I didn’t take the ABMasscommunication (Journalism) course just because I wanted to have a degree, nor to ensure that I will become a journalist. In fact, I never dreamed to take a Masscommunication course since my health does not allow it. And I didn’t like the spotlight. I took journalism for one reason and one reason only: to improve my writing. I was certain that writing was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was also certain that there, lies my strength. These things were made perfectly clear to the interviewers who gave me a job.
However, a college education gave me something else. I got more than I bargained for. I found confidence, independence and the ability to defend myself. I got stronger.
God knows, it was not easy. I was a certified wallflower and crybaby in high school. I swear, on normal days, you would find me in a corner contemplating, observing, reading or writing. I was scared of people.
In college, I was exposed to different environments and my course had much to do with it. I had been to different prison cells, police stations, government agencies, radio stations and a television station, museums, different schools, restaurants, factories and publications offices and lots of other places where I could get news. I had talked to media practitioners, government heads, police officers and prisoners and other people. One course on investigative journalism had me walking either at 10:00 p.m. or at 2:00 a.m. the Philippine streets of Ramos, Orlando, Jones and Junquera. During these times, I was usually with one or two girls who were my classmates, but I also tried doing it alone when I had no choice. There were also places like the Carbon market.
I got to work in newspapers particularly in the news, advertising, and credit and collection departments. I got to work even in a museum, which was actually a huge, almost two-hundred-year-old wooden house of a prominent Spanish era family.
There’s so much to narrate where education is concerned. Yes, education is pointless if you don’t use what you have learned…when your only aim in studying is to graduate and have a college degree. But education is there to help you gain the skills needed to survive in the real world where you have to be globally competitive. And if you already have that skill, education will improve it, bringing along other aspects and expertise you never thought would be useful. Education does not only focus on the intellect and the mechanical things…it also helps shape you into a better and mature individual and define you as someone who could go through the adversities in life.
Perhaps I was lucky to have studied in a very good school, which incorporates experience to solidify the what’s in learning. In my school, we were thought about laws and human behavior, as well as confidence. I got to study broadcast and print laws and ethics. Even languages such as Nipongo, Spanish and Chinese were thought in my school. The Media Education and Psychology courses helped me know what to bring to the audience and understand why a person responds in such manner. Philosophy and Debate and Argumentation courses helped me know what is right thinking and reasoning from what is not. And so many other things.
Perhaps a person who claims to have attained education have not truly attained it if he had not made use with what he has learned. And education is not only confined within the four walls of the classroom. Education is a lifelong process.
I am currently working as a junior business news editor — alongside UP graduates who are known to be intellectually advanced — and this I tell you, if not for the kind of education I have, I wouldn’t have become one. My kind of work deals with foreign laws on business especially on bankruptcies…things you don’t easily get without education. My school did not teach me foreign laws, but it has thought me how to be analytical and how to adapt to the kind of environment I am exposed to.
The good thing about my college education is that I was thought on how to land a job I want. Having a job that can support your lifestyle is not enough. Well, good for those who are already well off and do not need to support other members of the family. Correct me if I am wrong, but I doubt that if you have incurable disease that you would get the money for treatment from your parents or from ‘the others’. What if those persons have gone? What would you do then?
But the best thing education has brought me is the kind of person I have become. It has helped me see what I can be and that I can do great things even through small beginnings. It has helped me spot lessons out of disappointments and therefore helped me become optimistic. Education, all in all, has helped me love myself.
When I look at the mirror, I couldn’t help but smile, although I am still learning more and more of this cool person.
A certain writer named Anne once wrote:
The best and most beautiful things
in the world cannot be seen
or even touched.
They must be felt with the heart.
Loving myself is what I do best
No one can make me feel