"The most difficult phase of life is not when no one understands you; it is when you don't understand yourself."
(If you haven't read the first part of my story, please go HERE.)
First day of school. Despite all the hunches and feelings I had before I finally enrolled in this prestigious university, I'm also excited like everyone else. Even for this day, I'm going to forget all the things that had been bothering me. I'm just going to enjoy this day. The day that only a few hopefuls would have the privilege to experience.
But again, without thinking about it, a series of surprising events happened.
I had been 'checked-in' by my parents the day before in my new home in UP. I had a nice chat with one of my housemates that night. He would be one of my friends throughout my stay in UP. After that little talk, I had not been able to sleep well that night. I just had too many thoughts running in my mind. I had also this overwhelming feeling that I must really be dreaming. After this tiring exercise, I finally laid myself to rest.
I woke up at around 7 AM - an hour and a half before my first class finally starts. I did what would be my daily routine for the next year and a half. Fix my bed, prepare my clothes, prepare my bag, drink my milk (Yup, despite my towering figure, I still drink LOTS of milk because I don't want to end up like that old lady in a milk commercial that needs to drink that uber-expensive milk brand just to enjoy ballroom dancing.), take a bath, dress up, eat my breakfast at a nearby carenderia or at the SC (Shopping Center) and walk or ride a jeep to go to my class.
I had accomplished all of this in less than an hour, so I've got 30 more minutes to do something else.
It wasn't planned but my feet led me to the nearby church to pray. I don't remember what I had exactly prayed for then but most likely it would be to help me in my stay here - which would be the theme of my intercessions to Him in the next three years.
After a few minutes of trying to be a saint, I took the Toki jeep to take me to the farthest building in UP: the Math building. I think 'Math-haters' like me won't believe that a building would be named after the subject that tortured them and almost killed their dreams - including mine.
It was still early. There's still about 20 minutes before the class starts and here in UP, at such time, buildings would relatively be empty until the last 5 minutes before the next class comes. So I sat at one of the benches and have texted a classmate from high school that would be also having his classes here.
He's still on the way to school. *sigh* I'm alone - a scenario that would happen to me during the most of my stay in that school. I just tried to ease my boredom by waiting in my class. Still, I was the first one to arrive. I just sat down and waited for the instructor to come. Then she finally came.
Obviously, the first thing that she'd be doing is to check the attendance. We submitted our Form 5. Then, I was quite surprised by what she said: "Iho, bukas pa ang math mo."
What? So to avoid getting any attention from my three classmates (we were only five then in the room, including the instructor), I just got my Form 5 and ran away from that room. I again texted my classmate and told him that I have no classes. I waited for him outside the room and we went out of the building.
Not knowing where to go, we just wandered until we decided to just go to the Shopping Center (the only familiar place for freshies on the first day of school) and eat at Rodicks.
It was only after we had parted ways that I take the time to scan my Form 5 to see what's my next class would be. I was taken aback with what I found out, I thought that it was a Monday but actually it was a Tuesday. (Nahirapan akong buuin ang pangungusap na ito. :D)
I had missed my first class - which is my major. On my first day at school, I had made my first mistake.
That could be a tell tale sign for me that this is what's going to transpire in the next three years - missed classes, missed opportunities and missed life.
It could also be a warning so that I would never do it again. But I never heeded to any signs or warnings because I had been too ignorant to notice them. I had been too enmeshed in thinking that if I would just live the day, everything would be fine. That complacency had buried me in a mess that would take years before I could get out of it.
Still, something good had happened during that day.
The Freshman Welcome Assembly was held that afternoon. As I was making my way to the venue (University Theater), suddenly the heavens poured out its bowls. It doesn't show any signs of stopping. what's even worse is that I didn't brought my umbrella with me.
Manong had dropped me and some freshies who had not also brought their umbrellas with them at the nearby waiting shed. Then the downpour suddenly stopped. But I know it is not yet over so I just ran as fast as I could to take advantage of the sudden lull.
Then, just a few seconds after I had sprinted from across the street, it started raining again. Good thing that I had been able to take cover at the side of the building. I was so close to the entrance. Luckily, somebody had seen me and offered to go with him inside. I just have to thank that guy from saving me from getting wet. But as I was about to express my gratitude, he was nowhere to be found.
Maybe, He sent that person to save me. But it wasn't until now that I realized that it was not all misfortunes that happened to me during that day.
At the end of my first day, I went back home. Yes, I was just away for a day and now I'm already coming back. It is not because I got home sick but because I had no classes for the next day (Wednesday) and my parents told me to just go back because I'd be doing nothing anyway.
On my way home, a group of activists had rode the same jeepney that I was in. They were the group that had staged a lightning rally earlier on our freshman assembly. I just ignored them. I wasn't interested then in getting involved with their 'movement.'
But a few moths later, I'm going to see the same faces while we are up in arms against the impending tuition fee increase. I didn't also know then, that I'd be having a short stint with them a year later.
It took me three days to finish this post. I had a hard time remembering the details. It seems that my memory had not clearly stored the painful memories of my past. Maybe, it had become too painful to bear that my mind had automatically cleared the junk out.
Nevertheless, these events that happened on my first day of class would actually be a hint to what's going to happen in the remaining years of my stay in UP - before I got evicted.
Next, my social life.
Photo taken from here.