung nagta-trabaho nang maayos o hindi.  Gusto ko kasi maayos at nagagawa ang trabaho on time and in a very systematic and strategic way. Oo, demanding talaga ako kasi dapat may respeto ka sa oras at effort ng ibang tao.
  • Connections will save you. –  Life is so much easier if you choose a research topic tackling about something na connected sa ‘yo or importante sa ‘yo. Make sure it’s a topic close to your heart. This is very helpful sa Capstone and Inqres because they’re community based studies. So dapat bago ka talaga pumili ng topic, isipin mo kung di ka mahihirapang maghanap ng connections or access sa mga respondents na kailangan. If you wish to pursue a study in your barangay or your hometown dapat may mai-interview ka na about the research problem or may makukuha kang respondent na makakatulong sa ‘yo. In my case, our Capstone study was about Malnutrition kaya nagpa-feeding program kami sa amin, and it’s easier kasi malapit na lang. Then for InqRes we interviewed college students from AUF and I have access there so I managed to accomplish ten interviews in two hours. This is going to be of help, I solemnly swear. If you have the privilege, please please please use it to your advantage and do it para sa ikabubuti mo.
  • Google Docs is LIFE. –  Once again, utilize technology. Google Docs, Google Sheets will be of help pag nagta-tally na ng questionnaires for Quanti research. Just input the results, the formula, and  et voila! You have it. This is also where I get to see the progress of my groupmates in real time. I know who works well and who doesn’t. *sips tea*
  • EBSCOhost is LIFE TOO. – You’ll know this soon! If there’s no EBSCO, natural selection is coming for you.
  • Rehearse your OD. – I have a habit of over-preparing for things I need to do. I practice lines and speeches days—weeks even— before the actual event. I think of questions na pwedeng ibato sa akin pag OD and I answer them, I review my manuscript a week before the scheduled defense, and I can say that rehearsing is indeed effective. I practice my lines, the questions, the rehearsed answers, lahat. Tapos naka-summarize lahat in my “final script” kumbaga. Inaaral ko lahat kahit part ng mga ka-group ko just in case mag-choke sila. And one time I prepared for the Capstone OD  tapos nung nandun na, the only question was, Let’s proceed to the conclusion na, so ano yung mga nagbago sa respondents ninyo?” and that’s it. As in yun lang. I’m like, “binasa ko lahat ng parts, ni-rehearse ko lines ko, nag-blazer ako at lahat tapos isang question lang?!” The important thing is prepared ka!
  • Prepare for cash out. – You need cash for questionnaires, tokens, pamasahe papunta sa ganitong place, pang-gas, pagkain, and other expenses. It also depends on your research topic. We conducted  a feeding program for two weeks kaya medyo magastos but come to think of it, it’s actually more feasible than doing community work na tipong lilibutin niyo buong barangay para mangolekta ng tubig tas may lab tests pa. Ours kasi dapat mag-gain lang ng weight yung mga bata then you’re good to go. Yung ibang problems kasi maraming gastos tapos walang assurance na effective or what. Hahanap sila ng leaf na pwedeng anti-bacterial chuchu, anong tubig yung safe, saan yung dapat pagtaniman ng gulay et cetera. GANUNG LEVELS. Basta maghanda kayo ng pera. Kung may pang-Starbucks at pang-H&M kayo, dapat lang may pambayad kayo ng mga mas kailangang bayaran.  
  • Research Benefits –  I know that doing research is a very tedious task but from another perspective, this will benefit us in College and in life as well. Ask me why and how? We’ve mastered how these research studies work—how they’re done, who are the potential respondents, where to get information and all. Tbh, hinahanap-hanap na nga namin eh. Di kumpleto yung sem kung walang thesis. So basically, pagdating ng college, piece of cake na lang. Oo, mahirap siya ngayon, pero when you look back, you’ll be thankful na na-experience mo na beforehand. Jusko 6 research studies ba naman in two years ‘di ka masasanay?! At least may prior knowledge ka na ‘di ba?! Research na English, tapos meron ding Filipino dati. Kulang na lang ata Baybayin o Hangul yung medium of instruction! HAHAHA.  O ‘di ba, ahead ka na sa iba mong blockmates soon! Plus you get to hone your oral and written communication skills. Nawa-widen vocabulary mo, nate-test yung fluency and proficiency mo. Your creativity and interpersonal skills are tested too. That can be applied to other practical and daily activities. And that’s our edge as Familians or as K-12 Pioneers. Ibang klase yung training natin so better be thankful!

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This is me looking down at my haters. Just kidding!

PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE

  • You’ll get tired of the people around you. – Whether you like it or not, you’ll eventually outgrow the people around you. Lalo na yung mga taong walang magandang impact sa buhay mo. Yung mga taong walang ibang ine-emit kung ‘di negativity. You already know everything about everyone in your batch. Pero kahit ganon, may attachment pa rin sa mga good friends eh, kahit may mga bad memories ka with other people, hahanapin mo rin yung company ng mga totoo mong kaibigan. Imagine being with the same people for 12 years. You basically saw each other grow up but, it’s time to say good bye as you move on to a new chapter. 😉
  • Keeping up with the Kadramahan. – It’s Mean Girls brought into life. There are times when  I think that some of my batch mates matured in reverse. Kung kailan kami tumanda dun nagkakaroon ng petty issues at catfights na burn book worthy. Regina George is shook.  Cyberbullying is rampant too. Honestly I have no idea bakit ‘di nare-report yung mga ganitong cases at ‘di nasa-sanction yung mga perpetrators. Well, feel ko mauubos yung mga estudyante. No joke! So much drama lies ahead mga kids, grab your popcorn with large softdrinks. Get a daily dose of tea. MARAAAAMING TOXIC. Dapat talaga sina-sampolan yung mga taong ganito eh, ano pang use ng handbook kung hindi nai-impose yung sanctions?! Ang dami sanang di nag-graduate!
  • Yes, people will talk shit about you. – Some people have so much time in their hands that instead of studying, they keep on spreading false rumours and malicious gossip about you or other people. They also have time to stir things up and create issues. Kung sanang pinasa niyo na lang yung oras na sinayang ninyo sa akin, marami na sana akong nagawang productive.  I think it’s a projection of their own insecurities or maybe because they’re just jealous? (Pero most of them are really problematic based sa mga observation ko.) Or wala lang talaga silang magawang maganda sa buhay? May mga tao talagang maraming time magchismis at gumawa ng kwento pero pag lessons na, wala na silang alam. Merong iba na chismis lang din yung ambag sa mga group work. I’m sooo done. Tip: Laging niyong tatandaan  na kapag marami kang ginagawang mabuti o maganda, hahanapan ka ng faults and ima-magnify ng ibang tao yung mga pagkakamali mo. It’s part of life so just shake it off. Never retaliate. Let karma do its job, just continue doing you and find your way to the top. Yung mga gossipmongers na yan din yung mga hihingi ng tulong sa’yo pag minsan! Marami silang humihingi ng tulong sa akin pag minsan!  😉
  • Leave toxic people – Never ever tolerate toxic behavior. I’m no cactus expert but I know a prick when I see one. And please do keep the circle small. You don’t need to endure the toxicity of other people just because may pinagsamahan kayo. Iba yung mental and emotional pain na ibinibigay ng mga toxic na tao so don’t think twice about leaving them. Negativity begets negativity and you don’t want it to be part of your system. And if I cut you off, chances are you handed me the scissors. Bye feeeelicia.
  • I…I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative… –  Stay away from gossip. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in trouble and in inescapable situations. It’s better to be alone than in bad company. Tip: Wag kang lalapit sa mga taong mali. 

