Students’ graduation stories: Catherine Villanueva

Alumni_Catherine Villanueva2One of our sponsor students, Catherine Villanueva, shares her graduation story.

“College life was the best years of my life. A time to find myself, and more especially, a time to start my future. Time to try many things while learning what works and strive hard to do the best I can. Take the risk that I’m maybe scared to take. In doing so, to challenge myself to get better each day and find sweet success.

Looking back during my college days when I first entered the University of Caloocan City, I felt mixed emotions and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I was alone and it was my first time at that university. I found out that there are a lot of requirements to comply with and I also needed to pass to their college admission examination. Just thinking about all those requirements was already stressful. I was alone and I didn’t know what to do and how to start. Thank God I did my best and passed the examination so I could finally enrol.

The next day, I woke up early just to have my medical examination and had to wait for the results. Together with many students I also had to submit all my requirements and had my interview for the Education course that I wanted to take up. I felt nervous when I entered the room, especially since my interview professor was not the kind of person who smiles a lot and I was scared of her. When it was my turn to answer some questions, I was asked why I choose the education course and what characteristic of a teacher I need to possess. I answered that I want to take up this course because I love children and I think my personality fits this field. As a teacher I can say that patience is one of the characteristic I need to possess. My heart was beating so fast from that moment, but when I saw my paper I felt happy to see that I had passed for the interview. By evening, many students were waiting for the next step s and I was one of them. The next day I came back again to finally enrol in Bachelor of Elementary Education (BEEd). I am now a college student at that university.

I met new friends and professors with different attitudes and I learned to deal with them even though we are different in the way we live. We started reporting in all subjects, doing research and other work. I’m a little bit shy sometimes but I try to overcome it. I always pray to pass all the subjects every semester because there is a policy stating that all education students must maintain an average grade ranging 1 to 2. If your average grade is lower than 2, you have to move to a different course. And thank God my average grade was not lower than 2, so I could still be in the education course. During my second year college, same as my first year, I passed the examination and my average was still good ? I always pray and tell myself to be a strong person because many times I experienced sleepless nights doing school work. Even at times when I was not feeling well, I still went to school to attend my classes. I’m thankful that I survived. I didn’t want to give up, and maybe the secret of it is my determination and patience.

On my third year in college, things were different and getting harder. I could feel the pressure: reporting, research work, demonstration teaching, and we also had an examination only for education students. Thank God I passed , I never gave up, I never stop trying my best because I know for myself that God will never leave me and I believe that I can make it. I always think about my future and think positive. Despite of the worries and problems I encountered in life, I was always looking for happiness and manage to smile. I wanted to be happy and keep going. I’ll never quit and that’s ME.

During my fourth year in college, I started to experience being a teacher in my teaching practice. I became a student teacher in public school for two and a half months and in private school for three and a half months. Doing lesson plans, making visual aids, preparing for demonstrations and doing our thesis, I only had four or sometimes five hours of sleep just to do all those things. Fourth year was a very busy year but with the help of the people around me I knew I could do it. Every day was a tiring day yet very fulfilling. This experience helped me to know myself more, learn many things in different ways and taught me to keep going no matter what.

April 18, 2013 (graduation day) was the most unforgettable moment in my life and it was dream come true; it was the fruit of my happiness, hard work, determination, patience and sacrifices. This was my day and the day of the people who loved me, prayed for me, sacrificed a lot to help me and wholeheartedly supported me. Without them I may not be here and would not who I am today. I am blessed and thankful to have them as part of my life and being my inspiration. First is God who guide me in everything I do , also my family who are always there for me, my Bagong Barrio Educational Fund family (BBEF family) who helped me in my study and my friends for being there also.

Being able to challenge myself, what I stand for and what I believe in have helped me to get exactly what I want out of life: to have the courage to challenge myself to do the best that I can.”

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