September 10, 2023 (3:00 PM)

10 min read

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Graphic by Mark Lyod Carin

August slipped away into a moment in time.

It’s quite hard to believe that it has been a month since we all went back to the campus. It’s even harder to imagine that prelims is just right around the corner. This isn’t a dream. We are sooo back in our second home, where we will no longer be attending lectures while we shower or play Valorant at the same time, answer quizzes on the beach, or do your report even if you’re in a car, a train in Europe (wow, boujee), or God knows where.

The Claveria gate is open, the caf is teeming with life, random cuties are roaming around the campus, insensitive elevator riders…The world, the Ateneo de Davao rather, is finally healing. 

Or is it really?

As most of us are still getting used to the campus life again, it’s particularly amusing and comforting (not to mention, a tad bit frustrating) to note that some things just simply never change, just like the good old days.

Buckle up, Ateneans! In the spirit of vibe checking and rediscovering our main character eras, we compiled a few things that many of us can high-key resonate to, face-to-face (with enhanced technology) edition. 

1. Dreadful commute and class schedules

This power combo is as thrilling as it can be. You think that your Ethics class is hard enough? Think again. For most of us AdDU peeps, going to school seems like a whole new test altogether.

Those residing in the northern and southern parts of Davao know it all too well. To and fro, they have to endure the standstill traffic and the Hunger Games-y like situation waiting for jeepneys—or if you’re an aircon kid, taxis—in early morning and evening alike, whether they like it or not.

As if college is not hard enough, life always finds a way to make it harder. You will be questioning your life decisions in times when you’re just essentially squatting inside a jeep, dripping in sweat, praying hard that your shaking legs won’t fail you; to not let go on the minutest inch of a space your butt is glued on to. 

You might even think to yourself if there’s any humanity left to the person who decided that 7:40 AM classes are still a thing in this day and age. Well, they say that all these are character-building. We say yes, only that they’re churning out the antagonists in us. 

2. The perpetual wave of DP blasts 

From the moment we stepped in college to our seniors’ graduations, AdDU’s campus orgs and clubs never run out of creative juices to make every moment of our stay in the university worthwhile. 

Of course, we give our hats off to every creatives team member for making all these “super ka-ganda” designs and effectively carrying the AdDU community’s social media presence on their backs. You’re the best!

Whether it’s AFYOP #Dayon season, org recruitment season, or Fiesta season, name it, all kinds of “szn” have probably made their way to the students’ profile picture frames. This only goes to show how vibrant AdDU’s org culture is. 

And hey, even if these frequent simultaneous blasts irk some folks online, including our introverted or (pa-)lowkey peers IRL, these blasts are a testament to our student leaders’ unwavering commitment to stage events that make a statement.

DP blasts are the most convenient way to tell the world that you are in solidarity with your community, that you are a part of something bigger than yourself, and that you care. 

3. Bidet is life

Some might feel burdened to study in Davao’s number one university, but that’s okay. It’s safe to unload your burden and go number two here. 

It’s arguably the most underrated out of all facilities and equipment that AdDU boasts to the world. We’re sorry, HISFLEX, but the real flex should be on these little guys, our unsung heroes who have saved us all from our worst nightmares. 

It’s time that the bidets take the cake. Pun intended. 

Like the Ateneans who use them, AdDU’s bidets come in all shapes and sizes, not to mention the varying levels of strength and motivation in doing what they’re supposed to do. On a good day, you might be lucky enough to use the decent performing ones, the ones who do the job perfectly. 

But, like we said, big yikes if you stumble with those whose water pressure is as pressured as a student retaking the Philo course for the nth time. In this sense, we should all channel our inner boy and girl scout selves: dapat laging handa. Always have with you your paper towel or wet wipes ready, just in case.

And now that we’re talking about it, we’ll grab this opportunity to raise one of Ateneo’s unsolved mysteries yet: Why are there still no bidets in Martin, Arrupe, and CCFC Halls? 

4. QPI-busting and laude dreams-killing subjects and profs

We can’t always have it all.

We all know there’s always that one subject or one professor that’s very “maka-inis” and can spell the difference between shifting or staying in your course. Whatever degree program you may be in, no one is spared from these hard to pass subjects.

These banes of our existence can be a major lab or lecture subject, a random GE subject, a prof who rarely comes to class, or a prof with sky-high standards at everything, or worse, your PE and NSTP classes! 

In other words, every prof and subject has what it takes to be your probable cause of delay and can potentially change the trajectory of your life (talaga, swear).

Nevertheless, the beauty lies in the fact that these profs and subjects strengthen our faith, resilience, and bring out the best in us; the most “gahot” selves we’ll ever witness in our lifetime. 