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My high school squad and I candidly pose after the graduation rites. We all graduated with honors and with other awards! 6/6! Now that’s what you call #SquadGoals. 
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The first and last time I joined DSPC and as luck would have it, I bagged a Best News Presenter award. 
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Forever with distinction because Physics was a disaster. Better than nothing at all.

Rise Above

  • Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. – No matter what you say or what you do, you feel like you’ll never be right. I’ve shared about this in my Graduation letter if you remember. There will always be someone who will try to point out your flaws or will try to bring you down in your moments of success. Alam mo, tama o mali man ang gawin mo, may masasabi at masasabi pa rin ang mga tao sa ‘yo, and that’s their problem na, not yours. You can’t please everyone guys.
  • Smart Shaming? – I don’t understand why people try to bring down those who are competent in class and those who excel in what they do. Never ever justify your laziness and your incompetence, you might want to keep up instead of dragging these people down.
  • All About Branding. – Ask yourself, “How do I want to be remembered?”. How you see yourself is how other people are going to see you. Be a role model or someone to look up to. Ask yourself if the 5 year old you will be proud of who you are right now. It’s not just about keeping a squeaky clean reputation, it’s just that you have to leave an impact, a really good impact, on the lives of others. Be genuine. Be someone worth knowing and make your story something worth telling. Mag-iwan ka ng legacy. THINK OF WHAT WILL BE WRITTEN IN YOUR YEARBOOK WRITEUP. (Minsan isipin niyo reaction ng mga tao in case bigla kayong mamatay, matutuwa ba sila o malulungkot? Kaya dapat magpakabuti ka. HAHAHAHAH Hehehe half kidding!)
  • You. control. your. mood. – Emotional stability is necessary. Ewan ko, gumagana yung Psychology powers ko when I’m under pressure, in toxic situations, under intense stress, pagod and all. Whenever I’m not in my “normal” state of mind, I always say to myself na “Drei, don’t think of this.” or “Drei, positive thoughts, think of happy thoughts.” “Drei, wag mong iisipin yan, wag.” I just remind myself to pay attention to things that matter than to sulk and whine, and eventually ruin my day. Sometimes it’s how you react to things. It’s how you think. It’s all in the mind.
  • Individual Work > Group Work – I prefer individual works more than group works because you can track your progress, you don’t depend on anyone, and you are in control of everything. Mas gusto kong mag-isa nagta-trabaho and I really plead my teachers to allow me to go solo during other projects. I like working alone because I get the best ideas out of nowhere then I can execute them better by myself. Maybe it’s because I don’t like bothering or depending on other people or maybe I’m just totally done with their excuses and selective participation. Basta dapat masanay kayong mag-isa magtrabaho kasi pag college na you’re on your own!

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OJ Preparation. 
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#FunTime2017 was the best. IV of Spades, Ben&Ben, Patty Tiu? At the covered court? HFA DID THAT.
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Serving looks as we go on the way to the Met Gala. Kidding! #Regalia2018 was a blast!

The Last Time 

  • Meet new people –  It’s refreshing to learn from new people. Choose people who choose you. It’s okay to be friendly, it doesn’t hurt to be nice but you don’t go around trusting everyone you know. As I’ve said earlier, other people suck. Be friendly pero wag kayong lalapit sa mga taong mali. Yun lang talaga. Mafe-feel mo naman kung may mali eh. Some events like Science fairs, bazaars and club meetings will require interpersonal skills so better grab the chance to meet new people!
  • Enjoy your “Lasts – Last Culmi, Last Intrams, Last First Friday masses, Last Apostolate, Recollection sa SACOP, Christmas Party and all school events. Attend all of them because it’s the last. It will never be the same again. Please make the most out of it, and take lots of pictures para may memories! Enjoy it while it lasts because before you know it, you’re already on your way to college!
  • Love what you do, do what you love. – Involve yourself in a club or org you really love and it won’t feel like work at all. You have a lot of choices. There’s Cor Unum, The Student Council, Health Sci, ABM Org, Benedictine Club, Athletics, Academic Team to name a few. Basta ang mahalaga, nage-enjoy ka sa ginagawa mo at panindigan mo ‘yan kasi ginusto mo. 
  • Live for the moment. – No matter how seemingly toxic it was before, mas pipiliin mong maging Grade 11 or Junior High ulit. Trust me, sasabihin mo rin ‘to if you reach this point. Pahirap nang pahirap at patanda na tayo nang patanda. Ang bilis ng panahon kaya sulitin niyo lahat ng experiences and events. Minsan lang yan kaya enjoyin niyo na, next time Adulting101 na. I know I always tell this to almost all my undergrad friends, feel ko deep inside ‘di ko talaga masyadong na-enjoy yung high school or I still seek for more enjoyment kasi focused ako sa acads. Hahaha!  But anyway, from a viewpoint ng isang adult, mas pipiliin pa rin nilang mag-aral so enjoyin na lang! 
  • UNEXPECTED FRIENDSHIPS ARE THE BEST.Dito mo makikilala yung mga totoo mong mga kaibigan. Yung mga masasandalan mo kapag nangangailangan ka, mga masasabihan mo ng lahat, mga nandyan para suportahan ka, mga masaya din pag masaya ka. YOU WILL MEET YOUR FRIENDS FOR LIFE. And that’s given in high school. But I made a lot of friends—real friends—in Senior High. I won’t meet the best people ever if it weren’t for SHS. I also met so much people who made a significant impact in my life. I couldn’t be more thankful for you all. Shoutout to Japs, Caltex Buddies, Best Sec People, Hilary & Gerard friends, my servicemates, and my Skin Care followers! I miss you all!!!!!!

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This is me taking advantage of the golden hour to get good photos. It was after a “paper plane flying” activity during our retreat!

