One of the most difficult things to handle is surprises. Truly, it tests the character of the wisest of men and separates the bookish from the real.
I was in the first semester of my final year in college, when I received the greatest surprise in my academic life: that I will not be graduating on time, and will therefore lose the chance of graduating with honors, the award that I have diligently labored for in my past three years in the university. The reason was as dense as failing to enlist in a seasonal subject in the first semester enrollment, which means that I have to wait for another year to complete the subject. At first, grief overwhelmed me that I cannot even shed a tear. I was also feeling angry, frustrated and rebellious. I felt rebellious towards God that He did not make me aware that the subject was seasonal. It was a battle of faith on my part, as I knew from the bible that these kinds of trials should come to test our faith and develop perseverance (New International Version, Jam. 1.2-3), yet I was so focused on the lost honors rather on what God might teach me through that situation, and I felt in despair. After wrestling in prayer and talking with my church brothers and sisters, however, my faith was rekindled, and I made a radical decision of begging the university to allow me to enter the class in the middle of the semester, just so I would not be delayed in my graduation. I made the decision after asking advice from the school authorities as to which of the steps would be the best. In that case, I was able to picture all possible scenarios and choose the best one. Experts indeed suggest considering all viewpoints, even those you initially do not want to consider, when dealing with problems (McIsaac). The writing of plea to the university registrar was not so much a challenge as my entrance to the class. Since it was in the middle of the semester, the long exams were already due. That meant I had to study and compress in my memory what the class had been discussing for almost 2 months. The fact that the subject was “Laws on Obligations and Contracts” did not help either. Self-made lawyer that I am, I tried to personally understand each and every content of the book. Thanks to my sharp memory then, I was able to absorb the contents, pass the exam and pass the entire subject as well. Yes, I graduated on time and with honors.
It was indeed a difficult situation for me, especially when I focused on what I could possibly lose instead of calmly and wisely taking steps to confront the situation. Indeed, emotion should not get in the way, as composure is best refined in the middle of pressure. Indeed taking a stop to assess the truth about the problem is a necessary start. Worrying about the problem and giving in to fears would only complicate things and distort the real picture. The presence of friends and confidants also eases the troubled mind and allows one to have a wider view of things. It allows one to see mistakes and problems in a lighter way, and sometimes even laugh at them.
The natural tendency of men to aim for perfection makes them unappreciative of struggles and hurdles. They usually see them as distractions to a rather smooth path. One thing very important however, is not to be bluffed by life’s problems, rather wholeheartedly accept them as part of life’s journey. Their presence is not to bring a halt to an easy walk, but to give a detour to a more exciting and more fruitful path.
McIsaac, Ken. “Dealing with Problems.” School for Champions
15 Dec. 2001. 11 July 2008
The Holy Bible, New International Version.
Metro Manila: Image Builders Services and Publishing Foundation Inc., 2005