Hi. For some reason I just had an urge to go to your profile and just look at it. It just came out of the blue as I was opening my Facebook account to check on my Facebook groups for my medicine classes. There were some posts that you shared as well as photos of you that others uploaded and I felt compelled to look. I wondered how you looked like after over a year. Photos of you weren’t so commonly uploaded in social media and I have unfollowed you from my news feed anyway.
You’ve grown! I’m so proud of you for where you are right now. I see that you’ve joined an organization in our university. I hope you’re having a good time over there, meeting and interacting with your peers in that organization. Last time I checked you weren’t so much of an org person based on how I got to know you. I guess we all change from time to time. I see that you’ve also been hanging out with your constants.
I’ll get to the point. I am so sorry for suddenly avoiding you. I don’t blame you for being so confused at one point in the past. I knew that you knew what I was doing and you eventually did what you believed was the right thing to do. As a response, I did what I had to do in response to what you were doing in the early months of 2016. That leads us to the million dollar question.
Why did I change all of a sudden in the first place?
I already knew the answer long before everything changed. I was just too much of a coward to admit it to myself. I felt something but I refused to listen to what my heart was slowly telling me. That I hoped for another semester of being classmates. That I looked forward to developing our friendship on my last year in college.
Fate had other plans. You had other plans as well. For that I withdrew and eventually entered a phase of self-doubt and self-hatred. I doubted myself for feeling something but I wasn’t exactly sure about its origin. I also hated myself for having those feelings because it wasn’t right in the first place.
Sadly you were dragged into this internal mess of mine. I am sorry. I was concerned about what was right but I never realized that my response to my situation was affecting you directly. That in itself was wrong. I never should have withdrawn and run away. I probably did not have to come to that decision had I been honest and straightforward about my feelings.
Everything has already been done. I got what I wanted and I was able to stop thinking about the whole situation. However, it came with a price. Guilt consumed me especially on other social media platforms where we followed each other. It’s funny because there is a possibility that your posts may not have been about me but I sure was affected because I knew I was guilty of doing something I shouldn’t be doing to you. Things became awkward whenever our paths crossed in school. We greeted each other in school actually. We never made it obvious to one another that something was no longer right but things were never the same. Each encounter gave me the feeling of wanting it to be over as soon as possible.
You know what, though? Somewhere at the back of my mind I wonder if I’m just being paranoid. What if I’m just being paranoid and everything that happened was just purely coincidental? That you passively responding to my avoidance was actually just plain coincidence? That maybe your posts weren’t pertaining to anyone/something at all? I’ll never know actually.
Despite that my heart insists on saying sorry even after this apology comes after over a year. Logic seems to be telling me I could be paranoid but my heart feels otherwise. I’m sorry for not being man enough to say what was in my heart. I’m sorry for making things awkward during our chance encounters in school. I’m sorry if I made you feel bad in any way during the course of my evasion from you. I’m sorry for not attempting to patch things up on days and nights when I saw you from afar.
I sincerely hope that one day I can have the guts to undo what I did that one night in 2016. I don’t know when but I can say that it’s definitely not happening today. I honestly don’t even know if I can be able to undo it at all. I’m sorry but I am scared. I’m scared that everything will happen all over again if I undo what I did. What if things go back to being toxic? I can still remember the days leading to that decision of mine. One day I was just too overwhelmed by what I had done to lead to that uncomfortable atmosphere between us. No one said a thing about it but I know we both knew everything wasn’t okay. One night, after being so overwhelmed, I just did it. It was the last straw for what I had done and for what I had pushed you to do. Suddenly we no longer existed in each other’s world….ish. We remained friends in social media but something was missing and we both know it wasn’t just a simple case of unfollowing you.
I know, I know. What if it doesn’t happen all over again? Unfortunately that’s a risk I’m not willing to take…..yet……hopefully. I guess for now all I can do is subtly support your endeavors in my own little ways. This mess started in subtle terms and maybe it should also end in subtle terms first.
I wish you all the best in life. I still can’t believe it’s your turn to march up the stage and get that diploma next year! You’re getting old like I am. You’re going to graduate, get a job somewhere/enroll in medical or law school and we’re going to find our significant others and establish our separate families at different points in our lives. You lost track of what I was up to a year ago when I graduated. Next year I will know less about you too. You will no longer frequent our school by May next year and that will be it. Our worlds will grow bigger and bigger. Who knows? That last encounter in school might have been our last and we might forget about each other in the future.
