home           about           blog           archives           domain           exits           ask

I took the UPCAT six years ago.

I was fifteen and all kinds of scared.

Everything about it was so overwhelming - the campus, the people, the future that depended on it. For someone who went to a very conservative girls' school for twelve years, a place like UP is something to be afraid of. It was an entirely different world from the one I was used to. It was huge, it was loud, and it welcomed people of all kinds. It was home to the smart and the brave. It was the promised land - and it was the only place I wanted to go to. We all had our dream schools - this was mine.

Much of that day I still recall vividly. (Thanks no less to this entry I wrote right after it.) And much of the person I was that day I still kind of remember. She was so worried, so nervous. The rest of her life seemed to depend heavily on that test. She didn't know what would happen to her and she had no idea what would become of her. But she knew what she wanted - clearly, without doubt, with conviction.

Six years ago, she took the UPCAT.

And now here I am, a graduate of Creative Writing and a student of Law.

I can't say for sure if I am in a much better person now than that fifteen-year-old Karla who was so full of idealism and hopefulness. She was kind, and expectant, and so full of love untainted. She was whole.

UP gave me heartaches, and disappointment, and great, great loss. It made me question everything I believed in. It gave me sleepless nights and troubled mornings. It defeated what I thought was a strong sense of self. It broke me apart into tiny little pieces. It destroyed me. But it also gave me afternoons under the shade of trees along the Oval. It gave me laughter on the steps of certain buildings. It gave me walks in the rain. It gave me people, and places, and faces. It gave me love, of all kinds.

For all that and more, I couldn't be more thankful. Six years ago, fifteen-year-old Karla took the most important test of her life. I wish I can buy her ice cream and comfort her a bit after she gets out of the Chem Pav at around 6:30 pm that Sunday. I owe her. She got me into this crazy, wonderful mess.

And everything has been beautiful since.