To all working students who struggled

I just want to share my recent farewell column in TomasinoWeb, the official online student publication of the University of Santo Tomas.

TomasinoWeb / Twitter

TomasinoWeb / Twitter

Hi. I am Nikko Dave S. Francisco.

I am not a Dean’s Lister. I am not a student leader. I am not that active in various student organizations.

I am not a role model.

In my whole stay in the University, I got several passing grades. I planted many threes, almost made my Transcript of Record a forest. (Pun intended.) Most of the time, I became passive in different organizations in UST.

If you’re a San Lorenzo Ruiz Working Scholar, I have a message for you.

Just keep in mind why you chose to be a working scholar. It’s not easy to work 20 to 30 hours every week just to send yourself to a prestigious university. Whenever you feel that you can’t make it, just take a deep breath. Pause – but never stop.

You should know your priorities. You should know how to balance everything. Even though you think you can handle managing yourself, you will come across at a crossroad at some point in your life. Of course, in every decision, your studies must be the priority.

Learn to love. Learn to appreciate. Learn to trust. If you ever feel what I felt—that you’re not excelling—just stay in the process. Beautiful things happen to those who wait. You should strive hard to answer the puzzle of life, but if you reach your limit, try to ask for help. Every time you fail, just reflect on your experiences, because every learning opportunity is important.

You must live, not just survive. At the right time, you’ll see the fruits of your labor. I may not be a role model according to societal standards, but the most important thing is that I learned.

Now, I’m here. I can proudly say:

Nikko Dave S. Francisco
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Graduated from the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas
Proud to be a Thomasian, proud to be a San Lorenzo Ruiz Working Scholar.