SERENDIPITY luck that takes the form of finding valuable things we never looked for

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Many of the students who belong within the General Academic Strand might agree that finding ourselves in the said strand wasn’t exactly how we envisioned our future to be, years back.

Before stepping into Senior High School, some of us may have already decided or maybe even attempted to at least plan out their future. A question that most, if not all, have already asked ourselves in some point in our lives is “What do I really want to do in the future?”. We might have entered Senior High School with an answer in mind, but some, with an answer of 'di ko parin alam eh'.

However, maybe all these years, we grew to have a certain notion within us that led us to believe that having a plan for the future will always be the better choice, than being uncertain, being the undecided.

We beg to disagree.

Being a part of the General Academic Strand has become the very definition of the word 'serendipity'.

And here’s why.

Unlooked-For: Subjects for the Undecided

by Hannah Gabay

As the first batch of students belonging in the General Academic Strand, they can’t help but be a bit skeptical since the strand has no specific field to focus on. However, the General Academic Strand offers specialized subjects from different strands and this could be said to be its specialty as it actually opens more opportunities for students in choosing their careers with all the different fields integrated together in one strand. It could only be said that this chance to seek wider career paths was truly unlooked-for especially for those who did not intend to be in the strand. In this time where college is coming to a close for those opting to continue higher studies it is a great fortune and opportunity to find yourself in this strand.

Disaster Risk Reduction and Management

The students get to experience a little bit of STEM with Disaster Risk and Management. Though this can be a little bit of a tough ride for those with different interests this course is an eye-opener for all the students with the state of our nation. This sent a message to all of the students about resilience a word this course has ingrained in our minds and possibly to some in their hearts. This subject may appear to be one that can be taken lightly, a subject that's too practical, which might have led some students to pay more attention or more effort into other subjects such as Math and Science. But towards the latter half of the semester, most G.A students must have realised the significance of taking up this subject for it has thought us lessons which we can apply presently in the real world, or surely, towards the future.

Organization and Management

With organization and management as another specialized subject the students get to feel a little bit of the ABM. This subject aims to teach us how to organize and manage a business and because of this we are given an opportunity to experience working with other people, likewise, to be able to know our classmates more as we are able to strengthen our bonds by accepting our differences through our ideas in constructing our businesses. The G.A students even get to create a business plan of their and feel what it's like to start planning for a business. Not only the key concepts of handling or starting a business were taught to us, but rather, it has taught us how important it is to effectively communicate with the people you are working with.

After the specialized subjects set by the curriculum for their first year, the students then get to choose and tailor their semester with specialized subjects from different strands specializing in different fields. It continues to remain unknown on how this will go and by this time the students should have discerned their career paths and venture their way into the future.

THE FIELD TRIP

by Regina Muga

It hasn’t even been a day since the GA week ended, and already another event enthralls and urges people awake despite the early other.

Already the road to the High School are outlined with vehicles, red taillights upon the morning darkness. It’s cold, dark and exciting. After all it is the long and awaited GA field trip, and the chills are more for that giddy feeling of adventure than the low temperature.

Bus doors are opened, seats are taken, and the sun shone against the glass windows. It was time to say our prayers and be off!

National Shrine of Divine Mercy

The first half of the trip revolved around spirituality and God. With some of the sites in the National Shrine of Divine Mercy, the strand visited remarkable locations such as fountains flowing with holy water, the church with its gold and blue ceiling laden with intricate designs, trays of rows and rows of candles, and the cramped chamber of the saint. It is easy to be engulfed in the strong presence of God. With the successive class photos taken as a reminder of the visit, a sense of belonging and connection to our classmates can be felt along with that of God.

Salikneta Farm

The succeeding locale we visited was the Salikneta farm, and it was even more educational. Let’s all come clean—majority of us have never even considered becoming a farmer, much less other occupations relating to agriculture; some might even consider it menial to work with plants and animals. It was a pleasant surprise to find the perks and the advantages of agriculture. The greenhouse filled with vibrant flowers was one of the most impressionable places for us, and the multiple farming experiments and delights like the hydroponics were able to seal the deal that agriculture is fun and should be seen with more respect. It also helped that the guides were very enthusiastic and impassioned in their field, and interesting to learn that each of them specialized in certain tasks.

Flower picking for everyone after a mountainous trail!

The combined efforts to be open to God, and to be open to prospects of the agricultural kind makes students welcome to different career paths and vocations. Since that is the essence of the GA strand, we believe this field trip to be effective by enforcing qualities such as risk taking and determination to develop self-actualization.

Self-Evaluation: GA-ling ng Students

by Angel Arellano

Ever felt hatred, love, misery, and comfort all at the same time? Well, this school year, I bet we all did. You felt a sense of belongingness by the time you made new friends. You felt misery and/or hatred by the time you knew what impression others had of you and your strandmates. Finally, you felt love by the time you had realized that you were on the right path; unexpectedly we are enjoying the current situation we have, being part of the GA strand, you were at the right time. There’ll always be a time where we encounter failure (e.g. failing exams). However, let’s see it in a way that if we can’t fail then there’s zero chance of success, and you were with the right people: your friends and your classmates that made you feel the sense of relief and gratitude or simply luck as you begin another journey.

Each and every student has their own unique talent, ability, skill, and knowledge. Thus, I suggest for every student especially students from the GA Strand to show everyone under the Ateneo Senior High School (ASHS) Department or even the whole university what they are capable of doing! Not just in terms of sports, since some of us are considered student-athletes, but also in terms of academics, art, music and many more! So, are you going to stay being the chicken who keeps on running because of your fears of what others will say about you or what you are doing? Or would you be the one standing out from the rest?

You knew that there will be a sportsfest and your favorite sport will be having a tourney? Join! You knew that there will be an open mic and deep inside you there's this desire of expressing how you feel towards something?

Join. Participate. Communicate.

Whenever you feel this urge of winning or doing something that will make you happy, do it. There are students who excel in debate and they aren't just under the STEM Strand but also in GA. Students who ace quiz bees are not only found under the ABM strand, but also in GA. Students who exhibit their artworks along the hallways are not only for the HUMSS strand, but also from GA. But overall, each and every student can turn into a debater, an artist, an athlete or even a businessman, regardless of what strand, we are taking at this moment of our lives.

Let's not waste the given opportunity. Let's not feel the urge of regrets at the end. So, you better work harder and show others that you’ve got what it takes to be a GA student.

Although yes, the question of what I, or we, would want to do in the future might remain to be unknown to some of us, I’d gladly say that ending up in the General Academic Strand might prove to lead the undecided into an answer that we have constantly searched for. An answer that may not come in the form of a particular course, but one that may come in many forms-- from the people that we may have disliked due to our clashing personalities, but have come to like anyways, to the lessons left behind our teachers na tagos sa puso, to that class that started from the bottom now we’re here, and to all that is yet to come as a General Academic Strand student.

SERENDIPITY

by Requiem

Editor-in-Chief: Micaella Roda

Feature Writers: Angel Arellano, Hanna Gabay, & Regina Muga

Layout Artist: Denise Quico

*Photos from Gijo de Guzman & Requiem Members

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