Twice Rejected

“God opposes the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.”

– o – o – o – o – o – o – o – o – o –

When a student steps in his senior year of high school, he usually hears 2 prominent questions being thrown at him:

  1. “Where are you going to study for college? &
  2. “What course are you going to take?”

I am no exception. Whenever people ask me these questions, my answers are ready and “overscratched” like old CDs.

“UP Diliman or Ateneo de Manila. Course? BroadCom [Broadcast Communication] in UP, AB Com in ADMU.”

Sometimes I would include “UA&P, course Integrated Marketing and Communications.” I rarely verbalize La Salle. Not that I find it bad, but not as good as the former three. (In spite of my bias, I hold great respect for all current and former students of La Salle, especially my friends and relatives.)

With a heart set for what its master wants, I applied for all four schools and took all four tests. Ranking it from 1-4, 4 being the hardest, I would say: La Salle, UA&P, UP, ADMU. Because of my “personal rank,” (which I realized later on was soo foolish of me to do) I was quite confident I would pass all four. Not to mention I indicated quota courses in all schools.

The months pass, the good times roll. I was doing great in school (I was 2nd honor last quarter–first ever in my entire life!), ministry, family, and friends. Christmas was awesome, vacation was awesome, I got lots of money. Then the new year kicked in. News of entrance exam results spread like wildfire. Students flock computers and websites take ages to load (or maybe it was just Ateneo! :D). The first two weeks of January were still okay because DLSU and UA&P results came in early. In fact, UA&P sent me a personal letter on Christmas Eve. I passed both schools! Yes, praise God indeed! But I was not too ecstatic. I begin to get nervous. I was still awaiting the two heavier, better universities.

The Ateneo Admissions Office released the ACET results at exactly 1 PM last Saturday, January 16, 2010. I nervously typed my 4-worded name. Thanks to the busy server, I had ample time to inhale all the air and exhale all the anxiety.


“Sorry, your name is not on the list…….”

I refreshed the page. To check if this was indeed the 2010 result, I typed my classmate’s name. Then….boom.

He passed.

Did I tell you I was fasting that day? By God’s grace and constant reminder, I did not harbor jealousy against this close classmate of mine who also happens to be my best friend in school since second grade. I can say, with a smile on my face, that I was genuinely happy for him. He deserves it.

But since I did not pass, I felt differently. Suddenly I realized the gravity of the test results. Questions race in my mind. “Does that mean I’m not that smart than people say I am? Did I go bonkers on my essay?” Unfortunately, answers were unavailable. I could only take a deep breath, let it go, and accept the hard facts. My hopes for passing the UPCAT waned. And just as any non-“passee” would think, I thought of facts that would justify my failure to pass. “Malayo naman ang Ateneo at UP. Ayaw ni mommy na mag-commute ako ng ganun kalayo. Mangangapa ako sa kaka-commute. Mas mabuti nang sa UA&P kahit mahal, o sa La Salle kahit….hindi ko gusto.” 😦

Then another week passes. This time, more results. More bad news.

My name was not on the UPCAT passers too.

Thankfully I’m not the other desperate and dedicated seniors who really mope over the “destruction of their lifelong dreams,” but I was just as sad. I can remember my dad, coming home from work, excited to view the results. I can also imagine the gloom that covered his face. Although he didn’t mope (none of us did!), I can tell they were sad. Somehow, as the eldest daughter whose known for making her parents proud, I felt I let them down. I felt sorry for my dad. He patiently and lovingly accompanied me to all the 4 schools when I took the test, skipped work just so I can apply, and even treated me to a delicious meal afterwards. He wanted me to go to Ateneo. I did my best to hide my sadness that day by laughing constantly and watching other more intelligent kids play their instruments. :)))) (Bio channel–world’s greatest musical prodigies)

The following day after the not-so-shocking revelation of me not passsing UP, I cried out to the LORD. I cried not because I didn’t get into my dream school or that He didn’t let me in. I cried because I realized how awful the stench of my character really is. God opposed my pride. He opened my eyes by closing the doors I believe to be opportunity. People always tell me, “Kaya mo yan! Mapapasa mo yan.” Not that I blame them, but this statement led me to believe I can actually pass all four tests without working up a sweat. I mean, I did not attend review classes (even if I knew I should) and I did not take reviewing seriously. And again, I was mistaken. No pain, No gain.

In spite of all the failures and mistakes I’ve committed, I praise my Savior, Jesus. I can hear Him telling me, “I don’t want to oppose you! I want to give you as much grace as you need, but you won’t let Me. You know that your pride and I don’t get along.” I thank Him for sparing me from the more painful chastenings I can undergo have I not realized my mistakes early on.

Lord Jesus, thank You. Right now, I still got problems. I like UA&P over DLSU, but not as much as ADMU or UP. I have two reasonable reasons:

1. UA&P is 5 times more expensive than my present school. That’s the annual fee. Multiply that by 5 again, and add thousands of pesoses. That’s my entire college fee.

2. I’ve never really dreamed to go to La Salle. Reasonable enough. 😀

So now I’ve got a new prayer. Lord, if you want me to go to UA&P, please provide the finances we need, and please teach me to be content with whatsoever I have. If you want me to go to La Salle, please give me a heart to see your grace and hand in it. Even if mine are not so in to it. And of course, give my parents wisdom and understanding.”

Farewell Ateneo. Farewell UP. Guess we’re not meant for each other.

Author: Jenny J. Talam

Storyteller who actually prefers to read and listen to stories. Food fan. Budding events host. Collector and avid user of colorful pens and stack-high notebooks. Media enthusiast. Learner. Adventurer. Introvert. Child and servant of the one true King. Forgiven and loved. Hello, my name is Jennifer Grace. You can call me Jenny. Welcome to my story of grace! :)

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