It is said that our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. I never thought this would apply to me until the day I found myself blinking at my computer screen as the results of the National Competitive Exam (NCE) became accessible to the public. “Congratulations!” the screen seemed to shout, “You are among the top students in the country. Welcome to Philippine Science High School! The future of this nation lies in your hands.” Apprehension and self-doubt warred with my desire to jump up and down with glee. Is that really my name on that list? Can I really do this? Do I really have what it takes to enter this school and match wits with the best and brightest minds of my generation?
Having already carved myself a niche in my old school, I was reluctant to leave. Known as one of the most intelligent and responsible people in my batch, I loathed the thought of having to start all over again in a frighteningly new environment filled with difficult subjects and unfamiliar faces. I was the quintessential big fish in a small pond, vacillating between whether I should stay in my shallow pool or venture out towards deeper and murkier waters.
I decided to take the plunge. Not stopping at enrolling at Philippine Science, I also decided to try staying at the girl’s dormitory in order to spare myself the long commute each day. Fully committed to making the best of my new situation, I wasn’t pulling any punches. I chose to view my clean slate as a blessing rather than a curse, and resolved to make my PSHS experience even better than my elementary one.
It’s been six years now and looking back, it’s amazing to realize how my stay in Philippine Science has shaped me and molded me into the person I am now. Due to the rigorous subjects and seemingly never-ending flow of requirements, I’ve learnt to take everything they throw at me and still come up swinging. Although the mounds of paperwork on the desk and barrage of approaching deadlines may seem impossible, with proper time management and enough cups of coffee, the light at the end of each tunnel will always be in reach. Stress, it turns out, is a relative term. And when push comes to shove, I make it a point to always follow through. For it is not until we are challenged by obstacles and tested by difficulties that we truly know how strong we can be.
On my second year of my college journey, I stand unafraid of moving forward. I have been taught to push myself to my limits and then learn to expand them. I have been taught to strive for my dreams while never losing sight of who I am and what I believe in. No longer content to merely be a big fish in deep water, I shall push forward and break boundaries. This time, I’m ready to conquer the world.
Flora Anne R. Palabrica, 2012-24581