Ateneans On The Best Decision They’ve Made in College

Words and photos by Enrik Benedicto

Everyone says that your college experience will be the best time of your life. The choices we make, no matter how big or small, play a role in who we become in the future. So I went around the Ateneo to get some answers. Here are some Ateneans on their best decisions in college!

Bea Ateneo Best Decision

“The best decision I’ve ever made in college was shifting. Growing up, I always saw my life in a straight line. I would take a pre-med course, graduate, specialize, and become a doctor. But sometimes, things aren’t as clear cut as you sometimes expect them to be. After a while, I realized that I was in the wrong course, and that I wasn’t happy. But it took a while for me to actually get to shift, because I was scared. I spent most of my life dreaming of becoming a doctor. But sometimes, dreams can change. After exploring different disciplines, I found my heart in other places. Eventually, I gained enough courage to shift and that one decision has made all the difference in my life. Of course, it was a difficult adjustment, but I’m in a happier place, and I have no regrets.”

Beatrice Cimafranca
3 BS Management

Frances Ateneo Best Decision

“The best decision I ever made was to decide to be.

Decide to be the most me I can be. Wherever I can imagine myself, although I don’t quite know just yet, I’ve decided to be me — the fullest version of me that I can be. And in that I pursue my passions, pursue happiness, and at the end of the day, pursue myself. I’ve decided to be shamelessly and fearlessly me. And that, I hope, will make all the difference.”

Frances Matugas
3 BS Management

Giulia Ateneo Best Decision

“I joined the Ateneo Rowing Team having no clue what it was and not knowing what I was getting myself into. The tryouts had been on the rowing machine and on land. It was by sheer luck and a series of fortunate events, a confluence of incidents, that I had landed myself a spot in the team. A few months after I had gotten in the team, I finally got the chance to get into the water and really row for the first time. It was a pretty magical moment for me. I really fell in love with the sport and continue to keep finding myself hungry to train and get better. It really put my life in perspective. I now eat healthier and get organized just to have time to row. And yes, I have fallen into the water a couple of times already but it hasn’t stopped me from getting back up and moving on. I guess it really must be love.”

Giulia Go
3 AB Diplomacy and International Relations
Ateneo Rowing Team

Nathania Ateneo Best Decision

“One of the best decisions in college I’m most proud of until today is stepping out of my comfort zone and discovering what I’m truly passionate about beyond my academics. While I was far from considering myself a talented musician, I joined the school orchestra and eventually led the organization. I also met many other fellow dreamers who bravely fought for diverse causes and shared my belief that we weren’t too young to make a difference. By the time I graduated, I realized that the years had gone by so quickly because I was always looking forward to each day with wonder and excitement. When you feel a spark ignite within you, you just can’t help but do everything you can to burn brightly and share your light with others.

A well-known quote by Fr. Pedro Arrupe goes, ‘Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.’ In my four years in college, I was lucky enough to be given countless opportunities to serve and create meaningful change for others. These decisions weren’t the easiest to make then, but I always look back at them with much joy and gratitude because they have indeed made all the difference.”

Nathania Chua
School of Management Professor

Nicole Ateneo Best Decision

“Joining Ateneo Blue Repertory was hands-down the best decision I’ve made so far. I’ve mentioned this so many times before, but this organization is worth it. More than anything else, I found a family here. I found people who were willing to rehearse late everyday with enthusiasm and energy. I found people who told me to believe in myself and to silence my inner critic. I found people who gave their all in everything they did because they wanted to. I found people who taught me to be embrace who I am and what I love. I have grown so much in the past 2 years because of them. Ultimately, I would not be who I am today without this org, and I am grateful–so very grateful to blueREP, for letting me feel something no amount of books would have ever made me understand: passion and fulfillment.”

Nicole Chiang
2 BS Management Engineering

Rafi Ateneo Best Decision

“Probably the best yet toughest decision I had to make was to be part of the football varsity. Being a student-athlete in university, I have to train every day, while attending class and striving to get good grades. A lot of sacrifices have to be made, but I chose this life and it chose me. I will never regret my decision.”

Rafi Lipardo
3 BS Management
Ateneo Men’s Football Team

Raven S. Ateneo Best Decision

“I think the best decision I’ve made in college so far is stepping out of my comfort zone, which has led me to many great and memorable experiences. I immersed myself in things that were new to me and, after each experience, I can say that I emerged a different person.”

Raven Sy
3 BS Information Technology Entrepreneurship
Ateneo Residence Students Association Accounts Manager

Juancho Ateneo Best Decision

“Tough question… The greatest decision I’ve ever made in college was listing down my priorities. I have that list in the back of my mind. I find that decisions are made easier when you’ve got your priorities straight.”

Juancho Cobar
3 BFA Information Design

Sophia Ateneo Best Decision

“Best decision I made would have to be going on exchange. I left for half a year to study in Regensburg, Germany when I was in my third year of college. It was hands down the most memorable time of my life. While traveling around Europe was exciting on its own, I would have to say that it was the people that made the experience so amazing. I met so many interesting individuals that I had never dreamed of interacting with, let alone becoming life long friends with. Even the most boring days were full of laughter and good conversation thanks to these people. I did miss my family and friends though while I was away but that’s another great thing about my exchange, that when I got back it was as though nothing had changed.”

Sophia Climaco
4 BS Management

Raven L. Ateneo Best Decision

“The best decision i made in my college life is that I keep choosing to do better whenever I fail at something. College is a test of your strength and toughness. The only way you’ll fail this test is if you give up! Life will definitely hit you hard but all you’ve got to do is keep your head up, “bawi” and smile!”

Raven Lingat
3 BS Legal Management

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