Hey FAHC! I am the historian, but mostly known for the one who takes pictures and public health corners. But I will show another side of me in this blog. In fact, I will share one of the biggest things I value, that is the importance of finding your niche in college.
At an early age, my family constantly reiterated the significance of grades. With this approach, excelling in my classes was my main priority. Instead of going to first grade, I accelerated and went straight to 2nd grade after taking a placement test. In 5th grade, I became involved in this advanced math team, aside from taking the normal math class. This strict focus on grades discouraged me from playing sports, explore my musical talents and become involved in ASB in high school. It wasn’t until my junior year, when I finally got involved. This first true experience was centered towards my search for spirituality. Bukas Loob Sa Diyos, BLD, was a youth group I first felt happiness when serving my community. In BLD, I sang in the praise and worship band, did fundraisers, and lead youth retreat camps. My senior year, I led my high school’s annual retreat called Search and became part of the event coordinating team for ASB. Yes, this was a small sample size of my growth, but I made huge strides in breaking out of my shell. And of course my grades were still top notch, maintaining a 3.81 GPA throughout high school.
College was a different animal. I came from a small high school, classes were easier to succeed in, and I felt like I had many friends. However, when I started college, I realized that only less than 10 people from my high school enrolled at UW. The first couple of quarters were very hard for me because I did nothing but spend time at Ode, barely had a social life (I would close my door whenever we had open door nights at Haggett), and chemistry and math were kicking my butt. After years of spending all my effort on school and grades, I gradually became unsatisfied with my approach on life. What I was really passionate about was helping others and making a direct impact in my community. FASA and FAHC became my outlet my freshman year, and ultimately the reason why I am so driven now and well accomplished. Many people perceive an outgoing, talkative and sometimes childish Vince, but truthfully, I am a complete introvert with a lot of anxiety issues. I think that’s one of the reasons why I hate speaking in public and putting myself out there. It took me such a long time to, like I mentioned above, “break out of my shell.”
Here I am now doing things I would never imagine myself doing before. Running for FASA’s elections my freshman year (where I was shaking my legs the whole time) even though I lost, taking on the position of historian for FAHC, recently becoming Philanthropy chair for my fraternity, taking on my first job ever at the IMA, studying abroad in a country different from mine, taking on an internship in another country, pursuing a career something I am passionate about and lastly, becoming part of an entity for ASUW. There is so much on my plate and I get anxious thinking about this every day, but with that said, I’ve never been so happy. I finally have the opportunity to make my own decisions and explore my true interests without my family impeding me to do so. And the best part is I’m not obsessed with my grades anymore (even though I’ve made Dean’s List the last three quarters), in fact, my grades are nowhere near where I want it to be, but that’s ok because honestly it’s the person you are that employers look at the most.
School is hard and there’s so much pressure to perform well in this aspect; especially from family. But find YOUR niche. Do something that YOU are passionate about and don’t let others say YOU can’t. If school is what you’re passionate about? Great, do it. But if you love playing the violin, playing soccer, traveling, making boujee dishes, or even getting the best KD ratio in a game of COD, that’s great too. Coming from a Filipino background, it’s been really hard to meet my family’s expectations, but once you let go and do your own thing, it’s the best feeling ever, take my word.