By Allyza Quirante
I entered De La Salle University with the full intent of transferring after my first term. Like most entrance exam applicants, I was determined to get into my dream school, despite not making the initial cut. Since my dream university was far from home, my parents proposed a deal, which sounded more like a wager to me. The deal was that they would let me transfer and send me off to my dream university, but only if I gave La Salle a chance. I took on the challenge, knowing that my happiness would be elsewhere. Here are the four things that made me stay.
Coming Out of My Shell
I’ve always considered myself to be a wallflower. I wasn’t afraid of giving speeches on-stage, but the idea of being caught up in social gatherings always felt like a punch to the gut. When I found out that I was required to attend the freshmen orientation, I was making up faux relative deaths and practicing my fake headache look. Little did I know that I would meet the four people that would stay by my side through thick, thin, and thesis. Our circle of friends served as the safe space that taught me how to open up.
Reminding Me to Stay Hungry
We were always encouraged to appreciate other disciplines and how they were interwoven with the degree program we signed ourselves up for. Since my degree program is under the College of Liberal Arts, our mentors taught us to consistently kindle our passion by digging for new ideas and innovating them; learning the rules and breaking them. By the end of my stay, I’ve developed an interest in philosophy, literature, and psychology, which I continue to research about. Let your mind wander and think outside of the box, because when life gives you lemons, you don’t always have to make lemonade. Heck, go out there and bake lemon squares.
Immersing in the Culture
Contrary to the entitled, rich kid stereotype heavily associated with the students of La Salle, I felt a genuine warmth from the people I met from the beginning of my stay up to the very end. From my freshmen orientation until my graduation, the hospitality and sense of belongingness deeply rooted in La Salle culture contributed to my personal growth. The sense of camaraderie during the UAAP games, craving for Ate Rica’s Bacsilog, and throwing your graduation cap in front of the beautiful St. La Salle Hall are simple things that bring out the best in our community.
It was also quite easy to fall in love with the school’s white buildings, with the main one and its classy architecture, and the newer Henry Sy, Sr. Hall. The mix of older and newer architecture made DLSU a unique landmark that breaks the almost monochromatic monotony of Taft Avenue.
By the end of the first term, I happily conceded. I continue to take pride in this humbling and enlightening experience, because it served as the foundation for me to become a better person. I still wonder what my life would be like had I transferred that term, but I have no regrets. For those who have yet to find their place in the University, give yourself time. It may sound cliché, everything happens for a reason, no matter how perplexing and heartwrenching it may be in the beginning. Life doesn’t always take us to the place we want to be, but rather, where we need to be.