no. 174 – One Zero Zero

Wrote this almost 3 years ago in lieu of my Algebra grade.

I don’t like this.

I enrolled in the university I am now in because no one from where I came from knows me. No one can give side-comments on who and what I am back home. Or so I thought.

For the past academic years, I’ve always been pressured. Pressured to achieve this and that, to perform like this and that. Going to college was like another beginning for me.

And a beginning it was.

I experienced being a “nobody” on my first semester. I sit on a corner during the first day of classes talking to no one, being the shy-type-on-first-meeting that I am.

I am not totally a loner but I still don’t have that many people I can call close friends. I felt forlorn yet happy for being given the isolation I was wanting for years. It’s good to walk the corridors or eat lunch or shop or spend your free time alone.

Another difference for me is not being the leader in a group. I don’t have a strong personality. Maybe that’s why. I love being behind the spotlight. So, for how many months, I enjoyed the feeling of being a member. For a short period of time, I experienced not worrying for a project because I know there’d be someone in the group who would finish it for us. Added are the times when I am able to get by a lecture or a quiz without someone asking me questions or in some cases, answers.

And then came 100. It was my midtem grade in College Algebra. Since birth, I’ve always had a fondness for Mathematics, the waterloo of most people. Modesty aside, I haven’t experienced any difficulties in this subject because I’ve been solving equations eversince the world began (ok that was corny).

Most people got awe-stricken by my 3-digit final grade but I didn’t because maybe half of my class in high school can get the same score.

Anyway, this grade caused the turning point in my college life. History is beginning to repeat itself. I began being nominated as a leader (which I hate), people always expect me to ace in something and questions started pouring…

I have to admit that I really am no good in other subjects except if it includes problem solving or numbers (hate swimming for example and my subjects and verbs still don’t agree). The problem lies in stereotyping.

My classmates think I’m a genius or a monster which I REALLY AM NOT. Of course anyone would be delighted with that grade but I’m a person who neither wants to be praised nor looked up to. Whenever a friend’s friend is introduced to me, my name would always be linked to my grade in math in the first semester, it irks me.

Also, it irritates me that no one believes if I tell them “nahirapan ako” or “hindi ko alam”…the inhabitants of my class think I know everything which I don’t. I also don’t like it when they say, “kung si Rani nahirapan, paano pa tayo?”. The hell. I am not superior to anybody. If I can do it, my blockmates can also certainly do it. You can do it.

It’s not that I have low self-esteem. I just think some comments are overrated (of course if it’s a joke, its fine). I’m not being pseudo-humble or anything. I am just exposed in an environment where I’m a mediocre. I am not good enough for first place, smart enough for a slot in a program I want in my dream school, and my grades aren’t high enough for a scholarship.

I enjoy the company of my college friends very much but when it comes to academic-related conversations, I just wish I was like them, normal.

By the way, I found out last week that I have a schoolmate from my alma mater studying in the same university, in the same degree program. The consequence: my academic ranking when I graduated in high school (which I told no one) got spilled.

Well, life goes on. I should be thankful.

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