You can Google all the fast facts you want about the University of the Philippines, but there are things you only find out about the university once you’re a full-fledged iskolar ng bayan.
That means months of fumbling your way around UP until you figure things out. Why not fast-track that adjustment so you can be ultra-prepared for your freshman year? Here are 7 insider tips to help you make the most out of college life (and avoid ‘freshie’ mishaps). You’ll surely know more than most UP students did in their first year!
1. The UP ikot jeep exits the campus—but just for awhile.
Some of your classes will be buildings apart from each other. So you might need to take the ikot jeep to get from point A to point B.
But “ikot” must mean the jeep will only go around the campus, right?
Nope. The jeep also exits the campus at some point, pero babalik din siya sa loob. Don’t panic! *flashbacks to my internal panic as a freshman* Keep calm and trust that you will arrive at your destination.
2. You’re free to explore canteens throughout the campus, even those outside your turf.
Don’t be afraid to enter other colleges to visit their resident cafeterias. You’re allowed to, as long as you have your UP ID!
The new Institute of Civil Engineering (ICE) building has a nice eating area where you can get some fresh air and lots of food choices for 75-90 pesos. You can check out NIGS, too, if you’re craving for cereal and other snacks!
3. ICYDK: Don’t have your picture taken in front of the oblation statue!
We know it’s tempting. You finally made it to your dream school and you want to celebrate the moment by snapping a picture with oble. But be patient. Legend says you won’t graduate on time if you take that photo.
Maybe it sounds silly, but better be safe than sorry! Just wait until graduation day.
4. You can wear whatever you want in the campus.
Shorts, slippers, pajamas, K-pop fashion, you name it! UP is a haven for freedom of expression, so go express your personal style.
Pro tip: Maybe wear “safe and simple” clothes on your first week of classes. Some professors have strict dress codes (e.g. no shorts and sleeveless), so it’s best to feel the room first before you plan out your outfits of the week.
5. You can explore subjects outside your major.
Looking for a major major way to have fun in your classes?
All UP students are required to take a certain number of General Education subjects (aka GE’s). And the best part is you get some freedom to choose which subjects to take! Explore a variety of cool subjects from theatre, “Food Trip,” to Hapon (Japanese language class).
UP is known for quirky PE subjects, too, such as walking for fitness, bird-watching, Philippine games, and scuba diving!
6. There will be times when you’ll feel “unremarkable” in a sea of the smartest and most exceptional students in the country.
UP gathers the best of the best, and being in a classroom full of smart people can get intimidating. Cue Paramore song, “You’re not the big fish in the pond no more. You are what they’re feeding on.”
But remember you deserve to be an iskolar ng bayan, just like everybody else who made it. And every student has their own unique set of strengths. So savor the diversity in knowledge and skills. Learn from your classmates and let them learn from you. UP will teach you to have an open mind and an open heart.
7. Golden hour in UP is the best.
The UP academic oval is most beautiful during the late afternoon. Some people call this time of day “golden hour,” when the sun shines its beautiful golden light across the campus. Combine that golden light with the arching trees over the acad oval and you get perfection. Golden hour will be your reminder to be grateful at the end of each school day.
This time of day can also be a metaphor to this point in your life; as the sun sets on your high school journey, a new and exciting day in UP awaits.
Welcome to UP, isko and iska! You’re in for an incredible ride. May you forever be changed by the University of the Philippines, for the Philippines. #ParaSaBayan