By Iggy Francisco
The first time I slept in my dorm room, alone and away from my parents, I thought to myself, “Just four years of this, then I can graduate and go back home. Maybe I can even do it in three and a half, what’s the worst that could happen?”
On the first semester of my fourth year, I found out I wouldn’t graduate on time, all because I failed to enlist a prerequisite subject. I told my parents. They got mad, but I explained. An extra semester wouldn’t be too bad now, right? What’s the worst that could happen? That extra semester became two, and then four. Each semester, it got harder. Turns out, I had a lot of incomplete subjects that I had to re-enroll in, and I just couldn’t seem to finish my thesis.
Each semester, my parents got more frustrated. They didn’t know what or who to blame. Ultimately they started thinking that I got myself in bad company, that I haven’t been trying hard enough. Meanwhile, I was even more frustrated than they were. Their supposedly smart child couldn’t graduate! I watched my friends march up the stage before me and leave the university. Sure, I was so happy for them, but deep down I also couldn’t help but envy them.
What is it that I was doing wrong? Anxiety and depression started to set in, and I berated myself. "Why did you even go to this un
What was I doing wrong? Anxiety and depression set in. I started berating myself. “Why did you even go to this university if you can’t even graduate from it?" Or, "If only you studied in a different school, you would have graduated by now! And with honors, even!" Still, even with doubts threatening to overcome me, I pressed on.
It's been six years since I set foot in that dorm room. I just finished defending my thesis and completing my last requirements. Now, every time I pass by the university avenue, I watch the sunflowers grow. And this time, they’re for me.
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