Setting my alarm clock to wake myself up at four in the morning is sacrifice, especially when I’ve only hit the sack at around two in the morning. Fortunately, the alarm was able to wake me up at exactly four, but unfortunately, it did not stop me from dreaming. After numerous personal extensions and alarm clock snooze time-outs every ten minutes, I finally gained the consciousness and earned the guts to get out of my bed and start typing on my laptop past five o’ clock.
Personal letter in Sociology 10, final examinations in Mathematics 2, position paper and concept paper in English 10, final speech and reaction paper in Communication 3, and magazine and final examinations in English 1—these are things that have been depriving me of sleep since last week. Freshmen year was supposed to be a time to adjust and cope up. Academic life should not be tough. Maybe it wasn’t as taxing as that of the upperclassmen, but I realized, it still didn’t follow that we’re already safe from the infamous “hell weeks” of the university. It is as if all the professors conversed and decided to give all their students the same deadlines. So we, the students, have to exert a significant amount of effort to achieve our desired passing mark.
For some reasons, I found out that hell week brings the best and worst in people. Just yesterday, I was able to talk to classmates who were sharing the same dilemma about their academic requirements. Sabaw, the term coined to people who temporary lose common sense because of lack of sleep, is almost normality to my friends. Most were unable to give sensible answers to serious questions (Friend 1: I have a Math 17 exam; Friend 2: So it’s about Math?) Some were trying to steal a few minutes of sleep while slouching in the walls of AS Lobby (Palma Hall), while some were like zombies with heavy eye bags attached to their worrying faces, wondering if they will be able to meet the deadlines.
Hell week in UP makes us realize our extremes—the things we can work out on just to accomplish the requirements. A friend of mine was elated after she had submitted her 20-page paper in Creative Writing, when, in fact, she only started writing about it two nights before deadline(she might be lazy, but to be fair, that friend told me that the class was given only a week for that paper). We no longer view these things as simple high school assignments that we may intend not to accomplish; we see these requirements in a greater perspective. If we do not submit whatever the professor requires us, we’d get a kwatro, or worse, a singko. If we get a singko, the future that is originally envisioned for us will be postponed because we have to repeat a subject and receive a tolerable grade for the transcript of records. College assents us to a complex and serious imagery of our life that little by little, we stop playing the game by pure chance, and start playing it armed with perseverance.
Finally, and sadly, our unfinished businesses in the time of hell week break us. Some were on the verge of giving up. A self-confessed freshman Math hater wonders if he can survive four years of Math when he barely passed (and a few already failed) his Math 17 long exams. One doubts if she will continue taking up an English-related course, despite her loathing in English grammar. Another wonders if their group will be able to finish a magazine with zero percent progress a day before deadline, when all of the group’s members are sincerely illiterate in Photoshop.
The semester is almost over. Whatever effects this notorious hell week give us, the hope to strive for better outcomes in the following semester is not yet a delusional mantra. Enough of rest in your bed, “ang tulog mababawi, ang singko hindi”. Stop sleeping for a while. The dreams that your reality will conceive is way better than the dreams you have in your sleep.