Yani – photographed here with her mom and dad  graduated cum laude during the May 2019 graduation rites. She also received the University Leadership Award and the Rosa C. Bautista Journalism Award.



“Perhaps, like me, you know all too well what it feels like to value yourself based on a set of numbers, say, grades. I spent most of my college pressuring myself to excel. I treated everything like a competition. I was too consumed by the thought of nailing that particular grade, this certain average, and it constantly felt like I could have done better each time. But at the end of the day, it felt like the pressure just kept piling up, and it became tiring.”




“You see, I learned it the hard way. Grades do matter, but they don’t necessarily define you. We are worth so much more than numbers. I realized that getting low grades does not certainly equate to me being a failure as a person.”




“I learned to shift my focus from slaving it all away to just absorbing the process and just getting down and feeling the journey and for the first time, I had real fun. Despite the pressure to conform to the society’s standards through numbers, our self-worth is never based on anything else, let alone grades. Our grades are just a small percentage of what we are capable of. Therefore, we should stop allowing the marks on our paper to define our potentials.”




“While we should definitely be concerned about our grades, focusing on the journey is equally important. Be a goal-setter, but remember to be process-oriented, too. And, yes, there is so much more to college than that A+ mark. It is in college that we learn how to work with others. It is in college that we learn how to be a good sport. It is in college that we learn how to be resourceful, to figure out how to get through a rough patch. Those things cannot be equated with numbers. They are valuable life skills and traits that are beyond the value attached to any figure.”













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