CLASSIC REMINDERS

  • Don’t go to school if you’re SICK. – Oh please, you don’t go around spreading virus in pursuit of that perfect attendance and punctuality award. Please please please, if you’re not feeling well, stay at home. Get enough rest. ‘Wag mong pilitin yung sarili mo dahil magkakasakit ka lalo. ‘Wag ka ng manghawa ng ibang tao dahil mahal at mahirap magkasakit. Or do us a favor and just wear a face mask. Madaling maghawaan dahil naka-aircon na! 
  • Complaining ≠ Making a pointSome students nag about everything. Ine-explain pa lang ng teacher kung ano yung work, complain agad. I won’t exclude myself because know I complain on social media sometimes. Pero yung iba kasi wala ng ginawa kung hindi mag-complain. Bibigyan ng work, magre-reklamo. Deadline, reklamo ulit. May ganitong requirement, reklamo na naman. Nakakastress!!! Actually may mga taong mas marami pang nareklamo kesa nagawa. Why don’t you just comply?! Nag-enroll pa kayo! There’s a fine line between complaining and making a point, the former wins no sympathy. Bakit pa kayo nag-aral kung ayaw niyong sumunod, ‘di ba?!  (ok before you attack me, yung iba kasi ultimo maliliit at simpleng bagay na lang ang ipinapagawa magrereklamo pa. FIGHT ME. loljk bye)
  • Kung alam mong bawal, ‘wag mong gagawin. – I repeat. Kung bawal, ‘wag gawin. Four words, 17 letters, do it and you’re still in the running towards graduation. LOL JK. Kagaya ng pagdala ng phones, vape, at kung anu ano pa. And when they get caught, they still have the audacity to complain or make up excuses. Hay. You’ve studied the handbook for six years in a row yet nothing was instilled in some of you. So disappointing.
  • IT’S OK TO BE GRADE CONSCIOUSBasta balanced, ‘di yung ‘di ka na natutulog para sa grades. I actually thought of something that would eventually help me. Tip: Isipin mo every start of the sem na 98 lahat ng grades mo and you should do everything to maintain that 98 in your card. Tapos kung hanggang saan yung binaba dapat malagpasan mo next time. Let’s say for Physics I assume that I have a 98 on the first day of the second quarter, tapos di ko kinayang i-maintain so naging 84 nung cards out. The following sem dapat bawiin ko yung 84, ipu-push ko para maging 85. Ganon. Gets niyo ba? Haha!  #MAINTAIN
  • Extra curricular activities are just as important. – Enjoy your pull outs and contests! Get out of your comfort zone, as I’ve said countless times. The past year made me enjoy the perks of being a student writer. It’s my first and last time to compete in DSPC and luckily, I won!
  • Learning outside the classroom is better – Experiencing things on your own teaches you things you won’t learn inside the four corners of the classroom. I wish the education system focuses more on immersion or activities that will help you develop your talents. It shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all type of education. Syempre iba iba tayo ng capabilities, you get me?
  • Reward yourself. – Remember my first reminder about having a motivation or a reward waiting for you? This is what I’m pertaining to. Every time you achieve something or when you pass a difficult exam, make sure you get to treat yourself. Dapat may reward system ka with your parents or with yourself. Be it a good massage, a nice haircut, a bunch of clothes, two piece Chickenjoy, or whatever floats your boat. Make sure you feel fulfilled and happy about yourself after accomplishing something. #SelfLove2018 tayo dito mga friends!

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Grad invites and portraits, tassel, and an unexpected award. 

…ready for it?  

  • College Preparations. – I remember writing this in this letter to myself from two years ago. Fast forward to present, I’m about to start College in a few days. Going back, your senior year is all about college preparations. Please review for entrance exams and prepare yourself mentally for another chapter in your life. Kung may time kayong magwalwal at lumibot, dapat mas marami yung time niyong nagpe-prepare for your future. It’s nerve-wrecking and sometimes you’ll just cry out of disbelief because you’re growing up too fast and everything is changing. I wrote an article about this in the tabloid issue of Cor which, I believe, will be out this month because it was delayed for cards out last April. Tell me if you want me to publish it here instead!
  • Money Matters. – You need money. Intrams, Fun Time, Contests, Birthdays of your friends, photocopies, College Admissions, Donations, and other incidental expenses will exhaust your wallet. This year lang nag-sink in sa ‘kin na kailangan talaga ng pera para makapag-aral. That’s why you need to save money and spend wisely. ‘Wag na ‘wag niyong wawaldasin sa kaka-walwal o kapricho yung perang pinagpaguran ng parents niyo. Bago mo unahin mga wants, needs muna dapat. (Wow, coming from me pa ‘no?) Nakakainis lang kasi, yung iba wala daw pambayad sa mga kailangan or donations sa school tapos makikita mo sa snaps nila na nasa Starbucks or F21 sila. Ang sarap niyong batukan! 
  • Sleep is a luxury. Kahit gaano pa ka-busy or ka-hectic ang sched mo, make sure you get at least 6 hours of sleep every day. It makes a difference. Para ‘di kayo mukhang dugyot pagdating sa school. Haha!
  • Overloaded everything. – Your senior year is going to be jampacked. Both school work and extra curricular activities come in increasing number (and intensity, charot!) so you should know how to manage your time! #PagodIsALifestyle #BawalMagreklamo #MababashKa  #BawalMapagod 
  • Burn out. –  You’ll reach this point wherein you’re going to question your worth, your purpose, your life goals. Kung yung mga ine-enjoy mong bagay o mga ginagawa mo dati ‘di mo na ma-appreciate ngayon, baka burn out phase yan. You’ll ask yourself at times,  “Am I enough?” “Will I survive this?” “Ga-graduate ba ako?” “May sense pa ba ang ginagawa ko?”. I’ve been there and the only solution is to take a break and spend time alone.
  • Weight? Wait! – Jollibee is there. Manchoo is there. Chowking is there. Kimbob time is there. Different food stalls are there. HFA is surrounded by restaurants so mate-tempt ka talagang kumain nang kumain nang kumain lalo na pag stressed out ka.  Lalo na’t maaga pa ang dismissal so… kain > uwi.

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The end of an era. 
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The best people in life are free. 

Direk, ready na po ako for mature roles.” : The Personal Development Game

For young adults out there, here are some things I realized in the past 10 months.

