Personal Trots

Reminiscent of A Student

It’s the time of the year when fire trees put on orange skies and my Alma Mater rejoices over hundreds of individuals stepping up another ladder. While I’m not one for remembering school moments but seeing University of Santo Tomas’ Facebook post made me slightly and pleasantly nostalgic. I thought fondly the good ‘ol times that felt quick to happen and to end.

Freshman year was like: I can’t. I’m not good enough as an art student! OHNOES! ACKKKK.

Then came my last year in college, still under the same major of studies, that I couldn’t believe I was celebrating my graduation in just a few hours. As they said was true: you really have to enjoy the moment while you’re still student, while you wouldn’t have to worry anything except studying and doing your best. I could make paragraphs of learning and experiences being a Thomasian but let me just get through 3 key points only~

1. I graduated last 2013. Held back for a year to continue on my Thesis was a memory and experience I didn’t expect myself to get into. Or to happen to me at all. Truthfully I felt thorn and hurt at the mere fact that the batch I belonged to were able to graduate on time while I didn’t — the embarrassment ached and frustrated me. And yet it was my Dad who reminded me, over and over again, that I’m in no race against anyone.

Frankly if I didn’t let myself have a year to do what I did I probably wouldn’t realize and created one of my favorite things in the world — fashion designing, fashion production and bags. It was a worthwhile year, truly special.


One of the two photography entries displayed under the Quadricentennial Markers. Taken last 2011 during my usual trots with my buddies Sheng and Joe at the Main Building.

2. I took up Bachelor of Fine Arts, Major in Advertising Arts. A first choice.

Admittedly my second choice – if I didn’t get into my first – was Literature. *laughs* Back then my passion to writing was off the roof. I could spend hours just going over the dictionary for words and writing as much fiction as my head could imagine.


Samto Nasto: Protect the Empire! An original concept and story made and illustrated last 2013.  I never continued this though. *laughs*

3. Memorable happenings were as many as any other lucky student who had an amazing set of creative friends, enrolled to the course they like and came to love wholeheartedly and went through highs and lows of all sort of things. Everyday was new. Everyday didn’t make me feel I made a mistake deciding on going through all these for five years.

Perhaps the most valuable and truly memorable experience I had was my graduating year when most of my friends went ahead of me and I stayed to discover my love for Fashion and designing. And because I focused on making myself happy first that I was able to achieve an award I didn’t expect to get. Back then I’d laugh off the idea of Best Thesis, jokingly saying, “I’d want to get it too because my Senior crush got in too! Ako din, ako diiiin.” I didn’t aim for stellar grades that time. I didn’t even consider that my designs would be high-grade worthy during the months of preparation.

All that matter to me was only this: Design something you like, Jiandra. Something that would make you happy. Do a study you’d stomach in a year’s time and beyond.

I couldn’t believe the deliberation results after. I celebrated this victorious moment with my family and friends. Best Thesis, baby! Then came the exhibit and congratulatory remarks left and right. It felt amazing… and magically soul-delighting as my heart knew what it wanted before I could even conjure it.


One thing I kind of regretted during my college years was the lack of extra curricular participation: actively joining clubs, learning new things that were not inside the classroom and connecting to other people of different colleges and courses. My shyness got the best of me and I let it until the last year of my studies. Looking back on it – sometimes – make me sigh but I know it isn’t something I should fret over. It has passed. Learn from it. It is time to look ahead instead.


Remembering things from the past sure pluck nostalgic strings. You look back on them and accept that that time had happen and now are gone. A repeat could or could not be an option. So while you’re currently into what you are into, immerse and enjoy. Have pleasant memories of them, with them. Let it unfold before you and appreciate it.

And when it’s gone, memories would suffice for you to carry on. Another door awaits you.

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