At this Point (006) ((kind of))

Warning:

Word vomit with no particular permanent topic, straight ahead!

With great shame, I come crawling back to this blog.

My last At this Point post was from last June, and it’s almost December; for a weekly blog update, I am so behind on my updates. I could come up with various excuses but the truth is, I’ve been so preoccupied with my acads life–in a definitely good way!

My first semester as a European Languages major beats all the semesters I’ve had so far, and I’m not even exaggerating.

It feels great to be able to say this, because I know that I expressed serious bouts of anxiety over changing programs for more than a year and now that I made it, I can proudly say that all my worrying paid off!

EL is plain wonderful.

I realize that I haven’t shared much yet about my new major, as well as how I got here and all the side stories–plus a semester’s worth of gushing haha!–so here’s a little update, I guess.

My major is French, my minor still undecided. Initially, I was planning to take German as my minor with a little longing to dabble with Sociology and Art Studies–my Socio 10 class certainly changed my worldviews, and being an all-swag art curator has become one of my secret aspirations.

The most cliche question in an EL major’s life, as I recently discovered, would be: “Why (insert FIGS* language here)?”

(“FIGS” stands for French, Italian, German and Spanish, the four languages offered as majors by our department.
“GRIPFS”, on the other hand, stands for German, Russian, Italan, Portuguese, French and Spanish–the choices for our minor (if we want to minor in another language).)

Even my professor in French 10-11 asked me this.

So. Why French?

To be honest, my first choice was Spanish.

Filipino/Tagalog has a lot of borrowed words from Spanish, as an effect of being the colony of Spain for three hundred years. I figured, it would be a comfort to study a language where the words are already quite familiar.

The thing is, I was wrong to think like this. I realized that once I got accepted to EL, once I started this semester.

For one thing, knowing a part of a language’s vocabulary is far from knowing the language itself. I’ve had my professors telling me that, and I appreciate their warnings and reminders, but I also realized this on my own as we went through weeks of (fun!) learning French (and Latin).

But that’s not the reason why I actually chose French lol. Much segue. Such wow.

I chose French because I’ve always had the tendency to choose the path that will definitely make me cry and question my life’s choices, the path where I will definitely struggle so much that I would feel the need to have a week’s worth of breakdown every now and then.

Funny, quite cynical, but true nonetheless.

I know that I won’t stop at French (and German) with the languages I want to learn. I figured, if I’m going to learn a lot of Romance languages*, might as well start with the most difficult.

Romance languages are languages that evolved from the bane of my semester, Latin.
(Half truth, half joke. I actually love Latin–the other language I’m studying this semester–but it’s…a lot to cram into my delicate skull in one semester)

Just a disclaimer: I say this without any prior experience of studying a language. I don’t claim any superiority of any language over another–as a language major, that’s the last thing I’d ever insinuate.

French is… Wait, lemme say it en français as practice: Le langue français est très difficile.

 (The French language is very difficult).

Even so, I feel wonderful after every class because I’m actually learning French! Call me a fanatic or something, but learning languages is really fun. For others, it could be a chore–I have classmates whom are just fulfilling required language units, and our French class has become quite the torture for them–but a week in the semester and I’m definitely in love.

I thought I’d never be able to find the niche that I would fit in; I thought I would never have the pleasure of enjoying studying, cursed to be stuck with a diploma on something I just had to get, but three years into college and I finally found my calling.

I can’t articulate how wonderful I feel this semester. If ever I feel too lazy to attend my classes, I never push through with skipping class because everyday I feel that every lesson is too important to miss. I’m eager to do homework and to study in advance because I love my major.

Seriously.

What excites me the most is that I’m learning French–not just little vocabulary words but actual grammar, a little culture, and a lot of challenging things about speaking French.

I’m not fluent ~yet~, but armed with a basic dictionary and I could understand the gist of simple texts. That’s one of the things that make me giddy about learning a language: I see the progress, and after every week, there’s something new to apply and use. My accent still sucks, and I still can’t get the right flow of the up-down tone of legit French speakers, but it’s very uplifting to be able to carry on a small (scripted) dialogue with my classmates.

I’ve honestly never felt this fulfilled in my college life, possibly my entire academic life. Every achievement, every praise and positive feedback from my professors–I cherish them all because I know I’ve worked hard to gain their approval (and of course, absorb the lessons).

This sense of fulfillment is something I’ve always craved, most especially when I entered college. While I was ~preparing to shift out~ of Arki, I kept on stumbling upon lots of encouraging blog posts, Internet articles and other related materials about inspiring academic journeys–exchange student experiences, etc.–and I couldn’t help but feel envious of how right they felt with their university lives. With EL, I feel like I’m on my way to my own magical undergrad journey.

Of course, my life is not without its downfalls. Before, I let those downfalls drag me down and through the mud most of the time. I let the struggles strangle me with anxiety of not making it through.

But guess what: I made it.

I didn’t make it because of magic and rainbows and skipping towards the sunset; I had to work hard and I have to keep on working hard. Within the time frame since I started this blog (circa February 2015), when I last updated (June 2015) and now, I see the difference in the tone, voice and overall personality of the person behind those three time frames.

The year is almost over.

In less than fifty days, it will be 2016.

(Wait, what??? 2015 is almost over???)

It’s almost time to reassess the year that quickly passed by, to reflect on the things I learned and discovered. It’s almost time again to plan the next 365 days ahead, to create a healthier and more sound version of ourselves by flushing out the bad vibes and toxic people in our lives.

I’m excited–thrilled–to look back at the start of 2015 and remember how much I floundered around and wished for a better version of me. I’m excited to see  how much I’ve accomplished in my 2015 goals, and to add up new and better goals for 2016.

At the moment, I have to get through the regular UP hell we affectionately call our finals week, so I will have to get back to you after this; maybe next time I’m back just in time to talk about the UP Lantern Parade–who knows!

But for now, this is it for this week’s At this PointPadayon my fellow Iskolars *smile and gun emoji*!

(Good luck to the rest of us who are swamped with exams, papers, reports, coffee cans and takeout cartons hahahahahuhuhu)

 

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