I will, for the last time, be going from Ortigas to the other end of Edsa for me to get to school. I will, for the last time, curse my alarm for betraying me. I will, for the last time, take the long path to the Engineering building with great stress. I will, for the last time, treat the library as a refuge should lazy afternoons come. I will, for the last time, swipe my ID card or try bailing on the security guard in cases I'd forget it. I will, for the last time, eat in a school canteen. I will, for the last time, write down notes for the benefit of exams. I will, for the last time, feel anxious about knowing new faces and be eaten alive by the greatness of what is ahead of me.
I still remember, though not vividly, my first day in college. I was brimming with confidence. I knew that I was smarter than any other student in that classroom. I may have failed UPCAT but I passed ACET with great grades. In that UPCAT vs ACET thing, they say ACET is harder. I had that fact sitting side-by-side my technical pencil, T-square, tracing tube, Algebra and Trigonometry textbooks, and what-not.
The first exams came. The professor calls the names from the person who got the highest score and so on. "Mr. Joe Green Breaker?" the fat professor asked. I stood with eyes transfixed on the paper she was holding, and neck up tight. I was proud of myself. The professor said, "You are the second one, in fifteen years, who got my first exam for Algebra perfectly." The classroom gave out small gasps and I got furtive looks. The professor tapped me in the right shoulder. "We need members for the Math Geeks, I would love to see your face in the tambayan later."
As sudden as that, I would be called Einstein when I pass the lobby and the corridors. I'd hear people whispering. I'm a celebrity. No, not yet. Until we get the scores from Trigonometry, English, and Chemistry. I never knew such a position; I was never the best in high school. I was always behind the shadows of my brighter classmates.
Four years later, I gained a cool group of friends. The prettiest lady in my course, the richest, the other cool geeks, the best DotA players. We boded well. It was a bullying group. I enjoyed the position.
Later, I knew how to skip classes. Play billiards, computer games, drink just before a major exam, flirt with anyone who would show equal attention. Vegan spirit consumed me. I had to pull myself together before all that I was investing on were gone.
And the tragedy came. I was struck with psychological distress after knowing that my grades suffered. I was so depressed. I did not eat for two days. I never left my room. I disconnected myself from my friends. I cursed myself for it was me who brought myself into that situation. I was not supposed to blame anyone else.
Two semesters ago, and I'm back on track. Unfortunately, the Latin Honor which I was aiming is now far from my grasp. I cursed the high grade requirement for the lowest Latin Honor Cum Laude, 1.41-1.60. Even if I get all straight A+s I ill be 0.04 points short. YES! LIFE SUCKS! 1.64. Fuck.
Even if I shoot trajectories of efficient projectiles, I will still be an asymptote to the Honor: so close, yet, repelling.
I will forever regret my extravagance. The times when I should have done projectiles in my Physics class and not on anyone's bed, a different one every night. The times when I became the prodigal Math geek. The times when I slept on my final exams in Integral Calculus, Differential Equations and Electronics 1.
The most that I can do now is enjoy my tenth and last semester. Those bitter moments will be a scar of remembrance. I learned a lot from those experiences. They were humbling and life-changing. As look back, I saw how Joe came past transitioning from a self-satisfying brat to a concerned and mature individual. I believe, All Is Well That Ends Well. I will end this semester wearing the black academic regalia with an orange lace -- proud and with an insurmountable amount of gladness in my heart. This is because, I have successfully got through the highest highs and the lowest lows of college. College made me a better person. College will contain my greatest social treasures. It will always be worth a walk back.