1O YEARS AFTER— I’m an alumnus of CMU (my exact date of graduation – April 3, 2003. It was 10 years ago, but it feels like just a few years back. How time flies!)
- My college years were so profound that it led me to places where I am now.
I can say with outmost confidence that CMU trained, equipped and prepared me for the outside world. It honed my creative imagination, thanks to the excellent pool of mentors whose credentials were all highly esteemed.
As time passes by, CMU is still unceasingly living up to its excellent standards in its thrust to provide quality education amongst the poor but deserving students. The university’s popularity never wavered. In fact, it is still in the winning game as one of the top serving tertiary institutions in the country.
However, thinking back on the old memories, I can never avoid comparing the CMU student’s life today against mine before. Thanks to technology, it makes a student’s life easier these days. One click of the mouse can connect him/her to widespread information on just about everything. No need for weekly library visits. No need for group study sessions. No need for hard ball note taking during classroom instructions.
This makes me envious because I had to live the hard way. I had to meticulously take notes, scribbling endlessly to absorb knowledge and information. I relied mostly on memory. It was a tough student life. It took so much patience, perseverance and concentration. You must be prepared, especially during exams. Hence, I used to climb trees, sit down on tree shades, or find any place where solitude was accessible – just to study. Add some high caliber terror teachers on the list, and you’d end up soaked in your own sweat if you came to class unprepared. And since academic competition before was a status symbol – we often treated academic achievements as a holy prize. Everyone wanted to win. Hence, games were seriously played.
Because of these frenzied requirements, research and the library were of prime importance. We had to huddle our ways inside – inventing tricks and getting ahead of the race just to borrow academic materials. In many instances, cooing our overly strict librarians could be the answer. Thus, many students befriended them.
The other side of it, however, made me realize it was a fairly less complicated and fun student life. We enjoyed simple pleasures. We were content. There were happy times during meal breaks at SSC canteen, or just sitting down in groups on the “islands” marching up to the main admin building. I know these humble activities are still present. And these are marks which I prefer to see remain and be enjoyed by the future generations.
It still brings a smile to my face whenever memories come rushing back to me. Dissecting frogs at Bio lab, scurrying project deadlines, endless war with tough teachers, loitering at CMU market, “trisikads”, Mindy’s Valencia night outs, ROTC, drop calls (a tricky way to call someone less than 5 seconds without getting charged from the mobile provider), and the list goes on. There’s always the thrill of it, the kind of life which never failed to bring surprises every day. Even though it was still the “jologs” times, I considered my earned memories an experience I will never forget for a lifetime. Central Mindanao University CMU will always be a part of my individuality.
For making me who I am today in my career of choice – Central Mindanao University, CMU played a big role in the process. Having conquered the odds, I acquired some good sense of brilliance and discipline, characteristics which in my opinion, are prerequisites to the real world. I was a product of hard work, hard study, hard research, and creativity. We didn’t rely much on technology, but there was something beautiful in doing it the hard and basic way.
We became independent by solely trusting our individual capabilities to accomplish tasks. It became a struggle to pass one subject, and during post-exam days, students came rushing breathless to every bulletin board to check if their lovely names were included on the extensive and feared “List of Removal Examinees”.
If you scored a 3.0 (passing grade, which I did get one for my entire four years – FYI!), then you should thank the heavenly Gods for making you the luckiest student around since you passed. If not, then better luck next time. It was not easy hitting the 3.0 mark. It was already a priceless number figure, which even influence (whoever you were) or money (no matter how affluent you were) could not buy. You had to spend blood, tears and sweat to earn it. Thus the famous adage, “Dili lalim sa CMU” was born.
Whenever I see pictures posted on the web (thanks to Facebook) illustrating rich images of my alma mater, it always makes me nostalgic for the past. There aren’t any instances when I don’t miss the place I called home. How could an alumnus miss four, five or six years of hard labored education? How could one not miss the majestic Musuan Peak? How could one not miss rodeo days, Christmas Fest, Acquaintance parties, Palaro games? These events defined our great CMU life. Sometimes I want to go back to those early days. But I know my time has come and gone.
Nevertheless, my goal is to visit my alma mater one day. I will again stop over to the places and landmarks where I used to stand solidly on ground before. And I will reminisce about university life, a celebration of events which I will forever treasure in my heart.
As your name stands, as always – Central Mindanao University.
(Roi Asok is a former AB psychology student and editorial member of ‘Central Post’, the official newspaper magazine of the university at Central Mindanao University in the Philippines. He graduated in 2003.)
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