  • Check your privilege – This is the first year I’ve noticed that my seemingly normal or seemingly boring life is already treasure to someone else. Thinking of that makes me feel bad and grateful at the same time. We’re all born under different circumstances so you either be thankful for everything, or you work hard to achieve what you want. Make good use of your privilege and please be grateful for whatever you have. That being said, if you have the privilege to study and if you have the access to information and other resources, please use them for your own good. Aral nang mabuti please. Maraming gustong mag-aral pero hindi nila kaya. Be thankful that you’re given the chance to study in a private institution pa. 
  • Education is key – It will take you further in life so don’t waste your chance. No matter how draining it is, just remember that it’s a big big blessing because not everyone has the chance nor the means to study. Mahirap mag-aral pero mas mahirap pag walang pinag-aralan. 😉
  • Make your parents proud – As mentioned earlier, getting a good education is a blessing and see to it that you study well. Isipin niyo na dapat hindi niyo sinasayang yung perang pinang-enroll ng parents niyo, isipin niyo na magiging proud sila kung nag-aaral kayo nang mabuti, isipin niyo na magiging masaya sila at mawawala yung pagod nila kung responsable at mabuti kayo. Siguraduhin niyong aakyat sila sa stage pag ga-graduate kayo! Make them proud always in all ways. It feels so good when you see how proud they are of you! Sobrang sarap sa feeling. ❤ 
  • Compete with yourself. Mind your own growth. – I know I’ve mentioned this in a blog post from before but it’s just now that I realized how important it is to focus on your own progress and to stay in your own lane. It’s a relief to actually ignore how others work and [ignore] their progress. That’s why I mentioned earlier that I like working solo ‘di ba? Better to focus on yourself and your work alone. Turn your attention to yourself and your own growth. I ain’t sure if this is a selfish act but it actually helps you become a better version of yourself. Or maybe it worked for me because I’m an introvert? Hmmm.
  • “Being busy is a blessing” – Truth be told, I feel stagnant and lifeless when I’m not busy. I don’t know why but I think this is already part of my DNA, that I’m destined to be workaholic. I personally don’t like wasting time because I feel useless when I’m doing nothing. It’s unlike me to stagnate and I weren’t raised to be lazy. Ewan ko pero iba yung adrenaline rush or thrill na naibibigay ng pagiging busy. So much that it has already become part of my system. Whenever I’m bombarded with school work, tasks, and errands in between, I honestly feel weirdly happy and blessed because I know that the universe gave me these things to work on because I can accomplish them. It’s this mind set na “ibinigay sa ‘yo kasi kaya mo”. That’s what I repeatedly tell myself when I’m busy. Not quite sure if this is good or bad though (para kasing nano-normalize yung stress). Iniisip ko na lang lagi na blessings lahat ng ginagawa kong ito because I know  I can and I will. Basta dapat may breaks pa rin in between! Balanced pa rin lahat dapat!
  • Have P.R.I.D.E. – I made this acronym up and it stands for Perseverance, Responsibility, Integrity, Discipline, and Excellence. All these should be instilled in you because you have to fend for yourself someday. Perseverance because you need to keep that drive or fire igniting inside of you. Otherwise, you won’t get anywhere. If you easily give up, you will miss out on life’s surprises. Responsibility because you’re already old enough to know what’s right for you hence, be accountable for anything you do or say. Another is Integrity because your training as a young individual will eventually shape you to be a morally upright person. May paninindigan, may prinsipyo at may isang salita. Do the right thing even when no one is watching. Discipline? That’s what most of us—as teenagers, as Filipinos, and/or as a country— lack today. We’re in dire need of discipline because we need to have control, order, and direction in our lives. Lastly, Excellence. In this day and age of settling for the bare minimum, it’s high time that we should put our best foot forward to get what we want and be consistent upon achieving our desires. It’s not an easy climb to success and excellence but you have to start right now. These five values, I believe, are part of the education that our school tries to establish in our minds and hearts. Formation plays a big role in your future and I know that HFA gives it best among others.
  • You have to give more than what is expected from you. – I over-prepare for everything. If I have a scheduled defense or report, I’d practice my lines a week before or days before the actual event. I always go the extra mile even if it means spreading myself too thin. I want everything to be perfectly polished and practiced  like there’s no room for error. Then once I’m in the situation I’m preparing for, I’ll tell myself, “Ay ganito lang pala.”, “Ay, sobrang naghanda ako tapos eto na yon?!”.  Thing is, you’re not gonna lose anything if you come in really strong, right?  NEVER EVER DO THINGS HALF BAKED.
  • But sometimes, you gotta take things lightly. – Sometimes, it’s just us who overthinks about things. Siguro dala na ng pagiging subsob sa pag-aaral. There are times na maririnig mo pa lang yung words na “Thesis” o kaya “OD” (in my case, Physics lang ang nagbibigay ng anxiety sa akin) then you’re going to feel anxious or tensed already. Yung tipong iniisip mo pa lang naloloka ka na. Pero pag nalagpasan mo na lahat ‘yon sasabihin mo sa sarili mo na, “ay ganun lang pala?” or “How did I survive that?” Tip: Minsan isipin mo na lang na nasa reality show  ka tapos weekly challenge yung pinapagawa sa inyo so you’ll be motivated to do your best and enjoy it at the same time.
  • Learn from your mistakes. – I’d be lying if I say that I didn’t commit a mistake this year. I also have my fair share of careless actions which I kind of regret doing. Think of my tweets or IG stories. I’ll leave it up to you to guess which of them almost got me into trouble. Hint: It’s about a drink. 😉 And please, DON’T BE AFRAID OF FAILURE. 
  • Negative thoughts are lurking around – It’s difficult to not entertain them, it’s hard not to overthink, it’s hard to avoid them when they kick in, most specially when you are at your lowest. Ang hirap. Minsan gusto mo na lang magkulong sa kwarto. Pag vulnerable ka doon ka lapitin ng negativity. You guys know that I am an optimistic person who’s always happy and in a good mood. Honestly,  I also have bad days. I experience break downs too. Minsan nga I’m questioning myself why do I entertain these thoughts when I always preach na it’s all in the mind, about positive thinking. One thing I learned is that it’s very inevitable. This is why mental health is crucial because these negative thoughts can lead to depression. And others resort to bad habits like alcohol and drugs and that makes it worse! Don’t let the demons win.
  • Choose Your Battles – also known as “No to Negativity.” I came across this  ‘5-5-5 mindset’ online and it says, “If it won’t matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes [over]thinking about it.” As young adults, this is something we should apply into our lives. It’s the fact that not everything deserves our attention and time. Same applies with other people. Don’t kill them with kindness because not everybody deserves your kindness, kill them with silence because not everybody deserves your attention.” But let’s not be apathetic either, you should only focus on what matters.
  • You’re growing up fast. – Maybe it’s just me who thinks of it this way? I always think that being 18 or being in my final stretch of education (and my teenage years) is tantamount to adulting. I’m not quite sure if it’s just me or I feel that I have an approaching deadline for success? Like I should achieve this certain thing at this age, I should be able to do this at this point of my life. It’s very confusing. Finding your purpose is no easy task. It’s part of early adulthood to feel lost and confused about your purpose in life and/or your career path. I just hold on to the fact that everyone my age also struggle with the same thing. We’re not alone!
  • Task and time management is everything.  – I wake up at 4:30 am everyday then I leave home at 5:30.  I arrive home at around 5 p.m. and I still have time to do everything that needs to be done. Kung nagawa kong mag-honors, magCor Unum, mag-blog, at mag skin care routine, magkaroon ng enough sleep simultaneously, kaya niyo rin yan. Although there are opportunity costs like less family and friends time, mababawi mo naman yan during the weekends and holidays. If there’s one thing I learned about time management, it’s that it can’t be mastered overnight. It’s a long process and I’m thankful because I was raised to use my time wisely. Dapat may respeto ka sa oras mo at sa oras ng ibang tao.

 

That officially ends this series. I hope you enjoyed reading my confessions. Most importantly, I wish you all learned a thing or two in this long post! I will absolutely miss writing these blog posts for you Familians! Make sure you keep them all into mind!

Adios, Colegio de la Sagrada Familia! It’s been a good 12 years with you. See you all around!

To all Grade 12 students, enjoy your Senior year and make it the best of the best! Congratulations for making it this far! You can do it! #YourYear 

If you liked this post, don’t forget to share (or retweet), leave a comment down below, and subscribe!

Follow @HFAStucOfficial for more updates! Tweet your favorite HFA moments using the hashtags #HFACountdown #HFAKathangIsip!

That in all things, God may be Glorified!

 

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A Complete Guide for Senior High School Freshies (Part 2)

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Here’s the second part of my guide for SHS froshies!

Work it, baby.

  • Get involved in events – There are different activities every single month so it’s your chance to shine! Immerse yourself in various activities, be a part of the committee, and participate in contests. The possibilities are endless, don’t just sit there and watch. Nakakasawa ding nasa audience no! Basta kung kaya mo at gusto mo, sige lang. If you’re not happy, you don’t have to force yourself naman eh. But as much as possible, don’t be afraid to try new things! It’s your last shot in high school, make it count!
  • WORK ETHICS – And since there are lots of happenings, you can’t avoid working with other people. You’ll have to deal with your teachers and your fellow students most of the time and this requires a strong work ethic. You have to know how to work with difficult people. There are lots of them in high school and you have to know how to deal with them when it comes to projects and events. Madaming mahirap kausap. Nakaka-trigger! I can’t stress how much I dislike working with these kinds of people. If there’s an opportunity coming along your way, think twice before accepting it. Weigh the pros and cons. Evaluate if it’s worth your time and efforts and know who you’ll be working with. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t sign up for it. Learn how to say NO because some people can be so unprofessional. You’ll thank yourself later.  
  • Good reputation and good manners will forever be important – It pays off to have a clean record and a good name in school because your teachers will trust and believe in you buuuuut don’t be fake. Just be kind and well-mannered at all times. Practice common courtesy because as Familians, you’re expected to be refined and respectful. Respect everyone around you, most especially your teachers. Don’t treat them like your barkada even if you’re close to them, they’re still your teachers after all so be polite.
  • Personality is important It’s nice to be important but it’s a lot important to be nice. Always always be kind to everyone around you specially to your teachers and school mates. It doesn’t hurt to smile or say hi to everyone you know! Show kindness. Dapat pwedeng pang Miss/Mister Congeniality! LOL.

