Getting a college education is very important to me. Without it, I can’t be a high school teacher, and I wouldn’t be able to broaden my knowledge. The idea of going back to school gets me giddy, so I enroll. But as a few weeks pass by during the semester, my anxiety brings me down. This has happened three time already, and I don’t want this to happen again. So, I’ve decided to transfer to another school.
Deep in my heart, I did really want to be a UP student, even if I chose to go to UP out of practicality. I wanted to get to know the real world, meet different people, and discover myself. But when I made that decision to study in UP, I didn’t know I had Bipolar II Disorder. I didn’t know that my depression back in high school was just the tip of the iceberg; I didn’t know that it could go worse. After a semester of only 12 units, I enrolled three times, and applied for a leave of absence (LOA) three times. I felt like I wasted the money of my parents and the tax payers, but health first, right? If I hadn’t left, I might be dead. By dead, I mean six feet under the ground.
I’ve been thinking about transferring schools since the first time I was on leave, but it’s only this time that I thought seriously about it. At first, I wanted to go back to my alma mater. Then I wanted to try open university. After that, I considered transferring to either of the remaining schools in the “Big Four”. Now, I’m considering moving away from Manila just to study.
Why am I transferring, anyway? Well, I just couldn’t take the system of everything in UP Diliman. From enrollment, to the academic requirements, to the social environment, to how students are treated, to how the politics in school go, to everything. Sure, UP is a microcosm of the Philippines and maybe the world, but for a student with a psychosocial condition, UP may be a little too much to handle.
I’m not making my condition an excuse for me to “give up” or anything. Everyone is different, and everyone has different needs. What I need now is a school that will help me cope up with my anxiety. I’m not putting UP down, either. I believe that UP is the best school in the country, and everyone who graduates from the university is an armored, strong, well-rounded, nationalistic, and competent individual. It’s just that, I think I need to focus on building my armor somewhere else.
News about my school options’ admission rules broke my heart. One doesn’t accept transferees for their education program. The other one doesn’t have my ultimate favored course. Another required me to finish another semester in UP. I broke down after getting that email from the last school that updated me. I told my mom, “Can I not study anymore?” through Facebook Messenger. I later on tweeted, “Can I just die?”. I was so depressed — I just wanted to die doing nothing. But then my mom told me before that water sort of helps ease depressed feelings. So I took a shower, and I felt better. I told myself, “wow, was that miracle water?”. But that feeling didn’t last. I grew frustrated (not depressed) in the evening because of doing my nails. Then everything followed.
The next day, I called my last school option, and boy I was so happy. This school is said to be a good school for students like me. It also offers my favored course. And guess what, the school accept transferees even if they’ve only finished one semester of schooling (provided that they have not failed)! Well, isn’t that good news? Well, the not-so good side of this is that the school is miles away from home. But hey, THAT’S OKAY! I’ve always wanted to explore other places, and I also want to know how it feels like to live independently. Nothing is final yet, but I have a strong feeling on this one.
When I was on leave, I kind of thought negatively of college. All I thought of was it was mental and emotional torture. But seeing happy college graduates added a little positivity on my perspective. Now that I have a school in mind, I am pretty much convinced, again, that college is a good thing. After all, not everyone is privileged to receive higher education. So I consider myself lucky. I’m lucky that I have a chance to change my life through education, and that I have a chance to change the lives of others through my education.