It’s been more than two years now since I’ve entered Ateneo, and in those two years, the Ateneo community helped in molding me into a better person. In Ateneo, we are not simply being taught facts. We are being taught to be man for others, to serve. We are being taught to be leaders, to be nation builders. I must admit, my first year in college had not been easy to me, especially in terms of academics.
I found it very hard and challenging to adjust to the culture and to the pace of life here in the metro which made it difficult for me to focus on my studies during my first few months in college. However, as months went by, I slowly got the right rhythm and was able to find the right balance between academics and my extra-curricular activities. Being an achiever back in our province didn’t make it easy for me to accept just being an average student here in Ateneo.
Thus, I worked really hard and I could say that my efforts had pay off with good class standings. And yet, I kept pushing myself until I reached my breaking point last year when I got really sick. I realized that all the stress and pressure that I had put on me had taken toll on my body. This made me reflect on what I am really doing with my life and question what is this all for. It is then that it hit me. All along, I’ve been trying to fill up what’s missing inside of me with empty achievements.
I realized that I don’t really know what I am doing nor I do know what I really want to do with my life. I lost my sense of direction. It hit me so hard because I remember, there was a time that I had a clear sense of direction and goal in life which is to help other people. I still remember the time when I knew I already heard my calling when I was in grade school and wanted to serve my community in whatever ways I can. But then I got caught up with the busyness of life. I got too busy that I already forgot to pause for a moment and just listen to God’s voice.
I remember when I first step my foot in the Ateneo, the first place my father had brought me into was the Church of the Gesu. It was the most beautiful place in the campus for me. It’s like a sanctuary between the madness of the world. I haven’t been able to visit there frequently when I got caught up with the busyness of academic life last year but now, it became my solace. I make it a point to visit there every time I can and try to reconnect with God and listen to what direction He is pointing me to. And now, I feel more complete and accomplished than ever.