*This article was first published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer dated January 16, 2014; now that I’m also done with my last SATs, I guess this deserves to be reposted here in my blog 🙂
With just a few more months before graduation, anxious of what their future will be like, high school students flocked to the Ateneo campus to check the Ateneo College Entrance Test (Acet) results which were released on Jan. 11. Some of my friends started shouting in joy and celebrating as they saw their names on the list of accepted students; they finally had a college.
At the same time, my other friends sat there thinking about what their future will be like as they wait for the test results of the other schools they applied to. The buildup to the college admissions results means a lot of goose bumps and late nights worrying whether or not one will get into the college he or she wants.
A lot of us Xavier students are excited at the prospects of finally going to a co-ed school. More importantly, college is a chance for us to pursue our interests, expand our horizons and explore a whole new world.
In fact, in the past few years, more and more Filipino students, including me, have been applying to universities abroad with a desire to travel across the globe and experience life in a different country.
From reviewing for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) to tirelessly working on those college essays, I’ve pushed myself to the limits with these applications. Honestly, there have been times when I felt like giving up, yet the allure and endless possibilities of college abroad have given me enough motivation to keep pushing on.
And keeping me going through those late nights thinking about my future were the words of encouragement and support that I got not only from my family and friends, but also from my mentor from the College Admissions Mentors for Peers (CAMP) Philippines, a student-run group that provides advice for young Filipinos on all things related to the college application process.
I cannot stress enough how much CAMP Philippines has helped students like me who want to study abroad. CAMP has simplified the process for us students by providing constant support through its mentoring program, conferences, online resources and community.
The CAMP mentors themselves are Filipino students who are studying in the top universities in the world like Harvard, Stanford, Yale and UPenn. And along with their mind-blowing intellectual ability and astonishing credentials is a desire to give back and help other Filipinos achieve their dreams, too—a perfect embodiment of CAMP’s mission, which is to help Filipinos pursue the best possible education in hopes that they’ll one day bring back everything they’ve learned to the Philippines and their fellow Filipinos.
From my experience as a mentee, a lot of the mentors are very approachable and are, more often than not, just a Facebook message away. It truly is awe-inspiring how they’re very willing to help you out and are constantly there giving you advice, reminding you to work on your essays and review for your SATs, and just being there as living proof that studying abroad can be a reality.
And as I sat there, ready to submit my applications to my dream schools, I just had to pause for a moment and ask myself, “Was all the time and effort I spent on the process worth it?”
Yet as I once again look back on the entire process and everything I’ve learned from it, both about the world and myself, I can say that going through the process was every bit worth it.
Looking at the bigger picture, the process in itself is good enough reason to try your shot at making your dream to study abroad a reality because there are organizations and people out there like CAMP and its mentors ready to lend a helping hand. In fact, applications to be a mentee for the 2014-2015 application cycle will be coming out soon and, based on my own experience, CAMP mentors really do care about you, so don’t hesitate to apply!
For now, I’ll have to wait a few more months before I find out whether or not I get into the colleges I applied to abroad. Yet there’s no use stressing over the “what if’s” and where I’ll end up in the future because I’m still a high school student with two more months left before graduation, and these two months are months I want to cherish and enjoy, not as a “future” college student, but as a high school senior.