General Academic Generalizations & Realizations
by Mikayla Pangilinan
The first time that I had to decide on a strand was in Grade 10 when my former school asked us to write our two most preferred strands, as preparation for Senior High School. I first wrote ABM as a choice then I added GA because it was said to be a strand with more free options.
Several days after, someone talked to me and asked about my strand choices. I mentioned GA as my second choice, and the conversation that followed created a negative stigma of the General Academic strand started to grow in my mind. Apparently, the strand was para sa mga walang plano sa buhay.
I was overjoyed when I found out that I got admitted to the Ateneo after sending a letter for reconsideration. Too bad though, I was so hyped that I failed to read that I was admitted into the GA strand instead of the one I originally applied for. I was accepted into that strand, the one for undecided students who are on the lower half when it came to academic excellence.
Or so I thought.
My perception of the General Academic Strand before was really general, in fact, its foundation is a faulty generalization. However, the same perception changed after months in the strand went by. I realized that the strand I belonged to was much more than what other people, as well as myself, thought and assumed to be. People in GA were very different and that’s what made it great. A lot of people excelled in the field of sports, and they even participated in the UAAP competition where a lot of them brought home medals. On the other side of the spectrum, there were also students from the same strand who were recognized for their talent in debating and writing.
It was also amazing for me because teachers contradicted my initial thoughts about the strand. They claimed that we had a lot more opportunities at hand through the different specialized subjects that are offered to us. We were not limited to certain fields, which allows us to know ourselves - our skills, interests - better.
Unified greatness in variety was what faced me through my months of experience in this strand. We may fall sometimes but we are able to rise back up and be resilient. With the diversity in the strand that I belong to, I knew myself and other people better. Like the wide horizon of opportunities offered here, my mind also became more open. Indeed, everything happens for a reason, which is why I believe that I ended up in this strand for a purpose much greater than I first assumed to be.