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  • Your closet will expand and you’ll need all sorts of outfits – I know it’s just me who buys new clothes or shoes when there are events. I bought a cheap blazer because of a debate, I bought different shirts because of Intrams practice, I rented a barong for Buwan ng Wika, I bought new shoes because of Crossfit, I bought new clothes for a hosting stint. What else did I splurge on? #Magastos #Maarte #WagTularan #SomeoneStopMe. I can say that you’ll really need clothes because of the different activities because #fashion #is #passion. Ako lang talaga nagsasabi nito, I know. A corporate attire is necessary because some teachers require it during presentations. Well, the only thing you should buy is a lab gown if you’re taking up STEM! You’ll do experiments in Chem and it’s needed. Magastos lang talaga ako, alam niyo na. Don’t be me. I love the lab gown pa naman because I feel like a legit doctor when I’m wearing it. Haha! In line with this, I can’t wait for the Senior’s ball next year! Real talk to ha, sana naman sa maayos na venue gawin kasi sayang naman kung maganda yung outfit mo tapos chaka yung venue. Brb, contacting Francis Libiran for my outfit. Joke!
  • Bring a laptop with movies or tv series – Or bring magazines and books. Sometimes, teachers don’t show up because they’re either absent, in a meeting, or they totally forgot their schedule. Parang college na medyo hindi, I know the feeling.  To kill time, bring a laptop or iPad (don’t bring phones!) with movies or tv series for you to not get bored! You can watch alone or with your friends or kung gusto mong i-flash sa screen okay lang. You have lots of free time when you’re in SHS. Sometimes I even watch KDramas when my teachers aren’t around. Hahaha!
  • Attend all school events – Since it’s your last year, attend all events if you can! Don’t just attend, be involved! Do something to make these events memorable. It’s your last two years!!! Minsan kasi di naman exciting at nakakatamad na ring pumunta, pero kung kaya niyo, G lang sige! (Hi mommy, sana nababasa mo ‘to.)
  • Retreat is bomb Make the most out of this school event! It may only be an overnight stay but at least you’re away from school! You’ll learn a handful of life lessons. This is also a requirement so you should attend!
  • Join field tripsOnly if you can, and if you want to. I’ve made countless excuses as to why I don’t join, like may motion sickness ako (meron talaga pero konti lang), may gagawin ako that day, aalis kami etc. Now, para sa ikatatahimik ng lahat, I don’t join these trips because AYAW KO. AYOKO. I DON’T WANT TO. Ask me why? It’s super hassle. And chances are, I’ve been to the places na pupuntahan pa lang nila and I can go there naman anytime without waiting for your classmates, the hassle of riding a bus (motion sickness sucks), the extreme puyat (call time is 4 or 5?!), and the fact that you aren’t in control of your time. Then they only have allotted time for certain places because of the tight budget and time constraint, unlike when you travel with your family na hawak mo oras mo. And then they also deal with Metro Manila traffic kapag rush hour, super hassle!!! They arrive in Pampanga around 10 or 11 just because of that! Yun pa lang, nakakapagod na. You don’t even get more than what you pay for — which is one of my major pet peeves. I’d rather travel alone with my family on a weekend para convenient! Enough said. Ayoko na Bimb. Huwag niyo na akong kukulitin kung bakit di ako sumasama ha!  
  • You’ll have friends everywhere – Because you are now shuffled (throughout the batch), you literally have friends all over the building. I have friends in each section in ABM or STEM. I guess it’s safe to say that your network will expand because you’ll meet a lot of new people and you’ll make new friends. Trust me, it’s super fun!

Survival Tips

  • Stock up on food and water – AND COFFEE. Naka-limang Kopiko 78° ata ako nung finals eh! Like other schools, we also have a canteen which sells overpriced food. Ironic because students aren’t earning money tapos ang mahal ng pagkain. Capitalism tsk, tsk. With that, it’s better if you bring your own food for you to avoid long lines and all that annoying stuff. Specially during finals! Bring your baon because it saves you time and money! Bring food in case of emergency as well. Light biscuits and other snacks will do. Bring your own food!!
  • Bring candies inside your bag – Can’t stress this enough. And I’ll be honest, I can’t avoid eating inside the classroom kahit bawal. Pero di naman yung tipong ulam na yung kinakain! Hahaha! No! Candies candies and light snacks lang. I don’t know if it’s just me but whenever I get sleepy or if I get bored during a class, I eat candies to stay awake. Also bring sweets with you to save you from hypoglycemia!
  • Have extra money for photocopies, pamasahe, or emergency – It’s important to have lots of coins inside your bag specially during finals! You’ll have to pay for reviewers, group collections, materials etc. so it’s better if you have extra cash.
  • Hoard ballpens and highlighters of all colors They can also double as coloring materials! Some teachers require a different color during answering and checking so stock up on blue and red pens!
  • Photocopies are life – Familians are sad because we no longer have a photocopying service inside the campus that’s why we pay extra just to get other handouts photocopied outside. Hassle. Ate Joan, where na u? Dito na us. Huhu, come back! DI KA FAMILIAN KUNG DI MO SIYA KILALA. And I also like to review using actual hand-outs instead of just reading them on the phone. At least masusulatan mo yung papel at pwede mong itapon pag sumakit loob mo. Eh yung phone? iPad? Pwede? Hahaha! PS. You can bring your own printer and laptop. Para di ka na sumabak sa digmaan sa library, dala ka ng printer mo. Hassle nga lang!
  • Toiletries + extra clothes + medicines – Better safe than sorry! Some activities during homeroom periods are soooo dirty. Like, I can’t stand being dirty that’s why I don’t join these games. Ayoko talaga mag amazing race. Like ano mo yon?! Ang dumi at nakakapagod kaya, haaay bimb. #Maarte. Bring extra clothes with you always!
  • GRAB BAG – Because of the recent earthquakes and things happening in our country lately, I won’t be shocked if the big one happens soon. With that, always have your grab bag or emergency bag within reach. You never know what’s going to happen so better safe than sorry! Fill it with food, water, flashlight, blankets, medicines, toiletries and other necessities just in case something happens. OH MY GOD, WAG NIYONG GUGUSTUHING GAMITIN YUNG GRAB BAG NA TO. Also, bring a whistle with you specially if there are emergencies!!
  • Bring your umbrella If you don’t want to get drenched, and if you don’t want to get dark, bring this with you. Also wear sunscreen!  You guys know how crazy our weather is.
  • Bigyan ng jacket! – Actually pwede kang kumanta ng Let It Go sa lamig! I feel Elsa’s presence because it’s freezing cold inside the classrooms. Always bring a jacket with you! In my case, I bring a blazer because one, I’m that extra, and two, I want to look like a Korean high schooler.
  • Study hard, pray harder – Oh, for the love of St. Benedict, just Ora et Labora your way. Pero mas madalas atang nagiging Ora et Labora Labora Labora Labora ano? Prayer and work work work work work na yata eh. Naging Rihanna na! Kidding! Always have faith in Him. Wag ka lang pa-cute pa-cute diyan. It’s Ora et Labora, not Awra et Labora, okay? Pero di yung nagdadasal ka lang dahil (o kapag) may kailangan ka, pasalamat ka rin. Again, you can’t pray for an A and study for a B. You can’t pray for something and act less. Don’t question God and His abilities when your actions don’t match your prayers. Amen? Amen.

