I don’t get what’s the rush in getting a job. Maybe some does not and will never understand how exhausting it is to take a five-year engineering program, not to mention the five-month review for the board exam. The experience was brutal; sharpening your mind through solving endless prombles and picking up yourself so that you can follow the pace of others. But why can’t we enjoy at least a little time to just relax and pause for a while before heading into the game field. What is it so hard to understand that sleeping and doing nothing are not wrong leading others to call us lazy. Can’t we just keep our momentum so that we can have the energy we need once we acquire our first work experience and be slaves of the corporate world for we don’t know how long.
We won’t be bum forever. We don’t need the feel of your pressure to us because we can already feel the anxiety within ourselves. We just need your patience and understanding. We will get our first paycheck. We will eventually love what we will be doing for the rest of our lives.
It has been over a month since I rushed through the PRC website and quickly searched for my surname. And voilà, I found my name in the list of passers of the November 2017 Civil Engineer Licensure Examination.
The board exam was difficult.
It was difficult because you know you have not gone through all the topics, even the other review materials given have I not scanned all of them. I admit that I didn’t spend my time wisely during the early months of review. I tend to sleep courageously after review classes. I was more focused on writing the solutions of our lectures instead of solving hundreds of problems. I wasn’t really maximizing my time, in short. Not until the pre-boards began and I started to wonder, what was my game plan to pass the exam?
I told myself that I need a clean slate. I had to regroup myself and choose between studying all the lectures from review (which are from different subjects) so I can reach a passing mark in preboards or should I focus on a subject one by one and just repeat after the cycle. For the first two preboards, it was all the former. I was finishing my solution notebook and index cards by then that’s why I haven’t scanned through everything yet. Before the second preboards, I was already bothered by the technique I’m into. Because it actually doesn’t help me a lot. Therefore after the mock exam, I told myself to solve on books and finish every problem there is. Fortunately, things went smooth as I’m reaching my goal to tick off the topics I should study. It was after one cycle that I found it difficult to refresh my memory from the subjects I studied first. It was never easy to recall all the formulas, the steps to get the right answer. That’s why I just solved and solved until the formulas stuck in my head and never forget, or little could I forget those that I memorized. Luckily, I remembered a lot thanks to Memo Plus Gold for boosting my memory hehe even though I took the meds only a month before the actual exam. Still, no regrets spending more or less 1500php for that from my own allowance haha. I didn’t want to tell my parents to buy me Memo Plus Gold because if I fail and I made them buy me the meds, I will never forgive myself. So I just bought those expensive capsules myself. Twice a day for more than thirty days.
It was difficult due to the fact that you are being pressured by yourself to get that license already. Other than the fact the you carry the pressure from your family, relatives, mentors, and everyone else who believes that you can pass, it was truly the nerves that you bring into yourself to made them proud and be successful in every shade you make. It is just between “I will pass” or “I must pass.” During exam, I always tell myself that I am a step closer to my dream so it’s best to do whatever it takes to do the calculations right and make sure that one of the choices fit the answer I obtained in the calculator. And when the time comes that I’m about to guess an answer, I will just slip my left hand into the pocket of my jacket (I’m wearing a jacket because the breeze of the aircon passes right through me which can be a blessing in disguise because I can walk around without anyone seeing me tucked in my polo shirt as instructed and I have somewhere I can place my rosary because our pockets in the pants should contain nothing) and grab the rosary to get help or signs from the Lord on what letter to choose and also apologize to Him for such act.
Everyone wanted to pass so badly. Every shade is important. And what we had to do is to believe in ourselves. And that’s it; I passed. We already took our oath and are now full-fledged civil engineers.
The score does not have a bearing when looking for jobs, unless your average meets the cut for being a topnotcher (or still not). Once you earn the license, you are all equal in the eyes of the companies. But you have got to appreciate all your efforts to reach not just 70 (because you might obtain a grade lower than 70 in other subjects) and aim higher for a higher chance of passing. And it was all worth it!
Why did I share such thing here when I should be wrapping everything all year-round?
Simply because, the experience is the highlight of my 2017. It was never ever easy but I surpassed all that and now I would like to give thanks to the following who are part of my year and helped me get into where I am now:
My thesis group who were brilliant and amusing as we fought our way to defend the thesis and kiss our hard-bounded book goodbye in the early year.
My friends and batchmates in UST CE who feel the same way I feel due to the stress of acads but went for a short trip to the North to unwind and take things slow before hurdling the last major exam in college. Finally, we altogether marched our way in the Quadricentennial Pavillion this June and got our diploma. Two days after graduation, we went back to see each other again as review classes commenced and undergone intensive review to earn our license. Five months of review may not be enough but we made the impossible possible and made our University proud as we notched the fourth spot in the performance of schools.
