Thursday, January 1, 2004

Academic Life Part II

Academic Life Part II

I really wanted to be a pilot. That was due to the fact that I saw one of my uncles in his pilot costume with news of traveling around the world for free; being able to see many places that one would spend a lot to go to. But ever since I discovered that being a pilot would involve Mathematics, I backed out. Anyway, childhood dreams fade away once faced with reality and adulthood.
The next dream was to become a doctor. That is one of the reasons why I went to the Medical Science career choice of high school. The thought also bored me. It was simply because of the fact that a course in Medicine would be costly and it will be a very long course. I wanted to graduate early so I opted not to. Besides, you will still work hard years after to make a name for yourself or else your eight years or more of education will go to waste.
Since then I was really undecided on what course to take, specially when I enrolled in SBC CAS. It seemed that all my academic aspirations faded away. I just went with the flow and took Information Technology. Having taken a year in SBC CAS under the said program, I should at least be knowledgeable of the basics in IT right? But I’m not, since we learned almost nothing there. Only one professor was able and the others seemed like frauds.
When I had the opportunity to leave SBC CAS, I grabbed it right away. I transferred to UP and since writing was my interest at the time, I took Journalism. I don’t know if it was a mistake but the point was that I’m already in the best university in the Philippines so what the hell right?
My first choice was European Languages because it had the least requirements in order to be admitted but I also took Journalism as a second choice. I passed both and so I went with Journalism, which really was my choice. After a year or so I began to lose interest in it. I only enjoyed writing as a hobby. Seeing it as a profession is a little bit absurd for me.
One morning I woke up with a decision to transfer to European Languages. The decision came out of the blue. Mainly a guy named Cyrus who was my classmate influenced the decision. He was in European Languages and he opened my eyes that the said course was really under rated and that people are actually starting to realize its worth. I was one of them and I wanted to transfer. For me it was like fate.
When I applied in DLSU, my first choice was European Studies but Ate Anna persuaded me to change it because she didn’t see the opportunities of the course. She, like everyone else saw it as a piece of leisure course. And so I obliged. When I transferred here, European Languages was also a choice. So I decided it must be fate. Unfortunately, the shifting deadline already passed by when I made the decision. I was trapped again, this time at the college of Mass Communications. I just decided to transfer next semester. Then, another career shift came about.
It began when I had frequent talks with Brian about International Relations. Brian is under the Political Science program of his school and he said that he would be going to Foreign Affairs instead of Law. He also was planning to learn languages to prepare for it. Suddenly a thought came to me. I don’t know if it was envy but I wanted to go to International Relations.
The symptoms were there. I wanted political issues, mainly international. I am obsessed with foreign languages. And I like to have a job abroad or with an international company. That must be it. Again, another swift career shift.
Until now I still am confused in which path to take. I am torn between taking European Languages major in Spanish minor in Political Science or take Political Science instead. I really am confused.
If I take European Languages, I will be geared more on the academic aspect because I will be trained to be proficient in the language alone with some tidbits of culture. I could use the minor in Political Science on the other hand to be able to break into International Relations. I am still confused but I think most of the courses in the curriculum of this program will not be of any benefit for me. There are no economics courses and other stuff that are related with International Relations. My minor will be on Politics alone.
On the contrary, if I take Political Science, I will have more chances of getting admitted in an International Science Master’s degree simply because it is more relevant to the field. I think if I apply for a master’s degree abroad, I will have more chances of getting admitted if I had this instead of EL.
I’ve been using all my free time here in Malaysia by planning my academic life when we get back. I am targeting a May 2005 return so I could enroll for the first semester but I couldn’t be so sure because Mamá seems reluctant to the idea. If not, my final answer would be November 2005.
My other concern in considering the two programs is that Political Science would finish earlier than European Languages. Whether I come back May or November, I will be able to finish Political Science in 2008 and could even finish it in 2007 if I engage in a very tight schedule. European Languages on the other hand would be a risk because if I come back November, I might extend another semester to finish it, hence not graduating in 2008.
The choice now is hanging. Many times I’ve concluded to stick with European Languages only to change my mind again after thinking for a while. I will still have more time to decide anyway, I just hope I’ll be able to make the right decision or I will be delayed again. Delayed is the story of my academic life. Anyway, there still are other academic topics. Here’s one.
I’ve always dreamed of studying abroad. The thought of competing academically with students from different countries has always challenged me. But as for the time being, I think it’s too late. Still, I am hoping.
Just recently I browsed the Internet to search for the necessary information regarding the National University of Singapore. I discovered that they have a European Studies undergraduate program similar to that of La Salle but definitely better. The university was recently included in the top twenty universities of the world among other academic bigwigs such as Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge. NUS and Tokyo University were the only Asian Universities included last year. UP is the best in the Philippines but I’m not aware if it was included in the world top twenty.
I was aghast seeing the figures on the computer screen. A year in NUS costs S$20,000, which is around Php600, 000.00. Now I see that it was impossible. I want to go back to continue my education in UP and the thought of continuing at NUS was the object of my fantasy for weeks. But it is impossible in all aspects. And so I just came up with the conclusion of pursuing a master’s degree there.
It is also one of the main reasons why I should graduate in 2008. I actually have a choice of graduating a year earlier if luck would be on my side and I choose Political Science but most of my plans would be affected.
The 2008 graduation is planned so that when I graduate I will be:

1. Fluent in and have a diploma in French courtesy of the Alliance Française de Manille.
2. Fluent in and have a diploma in German courtesy of Goethe Institut Manila.
3. Fluent in Spanish and have a diploma from UP if ever I choose European Languages.
4. Graduating with a degree in Political Science if I choose it and be fluent in Spanish via self-study.
5. Eligible for a Master’s degree in International Science at NUS and my parents would have the funds to support my education there.

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