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  • Time management  – The first year of SHS is suuuuper challenging because I had a lot of work. I have my class VP duties which goes hand in hand with my studies, I have Cor Unum, I have my blog, and I have my part-time business. How the hell did I survive? Time management. I know that I’ve spread myself too thin but hey, I made it! I’m a big advocate of time management kaya I can’t stress how important it is to manage your time well. If you’re poor in this, nothing good will ever happen. You’re already a grown up so it’s important to know your priorities—get yourself a planner and use it. Ayusin mo buhay mo. Also, BE PUNCTUAL AT ALL TIMES AND STOP USING THE FILIPINO TIME AS EXCUSE. It’s never okay to waste other people’s time and your time. Sobrang daming nasasayang kapag nale-late, delay and all, I hope you guys know that. In addition to this, I just have a realization which is I think what schools really teach us by giving us a big load is that time management is everything, because years from now all those lessons and deadlines won’t matter, how you managed to get through those will. Just like in life, di ba? When punctuality becomes a habit, it will benefit you in the long run, believe me.
  • Advanced reading is better than cramming Acads bago lakads, readings bago feelings. As I’ve mentioned earlier, it’s important to manage your time. Use it wisely. Kung may project ka na next week yung deadline, start now if you can. Chances are, they will pile up and you’ll regret wasting your time. Shoutout sa mga teachers na sabay-sabay magbigay ng trabaho. Hello, di po kami robot. You better set aside other things to give room for what’s urgent. NEVER PROCRASTINATETama na muna yung KDrama, games, walwal, landi etc. In my case, my blog goes on a hiatus when there’s school. Stress is synonymous to Senior High. How do you get away with it? Do things ahead of time. Patikim pa lang yan, mas nakaka-stress kaya pag matanda na. 
  • Stop comparing yourself – Others may seem to get ahead of you but focus on your own journey. They may get better grades than you or whatever, but remember that their journey should not, in any way, stop you from doing your best. YOU CAN AND YOU WILL. The moment you stop is the moment you fail, keep going and never quit. You have your own multiple intelligence and your own set of talents so there’s no point for comparison. You’re special in your own way. You’re in your own time zone and in your own journey, focus on yourself and strive to be good in whatever you do.
  • Be responsible for your actions You’re already in your late adolescent stage so you’re expected to be mature. Sadly, marami pa ring immature kahit senior na, nakakaloka. Matanda ka na, alam mo na yung dapat gawin at hindi. Keep in mind that everything you do has an impact on your life—think before you speak and think before you act. Remember, what you say and what you do can be used against you.
  • Think before you clickIf you have included the words “Familian” or “Holy Family Academy” on your bio, be responsible for whatever you post online. One careless post may ruin the school’s reputation and yours without you knowing it. Be careful!
  • Save money  One big PAANO? List down your expenses everyday and if you have left over baon save them, kahit 20 pesos a day lang okay na. Or just allot a certain amount you can spend and save the rest. I know that most of us come from affluent families but that’s not an excuse for you to spend all that you have. You never know when will you need money! Don’t buy what you don’t need. I save money by just going out with friends once or twice a month, that way, I can spend my money on my needs and other school collections.  Frugality is key. (Dapat talaga sinasabi ko ‘to sa sarili ko eh.) 
  • Study hard but learn to take a break   Again, school is important but your health is equally important. Just keep your balance and everything will fall into place. Don’t spread yourself too thin. You’re still young and you need more time for yourself. Learn how to step back when needed for you to make multiple steps forward. Everything’s all about balance.
  • Be patient and trust in Him– Remember that this is just school and there’s so much more to life. Don’t forget that in time, God will reward you for all your efforts — He will give you what you deserve, not what you want. Always trust in His perfect timing and in His plans for you.  

That’s all! At the end of the day, this is just a training ground for college and for your journey to life—much more difficult and stressful than school. Senior High may be a dagdag gastos but remember, it will absolutely help you in the long run. Since we’re the pioneers of this program in the country,  it may take time for us to finish but rest assured that everything is going to happen at the right time and everything will eventually fall into place. Don’t be in a hurry, perfect timing lang guys, patience is a virtue. Mahirap pag hinog sa pilit. Just work and work and continue what you’re doing, every single effort will be worth it, believe me but most of all, believe in yourself! You aren’t supposed to have it all figured out at this moment, but it’s your task to know what’s your purpose.

Going back, don’t forget that the quality education and values that Holy Family Academy instills in you will definitely be worth the blood, sweat, and tears. You better uphold everything the school offers and let them shape you into the person you want to be. Let it be your motivation and inspiration to do better in the future. Maraming gustong mag-aral pero hindi nila kaya, that’s why YOU ARE BLESSED. Studying in a private institution like Holy Family Academy is already a big big blessing so make it a point that you study hard to provide a better life for the people around you! Wag mong sasayangin yung enrollment na pinagpaguran ng parents mo. Don’t ever.

And as I’ve mentioned in this blog post before, “Mahirap mag-aral pero mas mahirap ang walang pinag-aralan.”  Education is what’s going to take you further in life.

That’s it! Hope you guys learned a thing or two in this loooong post! Don’t forget to SHARE, comment and subscribe! See you all soon and may you have a wonderful school year ahead! 🙂

Shoutout to @HFAStucOfficial for the support!!! Please follow them guys!

That in all things, God may be Glorified!

 

A Complete Guide for Senior High School Freshies (Part 1)

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Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored or a paid post. The views and opinions are my own and do not reflect the views of the school.

It’s back to school season once again and I’m off to my last first day in high school. Words can’t express how much I enjoyed being in this institution for 12 years. I’ve been a Familian for twelve long years and once a Familian, always a Familian. I will truly miss wearing the loose white polo and navy blue pants combo. Now that it’s my last year,  I’m expecting a year full of stress in all forms, hell weeks, and deadlines and since it’s my last shot in high school, I might as well do everything I can to make this year count! At last, I’m finally graduating! Screw you, DepEd

The first year of Senior High School didn’t disappoint. It was where I can truly say that I did shine bright like a diamond. (O ha!) Senior High is a jack of all trades. If you think that computing and experimenting are the main activities of STEM and ABM students, boy you’re wrong, that is the most common misconception about these strands. Basically, it’s like being a politician, businessman, speaker, lawyer, doctor, scientist, priest (yup), director, writer, photographer, entrepreneur, artist, model, host, and even a celebrity all at once. It sounds OA but that’s how I see it. Haha! I may sound pretentious, but Senior High exceeded my expectations and it was, without a doubt, one of the best years I’ve had. I wish it’ll be extended though, okay before you bash me, you’ll understand why once you reach SHS. It’s in this stage in your life where you’ll wish to remain high school forever, you’ll see that it’s truly one of the best times of your life. You’ll notice how fast time flies and how fast you’re growing up. Simply writing this kind of post indicates that I’m old already! You’re only young once, indeed.

Senior High is the “tween” stage of your academic life because you’re not in college yet, and you’re not in junior high school anymore. You are in the middle of these two chapters in your life. It’s the awkward stage. Frankly speaking, you’re stuck. SHS is a taste of college sans the sleepless nights and deadly stress commonly experienced by college students. Admit it or not, Senior High is one big spoon-feeding class. Although there are times when some teachers slack off, everything is handed to you so you just need to do your part.  Senior High, from how I see it, is just an extension of junior high because you’ll tackle some of your former lessons. I think it’s just called Senior High because it sounds more profound and you have specialized subjects but it’s just a dagdag gastos, I swear. This should’ve been my second year in college and just two years away from finishing school but K-12 happened. Haaaay. Surviving the first year of SHS only seemed like a far-fetched dream to me because of my anxiety and insecurities but through His grace, I managed to survive! And if I did, you will too!

