Last GE ever! :O I was in the last batch of free-choice RGEP and therefore I swore to never take Math simply because it’s possible, but it has come to the point where I’ll take anything I get. Because MSTs are nearly impossible to get on CRS! T_T
Three years down, one to go!
While I was more than happy to bid goodbye to this last semester, I now have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that, just like that, three years have passed. So much has happened (most of which I failed to put on this blog), even more has changed, *I* have changed. I was reading the “road to college” entry I wrote back when I was a freshman and apart from cringing over my writing (which I hope has improved one way or another), it reminded me of all the big goals I had. Big goals that were more vague than they were plausible.
Over the years I’ve had mile-long to-do lists with small goals like “finish this paper by tonight” or “pass this exam,” or even just “find something to recite about in class,” and many times (this semester included) my biggest goal was to just to survive. But I realize now that all the small goals really are part of the bigger goals I set for myself when I entered UP Diliman. First, to become a better writer, good enough to keep doing what I love. And second, to find a way to repay the Philippines for selflessly giving me fifteen years of the best education in the country. To repay tenfold, twenty, all the people who sacrificed their own educations to give me mine. Though those two goals will forever be a work in progress (they’re pretty ambitious!), I think these three years in and out of the classroom have taught me things that are pushing me in the right direction.
Do I know what that direction is exactly? No. Do I know where I’m going to end up at? Definitely not. College has also taught me, time and time again, that you can never really predict what will happen when you start something, no matter how much you obsess over every detail. I am, however, starting several things over the course of this four-month summer vacation. My last college summer. I’m working on getting a *real* writing job at a great organization (that also deals with music! <3) so I have my fingers crossed! I’m also going to actively pursue all the great projects I had to put on hold because of academics now that I actually have the time (and maybe the expertise?) to take them places.
And finally, I’ll be starting work on my thesis by the next school year. You’d think that being a CL major and an aspiring writer would ease my nerves, but they’re getting worse. There are standards, standards I don’t think I’ve been able to get remotely close to yet. There is pressure, pressure to start well and finish even better. There is the expectation that I graduate with honors. There is the assumption that I *graduate* in the first place.
The assumption that the coming school year will be my last is enough to scare the daylights out of me.
"Only when we are crushed do we yield what is best in us"
—Bohumil Hrabal, “Too Loud A Solitude”
Never has that phrase been so true and meaningful for me than this semester. (aside from the fact that I first encountered it this semester ;D) And since I’ve been gone for so long (I’m sorry!!!! T_T), I thought I’d start with a quick recap of my third year—the best year I’ve ever had, if I may say so.
This second semester has been such an excruciatingly painful experience—bombshell after bombshell was dropped on me, and most of the time it seemed like there was no end in sight. It was such a stark contrast to the first semester of this year, which was perfect (it really was)—I had a light academic load that let me have a social life (*ahem*), most of my classes were genuinely interesting, I had spare time to start projects I wanted to pursue, and I ended the semester with my highest GWA ever. But I realize now, now that this second semester is done and the last of my 948398530924890 final papers (seven, to be exact) is finished, that I needed the crushing.
I needed the never-ending schoolwork, the mountains (and I really mean *mountains*) of readings day in and day out, the identity crises and self-doubt, I needed the heartbreak.
I needed them all because they were coping mechanisms for each other. Because one pressure cancelled the other out. Because schoolwork was a distraction that kept me from wallowing in self-pity. Because self-doubt only made my aspirations and priorities clearer. Because readings reminded me of why I chose to study literature, why I continue to do so. And because heartbreak reminded me that I’m human, that I’m defined by things other than my grades or my performance in school.
Was it my best semester? No. Did I learn more than I ever have? Definitely. Would I go through it again? Maybe not, but I say that about a lot of the things that turn out to be the most memorable.
[In other news, senior year is just around the corner, and so is the doom that is my thesis. (That will most probably use Foucault T_T) But I’ll save that for another entry. ;D]
My Japanese professor: J-POP がすきですか？だれがすき？ (Do you like J-Pop? Who/Which act do you like?)
Me: 東方神起がすきです。(I like DBSK/ToHo)
My Japanese professor: ああ！はい。すばらしいアチストです *starts singing Doushite* (Aaah! Yes. They're great artists.)
Me (deep down inside): OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH MYYYYYYYYYYY GOOOOOOOOOOOOSH.
It’s 7:40AM, and I’ve been up for around two hours now, reading stuff for class later. All I had for breakfast was a pack of kitkat and water. My first class is at 10AM, but I only have half of the assigned readings for theory class today so I’m leaving an hour early to go and look for the missing stuff. I have a Japanese quiz that I’ve only half-studied for, and I only have one of the three books we’re discussing in Soc Sci II later.
Basically, today is going to be horrible.
Plus, tonight I have another Japanese quiz on short forms to study for (T_T) and two articles to read. At least I don’t have to run around like a headless chicken looking for them.
Why I need a study desk in my room reason #183646482927464. T_T Hopefully by Saturday. Hopefully. D:
My life this semester. Not sure yet whether to complain or revel in the awesomeness.
Anonymous asked: Hello! I saw that you were a Comparative Literature student, and as life has it, I'm a high school junior who's interested in majoring in Comp. Lit. for college. What is some good stuff to do now to prepare for Comp. Lit.? And plus, what's your favorite thing about your major? Sorry if this sounds like an interview; I just wanted to see some different perspectives. Thank you!
Hmmm, I don’t really remember doing any preparations for CL (but then again I didn’t really do anything in high school D:), but after studying it for a year and a half I guess the best thing you can do now is really just read up. Read everything you can, as many forms of literature as possible, so by the time you start studying CL you’re well-versed in everything. CL has a lot of cross-referencing and context, so reading a lot will definitely help. Learning a second (or third) language will also really help you, preferably something like a Romance language or Chinese, because it’ll be easier to learn other major languages in the future. I’d recommend starting on basic literary theory as well, since my high school taught it and it helps a lot now, but they’ll teach you that stuff eventually so it’s not that important as of now.
I’ve always liked reading, and later writing about what I read, so I guess my favorite part of CL is the writing. I’m also planning to go into writing after college, so I really enjoy the analysis and criticism part of CL. :D If you asked me during my first year, I’d also say learning languages is fun, but now that I’m getting to the more advanced stuff, well, let’s just say things have been less than a walk in the park. T_T Not that it should discourage you though! ^_^
I hope I made things clearer for you. ;D