Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

p And that’s how I felt when I

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or bad, hard to say….

Have
you ever asked yourself about your life? Did the thought of
self-doubt ever crossed your mind? How can you be sure that what you
did with your life, whatever or however the result may look like, is
a good thing or a bad thing. And how can you be sure that whatever
the next move you will do for rest of your life, you’ll benefit or
suffer from it?

Imagine
this, okay. You’re a high school student, a freshman to be
specific, studying at a school where every students, teachers,
academics, professors, almost all people from your province dream to
study. Because everyone is expecting highly from the students at that
school, the teachers as well from that school are expecting more from
their students. They always set the bar of standards to all schools,
because unlike other public schools, it is a science integrated
school.

Have
you imagined it yet? Now, that is my reality. And that’s how I felt
when I first came here to this school.

Back
when I was still an elementary kid (or student), my teachers and
classmates somewhat idolize the academically excelled students. My
sister, Vina, was one of the first batch to pass the entance exam of
that school, Quezon Science High School – the first and only science
high school in the province of quezon. And because of this, I was
inspired to study there (or here), but at the same time I was
pressured by some teachers to achieve my goal. A few months later
that time, and I passed both the exam and the interview and was ready
to embark my new life as a scholar.

My
expectations for that time: none. Well not all known, I expeced
everyone to be academically inclined rather than physically inclined.
Because in contrast with other public high schools, like where I came
from, the schools there were more focused on extracurricular
activites like bands, military trainings or CAT, and sports. But, to
my surprise, not only that my expectations were met but also I found
out that the students like to play e-Sports games – sports that are
traditionally played using modern technology, also including online
games. At that moment, I felt accepted, I mean I was at a school that
I like, plus I get to meet people who were also interested in the
same things I like. Good or bad, hmm hard to say.

My
name quickly spread throughout the school, not only because I have a
sister studying there, but also because I was “too” good at some
things not considered academically inclined. This was the birth, or
this was the starting point where people, students and teachers
alike, started comparing me from my sister. I heard words or phrases
like, “He’s not as good as his sister” or “That kid, he’s
far from reaching his sister’s standard”. I was judged by my
actions with the standard as high as my sister. And, it was my grades
that greatly opened a vulnerabilty to me so that people, especially
teachers coud exploit me for years to come. Did I regret or even
disgraced myself that all of those things happaned to me? Good or
bad, hard to say.

As
the years passed I managed to run from those judgements, and my
classmates as well started accepting me, and there was peace inside
of me, until grade 10. My grade 10 years were different from my
previous years, and here’s why: I felt depressed, people around me
atarted to change, overall it was a joyride for me without the joy.
Also, that was the same year that she came along. She was a teacher
here as well, I prefer not to say her real name. I’ll just call her
Hana to avoid name confusions. Hana teaches us on a elective subject
that I failed for two consecutive quarters (first and second). I
accepted the fact that I got low grades from her subject, but I just
can’t get what she did to me. She embarassed me from my classmates.
What kind of teacher would do that to a student? What some sort of
thought crossed her mind to torcher me? To be specific, Hana told to
the class “Yan si Ian, isa siyang example na hindi natututo mula sa
nakaraan niya. Hindi siya maalam tumingin sa kaniyang
pinanggalingan”. I know, maybe she was just saying that to make a
statement, to prove a point, to correct me or lecture me about my
grades. That made me angry, from the inside I wanted to prove them
wrong to say that statement. Because of all things I hated in this
world, one of them was to be compared to anyone, of my
accomplishments and personality especially from my sister. Sure, to
be honest I try to be as nice, sweet, honest and overall “goody
two-shoes” just like my sister, but to be compared? Wow. That won’t
even help or motivate me to become better. Subconciously I turned
that anger into fuel and energy, trying to prove a point to her that
I was different and I’m capable of doing good things in my own way.

Fast
forward to graduation day. Oww, the day that everyone should cry and
enjoy look back at the years. This, was also the day, that all of my
hard work bear fruit and was shown to them. People started
congratulating me, not of my high grades, but because of my holistic
improvement. Even Hana congratulated me, saying that “You’ve
improved a lot, Ian. Congratulations”. That was the best night of
my life. Because of that, it gave me enough reason to stay on this
school a little longer, enjoying the journey and learning from it.

Months
have passed since, and my days as a senior high student started,
being the second batch to study as a senior high student at Quezon
Science High School. This was the year that I’ve fully grasped my
life, that I have almost full control of how my life flows. I met
people whom I learned from, and people who learned from me. This was
my year of no regrets and no waste.

Now,
I’m still studying here at QSHS, living and breathing the air of a
scholar for 5 straight years. Now, do I enjoy studying here instead
of living in a normal, public high school? Do I regret doing those
things instead of the other, that may have given me a different
result and life? Is it good depise myself reacting immaturely from
the judges people gave me even though those words made me better? Was
it good for me not living this school to find a different path? Did
all those years made me a better version of myself? Was all of it
great? Good or bad, hard to say…