By Johanne Macob
LAST February 27, the UP-Baguio recognized the academic excellence of its students. With hard work, I have been a part of this very fulfilling event since I was a freshman. As it always has been, the feeling of happiness and pride were still there during this most recent ceremony. However, this year’s scholars’ convocation was a bit different for me. For the first time, I got teary-eyed when the guest speaker congratulated us. For the first time, I felt really proud of my grades. For the first time, I got really overwhelmed by what the speakers called us: the cream of the crop, the ‘scholars’ among the scholars.
I feel esteemed but at the same time pressured. Graduation is near and expectations are here: pursue excellence. As what one of our school’s officials said, entering the university is the easy part, staying in it is the hard part, graduating is the harder part, and graduating on time and with academic excellence is the hardest. Many students as I am are targeting the hardest. With this motivation, there is a necessity for one to give up certain things. It may mean giving up time for having fun (such as time for facebook or twitter), giving up money (to spend for the academic requirements), or giving up some hours of sleep, among others. If one knows what his or her priority is, it is easy to know which things to give up. Yes, time management would be a great help but at the end of the day, there will be a need to really just give up certain things for the meantime. That’s pursuing excellence, having a focus, having to give up.
Excellence comes in different forms. It could be academic excellence (as I was talking about earlier), sports excellence, journalistic excellence, political excellence, business excellence, artistic excellence, and simply excelling in your own field (whatever your field is as long as it is of significance to you and to others). I believe that we can all be excellent. We might not all be recognized and be given awards by the institution we work for or by the society, but the most rewarding thing is the pride we give to ourselves.
Maybe the reason why I got really emotional the last time was because I realized the fact that it will be the last recognition I could attend. I will soon graduate and leave the university. I am blissful to know that at least for my four-year stay there, I can say that I was able to do something excellent.