Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Blog 33!: What is Important to Me...

Of course, the final blog is always the hardest to write about. But I think this will probably be the most personal blog that I’ve written in a while. You definitely saved the best for last Mr. Mannion!

Coming to think of it, there are many things from a very early age that had stayed very valuable to my life and there are definitely those that I thought was important to me at that very moment. At this point in my life, I value every little thing that I have and I’m so thankful for what I have gained over the years. Now that I’m an adult and I’m about to start a whole chapter in a book that I’ve been writing over the years, I can say that I have never really fully seen the significance of the things that I have until now. I guess that just comes with age, right?

But anyways, there are many aspects in my life that definitely have huge significance in my life. The first one the popped up in my mind is my future. Also, I’ve never fully grasp the importance of planning ahead, envisioning my future until my senior year. I’ve always had big dreams, but I was also the type of person who hates plans. I was never the one who stressed about plans or having to plan about tomorrow and such. I’ve always been carefree, I worry about what’s happening now and not about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow. I’ve lived my life just basically having to adapt to what life might potentially bring. However, I now know that having too much of a carefree life and not planning ahead isn’t always the best way to live life. I’ve learned the importance of my future and how to carefully plan for it.

Also, the most obvious aspect that holds a great importance in my life would have to be my family. They were there when I was born; they were there when I first learned how to walk, how to talk, how to read; they attended all my graduations (the Philippines have graduations for all grades – every year); they witnessed me grow and developed from a young girl to a woman. The have been with me and have supported me on from the very start. They are probably the greatest part of my life. Without them, I definitely won’t be who and where I am today. Words cannot describe just how much I am blessed and grateful for the family I have.

Most of those who are older than me, upperclassmen – back when I was just a small freshman – usually say that you’ll realize who your true friends are during your junior and senior year. That advice is most definitely true. Now that I’m in my final year of high school, with graduation day just around the corner, I look around and notice the people around me – they are either those I was friends with, those whom I’ve been friends with ever since, as well as those I became friends with recently. With the amount of growth – both physically and mentally – the friends that I have now are the ones that I would consider my true friends. They are my closest friends; they are the ones who have been,and still are, with me. Just like my family, they’ve seen me at my best, yet they never left my side even when they’ve seen me at my worst. Seeing how they’re still my friends and having the patience for me, even though there were times where I have disappointed them, I’m so thankful for having such great people surround me.

But then, many adults who are much older than me tells me often that the friends they have now are the ones they became friends with in college and that your high school friends will just remain in your high school memories. This makes me rather sad because of just how much I value the friends I have now. This only shows that I need to make the most of what I have now, never taking granted of the people that are in my life because I know that this advice will most likely come true, but I hope not all of the friends I hold dear with me right now won’t fade even after I have graduated from college. Perhaps, I’d be given a chance to reflect on this once again when college graduation comes. Although, that’s another chapter in my book that I have yet to write..

Blog 32: Defining Courage

We all have different definitions – interpretations – when it comes to courage. Being courageous can vary from saving a person’s life, from a soldier going behind enemy lines, to even just surviving a life obstacle. Most people would probably mention something heroic when they are asked “What is courage?”. But to me, you don’t have to be a hero or to be some kind of a superman to have courage. You don’t have to be an adult to have courage. Some younger ones are even more courageous than their older counterparts. Courage doesn’t have any age limit. There is no such thing as a human who is a coward or someone who is not courageous at all. Everyone of us possess some type of courage, no matter how small that “courage” may seem to be. It’s just a matter of how and when we show it.

Usually, many of us categorize  a shy and introvert person as someone who doesn’t have any courage at all because we think that they are afraid of interactions and any form of socializing. But what may come as a surprise is that these people do have courage. Their courage may not be as visible, but they do have it. Courage is something that all of us have within. It’s pretty much an instinct. Perhaps an example would give a better view of what I’m trying to say.

Let’s say that you’re a student who does everything that you’re told. You’re someone who is friends with everyone, you don’t have a problem with anyone, you stay away from anything that may cause you and other people a problem, you don’t pick fights – as a matter of fact, you’ve never even had a fight with another person at all. You’re an overall good student and because of that some people think that if they were to push you around, to to step on you; you wouldn’t do a single thing about because what they know is that you don’t like having problems with anyone at all. So these people start pushing you around, telling you what to do...just basically bullying you around. What do you do? Well, you have two choices: either you let them keep bullying you around and let yourself become a pushover or you find the COURAGE to stand up and defend yourself from these bullies.

Wouldn’t finding to have the courage to stand up for yourself a form of being courageous? OF COURSE IT IS!

Also, courage can be found all the time. We don’t notice it right away, but courageous people are among us every single day. A single mother is striving every day at work just so she could feed her children. A person is fighting for their lives as they are suffering from leukemia while a young track star who has just lost his legs from an accident is trying to find the courage to accept his loss.

