BE WARNED: this post is all about me and my katoxican sa buhay. Hehe. Violent comments will not be entertained. 😀


It’s been days since I had a day in my calendar “not marked.” This means that I have nothing to do on that day. And that day is TODAY! Hooray! (I’m rhyming, gawd.)

For the past days I’ve been going in and out of the school (yes, literally in and out of the UP College of Medicine), attending meetings and doing other MSC duties. For coming week I have 2 meetings at hand, along with the MSC Freshman Assistance Program. The job of being MSC Chair is no joke. It takes hard work, lots of time and real GUTS to do all the stuff that has to be done. The job hasn’t really taken its toll on me, might be because it’s summer. But what if the acad load comes in, with all the activities piling up, not to mention the weekly meetings of the council and with the admin officials…fuck.

This year will be THE year. Magiging Super Gerald rin pala ako eventually.

Looking back, this was the same student life I had in high school, in fourth-year at least. I was member of the UP Cherubim & Seraphim (official children’s choir in UP), CAT officer, Treasurer of the student council, and a varsity player in volleyball. Some of my friends call me toxic. Some of them call me Super Gerald. I pledged after graduation that I will not be the same Gerald as I was back then — TOXIC. A Gerald who balanced his time — or should I say — divided his time among his different commitments. Mahirap ang ganun na buhay, feeling mo tuloy, half-baked ka sa lahat.

Come college, I made it to a point NOT to join any organization. Although I was itching to try and audition for UP MedChoir, I didn’t. Although I was curious to join MSS in 2nd year, I didn’t push through. All I had was a measley class-elected position in the Medicine Student Council as Sports Class Representative. That’s it. But in those two years of non-affliation, I sorely missed my extra-curriculars…

When med proper came, I was aching to join anything — anything that could and would divert my attention to all the studying in med school, the books, the exams, the lab works. I joined the best medical fraternity I know, Phi Kappa Mu, to develop my skills and talents and of course, have a sense of belonging in the college, and be a better doctor in the end. I joined MedChoir to have an outlet for my passion for choral singing. I also became a member of the UP Med Volleyball Team and competed against other med schools in November. I was elected Class Vice President and I continued to be in MSC to be part of the council’s collective effort to serve the students.

So much for that pledge in my high school graduation.

Joining these organizations — a fraternity, a choir, a varsity team, and a student council — might sound prestigious, but this, of course, merited a lot of sacrifices. Time for my family, friends and Maan slowly dwindled. My sleeping habits (if there were any) became chaotic, sometimes sleeping at 4:30AM not because I was studying, but because I had extra-curricular stuff to do. My usual day was: 8AM – 5PM – Classes, 5PM – 8PM – Meetings/Practices. I usually beg off from my classmates when they go out or watch a movie after classes. My usual excuse, “May MSC meeting kasi ako.” or “May MedChoir practice…sorry.”

It’s not all ka-toxican din naman. I had fun, and I am happy that I was toxic with all my extra curriculars. I developed new friendships, honed my talents, had venues to “detoxify” in a way. When I become tired, I have a tambayan to go to. When I need people to drink and have fun with, I have my brods and sisses. When I want to sing my heart out, there’s MedChoir. When the inner sports-buff hit me, there’s volleyball. When there’s stuff that has to be done, there’s MSC.

But last year, a time came (2nd year med proper, when the academic load was at its highest) that I realized that yes, as my classmate Peewee had blogged about, I was spreading myself too thin. I was practically juggling all those commitments, with my acadamics slowly being thrown away. There was less time devoted to studying and more time devoted to my orgs. As I grew in my organizations, I had taken more and more responsibilities. I became Vice Chair of the MSC, Publicity Co-head of MedChoir, Projet Head in Phi, and Representative and Project Head in APMC-SN. I was basically dividing my org time into three: after a meeting in MSC from 5:30-7, I will rush to MedChoir rehearsal from 7-8, then do stuff for my activity in Phi afterwards. Saturdays are devoted to APMC work. Where’s the studying? In between.

I realized that I wasn’t having fun at all. I was doing these just to get by and get my duties done. I was slowly becoming an extra-curricular robot.

But that’s where good time management kicks in. Eventually, I survived! With all my duties and responsibilities, it’s says a lot siguro that I didn’t take the finals for any subject in my 1st and 2nd year in med (except for Immuno and Pharma where my MedChoir classmates and I had to take the finals dahil na-miss namin yung classes when we competed in China).

This year, I had to prioritize. I have greater responsibilities so I had to let go of some. I took a leave in MedChoir and sadly I will not be able to join them in their summer plans in 2008 (US ba? o Europe?). I begged off the position of Class Vice President since I would have less time in attending class activities. I don’t know if I can still play volleyball for the class or for med.

They say that 3rd year (ICC = Integrated Clinical Clerkship) is the most benign year in med. Well, I hope that works to my advantage. I have 3 major positions this year. One of them is quite confidential, so I can’t post it here. But hell sure these positions will push my skills in time management, delegation and leadership to the limits. As in LIMIT kung LIMIT.

But I’m happy now. I am learning and enjoying my life as it goes by. The experiences of being in these organizations really add up to my own personal growth, as a person, as a student, and as a future physician. I’m glad that I am at these positions — to be of service to people; to lead them to where they should be, what should they become; to sacrifice time and money for them.

I am happy, but overly terrified that I might not do my jobs well.

But I will. I hope I can. They don’t call me Super Gerald for nothing.