Let's make verdant dreams real.

6 years of avoiding the dreaded registration process -- so that 6 years of struggling for universal access to education could be made possible.

Resolving 2 long-standing incompletes is all that remains, and graduation will finally be realized. Being reminded of this remaining piece of obstacle in my college life never fails to remind me of the travails one has to go through in one’s university life — and usually, vivid images of the enrollment period comes to mind.


It was relatively easy in my first year: having priority and the freshie fear of not being punctual got me in line early. Of course, it would have validated divine intervention as a scientific fact if everything went well down to the last detail. Suffice to say that the registration assistant suggested an English 12 class to me in lieu of the seeming lack of available English 1 classes — the former not included in my course plan’s list of required GE subjects and the latter being one of the needed communication skills GE’s.


Suffice to say that the freshie in me took the English 12 regardless. A lesson learned, and just another set of classic world literature to mess with. The problem was as simple as that, as the problems that I face were only beginning to complexify with the link of my personal struggles to the larger societal ills only beginning to be concretized  (I was yet to join the comprehensive youth activist organization, Anakbayan, then.)


With the withering away of my freshman registration privilege, my next 5 years pushed me to diversify my strategies in securing precious required and high-interest subjects. The perks of prioritization in registration was extended as I was part of the College of Fine Arts Student Council (CFASC) in my second year. I unabashedly (ab)used my position to bypass the lines, with no remorse.


No longer a part of the council in my third year, and still refusing to work within the inefficient system, I stuck to the online registration and teacher’s prerogative gamble. In the early part of my later years, I aimed for 15 units at most. In the later parts, I began tacticizing ways of validating my underloading (12 units or less), which included approaching the table of advisers only during the times when the agreeable ones are seated to increase the chances of my alibi’s acceptance, as well as getting part-time jobs.


My thesis, far from being a dreaded necessity, became a powerful tool for underloading. One need only to impress upon the adviser how important your thesis is to you, such that it would require more time and effort allotted. I suggest explaining to your adviser how you plan to work part-time first to generate funds for your thesis.


The point, of course, is not to teach the younger generation how to go through the registration blues with a happy-go-lucky attitude. This is only feasible to those who have the capacity to not suffer too much in a loose, 6-year academic plan. With 1000-1500/unit tuition schemes the rage nowadays, going this route becomes much harder to the pocket. The arrogant and ungrounded administration of Noynoy Aquino even seeks to give UP the biggest budget cut it has ever seen!


The point is to see how absurd what one has to do to avail of what international law and national legislation claims to be our due right to education. I have continued to be an activist, as a full-blooded student activist then and as an organizer in a non-government organization now, exactly because I am reminded of how wrong the education system is every semester.




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