Feature story: Christian Layese
MARCH 2015, six in the morning.
KRIIIIIIIING. Snooze. KRIIIIIIIING. Snooze. KRIIIIIIIING. Snooze.
This went on until I heard a loud shouting voice saying “Christian!!! Ligo na! Don’t be late for the ceremony!”
Then it hit me. This b***h is graduating from high school. Not next week, but TODAY. I was SHOOKT, GIRL! No more “Bayang magiliw perlas ng silanganan,” but more independence! Goodbye Bantayan Island, hello big city!
The day went by so fast. It started with the mass, and then the rites, and then the traditional graduation rites. We all graduated in high school so you should know what I’m talking about. Next thing I knew, I was alone at 2 in the morning asking myself, what now? What should I get in college? Well, besides the allowance. What course should I take? Intercourse? (But of course, I’m just kidding!)
2:30 a.m.: I’ve always wanted to host events. Maybe I can be a host? I’ve always wanted to do the “Hello mga Kapamilya, it’s your Kamags Christian, MagTV na!” Or the Sunday show where they say “Kamot sa atubangan, ang pangutana…”
2:35 a.m.: I googled: “What course should I get, I want to host.”
LOEADING. Page 1, Mass Communication. Scroll, Mass Communi… Scroll, Mass co… Scroll. Ugh! I didn’t want to get Mass Communication because I felt like it wasn’t mean for me. It felt too basic, and I wanted more so I googled again, “Mass comm + Medical” the results came out, in bold letters: SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY.
Oh. My. God! Speech, check! Language, check! Pathology, uhm, what the f**k is that? Well, As long as it has the word speech on it girl, I’m down, check!
I took the entrance exam with utmost confidence, and this girl came back to me and said “I’m sorry, you failed the exam.”
In dismay, I replied “OMG r u legit siz? Is this serious? Is this a prank sissy? Can I talk to the chair? This is really my dream course and I’m gonna do everything just to be a speech pa-something…”
She offered, “I could schedule you for a five-minute meeting with the chair If you want.”
“OMG GO GIRL U DA REAL MVP,” I thought. So I waited for around two to three hours just to get to that five-minute talk with the chair.
Looking at my NCAE, which stands for National Career Assessment Examination, medical field was far beyond my suggested courses. But I really wanted to get rich and be a host/doctor/pathologist-what?! Trust me, I was confused too.
When I finally got to talk to the chair, I started my spiel: “Hi miss. I’m Christian. I failed the exam for this course but I want you to know that I’m very passionate about this. I promise to do my hardest to finish this course since I really want to help people with the skills that I have, blah blah blah…”
Well, the chairman saw the fire in my eyes and decided to put me on probation. Meaning, I wasn’t allowed to fail nine units in one semester, an NW and an INC. In short, one wrong move and I’m eliminated from the Big Brother house.
First semester: debate, easy-peasy. Second semester: speech class, piece of cake. So on and so forth. My years in that school was filled with anxiety. During, before and after every exam. It was even the time where I lost so much weight due to stress, but trust me, I was happy, but my mom was worried AF. On my second year, fourth semester, that’s when it started to hit me: this course is more than just hosting/speaking or knowing a language. This course takes a huge amount of dedication because in the long run. I learned that my future work will be in rehab centers helping kids with speaking disabilities. I love kids, don’t get me wrong. But knowing I spent two years of my life learning about frog’s anatomy, human anatomy doing oral exams (not that oral), I got disappointed with myself. Ashamed because I literally spent so much time and money. I was two years down already and during the releasing of grades, I aced all my subjects except for one: the major subject.
That’s when college f****d me up.
Because I failed one major subject, I was forced to wait for a year just to retake that one subject. I realized that if I’m going to continue, it would take me six years in college studying something I thought would make me the next Toni Gonzaga or Kris Aquino.
College f****d me up. So I cried myself to sleep. Nights after night. Dark days turned to weeks. I was lost. It was dark. Girl, I felt like s**t. My plan didn’t work out and I was devastated.
I knew I had to stand up again. People would say it wasn’t meant to be. Saying I saw the red flags from the start. Saying “Christian it wasn’t meant to be.” But no. I totally disagree. I believe it was meant to be. Because in those darkest times, I learned the deepest most meaningful life lessons I would never read on self-help books. I would never be this strong, this passionate and this real if this didn’t happen. I could list you 23 things I learned from that dark phase of my life but it would result to more than 1,000 words and Rachel only said 1,000 so I’ll only share only three:
One: however good or bad the situation is, it will change, so either you hang on or enjoy it. Two: a tight embrace and a good nap is sometimes all we need. Three: If God closes a window, open the gate!
Yup, College was meant to f**k me up. And I’m so glad it did.