“Ipupush ko na ba?”
“Next year na lang!”
It’s one of those moments again: you’ve weighed all the possibilities and what ifs and yet the thought of leaving home still terrifies you. How can you be sure that studying in Manila will be the best decision?
Maybe these two ladies –who took the big leap themselves –can shed a little light on what you can look forward to if ever you decide to pack to your bags and leave your comfort zone:
Fely is currently in her final year as a student of the Lyceum of the Philippines – Manila (LPU), and is taking up Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Service and International Relations. Her decision to leave her beautiful hometown in Cebu and pursue her dream of becoming a diplomat led to life-changing opportunities that now inspire her even more.
Just last year, she was given the rare chance to spend a semester abroad and study at the University of Arkansas through the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program; she is the first-ever student from LPU to be granted the scholarship.
Krystle, on the other hand, moved all the way from Cagayan de Oro (her family followed suit later on) to pursue a degree in Multimedia Arts at the Asia Pacific College in Pasay City. She graduated in 2012 and has since then stayed with her family in Manila.
Here’s what they have to say about the whole experience:
- Hi girls! Could you share a bit on the hesitations and/or considerations you had when deciding to study in Manila?
Fely: I’ve always wanted to study in Manila because there were more universities that offered my desired degree. However, I had to consider the higher living standards and tuition fees in the universities. Luckily, I was able to get a scholarship at my university, which was my free pass through college.
Besides the financial aspect, I also had to consider the social aspect (like language and way of life) of moving to a new city. I was only 16 when I attended my first class in college and I was tongue-tied because I could barely speak Filipino!
Krystle: During the time I was scouting for schools, I noticed that universities and colleges in CDO usually offered very traditional courses like the Sciences and Engineering. The only course I found that is closest to Humanities is Developmental Communication. Again, this was way back in 2009. I guess more schools have begun offering art courses now. Of course, I also had to consider the costs of transferring to Manila. The differences are significant so it’s best to do your research.
- Why did you decide to push through with this major adjustment?
Fely: After much deliberation, I was able to decide that my new school would be the most suitable for a young woman who wants to be a diplomat in the future. The professors were experts in their respective fields, the facilities of the university were good, and most of their alumni now work with various government offices and multinational corporations.
Krystle: There were a lot of factors why my family and I chose to move to Manila. Besides the availability of my desired course, the rest were mostly personal. It just so happened that the time I decided to study at APC, my family also wanted to start over and try investing in our own home in the city.
- What challenges did you face while living independently and studying in Manila?
Krystle: Mostly the culture shock! There are a lot of people from all walks of life you get to meet and you get to adjust to different situations. Eventually I adjusted and gained several close friends whom I still keep in touch with until today. As for my budget, I immediately realized that the cost of living in Manila is more expensive compared to that of the province’s so you should plan accordingly.
Of course –the traffic! In CDO, you get to do all errands within the day and you still have time to spare. But in Manila? As a student, I could only get a couple of major errands done in a day after school because of the travel time.
- What advice do you have for students who aren’t sure about taking this leap of faith?
Fely: Weigh all your options and list down your pros and cons. Also, seek the advice of professors, parents, relatives, and those who are currently studying in your university of choice. But more importantly, listen to your heart!
Krystle: First, if it’s your thing: pray about it, since it’s a big decision that will determine so much and ultimately change you. Weigh your personal pros and cons since everyone has it differently. Your biggest considerations should be how it affects your family, and your current financial situation. At the same time, don’t let finances become a hindrance because there will always be a way to find funding as long as you set your mind to it.
Focus on the things that will get you excited and look forward to growth and experiences! These are things that a comfort zone can never provide.
Ready to begin your search for a new “home away from home”? Edukasyon.ph connects you with thousands of universities and scholarships from all over the Philippines, so head on now to the site (for free!) and begin your application.