See, people are being courageous day in and day out. As a matter of fact, I do know someone in my family whom I would define as courageous. My grandma. My mom and her family weren’t really well off – they weren’t rich, but they weren’t dirt poor. It’s just that they weren’t as well off compared to now. My grandma managed to find the courage to work hard and be able to send all her six children, including my mom, to college and graduate after my grandpa died all of a sudden from an illness.Other mothers in her situation would rather just give up and have her children stop school and help her work. However, my grandma refused to have her children stop going to school. She wanted all her kids to do better than her and my grandpa did, she wanted them to have a much better future. She knew that by finishing their education and earning college diploma is the only thing she could hand them and the only thing she could promise for their future. My grandma strived to pay for all their colleges by working, selling various products in the market. And now, all of my mom’s siblings, including herself, are all college graduates and are much well off than they were before...and it’s all thanks to my grandma’s courage to keep working hard for her children, even after the sudden death of my grandpa.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Blog 30: Advise to Younger Self

I have done many things in my life, many of them had a good turnout and many of them ended up as mistakes. It would be a huge lie if I were to say that I never regretted any of my doings. There are a lot of things that I do regret back to when I was young -- back to my old self two or three years ago. I wish that I could have the chance to do all of them all over again or if I had the chance to give myself, back then, some piece of advice. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way. But if the world did work that way, I would have tons of advices to say to my old self...

1. Outspoken and Outgoing

  • I would advise myself to be more outspoken and outgoing instead of keeping everything to myself. Maybe then, other people who saw this weakness of mine wouldn’t have taken advantage of my introverted self as well as stepped on me.

2. Take Every Opportunities
  • I would tell myself to take every opportunities given to me, to enter every opened doors without any hesitation or without being afraid. There were times when I wanted to do something, when I wanted to join a club, when I wanted to join a sport, or whatever just for the heck of it, but I ended up not doing so because I was scared of what would happen if I ended up not liking the club or the sport.

3. Be an Individual
  • Looking back two to three years ago, I didn’t want to stand out among my peers because I was afraid and was too concerned of what other people would think of me, especially my fellow peers. I always thought to myself that being different, setting yourself apart from the crowd would only mean that no one would like you. I believed that if you didn’t follow “what’s in” or if you aren’t flowing in the current “trend”, people wouldn’t accept you. But obviously that’s not the case because if you always follow other people, you are doomed to never finding yourself -- never finding who you really are. You will end up losing that sense of individuality within you; you are losing what makes you the person you really are and that’s never a good thing.

4. Keep an Open-Mind, Be Friends with EVERYONE
  • Back then, I wasn’t really too sure about making friends outside my comfort zone. I didn’t really know how to act towards those who are not in my circle of friends or if they were different from me. There was a time when I did judge a person by how they looked without getting the chance to know them personally. I was ashamed of such a thing because they ended up being one of the best people I’ve met, they became a huge part of my life as well as being one of my best friends. I would advise my younger self to keep an open-mind and basically befriend everyone without having the urge to judge a person without having the chance to learn who they really are.

5. Do What Makes You Happy
  • I’ve always been a people pleaser. I wanted to please people all the time, not wanting them to be disappointed at me that I always ended up doing what they wanted me to do instead of what I wanted to do. I would tell my younger self to stop trying to please every single person because at the end, all the decisions that you make in life will affect you the most. So, always follow what you want to do without being limited by other people just because you wanted to make them happy...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Blog 29: Forgiveness

Forgiveness...Forgiveness, in my opinion, is one of those things that are straddling on the border between easy and hard. What I am trying to get at is that forgiveness can either be an easy process or a hard one. Not everyone can forgive easily, some may do it easier than others while some are having a hard time with it. It is also the same on how often a person can practice forgiveness. There are those who forgive those who have sinned against them every single time while there are those who don’t bother forgiving those who have done them wrong. Both sides are understandable though and that’s what makes us human. We are after all human, right?

Personally, I think that forgiveness should not be measured by how often it should be practised because it varies among people. Everyone is different, therefore their attitude -- their approach on forgiveness varies. Instead, it should depend on what kind of wrongdoing a person has done to you and how much it really affects you. If it is over something that can’t be fixed easily can’t be reverted back to normal, then the idea of forgiveness can be quite hard to grasp. Although, if it is something over that can be talked through and can be fixed easily if both parties are willing to work it out, then the idea of forgiveness won’t be too much for them.

As for personal experience, I haven’t been really in a situation where I haven’t forgiven anyone who has done something wrong to me. I usually get along with people and as bad of a habit this may sound, I’m usually the person who apologizes first whether it was my fault or not. Pretty bad right? And if someone did sin against me, forgiveness doesn’t really come that hard for me and I barely hold any grudges on a person. Plus, I usually forgive a person in a heartbeat just as long there is a hint of sincerity when they are apologizing. If it seems fake to me, then they can forget about their hopes of me forgiving them. But those cases are very rare.

