You are a cum laude for a reason

By Teresa Gueco - April 02, 2019




For the past months, years even, I’ve been neglecting my title as an honor graduate. I even posted something about how hard it was.

But I had a realization as I was commuting on the way to work.

I realize that I didn’t hate the title but rather overwhelmed with the attention it directed my way.

It was a spotlight that hovers above me and me being myself always hated spotlight and other superficial niceties. I was a shy and timid person all along and the attention I was getting almost become unbearable. I don’t want to be labelled as ‘matalino’ because I know I’m not that ‘matalino’. I enjoyed being able to answer questions correctly but I don’t have a natural gifted intelligence.

While on the way to work flashback of my conversation with a good friend, Den, came to my mind. It was when I told her my story behind my perseverance to study hard. To make it short, I told her that I decided to strive hard with academics because I wanted to and that it is my personal desire. I’m done pleasing people around me and decided that I can’t ruin my belief just because something won’t quite fit in.

I entered college with determination to try my best to be a better learner… for myself. I told myself that I will celebrate every burden, failures, victories, and even failures as my own. And I did.

I failed so many times but I treated it as learnings. I was optimistic and brave regardless of my failures.

I now realized that I’m not a cum laude for no reason at all. There must be something in me or something I’ve done to deserve it. My perseverance finally paid off and I was reaping the fruit of my labor, a victory I should have been proud of. But the only problem is that I forgot to embrace it.

The exact line I said was ‘You are a cum laude for a reason.’

 And that reason was buried along with the pressure and the expectation around me. My every move is under scrutiny with the help of the spotlight. I was honestly scared but now I know what I really felt back then. When the people around you utter praises you started to live it. You started to feel obligated to satisfy their sense of fulfillment for you. And you started to live the life people may not chose but thought best suits you.

Aside from my bookish intelligence I am a good follower and a mediocre leader. If I have to choose between being a leader and a follower I’ll gladly be a follower and your why will be answered in the future- maybe.


As time passes by the thing that they mostly thought was my strength was starting to be a burden. It became my weakness. The anxiety it builds inside me whenever someone asks me what my next plan is, and their suggestion of how I should take up law or masterals drill a painful hole into my brain.

The funny thing is, I don’t know what my next step is either. But there is something I’m sure, I’m not gonna be pressured to do something that I think is not worthy to do or take. One thing that haven’t changed in me is the more you make me do something, the more I think about its pros and cons. I like to believe that I’m a very rational human being and I think it’s good.

I just need to be braver and conquer the life I am living in. I know it’ll take time for me to finally reach my full potential but I know it’ll be worth it, and I knew better know.

As cliché as it may seems but indeed ‘Everything happens for a reason’.










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