Honor, integrity, excellence

VERBAL VARIETY - Anne Fe Perez - The Freeman

Tomorrow will finally be the day where the University of the Philippines - Cebu Class of 2014 (myself included) will finally march off marking the end of our undergraduate academic lives. While waiting for another twenty-four hours, it brings me to think about the four years I've spent inside the university.

You see, it was no easy task. From the moment I took my admissions test for the university, I knew I was headed for a train-wreck. Not to mention the rigorous tasks we had to do per class. Yet, I loved every moment of it even if there were times when I felt like it was the end of my academic road. Piles among piles of paperwork had to be done coupled with long exams and other projects were a sure challenge for me. But I managed to survive it all because I love why I was in UP and I love why I was studying to be a communication graduate. I loved how our teachers were passionate about what they were teaching. I also loved how we were allowed to think freely so we can explore our creativity and innovativeness.

In those years of being an iskolar ng bayan, I would never forget three key values which I have to carry on after I graduate - Honor, Integrity, and Excellence.

Honor is not about the awards most of us will be receiving tomorrow for no recognition could define a person's capability. Not even grades can quantify a person's worth. It is not about the distinction which will set a person apart from the rest of the class for these are only special awards tailored to the giver's liking, not to the best judgment there is. Honor is when you give pride to your school by being the student who you ought to be.

Integrity on the other hand, is the honesty that lives within you. It is only in UP where there is such a high punishment on cheating. The price to pay is not only suspension but a lifetime of shame. Cheating does not only happen during exams but in the papers which are plagiarized. Submitting others' work as your own is a high amount of dishonesty. There is no such thing as "copy-paste" when you want to be in UP. Everything is made from scratch from your head until it is done into perfection.

Excellence is the value I love the most. I've known a lot of students who want to be on the honor roll because their parents want them to be so or they want to prove themselves to a set of people. Others even opt to pay for school projects in return for a high grade instead of doing it themselves so they may learn. This is not excellence, this is mediocrity. Excellence is when you set aside pleasing others and you give the best that you could. This is the real you and there is no need to hide.

It is only in UP where I have learned to explore by capabilities as a person the right way. I never had to pretend I was somebody else just so I could earn respect but I just did my best and I wish the rest would follow. The life in there was tough but once you will be out of it, you will be never the same person again.

As we part ways tomorrow when the recessional happens, I have no control over my batch as to where they will be heading or what they are going to do.

I only hope that deep in their hearts they will retain the values of honor, integrity and excellence wherever they go. All the theories may be forgotten by these values should not. By that we can influence others to do the same and this country will somehow be better than before.


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