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The sudden events that happened to us due to the spread of COVID-19 has not only tested the preparedness of schools and professors but of students and parents as well. Schools have the option to continue education virtually and other employees can do work from their own home, but most people, especially parents, have not really prepared for the life conditions brought about by these sudden changes. For families with lower income and/or parents without work, this pandemic has been a financial nightmare. And for students like me whose parents belong to this financial bracket, being in Medical School has added to the struggle.

Most people would think that being in Medical School is a great struggle. But for some of us, the greatest struggle is barely affording that lifelong dream of becoming a future doctor. Even though both of my parents are doing their best to provide for me and some of my relatives have offered their support by financially helping out with my tuition, it is still not enough to sustain my studies, expenses and cost of living in Cebu.

Mid semester during my first year in Gullas, I’ve heard that the school actually offers a scholarship to students who qualify their grade requirement per subject and GPA. So I worked hard and studied harder to catch up on subjects that were not in my pre-Med course. I asked for help from friends who had a good background on things that I had a hard time comprehending. I have put a reasonable amount of pressure on myself to pass my exams and get the best grade possible. Some results are not always what I aimed for. Despite feeling discouraged, I kept going because “God promised that my work and all my efforts will not be in vain.”

When COVID happened, we had just finished our third bimonthly exams. Most of us who were not confident or satisfied with our performance in some subjects had only the fourth bimonthly to make up for it but we never got that chance. I went back home to my province, glad that I am with my family, but also full of anxiety about my grades, about how I am going to continue with my studies if my grades do not make the cut for the school’s scholarship. I remember some people would say that I would not have to worry about failing because most of my scores passed. But then again, I wasn’t just aiming for the passing grade. Being in this situation made me think, we may be on the same journey as students in medical school, but we do not walk on the same path. For some of us who are building from scratch, there would always be an extra mile to walk or another extra mountain to climb because we do not have the privileges, assistance, or excuses everyone else has.

My overthinking overwhelmed me with so much anxiety, it kept me awake every night, thinking of options. How would I possibly help my parents support my studies? Will I be able to manage my time efficiently if I enroll this school year while working part time? I couldn’t let my anxiety get the best of me so I took my mind off of it by applying for online teaching jobs that have a flexible schedule so I can have something to do while earning a little during the lockdown and hopefully, be able to do it part time once the classes start.

Enrollment for my second year in Gullas came. I received my final grades from first year and I was surprised! Surely, my efforts were not in vain and the reward was beyond what I have expected and asked for. I wrote and sent the application letter for scholarship to the school, prayed for it and God answered.

Now, I am part of the school’s scholarship program and I am very grateful for this to UV-GCM. Granting this opportunity to me did not only help ease the financial burden on my family, but have also given me peace of mind and allowed me to have more time and energy to focus on my studies and work less on my part-time. To the people who helped in processing the requirements for this scholarship and have been very accommodating and patient with my queries, it means so much to me. All these things are possible because of schools like UV-Gullas College of Medicine, who understands the importance of education and the financial challenges of pursuing one’s dreams.

  And, to those who have goals and dreams, be pursuers not just dreamers. Pray about it. Take the risks and never be afraid to try all over again. Every day is a new day, and it brings us new chances and opportunities. Allow yourself to take those opportunities. Never let failure hold you down. Dare yourself to keep moving forward. Move forward as if you never got hurt or as if you did not fail yesterday. Acknowledge and celebrate your progress, no matter how slow. All your efforts will be worth it.

Muñoz, Regina Q.