My professors in the Civil Engineering Department who never failed to hand us over rigorous work all at once as if our body can be disconnected to do this and do that. We really had a tough training in UST which I think helped us to manage the heavy loads during review as we already know how to balance almost everything in college without reaching the breakout point. Plus the speeches of the profs in our testimonial dinner especially that of Sir Lim! What a wonderful joy to be part of that moment. “Ang civil engineer, kapag yumaman; ibig sabihin, umuunlad rin ang bansa.”
To Miguel de Benavides Library which became my second home in the course of review. I find peace and was inspired by everyone else who kept fighting during our stay there. I know everyone is frustrated and already wants to capture the titles we all crave but it was also them who kept me sane because I can see them act normal even though the pressure is already there and awaits for us to let it sink in. It was so hard to focus at the apartment and at home so it is at the library where I can only say that I’ve found my momentum to push myself to the limits. Also, thanks to various Starbucks stores – P. Noval, Dapitan, the one near FEU, Katipunan, Tomas Morato, especially a week before the actual boards, which adopted me because the library was closed due to the University’s undas break. Not only did I found a suitable place to study, but I was also sparked with caffeine which in turn is equivalent to stickers for the planner hahaha.
My constants who listened to all my rants and made things light for me. I really had a hard time during review as I can’t seem to focus but they were cheering for me as if they do not feel the pressure, the sadness being away from family, the jitters of what could happen if we lose everything we studied in the actual boards, the same way I did. I was constantly battling with the rocks people throw at me but they did nothing but let me pass through everything and not worry about it. We were all afraid for every move we make but the uncertainties just made us stronger enough to fight our way and live a positive life. Truly blessed to have the two of you!
My family who is my source of strength and the main reason why I wanted to achieve my goals and be successful. Everything I do is for our future; for a well-built foundation so I can bring back to all the hardwork of my parents, for myself, and for our society. It was very challenging to live far away from the main people who believes in your abilities and your no. 1 supporter since Day 1. But I had to cope up with the demands of life and eventually, I’m grateful that everything was worth it.
And of course to our dear Lord, to St. Jude, St. Claire, Black Nazarene and other churches I’ve gone through, and other saints I’ve prayed to. My sincerest gratitude for all the blessings that were handed right in front of me. I am still in awe for everything I earned this year. It will never possible without Your guidance and grace upon me. May the following years continue to be years of success and humility.
Never would I imagine to survive all of that this 2017. I was figuratively (got carried away by A Series of Unfortunate Events lol)in a roller coaster ride for everything that I’ve gone through. But thanks to everyone who witnessed this journey of tight turns and steep slopes. We learned so much this year and it’s time to continue to learn, to grow, to look forward, and to go forward. You are beautiful, 2017. I’m ready for you, 2018!
When you are caught in between your desires is such a damn thing I hate being myself: what you want vs what you want. Seems like making an uneasy decision as to what matters more than the other. You wanted to do both but you can’t be in the same place at the same time. Of course, there’s a choice to be made. There will always be a choice if there are options waving in your eyes. However, you cannot weigh right away which path to take, what beans to spill, which reasons are more reasonable.
It’s sad to think that you got to spend your time less with the people you’ve had always been since then. The ones you shared stories and laughter while eating the food you all craved for a long time. The ones you’ve always wanted to spend your free time and even squeeze some spontaneous getaway into your tight schedule.
It’s a sacrifice I didn’t think I can actually make. A gesture I wasn’t fond of doing. A decision made that wasn’t just me.
A matter of you enjoying the company of others while I, back to my roots, lifting the spoon and fork all alone in a sea of strangers inside a famous red chain in the middle of an unfamiliar vicinity. But that’s okay. I’m okay.
As time flies, the more you get to know each other, the more you’ll notice your differences. And the deeper you unveil how opposite you are, the more challenging it gets to stay on track.
Thing is, as much as you think that you’re putting more effort than the other, know that the latter makes his/her ways, too, to reach out for you. He/She wouldn’t take time to be with you if not for his/her longingness of your presence. Setting aside the usual plans just to enjoy your company won’t hurt his/her time. It is you that was chosen. It is you that he/she was willing to give the time that could be allotted for other special things. Because in the end, what really matters is the memory you make and the time you spend until both of you can. So don’t just sit there, doing your thing, not reaching out to make him/her stay because these things don’t make sense. It just adds to the fact that both of you are uncomfortable and it feels worse.
A gap that should be filled by something or by someone.
To somehow earn what needs to be gained.
To somehow feel what it’s like to be full even just for a short period of time.
After all, there is this feeling of uneasiness when you haven’t resolved a problem that needed a two-way talk.
The one that needs understanding has yet to say something but the one that needs to understand can’t always “adjust” and be the “bigger person”. In reality, if the former feels uneasy for his/her fault, the latter feels the same way for being far from normal, believe it or not.