I hope that doesn’t happen though. Worlds grow bigger but that doesn’t mean we’ll no longer see each other in this universe. It will definitely not be as probable as it was in school but it’s still possible. We will meet again. I can’t say when but I know it will happen at a time when everything will be right and they will just fall into place. I know I’ll be ready to say everything, to let go all of it and to start off in good and natural terms when that day finally comes.
April 7, 2015. I was watching a TV show when I felt a sudden urge to check my school’s online portal for grades. I had been uncomfortable the past few days because my grade in Organic Chemistry, a subject I found difficult back then amidst hours of studying, was due for release. For days I had been praying hard for at least just a passing mark but it was not meant to be. I sulked about it for days because my applications for med schools were going to be affected and it was already the second time I flunked a class. I was so hurt by everything. My intentions were sincere and I was left wondering if my prayers just fell on deaf ears and if there really was a God in the first place.
April 7, 2017. Clearly April 7 is a significant day and I wonder what’s going to happen on that day in the coming years 🙂
Anyway I realized how petty I was two years ago for complaining just because of a failing grade. But that experience was not enough from preventing what was to happen.
My appeal for admission on my dream med school was rejected and I partly blamed the Lord for it. I knew I was at a disadvantage. I didn’t have superior grades from my college years and from the medical admission test but the Lord somehow gave me a shot at the interview (which is I believe where I blew it) and then on the appeal. Usually applicants are no longer qualified to the interview phase if they score low on grades. I was crying out to the Lord that maybe he shouldn’t have given me a chance to be interviewed at all if His plan did not include me being admitted to my dream medical school.
So I was at it again. I heard Mass but I was only physically there. I took the Holy Communion but I never prayed for anything. I also declined to take part in the praying of the rosary whenever my parents asked me to pray with them.
July 11, 2017. I have not given up on my faith and I have learned so much from those two experiences as well as everything that accompanied it. You don’t always get what you want in life and there’s always a reason for that. It won’t make sense in the start but the answer will come in time. Sometimes we never get the answer and it’s simply the trust in Him that keeps one going in life.
Personally life gets simpler once you stop expecting too much. After the appeal was rejected, I pleaded one more time to show my dream med school that I really wanted it there. Still, it wasn’t granted but I am alright thanks to a good social support system. They helped me not to expect to a fault and to see what has happened in a different light. Maybe my current med school is a sign that is where I will shine the brightest? Highly possible especially since I have felt for some time now that the Lord is pushing me into this direction.
Talking to the Lord has become more meaningful. Lately I have always been praying that things turn out fine in med school and in my personal life for the next four years. Guidance, assurance and comfort have been the main themes in my prayers and it makes my life more manageable to a significant extent. The extremely heavy feeling in my chest and heart goes away and I usually find myself feeling better after praying. At night talking to Him helps me calm my nerves especially if the heavy feeling is back.
More importantly I learned that strengthening one’s faith will have to involve questioning it at one point in life. Darkness will always precede the light and it will continue to do so until the end of time.
Likewise I do not expect to be in the light for long. I will stumble again inevitably especially now that I am entering a new phase of my life. There will be new bumps, both the expected and the unexpected, along the road and the questioning and doubting will start all over again. Despite these, I remain calm.
But I know myself. I will break down once life presents to me its newest challenge, one that I have never encountered like before, but I want to remain hopeful and optimistic that everything will be alright in the end. I just have to trust the process and remember it in my heart that the saddest, most challenging moments also have a meaning in life and are also opportunities for one’s faith to grow and mature.
Med school is coming up in a few months and there are two things that I can’t stop thinking day by day: getting over the anticipated demoralized phase and the adjustment phase
Anticipated demoralization. That’s what I call it after accepting my fate that I will not be studying medicine in my dream school. Don’t get me wrong, okay? I am demoralized right now, knowing that so many of my friends will be studying in top medical schools or their choice of medical schools while here I am forced to stay in this one medical school where I don’t even see myself being successful.
But that’s one half of the equation. What I’m anticipating (but hoping it won’t happen) is when things finally become too much for me and I just start losing it. It’s the point where everything comes crashing down. The heavy workload of medicine in general, the lack of rest, the feeling of loneliness (maybe), the realization that most of your friends are in better medical schools, the realization that you’re not really a bright person.
In my mind, the logical side of me is telling me not to make a big deal out of this whole situation.
“Hey, self, don’t think about the whole “you’re no good” just because you’re in this school while others aren’t. Our goal is to become a doctor, not a branded doctor. Does it really matter if you come from a particular school? Well maybe now it does, but in the future? I don’t think so, man. We’ll all be doctors no matter what! Chin up, man!”
I’m completely aware of that and I think it’s a good thing that there’s a part of me that’s already looking on in the future.
