By: Eala Julienne P. Nolasco
AB Interdisciplinary Studies (Tracks in Development Studies and Psychology), minor in Global Politics
OBMC SHS Batch 2018
Looking back on how I entered the Ateneo de Manila University as an OBMC alumna in 2018, I see a girl with a passion for writing, but with no idea that she would be a campus journalist for The Guidon and an InTACT student facilitator for all her college career. Moreover, she did not foresee taking on leadership roles she never previously considered she could—from a managing editor and finance officer of Matanglawin Ateneo, to an external relations and then academic director for the Interdisciplinary Studies Association.
These organizational positions required skills and knowledge she had to learn along the way, but one thing she brought with her were the attitudes OBMC ingrained in her.
The attitude of academic rigor starts with citing every source properly and is honed by grappling with differentiating quantitative and qualitative methods, including crafting interview letters, reviewing related literature, zooming in on the purpose of your study, and using the appropriate framework and methodology, along with reading research papers and academic journals, conducting research, and writing reports. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is essential for anyone entering college or university as preparation for “reality.”
Research ethics is a meticulous and time consuming process in which we must participate, because our institutions don’t run on dreams and ambitions alone—they require a critical and committed attitude that OBMC’s training, particularly the HS program, has ingrained in me.
The Senior High School program asked me to not receive blindly any information, but to question it and engage in conversation, even with those whose stances contradict mine. As I was reminded by my teachers, this is precisely what makes the world grow.
Outside the classroom walls, OBMC began embracing the shifting tides, and introduced new opportunities from which I could learn. From having debate teams (which I was honored to participate in) to having student-led entrepreneurial events, I was taught not just skills in research, critical thinking, public speaking, and foundational concepts on Political Science, Philosophy, or Psychology, I was taught to tap my creativity within to produce critical academic output (i.e., documentaries, plays). These prepared me to enter university not just with curious freshman eyes, but with confidence that, wherever I find myself, I have the tools to fight for the right without question or doubt.
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