Have you heard of what happened to Kristel Tejada, a first year Behavioral Science student of UP Manila who killed herself after she was forced to take a leave of absence when she failed to pay her tuition fees?
I would like to share to you my story and I hope that every youth who drop by here will learn a lesson or two.
Just like her, I also grow up in a POOR family. I am also the eldest among 3 children. My mother became a widow when I was just 9 years old and my youngest sibling was just 3 years old back then. But that did not became a hindrance for the 3 of us not to finish school (yes all 3 of us are all College Graduates). I even graduated from a Private school in High school and exclusive school for girls in college. That became possible because my mom did her best to provide the education we deserve. She buys and sells every thing to have extra income.
When I was 10 years old, after school, I remember selling bibingka or sapin sapin in the neighborhood to have an extra income. My brother on the other hand, goes around to ask for bets for the results of Philippine Basketball while my sister sells ice water.
When it’s summer vacation, we accompany our mom in the garment factory that she was working. While she sewed some garments, we helped her do the trimming (cut extra thread) which we are paid in bulk (I think its P0.25 cents per piece back then). We also had a bakery and we have to wake up early to sell pandesal.
When I was in College and I got a lot of free time, I have decided to apply for a service crew position at a fast food chain. I used my earnings to pay for our Meralco bills.
So, why I am telling you this? Because for me, money is not a problem if you really want to pursue your studies. I only have one living parent left but still we survived and was able to finished our school. The lesson she always tells us was NEVER run from your responsibilities (click related story HERE).
Of course, we need to sacrifice some things to be able to do it. We don’t have our own house and lot, we don’t usually have new bags, shoes and clothes when the school started and we weren’t able to experience some luxuries in life. At that time, I can only go to the cinema, or eat at any fast food chains or even play at the recreational center only if I was treated by a friend who I helped in his/her assignment or I have helped to pass her exams.
I also have a cousin who finished his Engineering course in 6 years because he was a working student. His father is a farmer and his mom is a plain housewife. Now, he is a successful engineer with his own construction business, with his own house and lot and with his own car.
I am sincerely sad for what happened to Kristel and I felt sorry for the family that she have left behind. I agree with a co-blogger statement that although the school has a participation in the case, they should not be blamed entirely for it.
Taking your own life is unreasonable if you will ask me. We have passed all the difficulties in life and with God’s help and I have a strong faith that our family will survive every trials that will come our way. She always tell us to look for ways to earn whatever it is as long as it’s marangal there is nothing wrong with it.
I hope my story will reach all the youths out there and remember that having financial problems is not a hindrance for you not to finish school.
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