Just because forgiveness comes easy to me does not automatically means that there will never come a day when forgiveness will be an impossible task for me to complete. A situation in which the idea of having to forgive someone will be very hard for me to do is if I was betrayed -- stabbed in the back by someone I consider close to me. If a person I consider close to me stabbed me in the back, forgiveness probably will not come that easy for me mainly because I wouldn’t really know how I would deal with it. I probably wouldn’t even know how to properly react to it. I would probably take their apologies, but I don’t think I don’t think our relationship would be back to normal or would I be able to forgive them fully.

Blog 28: Wildcard (Blog Without Substance)

A wildcard blog...mmmm...I have to be honest Mr. Mannion, I have mixed feelings whenever it is a wildcard blog. I know most of your students love it whenever you put up a wildcard blog because it gives them freedom of having to talk about anything they want to talk about. I am sometimes one of those students, but not ALL the time. There are times when I hate it when you put up wildcard blogs mainly because I do not know what to say of or what I should talk about. It is sad because I think I’m the only one who feels about your wildcard blogs this way.

Usually, I would have a lot of things to rant about, like how much I hate my day, my future, what I want to do in life, or just anything random. But I just cannot come up with anything to talk about that might interest you whatsoever. All the topics that have crossed my mind, the topics that have been nominated to be the subject of this blog seemed too typical and cliche for me. Also the fact that this blog has to be at least five-hundred words, makes this assignment a bit harder for me to write. Hence, the reason as to why it might be unusual for you to find any contractions or whatever in this entry. I am pretty much just typing as much words as I can, refraining myself from using any contractions in hopes that I would be able to get myself to five-hundred words much faster so that I could end my never-ending senseless rant. However, I am only around two-hundred eighty words or so. So, it will be a while until I finish this blog. But anyways, I do not think that I am the only one who does this...right? Well, hopefully I am not the only because that would be very embarrassing on my part.

And so, here I am just typing every single thing that comes up to my mind and sadly, all the things that are coming up on my mind are all without substance. I might as well just tell you what is going on around me besides the fact that I have been sitting on my kitchen counter doing your blog. My sister is sitting beside me, her eyes glued to the laptop, watching her make-up videos on youtube -- so typical of her. But I do applaud her make-up talents...if that is even considered a talent. My two cousins directly from the Philippines, who have been staying at my house for the past three and a half weeks, are both sitting on the sofa in the family room watching an unfamiliar show on Disney Channel while my mom is right next to them, sleeping soundly. It has been a while since I last followed a Disney show. I guess that is just me growing up since I find some of the show’s humor pretty bland compared to shows that I have been watching a lot of lately like That 70’s Show, FRIENDS, How I Met Your Mother, and The Big Bang Theory.

I just checked the word count of this blog, and guess what! I’m over 500 words. I guess there’s no need for me to use contractions anymore, as YOU’VE noticed. This also means that I’ll be ending my blog now since I already reached my goal of having written a 500-word blog. Hopefully, I’ll write a much interesting one next time...

Blog 27: Unfinished Business...

Believe it or not, I still do feel like I have some unfinished business left to do despite the fact that there are less than 2 months left in my final year of high school. Time is passing by so quickly that it is so overwhelming and because of that, I feel like that I am running out of time for the things that I still have to do. Many of the underclassmen are probably thinking that we, seniors, are pretty much done for the year; that we do not have anything to worry about, but just have fun for the remaining months that we have left -- that we have nothing to stress about anymore except for finals. However, they don’t have a single clue of the amount of stress that we, seniors, have to go through especially when it comes to our college preparation.

Most of my peers already heard from the colleges that they applied to. Some may have been denied, but most of them have been accepted to the colleges that they want to get into the most. But for me, it is a totally different case. The fact that I have decided to apply to colleges out abroad, mainly universities in the Philippines, makes my situation completely different. I have applied to at least four universities in the Philippines and two universities here in the U.S.; and so far I have not heard from any one of them. Well, except for one of them. Unfortunately, the one university from the Philippines that I did hear from did  not accept me into their school. This was pretty much a disappointment to me because the school that did not accept me happened to be my top choice.

My decision pretty much depends on whether I get accepted to the Philippines or not. If I happen to not get accepted to any universities in the Philippines, my choice would be to go to college here. It’s not that I do not want to go to college here, it’s just that I’ve set my mind to go to college in the Philippines, not mainly because of financial reasons, but because of how I just love the atmosphere there; I can definitely see myself going there and it would be a bum if I don’t get accepted into any of the universities I applied to.

And so, waiting for one of my chosen colleges puts me in a doubting situation. I start to doubt myself whether I am good enough for these schools. It is pretty much an unfinished business because as of right now, I still have no idea where to go after graduation high school. Would I end up going to a school here or a school in the Philippines? And if I was to compare my situation to one of my fellow classmates, it seems that I am slacking behind on something that I should be ultimately sure on. I still don’t know what to answer when someone asks me where I’m going to college next year because I still don’t have a college that I’m certain of. All I can do really is shrug my shoulders.

Hopefully by the end of the school year, I already have an answer to that question. But as of right now, I still have tons of unfinished business...