Quick note: This is an updated version of my highly-visited post from my old blog, itswhatrarathinks. Still has the core tips on it, but improved just a teensy bit.
I used to think that once I get out of college, I wouldn’t look back and reminisce about the people and the experiences I’ve had. I used to snicker when my professors would drop the “You know, now that I’m working, I feel the need to just be back in college badly”. I thought it was just some mushy way to tell us to enjoy and maximize the time we have left. Plus, I’ve always been in a rush to grow old anyway, so lines like that just don’t work with me. But let me just tell you that yes, now that I’m working, I do wish sometimes that I could just go back to college and live an easier life. Life where I don’t have to slave away to earn a dime and make ends meet. Life where I only have to get up, get ready in 15 minutes flat and just go to classes.
In all honesty, I never imagined myself enrolled in any other school than De La Salle University. I knew all along that I’m going to end up here, partly because it’s one of the better business schools back home and partly because my older sister has told me about the La Salle life and prestige even when I was in high school. With that being said, I always had my eyes on La Salle. I always admired its culture and values. Even though there are a few ridiculous stereotypes about the school, it never wavered my decision to enroll here. And never have I felt disappointed. The future really begins here.
It’s been five years since I first walked the halls of Henry Sy Sr. Hall grounds and I can still remember and hear from the back of my head all the Lasallian Ambassadors (or LAmbs, as we call them) and Org people screaming “Welcome to La Salle!” from left and right to us freshmen as we passed by their booths during orientation. That day was filled with a number of fun bits when I first met my blockmates and my now treasured college friends.
Lasallian Personal Effectiveness Program (LPEP) is the program created for DLSU freshmen, or “frosh/ies”, to get to know about the DLSU life, the campus, your blockmates, organizations, etc. My college is RVR-COB, or Ramon V Del Rosario – College of Business, and we’re often clumped together with CLA (College of Liberal Arts) or COE (College of Engineering). I think we’re a pretty fun department as there’s always something going on, and that we know people from different courses as most of our GEs and majors are interconnected with each other.
I think there’s no better time to impart with you some things I’ve learned and helped me survive my 3 and 1/2 years of stay in DLSU.
Fair warning though, these are recommendations you will most likely also hear from other people, so I am apologizing beforehand if you don’t think this is helpful. But if it is, then congrats!
1. People don’t care about what you wear. It’s one of the funniest stereotype I’ve heard about Lasallians. It is said that we are such snobs when it comes to brands people wear and that we bully other people if they repeat the same clothes, which is obviously not true. Whether you’re donning the latest from Ye’s collection or a cheap find from the thrift shop, it’s really nothing that you should be wary about. No one’s really in the business and has the time to be snooping into your wardrobe everyday. The more important thing is you’re wearing clothes.
2. Don’t eat cheap everyday. I’m not saying that you should splurge on your meals, kid. There are lots of places to eat within and outside of the DLSU premises that are palatable AND reasonably priced. You don’t have to settle for value meals from Mickey D’s or JBee everyday, that’s just boring. My blockmates and I frequent around Taft trying out new food joints almost every time (I’ll let you in on some of my favorite meals and spots next time!) and it’s always a delight to discover a new spot. Taft is also lucky enough to be just a few kilometers away from some of the foodie places in Makati, ATC, Fort, Malate, Chinatown or MOA; so don’t waste that 4 hour break sleeping it off in the library. Go out and explore.
3. Try not to stick with the same people throughout your stay. On your adjustment period, it’s understandable. But please, don’t flock together when you’re in school. You don’t have to be with the whole squad all the time. Meet people from other blocks, courses or year. Expand your connections because you’re not going to grow if you don’t step out of your comfort zone. When you’re given the opportunity to enroll your own classes, make that count. Enroll some of your classes with your friends, but the others on your own. Learn how to survive a class by yourself.
4. Join Orgs. One of my biggest dilemma before was my “orgless” status. Unless you have work outside of school, it’ll feel like you’re not maximizing your stay when you shy away from organizations. DLSU offers a lot of orgs to join at, both professional and for recreational. If you want something related to your course, professional organizations are your best bet. If you want something a little different and targets more your talents and other interests, try the Culture and Arts Office. They will offer you a lot of edge, honestly. They can give you anything from valuable skills, study materials, connections and/or work experience. Always be on the lookout during your first few weeks of stay because that’s the Annual Recruitment Week. If you’re still undecided, the school commences another round come third term.