But I also can’t just ignore the reality of the present.
There’s also me thinking about the adjustment phase because we all know that medical school = new environment = new people = adjustment…again. I have already accepted the fact that I don’t possess the qualities that society wants. I’m not outgoing, people oriented, very involved in the real world and I definitely don’t see myself doing something about it soon. I just wonder how long it will take me to adjust to a new environment. Also how am I going to adjust? Am I going to be that person who will desire company but will also be a slow to warm up person? Or am I going to be that independent person who will be seemingly better off on his own (but not really)?
Only time will tell.
Yesterday I received an email from one of the medical schools I applied to, the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (ASMPH). I was able to qualify for the interview phase, but was unable to make it to the final list of accepted applicants for the coming school year.
I immediately made a letter of appeal for reconsideration after seeking advice from a current professor in the ASMPH. I submitted the letter to the Admissions Office on March 13, 2017 and I regularly called their hotline to get updates. I was informed that decisions on appeals will be emailed personally as soon as the committee has a decision hopefully by April 5. On my second call, I was told that they will probably email decisions to those who appealed (not accepted) and to those who were waitlisted (accepted, but placed on the waiting list) at the same time.
Personal take: ASMPH, shouldn’t you be approaching the waitlisted applicants first since they are technically accepted? Why consider granting admission to those who appealed and to those who were waitlisted at the same time? Isn’t that unfair to the waitlisted applicants?
Fast forward to April 7, the day I got my rejected letter of appeal. Here is the email from the admissions office stating why they cannot grant me admission:
ASMPH rejected my appeal for reconsideration primarily because of my overall admission score not meeting their cut-off. Well, ASMPH, isn’t that the point of making an appeal for reconsideration? Applicants present new information that the admissions committee has yet to know about when writing an appeal. Usually these kinds of information are ones that could provide an angle as to why the applicant ended up with his/her credentials. Anything that was not typed on the application form that the applicant believes can help overturn a previously made decision. If the appeal is successful, rejected applicants are moved into the waitlisted pool of applicants.
When the ASMPH mentioned the overall admission score, it appears that their admissions committee never took into account the contents of my letter. The overall admission score is already a given and that is what probably led to me not making the final list of accepted applicants in the first place. This is exactly what I am appealing about and yet you’re using this as the reason as to why my appeal for reconsideration has been rejected.
Then there’s that reason about the slots being filled up by the accepted applicants. If all the slots were filled up by the accepted applicants, then why are you still entertaining appeals from rejected applicants?
I talked with my friends about this and I got some interesting information. My friend, Anja, has a friend who was previously waitlisted. I found out about this through her tweet before talking to her about it.
Based on my friend’s tweet, it’s safe to say Ysa was informed about the change in her status from waitlisted to accepted by April 3 4:10pm
At this point, I will no longer put names of my friends in order to protect my identity. I decided to talk to my other friend who was also waitlisted and congratulate her since I was assuming that the waitlisted applicants should have been approached by now. It turns out, however, that it’s not so.
Lastly, another friend, let’s name this friend as TS, texted me that she has a friend who received an email from the ASMPH the same day I did. Her friend was also rejected but is now given a chance to be admitted to the ASMPH.
With these images, it is clear that something is wrong in the ASMPH’s system of taking in applicants for the next school year. I can accept the rejection on my appeal as I know my credentials aren’t exactly excellent, but this whole experience leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. The admissions committee could have just said that a second look at my credentials was done with respect to the contents of my letter of appeal. They could have just said that they still can’t grant me admission without the reasons they stated because in the letter.
The ASMPH is my dream medical school and I am positive others have the same sentiment and are also going to great measures to get into the ASMPH. However, with the latest developments, I can’t help but feel disheartened by the ASMPH’s recent actions.
Sorry to say this, ASMPH, but I think I deserve better than this.
Everyone has their own fair share of ups and downs in life. For some people, however, it feels as if there’s just too much sadness in their lives. You may feel as if your existence is defined by the pain that only subsides once you temporarily leave the realm of consciousness. It may seem as if the soul is wandering along a tunnel in what seems to go on and on.
These feelings are valid; they will always be. We are all going to get hurt one way or another, which allows us to feel our own pain and nurse the wounds inflicted to us.
But I want you to know that you never have to be alone in this journey. You are also allowed to cry for help. I know it seems like a daunting task, but I need you to trust me on this. Speak up and don’t ever mistake your reluctance to open up as a sign of weakness. It’s not, my friend. It is rather an act of courage because you choose to face whatever issie you have inside by going out of your comfort zone and by trying something different.