Since I belong to the pioneer batch of Senior High students in the country, I have the bragging rights to create this post for all the undergraduates (and Senior High students also) right there! This is a complete guide on surviving Senior High! What to expect, what to do, study essentials, survival tips, and all things related to SHS! The following tips are from personal experience and I’ve categorized them for your convenience. I wrote this post as honest as I can and I did my best to tell what really happens in SHS. Again, it’s from my own experience and from my own point of view. No sugarcoating and all that stuff. All opinions are mine. ‘Wag niyo akong iba-bash! I hope this helps you in one way or another! Don’t forget to share, comment and subscribe!


Study Essentials

  • Keep your junior high school notes – Little did you know that the Chemistry test you failed in Grade 9 can help you soon? I’ve mentioned this many times on my Twitter and my old posts. Keep your JHS notes, books and photocopies, they’ll be useful in senior high because most of the lessons are just a review and these can be used as references. Most specifically in Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics and Math. Don’t throw or sell them, trust me you’ll use them soon. You’re welcome.
  • And don’t delete your school files on your pc – They’ll be helpful too!
  • English proficiency helps you a lot. – If you think that STEM and ABM students are future Einsteins, you’re wrong. Some of them are Shakespeares too! Yep, English literacy is very very very important as you’ll do lots of reading, writing and speaking. I swear, this is everything. Minsan nga nagtataka ako kung STEM ba talaga ‘to o English major. Presentations are easy as pie if you’re fluent in English. A wide vocabulary coupled with superb writing skills goes a looong way too!
  • Buy your own laptop, camera (preferably with tripod) and pocket wifi – You might say that I’m asking you to splurge on these gadgets but that’s absolutely not my intention. I can’t deny the fact that they’re now school essentials because they make school work a lot easier compared to how it was before. They’re important because there are lots of shootings and editings to be done in SHS! Unfortunately, there’s no wifi connection exclusively for students so it’ll be less hassle if you own a pocket wifi. Just let your classmates pay if they want to use it! Para di ka na nanghihiram sa iba, invest in these gadgets. They’ll be very useful when you’re doing research and you can use them ’til college so it’s  totally worth every cent. Invest in good brands too! SMART Pocket Wifi is good. Trust me. (PS. If you’re good in photo and video editing, congrats.)
  • Own a printer. With lots of ink. With a ream of bond paper. Yup. – Some of your notes are now posted in your Facebook group and being the quintessential millennial student that you are, you just print it out instead of writing it down (but I recommend writing it down sometimes because it’s a form of reviewing already [depends on the lesson though] ). Also, buy lots of papers, you’ll use plenty of them because of research. You have two (2) research subjects, mind you! Most projects are to be printed out as well so this is necessary!
  • Hoard yellow papers and cut them into various sizes –  THIS. THIS. THIS. One whole, one fourth, at one half crosswise naman lagi yung ginagamit so gupitin mo na, hindi yung minutes before the activity dun ka nanggugupit. Lagyan mo na rin ng pangalan o class number lahat ng ginupit mo para di na nila mahingi. O diba? That’s what I do. #LifeHacksByAndrei #Madamot #BumiliKayoNgPapelNinyo 
  • Jot down notes during discussions – Write down notes like what grade-conscious students like me normally do, but if the teacher discusses too quickly, ask for a copy of the powerpoint or take a picture while it’s flashed on the screen (Ooops, don’t bring a cellphone!). Personally, I don’t like to lend my notes, para kasing tinuturuan mo lang maging tamad mga kaklase mo, unless it’s very important of course. TIP: Use your laptop to type your notes during discussions. Some teachers are lenient so make the most out of it! Para di mo na kasuklaman yung teacher mong mabilis magturo, unahan  na kayo! Hahaha!
  • Have your own set of coloring materials – they may be brushpens, markers or coloured pencils. (I’d choose the latter) These are helpful when doing projects which are only to be done in school. Wag kang gumamit ng glitters o ibang makalat na designs, matanda ka na. Colored pens are convenient as well! Try only one medium and bring out the Picasso in you. Haha!
  • Buy your own whiteboard marker and eraser – After ten years of  struggling with chalk dust, you’re now officially using whiteboard markers. Wow naman, level up! Make sure you have your own too (in red and black ink) because you’ll be using these for board works in Math and Chem!! #WagKangParasite #BiliKaNgMarkerMo 
  • Friction pens are the bomb – an erasable pen saves you on a no-erasures type of test. It’s a life-saver. Not only that, you won’t need a correction tape anymore. Less hassle! Sana pwede ring burahin yung mga pagkakamali mo sa buhay no? Chos!

