Days are blending into each other as I can't find an end to my personal horror story that started weeks before Halloween. I’ve quickly learned that in UP, hell week doesn’t only last for a week. Once the requirements start piling up, there are only two choices: get buried or dig your way out. The latter is the only path to the end of the semester—not intact, but at least alive.
There are deadlines after deadlines of requirements every day of every week, with no breathing room in between. Instead of going home to Davao during the Undas break, I stayed on campus to catch up on my backlogs and requirements due in the next few weeks. Yet despite working nonstop, I don’t have anything finalized to show for it. I’ve only scratched off two items from my 20-item to-do list.
This over 500-word column is something I’ve been meaning to write for a while. For every message my editor sends to ask for my draft, all I can reply is an apology for putting it off for so long. And while that doesn’t temper their wrath, it’s the least I can do for being so caught up in other things.
Self-care is essentially nonexistent. To survive, I need to sacrifice everything I have—food, sleep, relationships, and even sometimes my attendance at classes.
There is already not enough time to finish all of these. All I have left for myself are the few hours of the day when I try to catch up on rest. But during the times I've woken up in the past month, I wake up with a heavy chest and a mind full of anxiety.
It's quite different from the one I feel during the rare occurrences I pass by my crush in Palma Hall. That one’s full of giddiness, like I could float away into heaven just by seeing them smile back at me. This, on the other hand, feels like an explosion of heavy dread and anxiety. It’s all-consuming like there’s a dead weight sinking and drowning me into the deepest trenches of the ocean. And no, not even my mere feelings for my crush could save me from such despair.
It’s ironic. I remember fighting tooth and nail to get myself out of my underloaded status—enlisting in any course that had a low demand and emailing every professor I knew for a prerog slot. I managed to get 18 units by then, but now I’m regretting not settling with the minimum of 15.
Somehow I can’t fully blame myself for what’s happening to me. While my perfectionism and procrastination tendencies certainly clash, there’s no reason for anyone’s to-do list to have twenty academic requirements at a time. No one should be forced to stay behind during Undas break just to study. We all deserve a somewhat healthy work-life balance to keep ourselves sane in these trying times.
For now, I will finally turn in this draft to my editor, attempt to work on some academics, go to sleep, and hope that I will no longer experience the same irregular heartbeat in the morning. ●
First published in the November 13, 2023 print edition of the Collegian.
Dec 2, 2023
Ang hirap pala kapag ako na ang nakatatanggap ng mga pangungumusta mo, ng mga kwento mo, ng mga ngiti mo.
Dec 2, 2023
Leila De Lima’s case cannot be isolated from the cases of nearly 800 political prisoners in the country, necessitating a justice system that could uphold fairness, equality, and the rule of law.