The Rough Days

Drained.

One word that could very well describe the state that you have dragged myself in for the past three weeks now. A condition that you long to end, mentally and emotionally. The pile of paperwork has been in a constant flux, and the deadlines never seem to finish. You start skipping meals, and in the long run, forgetting if you even had one, not until you see your wallet and you haven’t even spent a dime for food today, and you conclude that sleep is but a half-hour escape from the stresses you bring home from school, and is not even close to a “sound” one.

Exams usually come in pairs – none of which is easier than the other, and now that you are taking up major subjects in Pharmacy, doesn’t help with the fact that your instructors seem to “plot” you by scheduling the hard ones on the same day. And you usually have exams both in the morning, and sometimes, into the afternoon.

And the worst part is, during those lucid moments, when you blankly stare at the horizon, realizing that as you stare at the city lights, as you go home, that the end is nowhere in sight.

You get home, tired from the traffic, but your mind doesn’t stop from worrying about tomorrow’s exam. You gobble up your meal for the day (literally), and before you know it, you’re leaning on the couch, trying to snatch a  quick nap. You try to get up early for your internship, waving at the endless queue of customers where the lane starts, refusing to sell Clindamycin to customers who claim its their only acne remedy, refilling stocks and getting blister cuts.

And just when the week is almost at its end, you remember that you haven’t started reading for Pharmacology..

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One hundred and eight days into my Junior year’s second term, and I can slowly feel my energy failing like a melting candle in a dark room. All I feel like doing now is sleeping and lying down in bed, barely opening my Pharmacology notes in time for exams, cramming Manufacturing Pharmacy, a 180 degree turn from my vigor compared to my enthusiasm when I took its prerequisite subject last term.

The subjects are getting into my nerves, and the more that I feel like giving up, the more that I wanna hold back tears from the lack of courage, I fall further down into the pit where I once emerged from, two years ago when I started a new leaf in my new College.

But as my worries start to creep in, I am reminded of a passage:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave nor forsake you”. (Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV)

And yes, the Lord has always been with me, and at times, I may be at guilt whenever I forget His presence, He comes at our side, telling us

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ( Isaiah 41:10, NIV)

That is why, despite the downslide that I am currently facing right now, I know that it would be senseless to stay here at this pit.

So, I start climbing back.
And though it may take me longer than expected,
I know that I’ll emerge victorious by His side.

A Work in Progress: Day 150

For the longest four months into my college life, have I attempted to refrain from answering the people who have been pushing me to reveal why I shifted courses when I was almost there.

I wasn’t really sure myself if it was the shame of having to go through another two to three years of Pharmacy subjects before graduating, or was it the pressure of focusing on my current track? Probably because early on I have anticipated the numerous questions that had crept my mind since November.

On the other hand, albeit the expectations of most people, I have been doing very well in the College of Pharmacy – I have a new refuge in the seclusions of the St. Theresa’s Building; old friends are still with me, but now with the addition of great people, in all-white uniforms; a more organized schedule which lets me move freely in between subjects; a slowly rebuilding self – esteem which I thought was lost, but most especially, a provision and a renewed promise from God that this is going to be the best move forward.

Gone were the days when I had to succumb to the heavy feelings I had back at the Cardinal Santos Building (my former department was situated in the eerie corner of its Second Floor). I no longer have to brush shoulders with the professors whose preconceptions about me cannot be changed by my simple acts of progress – praises you but talks about you differently when you’re away.

I no longer have to deal with its tyrant, and her dealings. For a very long time, I have told my juniors how she deals with concern and care, however deep inside I have feelings of disappointment. But alas, they are now gone, and I wouldn’t be dealing with them for a long time.

For the longest four months in my college life, I have found peace and happiness to where I am now. Probably I wouldn’t mind too much answering questions why I left. Why I didn’t just finish Chemistry. Why I ‘wasted’ three years for nothing (this not true, FYI. Pharmacy is STILL Chemistry). I am a work in progress: His work, in progress. He still has a lot in store for me, all because I tried to do things on my own. But He steers for me now.

