On October 30, 2014 (a day before the yearbook write-up was due), I tried to write a piece that both captures my college experience in Ateneo (as much as it can) and complies with the 500-character limit. Obviously, I failed. — In Freshman year, I transitioned from being Jennicka to Rhea, whom I found out to be whom I’ve always wanted and needed to be. In Sophomore and Junior year, I grew as Rhea, and got to know her more. She who loves music, writing, and organizing events. She who has fallen deeply in love with the local music scene. She who has something to say, but is almost always overcome with shyness and fear of being inadequate. She, the organizer who’s not very good with punctuality. She who has a history of carelessly crossing roads, risking her life in the process, mindlessly laughing about it afterwards. She who’s afraid of beginnings, not because she doesn’t like change (as she used to), but because she’s subconsciously afraid of the responsibility of making something good come out of her decisions. It was also during these years that she got lost a lot of times, both literally and figuratively.
In Senior Year, I saw how she finally tried to battle these fears and loss. I met Rhea the control-freak, the workaholic. I met the girl who tried to always be there for people, even if it meant a lot of sacrifices here and there. She who didn’t give up, who always held on and found alternatives wherever possible. I saw her break. I watched as she finally found the core of her wounds, her excess baggage, what has been pinning her down all these years. And she broke down, lost control- something she always tried her best to avoid. But it was in recognizing this brokenness that she found the strength to go on. A strength like she’d never had before, that she knew was borrowed from something greater than herself. She loved. She let go. She remained afraid, but determined to somehow be brave. As college ends, she yearns not simply for new beginnings, but for a continuing and embracing of how she has been formed. She has decided to slowly and determinedly accept that in reality, she’s not always in control; and to hope for the possibility that one day, she’ll be able to live out her newfound life goal: to be Hope. — PS. Because the character limit is a b*tch, this is what I ended up passing: :)) As a freshman, I transitioned from being Jennicka to Rhea, whom I found to be whom I’ve always wanted and needed to be. Through the years, I grew as Rhea, and got to know her more. She feared, and was broken. She loved. She let go. She remained afraid, but determined to somehow be brave. Now, I know that I loved the Rhea I have known and become; and I would never have it otherwise. As college ends, I yearn not just for new beginnings, but for a continuing and an embracing of how I have been formed.