5. Never get into a relationship with your blockmate. This might be the oddest tip I’ll ever drop but trust me on this. Almost all of the couples I know who were blockmates are not together anymore. I’m not saying that you really shouldn’t, but as much as possible don’t; because it’s going to be a little messy and awkward especially if you come from the same circle of friends. The world is big, young one. You don’t have to settle for that person immediately. Don’t box yourself with just your block. You will find a lot of attractive people in La Salle, I swear (because they’re literally everywhere, LOL).
6. No one is forcing you to speak in English. As much as stereotypes go, not all Lasallians are conyo/english-speaking. Yes, you will meet a few ones who can’t really speak Filipino well (ex. 100% foreign students) but you don’t have to force yourself to speak the language if it’s just not your flow. The only time it’s ever necessary for you to speak the language is if it’s an English-based subject, you’re conversing with a foreigner or conversing with an English-speaking student. Other than that, speak in the language you’re comfortable in.
7. Choose your friends. Never ever make the mistake of hanging out with people who will only bring you down or make you do things you’re not really into. If you don’t feel like drinking or partying out on a Thursday night, don’t. If your friends tell you you’re boring or a prude for choosing to stay indoors, ditch them. Never forget that you have a choice. That’s the thing about expanding your horizons. If you don’t feel like going out with your primary set of friends, you always have other people to hang out with. I’m not saying that friends are disposable, but you always have to remember that you shouldn’t be forced to stay with people you don’t like. Life’s too short to play that game.
8. If you’re not happy with your course, shift. Like any other school, there’s really no easy course in DLSU. Everybody has their own versions of hell. You cannot just base it on one subject’s difficulty. It takes a little time to get accustomed to your course. To be honest, it took me at least three terms and a few seminars to get convinced to stay on mine. But if you’re not really happy with yours, you can always go for others. Or if not, you can go for double majors. Check out with your course adviser or the registrar about your options and requirements, then come up with a plan after.
9. Don’t waste your tuition. Maximize your term by picking out the best profs who can really teach you well. You can use DLSU Prof to Pick as a reference come enlistment time. But just a reminder: don’t always settle for profs who give easy 4.0 or chill AF because you’re going to waste your tuition, big time. I know that there are some who give way too much load or gets pissed off easily, but never be afraid to go after profs who are terror or legendary or gods of their own subjects. Other thing I could suggest is taking courses outside of your flowchart. Enroll for courses you feel interested in! You have to be cautious not to fail them though because it’s going to add up on your transcript.
10. Don’t stress yourself about social class differences. Affluent or not, this shouldn’t be something to worry about. Like the stereotype for language and clothing, no one really cares about that stuff. Everyone is gonna treat you the same, whether you have money or not. You won’t be able to buy anyone, not even your prof for failing you.
- Join Activities. DLSU also hosts a lot of events every term — ranging from college competitions, bazaars, haunted halls, indie movie screenings, seminars and whatnot.
- Don’t crowd the halls. In-between-classes breaks only lasts for 15 minutes and almost everybody transfers classroom for every class so don’t crowd the halls as not everybody has the luxury to be late for the next class.
- Use the elevators only when it’s necessary. No one likes it when someone rides the elevator just to get to the second floor. If you’re only transferring to 4 floors, take the stairs.
- Also: Go to school early if you don’t want the traffic. If you have classes in Andrew, there’s a huge chance the elevator’s going to crowd up during class hours. There are actually two ways to avoid jam-packed people — arrive at least 20 minutes early or arrive fashionably late. The former is safer, of course.
- It’s okay to be non-partisan. If you’re not really into politics, it’s okay not to join either of the two political parties in DLSU. No one is forcing you to join. Plus, let’s just get this straight: DLSU politics is not really the best, LOL. You can still support your friends or batchmates even when you’re not part of the party, remember that.
- You don’t need to standby in the Learning Commons all the time. There are numerous spaces in DLSU that are not utilized by some because they tend to go to the bean bag room all the time. Try the Amphitheater, Octopus garden, little garden beside Shaw theater, tables beside Velasco building and along Miguel building if you want less crowded spots.
- You don’t need to get drunk on a Thursday night (or any other day) to be cool. Okay? Okay.
There you go. My top tips on your stay in DLSU. It’s not much actually, I don’t think I covered enough topics to really help you and maybe it’s a little outdated as I haven’t been there for over a year now and things change quite fast. I would consider writing a few more related topics to this. If you have any suggestion/s, drop it on the comments box! 🙂