Being a student is hard, but being an iskolar ng bayan, raises the bar. In UP culture, there is a notion of “sink or swim”. This case is black and white, it’s either you swim or you drown. Competitions are everywhere, struggles against your fellow iskolars and that internal tussle to prove your worth. To stay afloat, you must exert effort. To win the race, you must swim like there is no tomorrow.

Pressure is like breakfast for some students. Every day they thrive in the pool of expectations and hopes. Some are driven by their sole goal of academic excellence. Some are brought up by the call to improve their life, financially and socially. Some are just over achievers, who do their best in all that they do. For every person, it is a different cause but at the end of the day they are all fighting same battles.

Good grades are by products of studying well in the university but that is not the end. On the bright side, pressure can push you to survive in your given field. It can lead you to adapt in order to successfully finish the race. In several instances, pressure can make you excel and win your laurels. But this is just one side of the coin.

There are also unfavorable outcomes. For some, it can make them become too focused in studies that they forget about other important aspects in life. They become one-dimensional people. Another effect would be lower self esteem for those students who have failed to get good grades. At times when the pressure is too high, it can lead to serious matters like depression and suicide.

Like in Charles Darwin’s theory, pressure shapes the way species survive. Pressure can make or break a person. The results mainly rely on the person’s point of view, what he sees in his frame of mind as he swims towards the shore.


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