Thursday Confessions: What it feels like to have a Surreal Achievement

Imagine yourself at your high school graduation. Are you the valedictorian or the salutatorian, making the big speech in front? Or are you the student council president, standing beside the president of your school, giving out the diplomas? Because I wasn’t anyone of them. All I did was sit there, listen to the speakers and pace a 3 minute walk on stage to receive my diploma. Listening to all these achievers, I thought to myself, “Why am I not one of them?” Why didn’t I do as well as them? And then the crashing re-evaluation of my life started. What had I ever achieved? What had I ever learned? Nothing. Nothing to be proud of. I was just one of the many average, good for “something” (I don’t know what) girl. While about a quarter of my graduating batch-mates are having medal upon medal placed on the neck, the only thing I got was a loyalty award. Meaning, “Hey, I started and finished high school here. Woohoo.”

From that moment on, I vowed to myself the next time I stand on a commencement stage and receive a diploma, I will have a medal I could be proud of. College would lead me to that point. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. Habits die hard and I started college with nothing like a bang. I just went with it. Did what I’m told. Kept a low profile. I tried to get myself out of the ditch once and work hard, but I just can’t muster up an achievement that I can really say I’m proud of. I’m in the field of psychology, and I love psychology. It should be just a matter of hard work, time and most especially, luck. Boy, do I need lady luck on my side.

In one of my new classes today, we introduced ourselves and stated a key achievement received since starting college. Guess what, I couldn’t think of any! What kind of pathetic loser am I? I asked myself. 4th year in college and still no key achievements? I didn’t want to say something like, “passing my subjects, or getting into a university.” It’s not the prestigious achievement I vowed to myself all those years ago. I want something I worked hard for, really gave my all with no questions asked.

Then I remembered the email I received last week. Does that count as an achievement? I don’t feel like it does. Does it?  Even after all my stance on achieving something significant, I didn’t realize that this was definitely one of it. 


Flying to CDO in August to present our paper to the convention 🙂

It had felt surreal. My mind still won’t accept it. I still feel like I’m dreaming it. One moment, my thesis mates and I were arduously writing our thesis day in and day out. Then the next, we were hand chosen by the chairperson of the Department of Psychology. We were to submit our paper to the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) for a review. 2 months later, I received this email.

For the first time in my life, a true achievement. For something heavily invested with late nights, sweat, and tears. Finally, things turned out for the better. I have achieved one for the books. 🙂

I know this wasn’t what I promised to myself. This paper was a collaborative work. But each and every one of us gave it our all. That’s why I’m so proud of this. We put our minds and hearts into this and our work was recognized.

I just want to let myself recognize this too. I want to believe in myself that I am capable. If there is hard work and luck involved, then endless possibilities can be achieved.

Thanks for reading!

Patricia xo

P.S. Changed “Thursday Secrets to Thursday Confessions.” It just felt more right 🙂


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