student corner

Life as an Art Student in Mapua
"I learned, and I’m still learning a great number of things from being an art student in Mapua." - Francesca Gwen L. Sagana
Posted: January 3, 2019, 2:37 P.M.
Sometimes, life would just throw you a curveball – and it would hit you hard, square in the face. One day, I was just a girl in high school who tried to dodge petty high school drama. Now, I’m already a college senior in Mapua, with a few units away from graduating, and finally will be stepping into the unforgiving corporate world. In high school, I was always told that one's choice of school and of college program would always be vital for his/her future. I was also informed that my future relied on this one essential decision. If I choose wrong, I’m doomed to live an unsuccessful life. This raked me with anxiety and by the end of high school, I still did not know what to pursue. My friends, once asked what they would take up in college and where, would answer almost instantly. I always dreaded this question because all I could really give them for an answer was: “I don’t know yet.”
So, if you asked me a decade ago if I ever saw myself pursuing a Multimedia Arts course in Mapua, I’d say no. I love art; it has been a hobby of mine since I was a kid. I just did not see art as means to earn money; I always just thought of art as just that, a hobby. As the inevitable time of college applications drew near, I reflected. I decided that whatever I pursue in college, I wanted it to be a course I’m interested with. So, I chose to take up Multimedia Arts. I always thought of myself as more of a right brain person. I enjoyed art, reading and writing so I decided, whatever path I preferred to take I’d end up being a creative. The next hurdle I had to get through would be where I would study. There aren’t many schools that offer this course so it was easier to decide. I ended up choosing Mapua due to the many reputable things I had heard from friends and close relatives. Mapua is a good school but, it would be difficult, they warned.
Mapua being difficult is a complete understatement. Mapua is a whole experience of its own, one that I don’t think I’d be able to get through twice. My freshman year was frankly, the most stressful year of my life. After being in the same Catholic school for eight years, I had to adjust to the sudden change in environment. Mapua was also an hour and a half away from home and I was not used to commuting alone that far. Right off the bat, I was bombarded with all these things I was not used to do. I was completely thrown off of my comfort zone. My first week in freshman year, I was already given plates and papers to do. My first few plates turned out to be not very good, I came to my morning classes late and I still did not know where exactly my classrooms were. I was stressed out all the time and I doubted my skills which made my work terrible. It was not an easy first year but, I got through it.
The years that followed were better. I was getting used to my environment, I was making friends and I had a strict routine that I abided by. Everything was falling into place and I was learning a lot. I was getting through my courses and had been receiving good grades. Yes, not every day was turning out ideal. There were still days that I lived off ungodly amounts of caffeine and there were still times wherein I did not get the grades I wanted. But, I was finally catching up.
I learned, and I’m still learning a great number of things from being an art student in Mapua. I learned about different media, ones that I didn’t think I’d ever get to experience. I even had the chance to learn programming which I didn’t think I’d ever pass, but miraculously did. I learned about Math, Physics and even Psychology. But, I also learned a whole lot through my experiences.
I came to find that the doubt of myself would get me absolutely nowhere. It’s normal to start out feeling this way but, one must be able to work through it. There was always this fear of not being good enough. I didn’t think I was the best at what I did; I did not even think I was at least, mediocre. I just saw all my peers’ works and started feeling like I was not fit for an arts course. This doubt just made my work all the more unappealing thus, I earned subpar – if not, bad grades. One way I managed to get through on this was by considering my peers as inspiration rather than competitors. I worked and motivated myself to do better and tried to do every task with confidence. I stopped trying to pressure myself into being better than my peers and started to work in a pace that I was comfortable with.
I also came to find that making friends was just as important as learning art techniques. I always made it as my duty to meet new people. Friends would help you to survive your years in college. They’re there when you needed help with an artwork, when you’re struggling with a lesson and when you just needed to relax and had fun. Meeting new people would also earn you connections which would be a great help when you graduated. Basically, surround yourself with good company.
I have gone through hell and high water just to get to where I am now. I am still yet to say goodbye to Mapua so, there are still plenty more challenges to overcome. I don’t know what else is in store for me. But, I am certain that I’ll be able to get through whatever comes my way.