Geelyn Avanceña

Smiles filled with triumph. Speeches full of wisdom and inspiration. Togas and diplomas flying in the sky. Sure, graduation is nice, but have you ever wondered what it feels like to step out of what seems like a nonstop six-year educational journey, all while going through an exploration of where to go and what to do for college? No worries, because Senior High School has it all for you!

Covering the last two years of the K to 12 Basic Education lies in Grades 11 and 12, which also means that aside from it being the final part of high school, it also determines the path that you will take for college. Core curriculums and specialized subjects will be introduced, immersing you in your field of interest. However, this is not the case for some students. Let Taylor Swift’s Long Live narrate to you the journey of how to step out of your comfort zone for the last two years of high school!

Long Live: The Start of an Age

“Oh, anong kukunin mo sa College?”

Oftentimes, people ask you about your career choices in life. You become undecided at first, as you haven’t found what knows your heart the best. Of course, this includes choosing your strand.

Unfortunately, depending on your circumstances in life, you might not have that much of a choice even at the age of 16 to 17. Whether it is because of limited strand options, lack of college scholarship opportunities, pressure from your relatives, and whatnot, we usually end up choosing the track that screams practicality to us. Despite these situations, it was the start of a new milestone in our lives, along with the people that we met along the way.

Definitely, another series of ‘introduce yourselves’ will be heard in each classroom from the students and teachers alike. New friend groups will be formed, and adjustments will be made in terms of the curriculum’s  pacing.

Instead of the usual subjects throughout the whole academic year in Junior High School, specific subjects will be taken for only one semester, before taking another set of them for that year. The set of teachers for each subject will also change after a few months, which gives you another time to adjust. This setup continues until you reach Grade 12 and your focus will now go to the specialized subjects of your respective strands.

But, does Senior High School only give us that?

Long Live: The Halls We Crashed Through

Performance tasks, worksheets, quizzes, and quarterly examinations. It might seem bearable at first until all of these happen during the same week! Deadlines get mixed up as another activity adds to the pile. Everyone’s grades are on the line, after all. Achieving a consistent line-of-nine set of grades tends to get competitive during these times.

This educational phase also lies in your extracurricular activities and school events that go hand-in-hand with each other. As a student, you might just want to enjoy your student life to the fullest — and that might include partaking in these clubs and activities as either a participant or an organizer, which definitely adds up to your mountain of responsibilities to fulfill!

Be careful, though, as you still have to take make-up activities in order to compensate for your absence. Except, the college application season has arrived!

You open each portal, and in there you see tons of State university applications opening. This leads to inquiries flooding like a downpour, while communicating with the school registrars for some of the requirements. On the brighter side, as everyone tries to apply to the same academic institutions together, it brings out a sense of camaraderie among the peers as classrooms start to become mini-review centers for the College Entrance Tests (CETs).

Of course, the time allotted for a semester in SHS is not enough for leniency. Hence, another pile of academic work is about to crash the students’ workload in the form of Work Immersion.

As cool as it sounded at first, the subject isn’t easy. In the curriculum, the immersion aims to expose each student to the workforce aligned with their field of specialization, simulating a work experience for them at a specific period of time. Aside from the work proper itself, students are expected to pass specific documents before the start of the Immersion, and a portfolio after, if the teacher requires it.

Since most Work Immersion students have to do their job during the weekdays, other subject teachers may or may not choose to give their respective activities and quizzes. If they do, they try to set deadlines that will not hinder your Work Immersion experience.

But, this is where the key to every senior high school student comes in…

Long Live: Fighting dragons with… Thanks?

“Congratulations, and welcome!”

“Thank you!”



“We regret to inform you that…”

The long waiting game slowly comes to an end. Universities finally release their college application results. You open each portal again, and lo and behold! You must have seen any of the aforementioned remarks that state the possible paths that you have to take after this educational phase.

Unfortunately, not all students like you get to pass the first university of your choice right away. The pressure builds up as self-doubts and regrets take place inside your heart. As the academic year is not yet finished during this time, all you could do is distract yourself with the remaining workload that was given to you.

On the other hand, other universities gave you a chance to become a part of their growing student body with your dream program! As people around us say, “Everything happens for a reason”. In this case, it is like telling yourself that the universe has redirected you into something better for you in life. Aside from getting to choose where to study in college, all your efforts during the college application season have surely paid off.

Acceptance, rejection, waitlisting, and the like — no matter what you received, each remark gives you that feeling of “pre-graduation assurance” that takes you to more heights.

Long Live: You Will Be Remembered

Long live all the magic we made,

Colorful togas and tassels. Graduates are accompanied by parents. The echoing graduation song. The feeling of victory. As you march to the stage, you receive your diploma and medal. Your name will be called, along with the achievements that you made. You turn to the front, bowing to everyone before leaving the stage — in which that smile never leaves your face even as you return to your seat.

The smile of triumph shared with your friends, family, and teachers, as you struggled altogether in school. During the years that were spent for your self-exploration, life lessons and realizations came in your way. Nostalgia will kick in, as you reminisce about all of the memories that you shared with every person that you met inside and outside of your school. As every second passes, your time together will come to an end as you embark on another educational journey.

But, those will be the memories that you will carry on in life.

Smiles filled with triumph. Speeches full of wisdom and inspiration. Togas and diplomas flying in the sky. Overwhelming congratulatory words. Indeed, graduation is nice, but have you ever wondered what it feels like to step out of what it feels like a never-ending six-year educational journey, all while going through an exploration of where to go and what to do for college?

News flash, you just graduated senior high school! Your manifestations may not happen at first, but your diploma stands as proof that you have committed exemplary academic performance all throughout the years, while you proudly shout to yourselves — “Graduate na ako!”

Although, the grind never stops at senior high school. Depending on your chosen program, you still have to spend around four to six years before you can finally get that degree. With a fresher environment ahead of you, of course, you cannot help but ask questions about your soon-to-be college life and be expectant with what will happen next. But, just like the walls that you will crash through, don’t academic challenges exist for that reason?