What being a Grade 11-STEM Student in the Philippines is like

The K-12 curriculum, which requires 12 years of basic education, is newly implemented in the Philippines in hopes of producing globally competitive students. It sounds great especially for parents who have big hopes and dreams for their children, but extra-challenging for less fortunate parents. As a student, the extra two years I have in high-school has given me more time to think about what I want to pursue. Sobrang importante nun kasi mahirap na pag di mo kaya tapusin yung sinimulan mo in college. Because I was unsure of what I should take-up, I went to a strand that (in my opinion) is holistic in learning and that it equips me with knowledge that gives me an edge (ay ang charot HAHAHA) and that is STEM. What is it like?

A Roller Coaster is what it is. Legit.

Of course as a STEM student, I am always expected to be great in maths and sciences, in analytical thinking – basically in everything that doesn’t involve a skill that other students from other strands have. Society has made a mold for all of the students to fill based on what strand they took up, and I think that this was the biggest obstacle I had to face. It was the pressure from the teachers and all of society, who had set-up double standards for STEM students – for me. I tried to reach expectations that were set too high, just because I belonged to a strand that is ‘for smart people’.

You might ask, asan na mga magulang ko? As I’ve said, K-12 was just recently implemented and most of the students’ parents are uneducated (syempre dahil di na nila napagdaanan yun) about what it really is and how its curriculum is different from Junior High’s. However, there are some parents who take their time in knowing what it is simply through attending school-based orientations or even simpler, looking it up online. My parents do not have a clear picture of what it really is and how it takes a toll on students, despite its numerous advantages. I feel that they do not get where I’m coming from, when I tell them “Kailangan ko pumunta sa bahay ni…to finish a project na super urgent”, “Kailangan ko mag stay-up tonight, marami pa akong tatapusin”, or “No I can’t join, gusto ko talaga matulog”Masakit lalo na kapag nagagalit pa sila. Not only I – I’m sure majority of the students also understand – that what we need is a little bit of understanding and support. Also assurance that we can do this and that everything will be okay. A simple ‘I love you and I am proud of you’ is great too. Mahirap kapag wala, because there is nothing to get you by.

TO ADD TO THAT, oh God I cannot even put more emphasis on this, the number of workload is astounding! AAAAAAHHHHH! Sobrang nakakalula. The anxiety and stress coming from the amount of workload each student has, plus the free-loaders! It’s hard to handle. Most STEM students experienced (at least once or twice) wherein they have to get through their day with an hour of sleep because of it. I am sure, it happens to students from other strands as well. The number of researches we have to accomplish and agh the number of math subjects we had to take! Sometimes, I have to take time to break-down and compose myself to finish what I have to finish for the night.

Syempre, hindi lang ako puro reklamo dito. What did I learn after a one hell of a ride in Grade 11?

  1. Teachers can be considerate too. Just because you are older now and definitely more matured, doesn’t mean that they can give unreasonable and/or can’t extend deadlines. Teachers also care about their students’ mental health. Some are always approachable whenever you need advice (lovelife agad).
  2. Students from other strands are also as good as STEM students, some even better. We are all different and talented, our strands do not dictate that.
  3. Cramming is an option, but it shouldn’t be the way to go. Time management is SUPER important. Without it, you absolutely won’t be able to rest, sleep, and have time for yourself.
  4. Take it day by day. The number of workload you have will be overwhelming, kaya para iwas stress, do it one by one and get through one day at a time. Though there is a fine line between taking it day by day and going with the flow.
  5. Have a great support system. I have my highschool barkada who is there when I need a shoulder to cry on or when badly need a laugh. They are there even when I don’t need them. Honestly, mawawala ako sa ulirat kapag wala sila. Your support system is also family. Cut out toxic people in your life and bring in people who are such rays of sunshine. The last thing you need is stress from the people around you adding up to your overloading stress-container.
  6. It is okay to cry. Let it out, compose yourself, and work again. 10 mins, max.
  7. Learn from every single thing you do. There is something to learn sa bawat requirement na ginagawa mo. You become a better student and a better person after finishing every requirement.
  8. Enjoy it. Hindi lahat nakakaiyak. Hindi lahat nakakagalit. Don’t be too uptight. Avoid restraining yourself from having fun with your friends and classmates. Minsan ka lang magse-Senior High.


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P.S. I hate how pictures become so low-qual when uploaded in WordPress. Hays.




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