We Ateneans live by our Magis mantra, and there’s no better way to practice this “give your best” attitude than our tough nut to crack professors and the subjects they teach. 

5. SIS is not giving

One of the common denominators uniting all Ateneans is our collective dismay over the Student Information System (SIS) during pre-registration and enrollment seasons. 

Our SIS is not particularly known to be cooperative when you need it the most. It lags and crashes just in time when you’re pre-registering for that easy-A PE  class. Like printers and wifi signals, our SIS smells fear. 

It’s even more pressuring to pay your dues on time just to ensure that those interesting electives you pre-registered won’t be purged by the finance office. 

Purged.

It might be a play on language semantics, but yes, that’s however serious pre-registering can get in AdDU. Sigh, glow up, SIS!! 

6. Hide and seek for your dress code violations

“Good morning,” the guard says as you walk through the gate, and your heart rate spikes.

You’re just in the Jacinto Gate, running late for your first class. You’re fine. Still, you could’ve sworn that you felt St. Ignatius’ dubious gaze run through your slayful Wednesday drip; examining how torn your ripped jeans should be, weighing if the sheer number of holes and frayed areas of your denim pants is worth your trip down the Mezzanine floor of the Arrupe Hall.

Welcome to the campus free-for-all dominated by the guards, descended from the heavens of OSA, whose allegiance is solid rock to the university handbook and never on your off-shoulder blouse hidden behind that sleek blazer. 

On a serious note, dress code violations are not something to take lightly in AdDU. Time is gold, and processing a violation and complying with your hours of community service eats up a lot of time. Think of all the hours you could have used for sweet, sweet bebetime! (IF you actually have a partner…) 

Here’s to all the lucky ones who managed to survive the guards, and to our fallen comrades, stay strong! Hold that violation slip high, it’s all part of the Magis experience. 

7. Falling in love with libraries again–except when they’re full.

Crowded elevators and cafeterias are bad enough, but can you imagine walking up several flights of stairs only to find the MigPro library filled to the brim? (Unless you took the elevator, then in which case, smart and lucky you.) 

Still, AdDU libraries are a literal blessing: they’re the perfect air-conditioned sleeping hubs. They’re also great for spilling the tea, or playing video games in peace if you can bypass the school Wi-Fi with mobile data–guilty as charged. They’re also amazing for studying. After all, it is their intended purpose. Whether you’re cramming or actually managing your time well for once, AdDU libraries are the place to be for those aiming to reach Latin honors. 

Whatever you do, try not to be too loud. “Speak now or forever hold your peace,” but not in an AdDU library, or you’ll be hearing the call bell ring more times than you can count. 

8. Daigler20 

For most Ateneans, Daigler20 is a useful resource. For some, however, it’s a pain to navigate. There’s also the occasional server hiccup where you can’t log in for some reason–but you’re sure you entered the correct login details, and you’ve double-checked that G-Suite email for God knows how many times. It’s definitely not giving. At all.

This new F2F is enhanced by technology, and Daigler20 is an essential part of that setup. Profs post PPTs, activities, assignments, and other reference material there. There’s no sugarcoating it: if you can’t access Daigler20, you are likely to fail most of your subjects, if not all of them.

9. Lining up for that ID validation sticker.

You’re finally there. You’ve already filled up the forms, secured that signature on the parent’s consent form, and had your papers notarized. But there’s one last hurdle you have to face: that line of waiting students stretching all the way down to Arrupe Hall.

To be fair, the Office of Student Affairs processes the documents fast. All you have to do is get a priority number and hand those papers in along with your ID. Wait for them to call you–which is more than we can say for online ghosters–and you’ll get that bright yellow sticker. 

Congrats! You’re now less likely to get called out by school guards for a violation. Give yourself a pat on the back; you just saved yourself hours of community service. 

10. Yes, it’s acceptable to be loud and proud here.

AdDU is a school where people can be more comfortable with their identity. For many students, this may cause a culture shock. Most schools in the Philippines have rigid rules for haircuts and school organizations. An organization such as the Ateneo Libulan Circle may be unheard of, especially in a Catholic school like AdDU.

We have our alumni to thank for the freedom to dye our hair however we want, and for having the marginalized sectors be recognized by the administration. Whether you’re a part of the LGBTQIA+ community or the Indigenous Peoples, there’s no such thing as persona non grata for Ateneans who want to express themselves. 

College life can be exhausting, but it’s nice to know that we’re in a place we can call home–that’s the important thing. And while the linog curse (real) that always happens before any exam season in AdDU may make you want to go “wake me up when September ends,” remember that we’re all in this together. 

Find that study-life balance and always stay true to yourself. That’s how you enjoy the Atenean experience with all its relatable struggles and small victories. 



End the silence of the gagged!

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