Mapua University is an establishment renowned for its capacity to create extremely talented graduates. In fact, according to the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), it is among the highest performing schools in regards to their passing rate at the ECT licensure board examinations conducted in April 2018.
You see statements from people who have graduated from the school having illustrious careers, with records showing that the majority of them were able to go abroad and become internationally renowned.
“If you have big dreams, start here,” as one of their mottos suggest. And dream big I did. After passing the entrance exam I enrolled at the school with my head held up high and my hopes placed proudly over my chest. I felt that I could do anything. But as you can imagine, things didn’t go exactly as planned – in fact, everything that could have went wrong, did go wrong.
To say that passing an engineering class in Mapua is hard is like saying finding a matching pair of socks in a pitch black room is a bit annoying. I won’t go into details, but I’ve been in classes of 20 where only four or five students at most would pass. It got to a point that Mapua had to rework it’s course enrollment procedures because students were becoming used to failing classes.
Now, failing a course or subject can lead to a certain range of emotions not unlike how one reacts when their pet just died. Apparently, the five stages of grief can be applied to course sections as well. Here, I list down the five stages of grief that Mapua Engineering students go through when they inevitably fail a subject:
When you are at the cusp of failing a subject, the very first thing that consistently pops to mind is the notion that you can actually still pass. You might believe that you can salvage your situation if you ace this last quiz even if you’ve failed the last four or three. There are people who will continue on to the end and be suprised once the results come out at the end of the term.
Some students are more aware of their impending end, so they do more proactive actions that could possibly turn their situation around. For many, the turning point is when the professor is feeling generous enough to provide you with a project or a task that will give you the chance to pass. If you are lucky enough to be presented with a similar situation, don’t mess it up! Do whatever you can to finish them, because professors don’t hand these opportunities often.
In many cases, a professor in Mapua will make it clear at the start of the term that they will not be handing out any special projects for failing students. It’s at this point that the student realizes that there is absolutely nothing that they can do. The full scope of their situation hits them and it hits hard. Frustration and contempt are some of the more common reactions students face.
Some will blame themselves for being either too lazy or stupid and other will blame their professors for possibly favoring other students over them. I’ve been in both places and I promise that the feeling will fade. Unfortunately, after this comes the most difficult emotion to overcome.
Once the anger fades, all you are left is the failure you’ve made for yourself. This can lead to a slew of negative thoughts that can lead to depression and other extremely negative thoughts. I make no hyperbole that failing a subject will make you want to lie down in bed for a month. You will genuinely feel that you’ve failed everyone you’ve ever cared for, and that you’ve tarnished all that you hold dear.
Failure shows us the value of success. Without failure there would be no stakes to drive people towards accomplishing their goals. Failure presents an opportunity to succeed where we had once gone wrong. As long as you are alive, there can and will always be a way to come back better than where you were before. Knowing this and truly accepting this will help you go through not only college but the rest of your life.
Mapua offers many courses that cater to many strengths. If you find yourself truly at loss where you are now, no one will begrudge you for choosing one that will suit you the best. Just be smart when choosing an alternative. Like most things in life, switching courses costs time and money, things that are in very limited stock. Do your research, ask around, get a feel for the environment of the course. If you’re patient enough, you just might find where you belong.
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