by Juseph Elas
It was four years ago when I first stepped foot into this small room that houses four to five wooden tables; three out of four (or five) were occupied by faculty members. I will never forget that first day when Ms. Ma. Marissa Makasiar, the then department head, laid her eyes on me. At that exact same moment, I felt like I am being scanned through and through by a pair of piercing tiger-like eyes of a feline ready to launch her self at me.
I can’t believe how time flies so fast. I can’t believe that I managed to survive all the advances of the course in between those years that passed. I am at awe at how courageous and brave I was to handle the stress, the demands, while still managing to have some fun every once in a while. Perhaps, one of the many things I will be thankful for is the company of some people who were there fighting the same dragons, crashing the same walls, and moving the same mountains with me.
But if there is one thing that I will regret after leaving the fortress that is Western Mindanao State University (WMSU), it will be the sad and regretful horror that I didn’t grab the opportunity to be friends with the first years, the second and third years.
When I was in first year, I remember my ates and kuyas in the Mass Communications department were the ones who approached us first. Perhaps that paved a huge highway for us to widen our circles and open up to this brand new world we subjected ourselves with. And it went without saying that as I was moving from one year level to another, my circle widened even more as I befriended more of my upper-men. It was a liberating and thrilling and exciting experience, really.
Isn’t intriguing but at the same time beautiful how friendship starts with one hello?
And that hello was the missing puzzle piece. I regret not extending that salutation to the lower years at the start of this academic year. I regret not opening my circle to them the earliest possible time. I regret to not smiling at them even if that smile will not be returned. I admit to being a douche bag and arrogant and stupid and too self-righteous. It makes me wish that I could slow time down and fix what I have to fix and do what I know I should have done a very long time ago.
To that first year tall kid, hello!
To that girl with bushy hair and with braces, you are pretty.
To that first year kid who is a doodler at GVP Doodle Tales, you are cute.
To that third year girl who just asked me a lot of Taylor Swift songs earlier, I love you because you see Taylor the way I do.
To that third year girl who faces a challenge so big that you might think of shifting or changing school, don’t. Just prove yourself and be strong. But remember to respect your teachers and everyone around you.
To that chubby girl, third year journalism major student, I appreciate your friendship. It is going to be something that I will miss.
To to all those who I failed to include in this material, thank you for crossing my path. Surely, it was a journey worth taking.
The Mass Communications department of WMSU is just a small room that has the tendency of becoming a market place once students start to pour themselves into it. But to me, it serves as an anchor for us who aspire to become the next TV reporter who will bag the Catholic Mass Media Award, the next writer who will be given the prestigious Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature, the next Public Relations Officer/Advertising Agent who will win an Anvil Award or the next director who will take home the Best Director Award from well celebrated award-giving bodies of the country.
We already took the first few steps. We just have to continue the journey now.