With a grade of 1.185, Therese C. Ratilla, BS in Economics is the 8th summa cum laude of VSU, and the only summa cum laude of class 2017.
Therese is a daughter of two VSU Faculty, Mr. Teodomero Ratilla, and Mrs. Berta Ratilla who work who both work at the Agronomy department of the University. Her brother, Mark Ratilla, was Magna cum laude of VSU’s class of 2013.
Ratilla is a “pure Visca product” having graduated from the Visca Foundation Elementary School, the Visayas State University Laboratory High School, and now, the Visayas State University. But although topping a list of over 137 Latin honors this year, Ratilla insists that she is by no means a ‘genius’.
“Mag tuon ra gyud ko ay, tingalig mag tuo na sila nga genius ko or unsa ba, mag tuon lang gyud ko”, Ratilla told Amaranth. (I just study. I hope they won’t think I’m some sort of genius or anything. No I just study). Ratilla was a student leader during her high school days, being both the Student Body Organization President, and the Battalion Adjutant of the VSULHS CAT-1 unit.
She graduated third in rank despite the pressure from the extracurricular activities, but wanted to loosen up a bit during college. She has not sought any major leadership position during four year stay in college, but insists that this was by no means as preparation for getting summa cum laude.
“I wanted to chill from the pressures of student leadership. That position in the Student body really stressed me out in high school, that’s why I decided to take a rest from the leadership in college. I wasn’t quitting student leadership because I wanted to chase summa cum laude, I was aiming for magna even”, says Ratilla.
The choice of her course itself was not concrete and determined decision at first. Ratilla says that’s he was inspired by her high school economics teacher, Mr. Allen Glennie Lambert, which is why she took up economics. When asked how she managed to pull it off, Ratilla laughingly quipped that she wasn’t someone who normally gives advice, and getting summa cum laude was by no means planned, because she didn’t want the pressure of people expecting too much from her. But Ratilla offered three things for students who want to follow her: study, social life, and chill.
“I just study”, emphasized Ratilla. “Perhaps I’m also motivated by the stipend I get from being a University Scholar. That’s really good because my parents don’t even give me anything as a reward for being an honor student”, joked Ratilla.
“I even cram the nights before my exams. I don’t do things like studying weeks before or anything like that. I also experience getting low and even zero in quizzes that I am not prepared for. That secret is really just studying, because if I don’t study, I won’t have anything to answer”, Ratilla added.
She also attributed this success to her friends, and the time they spend together to ‘chill’. “There should always be balance. You have to have friends so that you won’t be too stressed. You have to go out, and enjoy your college life with them”, Ratilla revealed.