ForMe Top, shorts, and necklace, Forever 21 hat and purse, Asianvogue heels
When I was a kid, I didn’t have much friends. I only had two in elementary whom I could consider good friends, although I did hang out with a bunch of girls who were ‘popular’ at school. They’re popular mainly because they had ‘boyfriends’ from the upper year levels and are relatively from well-off families. For some reason, however, those girls seemed to develop particular hatred towards me, especially when I’m running for positions in school organizations. I never really gave it much thought back then. I had my two best friends anyway. But it’s funny, if you think of it now, how kids view relationships.
Fast forward to high school. I was very intimidated by the fact that I’m in a school full of geniuses. Yes, I was the top student of my batch in elementary, but later on I realized my skills were no match compared to my batch mates in Naga City Science High School. The first days of classes proved to be very difficult; I never understood any word my teachers were saying while my classmates could, especially in Math. How ironic, I thought, that I was awarded the Best in Mathematics medal when I was younger. Haha. Bibo kid lang ako siguro masyado.
I did meet new friends, a couple of them became my best buddies. I was extremely awkward and unpleasant looking back then. I was very skinny and I had ugly teeth (lol). I clearly remember one classmate of mine suggesting that I should comb my hair sometimes, dahil mukha daw akong na-rape lagi. Hahaha. That was in sophomore year. Did I start fixing myself after that? No. All that mattered to me was to study and graduate and eventually find a scholarship so that I could go to college. I did have my crushes, however, but unfortunately all of them were too busy ogling and courting the popular and pretty girls. I was just an ordinary student then, I’m not even sure if people knew I existed. I always carried a huge backpack where I put all my books and an encyclopedia (yes, ENCYCLOPEDIA), which I often used when my school books cannot provide me answers for my homework (Ah, so that’s probably why I have scoliosis now.). Yes, I was aware that the internet already existed at that time, but we didn’t have a computer at home; we didn’t even have electricity sometimes. I have experienced studying by candlelight—too many times that it became ordinary to me. Going to school was always a challenge for me. I won’t mention why anymore, but I used the hardships to rise above the situation.
I received a full scholarship (which I am thankful for) and was able to finish college with flying colors. I may not have taken my dream course in my dream school, but I still consider myself very lucky. Many people don’t even get the chance to study, not that I am taking comfort in their misfortune. All I’m saying is we should not be discouraged to pursue our goals just because we’re having setbacks. Be glad that we have them, because our triumphs won’t be as meaningful if we do not experience hurdles.
School has a very special place in my heart, hence the title of this post. Without it, I won’t be where I am now. I have not achieved all my goals yet, but I’m proud to say that I am at a better situation. It only took me a bit of time, lots of perseverance, and a tough heart to surpass all difficult challenges.
I love how this look reminds me so much of my childhood (cue My Daddy Long Legs, Judy Abbott song haha). It’s very comfortable, most especially the top and shorts. I commute and move around a lot so I appreciate chic pieces that do not compromise function.
Photos by Jash Manuel