Monday, February 4, 2013

Rejections Are Part of a Bigger Plan

"Rejection isn't failure. Failure is giving up. Everybody gets rejected. It's how you handle it that determines where you'll end up.”
-Richard Castle-

Rather than Valentine's Day, one of the things that I look forward to is the annual UP College Admission Test (UPCAT) Results. I am no longer in the academe but the thrill of finding out who made it to "the cut" never fails to excite me. When the exams were held last year, one of my students Ron braved and took the challenge.

12 years ago, I took the said challenge hoping to make it to the premier state university in the country. While it was enticing to try other schools (especially the elite ones), I only hoped for UP and took it seriously. 

I waited and waited and waited for months in the hope that I'll eventually receive the wonderful news. But in the process of waiting, few months before graduation, I had noticed this school. I even passed by in front of this place every single day for months. And while this school is also a state university just like UP, I still had my eyes and my mind on passing by The Oblation daily the following school year.

However, it seemed that God has greater, more different plans for me. The day came only for me to find out that I did not make it. Of course it was devastating but I tried my best to move on. I tried other universities in Manila. But it's as if relocating for a degree is not in His plan.

Like others, I bargained -- to God and to my parents. It was my mom who tried (and tried hard at that) to convince me to enroll at the University of Rizal System and we made a deal that I will just stay there for a semester if not a year and try my luck at UP again and transfer.

Funny but it never happened. I stayed there for four years and eventually got my diploma from the said university.

You might ask me, do I still have regrets that I did not pass the UPCAT and that I did not qualify at UP. And my answer would be somewhat but then again, NO. When I think of it, I am lucky in more ways that I could ever imagine. I got educated without leaving my hometown and my parents. It's now, almost 8 years after I graduated that I come to realize I gained something out of one person's (who happens to be one of our former mayors) vision of establishing a state university in the municipality -- and that is being able to get quality education without having to go through the hassles of studying in Manila (price, distance and all).

Choosing to stay and just let go of my Oblation Dream sure was not easy; but in the end, it was worth it. My alma mater became a witness to a lot of events. From how I gained milestones, how I fulfilled some of my dreams, how I fell in love and had my heart broken (but that's deserves a separate entry). I got employed in a prestigious university three weeks after graduation, lived my dream of being a published writer by working for one of the multinational companies in the country, became a daughter of Uncle Sam with my former job in a US advertising company before landing my current job in an Australian law firm. In between these  careers, it proved me one thing: Getting to where you want to be and finding your place in the sun is not always about from what school you are from. 

To those who passed, congratulations. Not everyone is given that opportunity so never let it slip away and instead, make the most out of it. For those who did not make it, Take heart. There's one great reason behind it. And believe that it's going to be far better than you think it is.

Photo: URS Angono Facebook page.

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