Open Letter

“Open Letter”
Subject/Person: to the millenial students who never fail to disappoint
By: [anonymous]

Dear Students,

Remember that time i asked you about why you took your course? Your answers were laughters and smiles, while some were question marks on their faces. That question, although I left it hanging on mid-air that time, was an essential part of your academic success.

Each time you fail to answer your recitation, or fail a quiz/exam you start losing your faith in yourself. In as much as some of your classmates could keep up with the pressures of each of the subjects, you stumble down, you repeat again a class. Your confidence drains to zero. You start to fool yourself to do better next time. To practice more computations at night… But still, you failed each and every time.

Sometimes I see students cry in front of their parents because they failed at the ONLY thing they are expected to deliver every after semester: a passing grade. Sometimes, I see parents cry too. Sometimes I listen to your “could-have-beens”: i could’ve been a fireman, a soldier, a policeman, a veterinarian, an astronaut…[So, why are you here to begin with?]But most of the time, i see you roll your eyes at me at lecture. I see your crumpled face and paper, a cocktail of emotions: disgust, dismay, fear and frustration. Did it ever occur to you that you brought all these to yourself? You chose this path, own it up! and your teachers are mere catalysts. You can complain all you want, but to where exactly would you like to be at? If that is the reality you’re complaining, would you want be in an ideal situation that will never be existent? will you ever find a coconut tree in a strawberry farm?

Reality slaps you in the face. You start proving a cliche, “College isn’t easy”. You start to panic every time i raise a question that i brand to be too basic and elementary. Then, in your mind, floats a question: “will i ever pass the board examination?”.

You didn’t expect all of these. yet, your legs are in too deep. I hope you will realize that the only way out is through. Go through those quizzes and come out a victor. Finish your exams with the least “x” marks. Get your priorities straight: happy hour with friends on a sat night or good grades? watching movies with your gf/bf or reviewing your notes? and more importantly do you review to pass your grades only, or to understand the topic as well. Don’t be the cheap student who graduates and fails in the end. Life is a trade-off. Remember that regret only comes in the end. and have you not regretted enough?

I want you to go back to the very reason why you came. Because in every failure, you should have something to root for, for you to rise again. Have that reason to hold on to, every time something pains you or drags you down. For if you have done these, despite of your grades, you have succeeded in life.

if you can’t say “I need you”

Say “Stay”. Say “Stay” softly like almost a whisper after what could’ve been a lifetime of silence. Say “be right back” when it’s time to eat dinner while his voice is still lost in static. Grab his hand as you alight from the overcrowded, filthy jeepney then let go. let go spontaneously and softly. always do things softly. Soft is “I need you” when translated via our voice. Fight your tears when you see him laugh with another random girl but don’t lose sight of him. Don’t walk away when you see him dance her. Endure. Stay the way you wanted him to stay. Let him catch you staring. Say “thank you” when he opened his umbrella for you to fight the glaring sun. “I need you” is a word for gratitude in the form of request. Say “thank you” when he buys you lunch at 2pm. Say it straight to his eye. Say “you made me whole again” after a random joy ride to tagaytay. Say “I wouldn’t be me without you” when he still listens to a story that is all too familiar for him. Say “I’m happy” everytime he is with you. Message him “I had fun” after he accompanied you in a random day window shopping. Gently fade your smile at his cheesy jokes. Let him see the stabs of your smile as each day passes by. Hug him and don’t be the first to let go. Lean your head on his steady shoulders and whisper “It feels home”.

Day 11: Coffee Update

Here’s what it would be like if we are at Starbucks at our favorite mall at probably 9pm after a day’s work:

I would probably tell you that I am enrolled in a yoga class, and every tuesdays and thursdays of my life I have an extra dose of happiness and peace because of that class. I would surely invite you to attend some classes, just because we’re friends. I would tell you that there was this day that I was feeling really low and “dark” that I suddenly went to a salon and had the shortest haircut I have ever experienced.

I would tell you that I am slowly, little by little, eating vegetables. That there was this squash soup my friend ordered, it was so good, my paradigm shifted- at least in terms of vegetables. Though, the spinach dumpling my friend offered to me afterwards was something that made me return to my original stand on vegetables- it was a heartbreaker at all aspects of food! You would be laughing at me again, the way you did when you saw me struggling at MS Office one time at the faculty room. You were laughing really hard!

I’d tell you that I went speed dating one time, in a very serious note, of course. Dating is the most intense word for me this year! I would unselfishly share all the details and whatsoever that happened there. By this time, you would be so bored listening at my unending telltale.

We would talk about politics and probably debate for an hour. We would never agree again, like what happened last year. You might, in worst scenario, walk away.

And all of a sudden, what we did last year would all come rushing in….

This coffee update would never happen, we are sure of it. We would just try to imagine it, as if nothing happened. As if we never raised our voices against each other, as if we never attempted tearing down one another’s soul and dreams. We would just write it down instead. We would just imagine it. Or like what we did last year, we would just walk away. This time, we would walk away from anything that would remind us of each other. Coffee, included.

Conversations (with mom)

One of the most relieving person to talk to is our mother. They have this deep understanding of you, that only they can provide.

Me: Hi, mommy. (sobbing)

Mom: You don’t have to explain anything. I too, cried a lot these past few days because of what happened to you.

Me: You don’t have to. I’ve moved on.

Mom: Keep it strong. You don’t have to explain to anybody about what happened. Rest. and stop planning the future for the meantime. Never stop trying.

After that phone call, I cried again. I cried every night for a month after that. She would randomly call me up again, checking up on me if I ever managed to get up for the day. And believe it or not, slowly as the days go by, I was able to unload little by little the pain I’ve been carrying all alone. In the beginning, I would prematurely cut her calls and pretend there was a signal jam. But, as the days went by I was able to realize that the only person who would be willing to be with me unconditionally was my mom. It was a relief to know, that even how strong your personality was, there would still be that person who would still think of you as someone who was so fragile, someone that needed to be taken cared of. My dad would chat me and would give me random messages, but my mom would really connect the message. She would share the same sentiment. She would carry the baggage with you, without you asking for it.

You don’t have to ask for real friends during your “dark times”. They just reveal themselves. And sometimes, that real friend is in the person whom you callĀ mom.