When we think of college, the level of excitement goes to a whole new level. A new and unknown life— completely different from our childish journey in high school. It is a major transition in our academic environment where we would experience many changes along the way.
The moment I passed the VSU College Admission Exam (VSU-CAT), I knew that I would venture into an uncharted territory. With so little idea on what to expect, I grew anxious yet excited of what I may encounter.
When I first started in VSU, I was amazed with the university’s aesthetic qualities and prestige. A university between the mountain and the sea. An institution leading in agriculture and research. It exceeded my expectation of a typical college campus. Perhaps these were the reasons why I chose VSU among other learning institutions. But as days turned weeks and weeks turned into months, VSU actually went beyond that.
My first week in VSU was my adjustment period where I observed many surprising things. The fact that our school is ridiculously vast, it was normal to see bikes, motorcycles, and cars cruising in the streets of the university. VSU covered a wide area with an uphill terrain where academic buildings were situated. Even if I have been walking throughout my whole life, taking those steps in VSU proved very challenging for me.
From what I saw, VSU had an admirable character. It was a diverse, student-friendly and liberal school. Students from all over the Philippines traveled just to enroll in our university. I found myself in a campus where different languages were spoken by students hailing from the different parts of the country.
Dress code was not an issue as well. Just like the University of the Philippines (UP), students in VSU were free to wear whatever they want, apply any color of dye on their hair, have tattoos and piercings, and basically achieve and express their own style. However, programs with designated uniforms were slightly an exception to that.
The university was a perfect place to make new friends. Various student organizations exist where I gained a sense of belongingness. From course-related organizations, fraternities, religious groups, art clubs, and interest groups— all can give a freshman like me opportunities to discover more of myself.
Finding a second home was not hard at all. The university itself was a home to students from distant places. When I came to VSU, I chose to stay in a dormitory. Aside from its cheap bills, dormitories had rules and regulations that taught discipline among students. I got to meet new friends plus dorms were just a walking distance to my classrooms.
As I grew fonder of VSU, a lot of serious situations turned into funny moments. Just like in other universities, wearing an ID was a must. It was my first line of defense against the strict guards in the gate, waiting to strike against students who forgot to wear one. Trust me— you do not want to get scolded by a guard in front of many other students and staff. It was quite embarrassing!
With the VSU’s macro climate, having my own umbrella was a life-saving initiative. One cannot predict the weather in the campus. A day in VSU can start off with a scorching sunny day and end up with a sudden downpour. Having my own umbrella saved me countless times. Just a piece of advice— be careful not to leave it anywhere.
Just after a few weeks, I started to feel comfortable on campus. I learned to manage my time and resources. I slowly adapted to the mountain of work and deadlines to beat. I gradually developed study habits and even practiced “morning-to-night” sessions.
I have now just a few weeks before I become a sophomore. To all the freshmen out there, it is time to step down from the tower that your high school life built for you. With a more competitive environment, you might feel that you are not as smart as you used to be— but that’s okay. You must learn to find your place and adapt according to your abilities.
Like other universities, VSU is a place of quality education— helping its students reach new horizons. But what makes our school special is its culture. It is an academic institution where students are given the opportunity to express themselves and make the most out of their own talents.
It is not easy to find a new home outside of our own comfortable houses. But for us Viscans, VSU is now our second home. It is a place that gave us people who treated us as family. It is not only a school, but a community of students, faculty, and staff who have contributed mutually to each other’s growth.
This is just a glimpse of my story. I have three more years in this university and I am going to make the most out of it.