There will be times when no one seems to be listening amidst your pleas for help. Don’t let this dishearten and further dampen your spirits. I need you to hang on and keep fighting. Because in the end, I can assure you that everything will be worth it. Sooner or later someone will hear you crying for help. It could be your family, your friends or perhaps even a complete stranger. It can be anyone! I can also assure you that they would want to help you see the light amidst the darkness that seems to engulfs your existence in this world.
Again, I ask you to acknowledge your pain, cry for help and hang on. After all, you never give up on someone you love despite the circumstances that threaten to take you into free fall. That someone is none other than you. Don’t ever give up on yourself and on your quest to be happy and full of life once again. Don’t ever think you’re not making any progress because you are not alone, even if you believe you are. I want you to tell yourself that there is at least one person out there who cares for your well-being. You have me and I hope you will always remember that.
Take care and start smiling, my friend!
My Thought Depot
Yesterday we went to an outreach program hosted by my aunt. The event took place at a public home for girls who were either picked up from the streets or left by their parents who could not take care of them. When we arrived, they were all in the mess hall having a snack and they were just about to finish. We spent a couple of minutes watching and entertaining some of the kids before we all went to another room where the program was supposed to be held.
Inside, my aunt formally introduced all of us (my family, her family, another uncle and another family from her husband’s brother) before having a mini speech dedicated to the kids. Once that was done, we watched all of them perform several times before giving out the donations.
The kids were so full of energy! There were a number of kids who caught my attention in particular. The first was a young girl who was involved in almost all of the performances. I swear she could be a professional dancer if she would just continue dancing and performing at the level I saw. Then there’s this young girl who may have Down Syndrome. Apparently, she was there because one of the houseparents of the public home was working. Maybe the houseparent could not afford to leave her home, I guess. Lastly there was a 15 year old girl named Aya. They named her Aya because all she could ever pronounce “Ay”. Apparently she’s been staying there for 8 years already. They found her wandering in the streets one afternoon. They asked around the place where they found her but no one claimed to know her. They even made headlines just to find the kid’s parents but to no avail.
Thinking about all these stories makes me sad, but hopeful. I believe they are there right now because they can’t survive outside. Inside the public home, they can be taken care of. Someone will attend to their needs, ensuring that there’s a balance between leisure and work. Inside, they can get to study, do different household chores, strengthen their value formation, be taught catechism and relax. By adopting this mindset, I was able to be optimistic towards what was happening to them.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same to what is happening to me. At 20+, my life still has no purpose. I still have no purpose while others are starting to find or have already found meaning in their lives. It makes me jealous of everyone around me. My dad organized a similar event for his 50th birthday and another aunt and her entire family organized the same event for children with special needs. It must have been so uplifting for my dad and my aunt’s family to do such a thing. And what about me? What have I done to contribute to the world? Nothing.
I want to do something similar to what was done. For once, I want to stop getting caught up in my own world. What I’m feeling and going through will always be valid, but I see that it’s going to be unhealthy if it’s all going to be about me for the rest of my life. Focusing primarily on myself won’t bring me satisfaction and happiness, but maybe I can find what I’m looking for if I step out of my own boundaries. I’m thinking of spending a day with kids with special needs as well since we have special kids in the entire clan. By default, I’m a serious person and I would often try to be as rational as possible. With them, however, everything is thrown out the window. It’s really emotional fireworks around them like cuddling, hugging, tickling and saying words of affirmation. More than that, I feel like I have a connection with them. When I’m in their presence, it’s like everything is calm and serene. Communicating with them doesn’t become a task that entails responsibility, but an enjoyable activity that comes so naturally over time. (I’ll dedicate a post about my affinity for special kids in the future).
I don’t have plans of telling my parents about this. If I do, my dad will find out and I’m only going to be overwhelmed. I don’t want to be continuously nagged about the topic. I don’t want to be reminded about my goal all the time when others think I’m starting to forget my goal. I don’t want to be continuously told what I should do and what I shouldn’t do. I want things to happen without generating pressure and that’s going to happen if I plan with the help of my mom and maybe possibly my aunt and her family.
For now I just plan to lay low. I’ll probably wait for a few months before I open up to my mom about this.
Everything in its own place and time.
Image from: https://talahado.wordpress.com/2014/01/
Hi all! I apologize if I haven’t been updating my blog for the last two months as I have been busy juggling academic work, org work and most importantly my preparations for the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT).
Anyway, the NMAT took place last Sunday which means I now have more free time on my hands. Hopefully I can update you all regularly with the latest development (I actually do plan on writing a new blog post right after this quick message).
That’s all and hope to see you around!