EPILOGUES: The Sem-Ender Series

Epilogues

This October, Tidbits offers its first ever Semester-ender series called ‘Epilogues’, a compilation of some of J’s unpublished works, his latest blog posts, and contemplations on the most awaited part of the semester: the Semestral Break!

As he sets another delay onto his graduation, ‘Epilogues’ will not only give definite closure to most things unsaid, but also a few insights to changes that may still happen in the near future.

For Now

Author’s Update:

 

Finally I enroll for one more semester in College before heading off to New Jersey in the summer. After a very complicated First Semester, having failed Physical Chemistry on my first take on the subject, I was not able to take up most of my majors (aside from my thesis subject, which I am bound to finish before leaving), and now I am left with taking up two Literature classes, a Technical Writing Class and Physics (which I am taking up with Geology majors. OTL)

 

In my four years of staying in college, I finally got the chance to have one of my ‘lightest’ class load for this semester – 13 units, with a 6 unit sit-in, it is definitely a free T/TH morning for me this November to April. Now, I am more relieved to pursue my thesis and my experimental methodology, and attempt to finish it before the semester ends.

As much as I want to continue blogging and attend to this, while doing all the other stuff I am supposed to, I decided to take a leave from my blog for a while, refine my craft and how I write my content, and get back here with more interesting stories that I could share to all of you. I just happened to backread my content and see that most of the time, my entries are more of the ‘feels’, and ranting, and I seem to forget how to be more comfortable with how I am as a writer.

Nevertheless, I am sure to return, as I’ve always had. Or so to say, I have always been here, since I never really did leave.

Blog to you soon, everyone!

Relapse

Just when I was trying to pull myself together, I unintentionally dragged myself deeper into the pit.

This was the exact same feeling I had over two years ago – when I was overwhelmed with so much pressure, that I decided to waste a Semester in College. Yes, I did pay the price of doing so, and I did so with much regret. But it was a very devastating time in my College life – I was torn inside myself, and I was losing focus. It was not my proudest moment that I can say. Yet, it provided me time to think things through, and get myself back on my feet.

But lately, the sleepless nights have returned. The distractions are back. The ghosts start to haunt me again. Just two years ago, I used to rebuke them so easily. Now they’re back, and they won’t let me win a second time.

However, the circumstances are different now, and so are the chances that I cannot afford to waste anymore. I’m slowly going back to my defense mechanism, and while I can make sense from my early symptoms, I have to move fast – no, I must also think fast, before it gets the best of me once more. With barely two more weeks left for this term, all I can do is to avoid losing grip of my grades (and my sanity).

System Entropy

I drown myself in total turmoil again, just barely 3 weeks before our final exams. I saw my professor’s facebook message, just now. He was asking where my 6th laboratory sheet was. I have to admit, I definitely forgot to submit it. But it was so unusual for me, since for the past 2 terms, I was usually the first one to submit my work.

And here I am, contemplating how come every single facet of me starts to downslide once again. It has been my waterloo ever since. A disease that’s been eating me alive. Its like some sort of retrovirus that manifests just before I finish an academic term. I was never like this before. I would excel most of the time, and bask my achievements in humility. But, I just can’t figure out how everything ended up to this.

Mom’s right: I barely open my notes for a very long time, because I always come home tired. I have less time to focus, and my mind would oftenly head off to some parallel universe where I wouldn’t want to leave – a place of solitude. But I know this shouldn’t be the way for me to go. I could still do so much more. I just have to push a little bit more, and start prioritizing. I don’t want to end up again as the student who left his school because his pride wouldn’t let him take in how messed up he was, and thought that all is gone.

It has been very depressing for me, really. I would recall how my high school friends would tell me that if I only knew how to “prioritize” and become “preoccupied”, I could’ve gone farther than they would have. A colleague of mine once told me as well, “if you only knew what to prioritize, and who to prioritize first, you could’ve gone to UP. Because we all know you can do it. You just needed a little bit motivation, to the right perspective.”

And here I am on the bus, typing these thoughts on my phone, and looking back to where I have gone wrong. Hopefully, I get to really get myself back into good condition, and get back into track.