Only in SHS

  • Math is easier – For someone like me who struggles in Math, I find these Math subjects in SHS a lot easier compared before. Maybe because it’s just a review that’s why I can still remember some lessons? Or naawa na talaga si God sa akin. I struggled with only few lessons this year unlike when I was a junior!! Math is way ~friendlier~ in Grade 11, honestly. I think that’s because you’ll bid goodbye to Math in Grade 12. Haha! (Yes, you read that right. No Math. Grade 12.) Pre-calculus and the first part of Basic Calc were fun. Stat is easier too! Cheers to that! You’ll know how to draw a perfect circle because of pre-cal. Hahaha!
  • Memorize Chemistry terms by heart – If you took up STEM and you want to ace Chem this year, review all your Grade 9 lessons, like all of them. Also, memorize the first 100 elements complete with abbreviations, numbers and atomic weight (kahit ‘di na pero kung gusto mo, go lang!), memorize the cations and anions as well! Memorize them by heart, yung tipong kahit nakapikit ka marerecite mo, because they will make your life 100000x easier. What I did was I wrote them (elements and ions) down on a manila paper tapos dinikit ko sa walls at ceiling ng room ko tapos paulit ulit ko rin silang sinulat kaya na-memorize ko. Kaya kahit nakahiga ako ions at elements nakikita ko. O di ba? Chem is life! See for yourself and thank me later! Prepare for Org Chem as well! Kaya niyo yan!!! Fighting!!!
  • You have different subjects every semester – Same teachers, different subjects. Same schedule din. Nothing exciting but you have to pass your subjects because you can’t advance to the next sem if you don’t!!! Save your notebooks and reuse them too. Tipid!
  • It’s a blessing to have a complete set of books – but if it’s not really required, borrow one from the library (they have a copy for sure!) and have the needed pages photocopied. Some books aren’t really used naman eh, ask first if it’s really needed so you won’t waste money. I wasted so much money on school requirements na di naman ginagamit. Nakakainis. ANG MAHAL MAHAL TAPOS DI GAGAMITIN WTF.  (Important: Should someone borrow your book, only lend them to people you really know and trust, some students are so klutz.)
  • New classmates = new friends – I’ve made new friends ever since we (best section students) were distributed! We now have new classmates (after nine freaking years) who will be with us for a year. It’s kind of refreshing to see new people because everyone is new to you (or us, rather.) This is a clean slate so make new friends, you’ll enjoy their company too! Have a conversation with them so you’ll know more about each other. Some of them are really friendly and funny! Remember, you’re with them for ten months. Here’s the thing: make sure you choose the right ones though.
  • Get ready for freeloaders – it’s everyone’s issue. Don’t you just hate it when someone makes zero effort and earn the same credit as you—yet you’re the one who’s done all the work? That’s just unfair, isn’t it? I’ve struggled with “pabuhats(that’s what they call themselves) the entire year. As a leader most of the time, I try to give others work which I know they can accomplish easily but others just lack effort and have zero brain cell activity. I’ve been considerate enough but some are just abusive and in the end, you’ll just let them be. Sad and ugly truth. Okay, teachers, we give them work naman talaga, wala lang po talagang utak yung iba that’s why we end up doing everything. Alangan naman i-asa namin grades namin sa kanila diba?  If you’re a top student, give them work. GIVE THEM WORK. Let them work when it comes to group projects because that’s how it should be. It’s my mistake when I let them pass mediocre work and still give them fairly decent marks. I regret doing that, don’t be like me. Dapat di ka palaging mabait. And if you’re an average student, learn how to work with excelling students, don’t complain if they’re instructing you to work on something and if they demand something better from you. Understand that they’re more focused on school than you do, wag kang ano diyan. Kaya nga nag-aaral ka di ba? Point is, know how to work well with other people. Former best section students, get ready. This is a year-round issue in every class because some people can be idiots, you know. #SorryNotSorry
  • Secure a locker and keep your things in a safe place – since you don’t really know your new classmates that much, there might be someone, a kleptomaniac, so keep an eye out on your belongings! Trust no one. Secure a locker at the beginning of the school year. They just cost 100 pesos for the whole year, I think? Secure your bags and stuff because I have friends who lost their books (Chem, Fil, Math books, all of which are important) inside the classroom and poof, they’re gone girl. I also lost some school supplies. Others don’t even ask for permission before borrowing stuff from other people. #MgaWalangHiya. This is why I have trust issues!!! Something needs to be done regarding this issue. You really have to take care of your personal belongings.
  • Cleanliness is next to grade-consciousness – As ridiculous as it sounds, even the trash bins and waste segregation is also graded and recorded. And it really (reaaaalllllyyyy) has an impact on your grades. It can save your failing Chem grade kaya maglinis ka! I can’t stress how important this is because it can either make or break your grades. It has a huge impact on your overall grade, believe me. Kahit konting points lang pwedeng magbago buhay mo. Dapat talaga maging steward of God’s creation ka. Hahaha!
  • Choose an easy but timely research topic – Pleaaaasee!!! Wag niyong pahihirapan mga sarili niyo. Don’t be like us! Choose a good topic wherein you can easily get information from references like the internet and books because RRL is life! Research requires a lot of time, effort and brain cell activity and it will exhaust you in all aspects. Let’s be honest, Practical research? Really? It’s not, and will never be, practical at all. Kakastress at kakapagod kayang mag-thesis! Madali lang siya actually, depende lang sa topic niyo. Ma-trabaho at matagal nga lang gawin. And to think that you have two research subjects pa! Homaygahd. Choose your respondents wisely too. Pick a batch or section na alam ninyong maayos sumagot. Some student respondents think that this research is a joke that they end up answering stupid things on your questionnaires. You’ll experience doing this too, kiddos. #MakakarmaDinKayo. When it comes to OD, review your paper very well because your panelist will find a hole in your research, trust me. Magigisa talaga kayo. Kapag di mo ma-gets yung tanong, dapat di rin nila maintindihan sagot mo, gantihan lang yan. Idaan niyo rin sa token. Charot! Just review your paper well, be confident, practice your presentation and don’t panic. Seriously, the OD can be your last chance in case you get low scores in your final manuscript.
  • PE will kill you, like literally.Bakit kasi di ako pinanganak na athletic?! Anyone who says PE is easy will burn in hell.  This is my most dreaded subject because I am not ~physically fit~. To tell you honestly, PE in SHS is better because there are no dances anymore and I CANNOT DANCE OH MY GOD. You have hardcore workouts instead. Tragic. Mamamatay ka sa burpees, push ups, planks and all those exercises. Kim Bok Joo lang ang peg. I struggled so much oh my gosh I’m crying. Ang dami kong nabuhat sa mga projects pero di ko mabuhat sarili ko. (But frisbee during second sem is sooooo fun!!!!)

Friendly Reminders

  • Grades are important Yes I know grades don’t necessarily measure your intelligence but they measure the effort you give on a particular subject They just show how willing or how dedicated you are to do your best in something. It’s just this year that I realized that it’s very rewarding to have decent marks. Okay lang talagang maging grade-conscious basta alam mo lang ang hangganan mo. As long as you don’t step on anyone, it’s okay. Never settle for mediocrity, you know. It feels good when you know that your hard work pays off in the end. If you know that you can do it, you’ll be driven to do better next time. You’ll be motivated to learn.  Wag niyong balewalain yan, that can help too. Nakaka-boost din yan ng self-esteem no! Para saan pa pag-eenroll mo, di ba? But let’s not forget the real essence of school which is learning. They’re just numbers after all.  Keep your balance! NOTE: Your high school grades can also help in your college admission. They can be a basis whether a university will accept you or not. Told you, never underestimate the power of your grades.
  • BUUUUT rest is also important Dapat kahit stressed, mukha pa ring fresh. That’s my life motto. Kidding! Study hard but take a break if you need and if you can. This year is really exhausting so take advantage of long weekends and shortened periods! There are lots of vacations throughout the (school) year so make the most out of them! Pero di yung tipong puro relax relax ka lang, baka pati grades mo magpapahinga din. It’s just this year na nagpapa-late ako pag wala talagang ginagawa because I’d rather sleep than be idle in school. ONE GOOD TIP: Don’t go to school early during final exams! They start late, so just arrive 40 minutes before the exams so you have more time to review and sleep! Senior High students also have a longer break than JHS because we are more ~stressedt and shookt~ than them. Feeling college lang.
  • Your talents will help you If you’re an artist or a performer and you feel bad for choosing the Academic track, I know how it feels because I’ve been there too. There are lots of questioning and all but did I ever regret taking STEM? No. Don’t worry, your talents won’t go to waste. Holy Family Performing Arts Academy na yata tayo eh! Kidding! There are lots of school events all year round and most of them are performances or talent shows. HFA pa? You’ll do good if you know how to play your cards right! Strike while the iron is hot.
  • Listen always Some teachers give items in exams which aren’t found in your hand-outs so you better listen! Be a good listener. Di yung papasok sa right ear tapos lalabas din sa left. Very wrong. Nako, kung di ka marunong makinig anong mangyayari sa’yo? What’s the point of going to school if you don’t?
  • Readings bago feelings – If you think that it’s the perfect time to have a shot at romance, better think again. I know it’s good to fall in love but seeing your grades skyrocket from the ground is better. Mas masaya kayang makita kapag worth it lahat ng efforts mo sa school. Eh yung efforts mo sa kanya, worth it ba? Invest your time for yourself, for your studies, for your loved ones muna. Pwede pa yung pa-crush crush lang pero wag mong hahayaang ma-crush buhay mo. Joke! Aral bago landi! Lol, I have no room for that, obviously.

That’s the first part of this series! If you’re reading this, thank you for reading the full post. I hope it helped you in a way. Dalawang buwan kong ginagawa yung post na ‘to so basahin niyo please huhuhu. Haha! The second part will be up real soon! Watch out!

CLICK THIS FOR THE PART 2!

Photos by Lucas Gantioqui