When I was invited to speak today, I initially considered preparing a profound speech designed to inspire you to greatness. But then I realized that after going through four or five years of schooling, the last thing you’d probably want to hear is another lesson before graduating. So in lieu of this, I will share a candid version of my own journey through school.
Before jumping right into things, I would like to start off by saying that everyone in life has a cross to bear. Rich or poor, strong or weak, young or old, everybody will have to deal with problems uniquely difficult for them. The cross I bore was education and was so heavy it resulted in one of the biggest regrets I had in life—not being able to study here, in De La Salle University, for college.
Let’s backtrack several years to the very beginning... when I graduated from high school, I wanted nothing more than to earn my college and master’s degrees from De La Salle University. After passing the entrance exam, I was all set to begin life in this hallowed institution.
But when I sought advice, I was told the course I chose was not a “real engineering course.” Not knowing any better, I enrolled in another school to take up this person’s definition of a real engineering course.
To say that it was a disaster is an understatement! Not only was the teaching style incomprehensible, I experienced severe culture shock. The method used by the college was designed to simply weed out the weak instead of developing them to reach their full potential. While it may have worked for others, it wasn’t suitable for me.
After enduring several semesters, I finally threw in the towel. I tried reapplying here at De La Salle University but was told that none of my subjects were going to be credited. Faced with having to start from scratch, I opted to enroll somewhere else.
You’re probably wondering why I didn’t go to La Salle after that first debacle. Well, I listened to the same person again for this one! Had I listened to my mother, I wouldn’t be in this boat at all.
So, this was how one of the biggest regrets of my life came to be.
Due to these two major mistakes—choosing another school and passing on the chance to go to this one—I suffered a crisis of confidence for the first time in my life. And I’ll tell you, ladies and gentlemen, I have never been lacking in the confidence department.
Fortunately, the beginning of my retribution came after I decided it was time to go back to school. This time, I listened to my mother and enrolled in the MBA program here at De La Salle University.
Some of you may be wondering why I didn’t just take up another college degree, as some have done in the past. First, I did not want to be ungrateful. I owe my college a great debt of gratitude because it took me in when I was at my worst. Second, getting another degree would never erase the fact that I did not finish in La Salle. That is already in my permanent record and there it will stay. Third, all of my high school classmates had already moved on. Sharing college with old friends would not be possible anymore. Fourth, it would take roughly the same time and effort to get a higher degree. Having to go through the same thing all over again just wasn’t appealing. And lastly, I decided to my turn my mistakes into reminders to keep driving me forward instead of holding me back.
And drive me forward they did. Enrolling in the MBA program here in De La Salle University turned out to be the best time of my educational life. For the first time, I could actually understand all my subjects. The teachers here were so masterful at explaining lessons that I felt like a lightbulb would go on every time I attended class. Best of all, anything that I would learn the night before could be applied the day after.
So, after going through two other schools, I finally came home to this one.
(To be continued)
The author graduated with a Doctor of Business Administration degree on February 29, 2020. He delivered at the Response of Graduates at the 4th De La Salle University Ramon V. Del Rosario College of Business Graduate Studies Recognition Rites on February 22, 2020. The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty, and its administrators.