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Things I Wish I Knew When I Was a Freshie

Words by Isabela Ang and Maiddyleen Gopez

Art by Andrea Ebdane and Sarah Gatmen

Special thanks to Pio Gavino, Renee Tan, Alie Santana and other students from UP Diliman

A few weeks in and school has never been busier! With the sound of rushing traffic on university streets, the smell of sweet pancit canton boiling in the kiosks, and the sight of students flocking towards their next classes, it’s easy to get lost in the brand new endeavor that is college life.

As freshmen, you might find yourself venturing into unfamiliar territory without much guidance and may even wish you knew some things before taking the next step. However, that shouldn’t stop you from experiencing what are sure to be some of the most unforgettable moments of your life.

To help ease you into your freshie year, here are a few things we’ve gathered from a variety of batches with all sorts of unique experiences that you might want to know!

Responses have been edited for punctuation and clarity.


Tip 1: Don’t rush it! New things take time to develop and get used to.

“I wasn’t prepared for the insane culture shock I got in freshie year. I think a lot of people can relate to me when I say na I was so used to being an achiever in high school, but then when I got to UP, parang I was just an average joe. I put so much pressure on myself to be exceptional because that's what I was used to, when I didn’t even really have to stress myself out that much. So many people in UP are smart and talented and that’s not supposed to make you feel bad.”

- 5th Year BS Architecture Student

“Another thing that shocked me about UP was the enlistment system. I learned the hard way that it isn’t just a lottery, but also a long waiting game. You need a lot of faith and patience with the CRS, your adviser, and a strong guardian angel before you meet the minimum load. On a more serious note, there are several rounds of enlistment to attain subjects—just learn to assess your chances and probabilities!

- 2nd Year BA Journalism Student

“I also had to get used to everyone's varying schedules. You hardly ever see the same people; it was always a new set of faces which made establishing relationships with others quite difficult. But through shared advocacies and goals, I found my constant support system in the university.”

- 2nd Year BA Journalism Student


Tip 2: Learn to step out of your comfort zone!

There’s so much more to college than just acads! I remember turning down a lot of gala opportunities as a freshie for the sake of acads. I just wish I knew at the time that hanging out with friends every once in a while is actually super fun and helps a lot with sanity. A lot of the friends I spend time (and suffer) with now are actually friends that I made as early as freshman year, so I think it’s really important as a first-year student to go out there and meet new people!

- 5th Year BS Architecture Student

“At first, I was always so stressed about getting that uno or finding the right group of friends. And I wish I knew that I never needed to worry too much! Try your best to just keep your feet on the ground and live in the moment because everything works out for the best. You’ll find your people, your place, and your purpose eventually. Besides, college is the time to explore, so say hi to your seatmate, sign-up for that org, or become part of that cause! You will be surprised at what you can do and experience.”

- 4th Year BS Business Administration Student


Tip 3: UPD is your oyster—find your community!

“I wish I recognized how big UPD truly is. The scale isn’t apparent when you’re in your department, and even after meeting people from other colleges, you’ve still barely scratched the surface of the true depth of the different people in the university. To that end, I would have wanted to sort of, get out there and meet as many people as I could. It’s a rare opportunity! You probably won’t get another chance in life to be face-to-face with a community this empowering.

- 3rd Year BA Political Science Student

I met so many lovely people in my orgs that ended up becoming my friends for my whole college life na! I got so many great opportunities from them so I don't regret applying, and I’m happy that I got to be a part of such nice communities.”

- 5th Year BS Architecture Student

“Meeting and connecting with people is definitely one of the best parts about being a UP student, something that always brings a smile to my face! It helps that you’re eating pancit canton and sharing laughs with future leaders of this country. One thing to remember is that studies, social life and other obligations aren’t mutually exclusive! Your org could act as both a support system for your acads and social life. This saves you a lot of time, especially since you have access to people who can help you, and who you can help as well. Maintaining healthy relationships will take you far as a freshie!

- 3rd Year BA Political Science Student


Whether you’re the type to want to experience all the raw moments of college life on your own or a path more fully prepared and equipped, we hope you gained a few valuable insights from your UP family. Discover more and play out your journey with unforgettable people on your team!

Don’t know where to start? Apply for UP JMA! The form for sign-ups closes tonight at 11:59 PM! Don’t miss out and sign up now at Be part of an application process that goes beyond ground-breaking initiatives and exploring opportunities. Come and take a swing at changing the game with us in UP JMA!


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