As a college student, I had to meet and mingle with other young minds from different parts of the country and of the world. I was one of the lucky students who passed the entrance exam and had enough money (care of my parents) to enroll.
Coming from a conservative Catholic private school in a province, I had no idea what to expect in a public national university. I heard things. I received reminders on what and wnat not to do. I was excited, proud and nervous.
I remember my first college day. It was an orientation for all freshmen. Inside the building theater, I saw other young people. There were those who look like rich city kids who speak English in a coño way. There were probinsyanas like me who either tried hard to look like the city kids or keep the probinsyana look. There were emos and hippies.
Some of us had trouble speaking straight English while some find it hard to speak the local language of Manila, Tagalog. Some can be heard speaking English with their provincial accent but I sensed confidence and pride.
As a timid probinsyana, I wished for that confidence. Meeting diverse freshmen students have quickly opened up a newly found excitement— reinvention. That moment I was eager to keep up with the city life and be equally confident like the rest. But it did not happen. Instead, I had friends who made me feel it’s fine not to totally change.
Within a year, I met a lot of people and kept some friends. Our diverse beliefs, upbringing and dreams were not a hindrance to further know each other and rely on each other. Together we studied, struggled to pass, cried, laughed, dreamt, chased the dreams, learned, and grew up.
I did not reinvent but improved every part of me by embracing the fact that people will always have differences and I just need to accept and adjust. I did not have to compromise my whole person just to fit in. Accepting diversity is opening up a treasure chest that is full of possible great adventures, unique friendships, and tools for self-improvement.
Daily Post: Diverse