Renee Alexis at Greenwich Tibanga

Getting into my university was unexpected. It was something I didn't plan when I was still in high school. I thought I'd spend all my days in Davao City and enroll in Ateneo de Davao. That was my dream school then. When I graduated high school, my parents decided that I attend college in Iligan City as we will be moving back to my father's hometown. I had mixed feelings. I was excited for a new journey to begin but I was also very sad to leave the life I used to know so well behind.

I can still remember how excited and terrified at the same time I felt when I was dropped off at the boarding house I was about to live in for the next 5 years of my life. It was a brand new start, literally. I didn't know anyone at all in this new place. I didn't know how the city worked and how the residents in it acted. It was the beginning of an adventure I know I would remember forever.

Thankfully, I found acquaintances in the first days of classes. Soon enough, I found some I can call friends. It wasn't so bad as I imagined. I began to enjoy my classes, I began to love the city as well.

I started to struggle by my third year in university. It was the beginning of taking up my majors and I didn't have the best of time, academically speaking. As an engineering student who wasn't fond of math, saying that I struggled was an understatement. It was the hardest challenge to surpass, I failed so many times, I lost count.

Looking back, I may have some things I would love to alter. But thinking about where I am now, I know all of those things happened for a reason and all of the choices I made back then made me who I am today.

Things I would tell my college self if I could #TBT
Maybe if I could talk to my former self, I would have told her these:

Failure is an essential part of your growth.

Nobody goes through life without falling down once in a while. Failing means you have done something but you still needed to do more. It is not an endpoint. It's just a temporary block on the road. Failing means you still have a long way to go. Maybe you just lacked in doing more or maybe the timing wasn't just right yet. Failing does not mean that you are inadequate, it just means that you need to improve yourself more for the better. Stand back up, chin up, and continue moving forward. 😊

The mistakes you make build up your future self

Let me start this advice with a cliche. Experience is the best teacher. And this couldn't be truer to its sense. All of the mistakes you made in the past are the building blocks of your personality today. Maybe those mistakes made you better, or maybe it made you worse. What you should do is learn from your mistakes so that you wouldn't have to repeat them again. Experience all your wrongdoings, experience the emotions you went through, and then learn from them.

It's okay to take a break.

Studying is a part of a student's life, but it isn't a student's whole life. You are human and you are allowed to feel tired. Yes, I know you feel the pressure but it's okay to take a break and wind down. Go to the mall, eat that ice cream, hang out with your best friends. Do what you have to do to ease your mind. Just don't overdo it and become lax and lazy. 😉

Your choices do not define you.

You may regret some of the choices you made during college, but don't beat yourself up for it. You've chosen to make those decisions because you thought it was for the best. But somewhere down the road, you came to realize that you wanted to go the opposite way. It's okay. You are young and you can do more. Do not be hung up with negativity. There will always be a way to fix things.

It's okay to feel scared and unsure of the future.

Nobody knows the future anyway, only God does. Trust in Him and you will not have anything to worry about. Do your best every time. Uncertainty will always be lurking and feeling scared and anxious is normal and it is okay. Just don't let it eat you up. Cast it all to Him, He will always be there for you.

Fvck Society.

You have grown so well, and I am a witness to that. You will be proud of yourself and what you will be achieving. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Stand with your own two feet and don't let your guard down. Society has a funny way of entering into your head. Do not listen to them. Just listen to your heart and know that you are so much worth it than what you have been told.

Lastly, enjoy your youth.

Once you have reached adulthood, you will want to go back. And the saddest thing about it is that whatever you do, you can never turn back time. So while you are young and still in school, enjoy it to the fullest. Cherish every moment, make valuable memories with the people you love, make out the most out of the most normal days. Time flies by fast when you take it for granted, make every minute count. 💖

And don't worry too much little one. Everything will turn out right in the end. Till then, I'll keep cheering on you 😘