By Melloney Daye Fetalvero Awit



The Ateneo, through its various programs and activities, aims not only to form students who are academically excellent but who are well-rounded as well. In what ways have you been formed by the Ateneo education in any of the following areas: professional excellence, leadership, character, spirituality and service? For graduating scholars, write about your plans after graduation and how you can make a contribution to our nation’s development with an Ateneo education.



Into the World Go I


     Ateneo wasn’t my shelter, nor was it exactly my stage; it was, instead, my door to the real world – the world both of unfortunate realities and of frail, yet undeniable hope.

     I remember having to write about the Ateneo three years ago. I was impassioned with all that I was seeing, learning, hearing, and feeling that it was such an easy task! I remember saying how Ateneo opened my eyes to broader perspectives; liberal views; and a whole new world of possibilities. I felt like I was on my way to hugging the world; so near, so tight, with arms wide open. Everything was at arms’ length, in spite of having awakened to the fact that I was pretty much like everyone else – average. In short, I saw things in a positive light. It was all so gloriously magnificent for me, my first year of Ateneo experience, I mean to say.

     Three years later and here I am, writing about the Ateneo again. What could have changed; what might have occurred in three years’ time? You probably won’t be surprised; but actually, a lot.

     Staying in the Ateneo really is harder than being admitted to the Ateneo, after all – more so if you have so many things running inside your head. Two more years in the University and that was practically how I was: struggling with everything – academics, morality, social and peer pressure, awareness, family issues and just about everything in life. All of a sudden, the world wasn’t so easy to hug and hold anymore. It wasn’t making me want to go closer, nearer; it was smothering. Instead, it made me want to make things go farther away from me; for me to be able to flee and be in isolation. But I was too weak to let go of things – to allow myself to be free from all expectation and responsibility and just let things be, and so I grew. I grew and I learned how the world wasn’t only for me to hold. It wasn’t just about me, just as I wasn’t alone in having to take part in carrying a portion of its burden.

     Part of growing was realizing how I was called to be other things other than what I thought I was supposed to be. I always thought of myself as a person taking pride in diligence and academic determination, but apparently, that wasn’t me – or at least that wasn’t what all there was to me. Consequently, I soon opted to take initiative by heading organization projects that never in my life I saw as my forte. It wasn’t an easy task either. I was confronted with a hodge-podge of duties at an instant! It was, however, a major turning point for me. With all that I was tasked to do, I learned to manage and organize things in a less imposing fashion. I learned how to deal with people, and along with the various dealings I had, I learned to value both work ethics and a sense of sensitivity. I wasn’t such a pushover anymore, nor was I the strict know-it-all.

     If you knew me personally, you’d know I am not exactly a people-person – I wouldn’t even talk if it were possible! Nevertheless, I came to realize how awkward, compromising situations like having to lead a group were actually venues for opportunities, rather than for self-humiliation. I had to go past my line; I had to take in more than what I was comfortable with if I longed to be more. It was always a challenge every single time, but I knew that it was necessary. After all, what had I to offer if I had it all but kept it all in?

     Other than these things, I also managed to get a more comprehensive view of what most of my classes have head-fake-dly taught me. Yes, sure, I learned a lot about theory; but I guess what Ateneo’s really good about is how it manages to make the things you’re taught about seemingly work together (complemented with the INAF program), and in a more practical way at that. While my Math classes, for instance, made me appreciate my own industry and capacity, my Philosophy and Theology classes made me look into myself, and beyond myself. My experiences made me ponder and reflect; made me want to take appropriate action [especially since I am particularly engaged in developing my sense of morality]. It didn’t stop there. I saw my subjects to my fortune; as it kept me inspired about a lot of things – not only of the thought of gaining more knowledge, but also of the fact that they made me want to make something out of all that I was learning. My classes made me go beyond the walls of the teach-learn arena; and soon enough, I kept finding myself wondering, imagining doing a lot of things that I believed in. What was truly fascinating though, was that the things I was aspiring for wasn’t centered on me. I found my more in a greater goal. I was becoming less ignorant or egoistic, or so I’d like to believe. Anchoring myself in something more worthy slowed my busy world down.

     After graduation, I hope to advance to my post-grad studies and take any opportunity that’ll be available to me. I’d honestly tell you that I still am not conceit-free and have a lot of dreams for myself; and I do not plan on giving up on those. Just as well, however, I wish to give back to the people who helped me reach this far by giving to others as well. I particularly aspire to see my own hometown of Surigao prospering or at least improving by a considerably remarkable percentage in a few years’ time. I want to extend my help in developing its education system, in particular, alongside with its economic position. I realize that my course may not exactly be sufficient, considering what I dream to do, but I just know that having this kind of zeal is enough for now to keep me moving forward. It’ll be a long way from there, but I know that I want to get there. I have my own part of the world – and not to own and hug and hold, but to be responsible for. I may have seen a world not so perfect, but just as well, I saw a world so hopeful; and seeing myself able and accountable, I shall soon walk right through that door.

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