Filipinos value family the most, and I think that’s a beautiful thing. Despite the debate on whether to work for my family, or move out and make the most of my life; I’ve chosen to send my sibling to school.
When I was a teenager, I was always amazed by the amount of the people I knew who were able to send their siblings to school. I figured tuition fee is expensive and it’s a big responsibility to be in charge of a person’s future. I was 13 when I told my parents that I wouldn’t hesitate to help my cousins finish school when I become successful. I have always valued education and I loved studying.
Five years after my statement, my only-child life changed when I got a baby brother. With an 18-year age gap, he was just a baby when I graduated from college. I took it upon myself to be responsible and let my parents rest from the stress of sending my brother to school. I thought it was going to be easy.
Instead of doing what my fellow millennials were doing, I worked a job that I was unsure of. I stayed there for more than a year and was able to send my brother through his first year of pre-school. It would’ve been easier if I had just sent him to a public school. The expenses would have been less, but I chose to send him to a private school. I wanted him to have the same education that my parents provided for me.
After working non-stop at numerous jobs so I could give my brother a bright future, I knew that sending him to school wasn’t the only job. It also entails being there for him whenever he needs help and support. He also needs emotional support as he grows up. The school isn’t just a place he goes to from 7AM to the afternoon; it also correlates to what he learns at home.
My brother is now in Grade 6 and I have survived sending him from pre-school to the 6th grade.
When I was lining up at the registrar for his 6th-grade enrollment, I got a little emotional. I can’t believe I did it. This little victory of being able to provide my brother with the education that I wanted for him. Then I asked myself: “Why? Why did I do this?”
The answer was simple: I want to do my duty as a guardian, to raise a child who is socially aware, educated and kind. I basically want to raise a good human being. It was a choice that I made myself. My parents didn’t ask me to help them send my brother to school. I just knew that I was able to do it. It’s also a symbol of gratitude to my parents who never failed to give me the things I needed in life – for sending me to school and for always supporting me.
Sending my brother to school helped me become the best version of myself. I learned to be an adult and to take responsibility – emotionally, mentally and financially.
They say adulting is hard, but it’s only hard if you resist it. Let go, follow your instincts, and you’ll be fine.