UST was not my first choice, that would be Ateneo. Nor was it my second, that would be LaSalle. And UP beat it to third because of its reputation for greatness and the tuition rates. But for some reason God led me to UST, and I know that God will never lead me someplace that wouldn’t be good for me. So I believed in Him and in His reasons for leading me there.
As I spent those years in UST, I found things I did not like about it. But as I think back I realize, I love the university. I hated on UST, yes, still do. But it’s ok. It’s ok because I did not have preconceived notions of perfection about the university, only to be disappointed when it does not turn out the way I imagined it. It’s ok because I LEARNED to love and appreciate the good things that are really there to find. It’s ok because the good things I found and learned to love, I loved without need to first compare it to a higher, preconceived notion and just eventually accepting it because it’s as good as it gets. It’s ok because that hate showed me the things I could love wholeheartedly.
I love everything I went through there. I love the people I found there. I love the community I worked with there. I love the university’s unity and spirit. I love the training I was put through, the training that EARNED US PRAISES IN OUR OJT SITES AND SET US APART FROM OTHERS (like what one of our sites said, we set the standard for future trainees). I love how the community would proudly cheer and sing ” O, defensa!”, “One for UST”, “Go USTe”, and the UST Hymn even if things aren’t in our favor. I love how the USTYJ keeps banging proudly for the university even in our losing moments. I live how the students proudly wear the university color even if we’re not always sure of winning. I love how the alumni proudly show the world what Thomasians are and what sets us apart despite the low profile we maintain. I love the person that came out of the Arch that night, the person I turned out to be because of UST.
UST’s not perfect. I believe no school is. But I will always be greatful for and proud of the experiences I had in UST. These experiences constantly challenged me and taught me to keep striving to become a better version of myself. It taught me that Thomasians roar and make noise through their humility, initiative, determination and perseverance. It taught me to be silently proud of where I came from. Di man kami kilala bilang champion ng CDC, volleyball or basketball, di man kami iskolar ng bayan, nadadalian man sila sa exams namin, hindi mag iingay ang Tomasino. Instead, we will do our best and through our work, show the world why Thomasians are also worthy of recognition. The Thomasian spirit, the Tiger’s heart never stops. It will keep pushing, it will keep persevering, it will never give up. Commitment. Compassion. Competence. That’s the Thomasian edge.