Olsim takes pride in pursuing degree

Jenelyn Olsim felt a sense of accomplishment and heaved a sigh of relief after finishing her studies despite a very hectic schedule over the past couple of months.

Jenelyn Olsim (Photo from Jenelyn Olsim's Facebook page)

The Team Lakay stalwart recently got her bachelor's degree in political science from University of Baguio which she proudly posted on her social media as well.

While completing her final requirements for the last hurrah, the 25-year-old Olsim is also preparing for the 31st Southeast Asian Games as well as returning to mixed martial arts action in ONE 158: Tawanchai vs. Larsen.

Olsim hit two birds with one stone as all hard work paid off.

"I think I’m living the life that I want and I’m happy about it. During those times when it got so hectic, I knew I had to fully focus, get organized, and strictly follow my schedule. When things get too distracting, I tend to reset things and I’m back in my focused state," said Olsim, who won bronze medal in vovinam in the SEA Games and against Julie Mezabarba in ONE Championship.

"I experienced when things just snowballed and everything was happening all at once but I’m so proud that I didn’t stop. I pursued my studies and got my degree. It feels uplifting and empowering."

The Igorot warrior, however, admitted that she found it difficult to balance both her studies and her career as both an amateur and a professional athlete.

After all, it takes more than blood, sweat, and tears when it comes to training every day at the Team Lakay Gym in Benguet.

But Olsim always looks back on the reasons why she walked the path of a martial artist, and a part of that credit goes to both Team Lakay coach and patriarch Mark Sangiao and veteran Eduard Folayang.

Folayang, who has a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Cordilleras, used to teach English and Physical Education while Sangiao also became an instructor at the university's Criminology Department while finishing his master's degree in the same program.

"Whenever I feel that my stress is building up, I always think of the why’s and think of what I’ve been doing in my career," said Olsim, who holds a 6-3 MMA record.

"They are my role models, I genuinely look up to them and they inspire me to accomplish more. I always take their advice to heart, and one of those is that I should be focused on finishing my degree."