Home > Life Series - Lessons Learned > Lesson # 30: From My College Orgs

Lesson # 30: From My College Orgs

Being that March is the time when organizations and councils all over Ateneo start turning over the reins of leadership to incoming officers for the coming school year, it naturally fills social networking sites with pictures, stats and comments that more often than not made me reminisce the days when I was once in their shoes and on the throes of saying good bye. It also made me reflect on the the value of the experience that they had not only on my life but more importantly on the lives of those we’ve served.

I shall derive my lessons from experiences in two organizations I became the biggest part of my college life; first being STRAINS (I can still call it Strains before it changes its name) and the second being the Council of Organizations of Ateneo (COA). Most of you have your own experiences in your own organizations so this post just might make you realize how much you miss those days, those sleepless nights and those long meetings and of course the crazy parties.

Lesson 30.1: Things take time. Trees don’t grow overnight.

I think this is probably one of the biggest things that frustrates both leaders and members of the organizations – that the plans that they have didn’t bear fruit within the school year. It brings about a feeling of disappointment and failure because we think that we weren’t able to do anything but in fact, we just might have been laying the groundwork for a bigger thing that eventually a new set of leaders shall benefit from. Be it a system, a structure, a process or a culture that you’ve sought to change or establish, the fruits won’t be seen overnight.

It takes time. Definitely much more than the 10 months you are given to “make a change”. So be patient.

Believe me, once you see the fruits of what you did, months or maybe even years down the line, you’ll find yourself beaming with pride that your org has achieved the vision which you saw when you led.

Lesson 30.2: At the end of the day, giving without expecting anything is really, really fulfilling.

We weren’t paid for this. We don’t get anything save for the satisfaction of really doing everything that you can that for which you love. We gave so much that at times our grades had to suffer (although it proved beneficial to some), some of our relationships had to take a hit [like mine with my blockmates…], our emotions were shaken and our resolve to continue was tested time and again – but still we pushed through.

Most of us ran for positions to GIVE BACK to the org; Most of us also ran to MAKE A CHANGE. (Some ran for the resume). But going back to the I-Want-to-give-back-to-the-org-that-I-love feeling, it’s what makes us persevere through the endless meetings, numerous arguments, multiple presentations and every trial that the position brought with it. The selflessness of the act makes serving and leading much more beautiful. (Yung tipong gigising ka ng maaga para mag area, uuwi ka ng late dahil sa mga meeting mo, hindi ka mag-aaral at matutulog para tapusin ang org report, magtetext ka ng sobrang daming tao tapos tatlo lang ang magrereply, gagawa ka ng project tapos biglang kailangan i-move yung event. stress diba? pero ginawa natin.)

No matter how many hours your put in nor sleepless nights you’ve had nor frustrations you’ve felt, at the end of the day, you’ll say goodbye with tears in your eyes because you know that you’ve given so much and that it’s about to end.

Lesson 30.3: You really can’t let go.

Really now. Who wouldn’t want to do it all over again? Who wouldn’t want to continue doing the things we did? (medyo sure ako ngayon na iniisip mo ang ginagawa mo dati at namimiss mo nga syang gawin)

We let go of the responsibilities and the positions we held, we take on new priorities and we might say that we’ve let go, but truth be told, we would all still want to be a part of it again. Yes? (Siguro kaya madaming alumni sa ALUMNIGHT ng Strains)

I guess after investing so much into the organizations, it’s just so hard, or even impossible, to let go.

Who said we had to? :p

There’s a whole lot of other lessons to get from our org lives. I’ll just save them for another entry (para naman makumpleto ko yung 30. Haha.)


Seeing all those pictures, wall posts, and sentimental stats made me miss college all the more.

It was both a great honor and pleasure to have served Strains – The org that I gave 5 years of my college life to.

It was the most humbling and rewarding experience to have led 24 CB members to serve 50 organization presidents and their organizations in COA; Truly, a year wasn’t enough.

Ah basta, masarap college life ko. Kamusta sa’yo? haha!


  1. March 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Grabe nakakamiss! And I agree, ang hirap i-let go! D:

  2. Honey Sy
    March 6, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Naku… parang natamaan ako sa last part. Di nga, natamaan talaga ako. Mahirap i-let go. Hindi ko pa na-let go. Nakakamiss mashado! Ang sarap ulitin! I would do it again and again if only I could! Life is all about THAT sort of fulfillment and it’s when I really felt I was truly living. 🙂

    • March 6, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      Diba? Sobrang amazing talaga nung feeling na ang hirap lang pakawalan. Anyway, i miss you honey! COA reunion soon! hahaha!

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