Survival Guide

tumblr_lju63jLHju1qgujfno1_500College Edition

Last February 5, 2013, I was invited by my grade school and high school alma mater to give a career talk to the juniors who were about to embark on a new journey – college. As much as I wanted to give a career talk, I found it more appropriate to share my college experiences through a survival guide approach as I think that my career is just about to soar. Yes, I am positive.

It was an honor to represent University of the Philippines to these young ladies to tell them how great my university is. I’m not sure if I’m the most equipped person to do the job but I am definitely proud of all the things that I have achieved so far in my six years of stay. I am hoping that the juniors got enlightened and would consider my university as one of their top choices because it is definitely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I am also hoping that more of them would consider taking up Engineering, one of the pioneers of innovation.

Maybe 10 years from now, the list below won’t be applicable to me as things would change and my priorities would shift. However, these tips below have been very useful to me as a college student.

1. Do what you love and love what you do. Have a purpose in everything you do so that you can get back on track when failures come along. The second part says that you have to love what you do. Not everything we need to do is all about butterflies and rainbows. To reach our goal, there must be sacrifices and one must accept this to move on to do far greater things.

2. Discover who you are. You have to know who you are and what you are good at so you can maximize your strengths and know how to go about with your weaknesses.

3. Take (calculated) risks. Take that leap of faith and see where it takes you but make sure you have weighed the costs and benefits of your decision. Some opportunities may knock only once so you make sure you grab it when you really feel it deep down it’s for you. If it turns out that it’s not for you, then I’m sure, somewhere along the way, you learned something useful.

4. Connect and find inspiration. It’s a small world. You usually bump into someone at the most unexpected times so build that bridge. Find your connection as it may come useful in the future. It is also during these moments when we meet someone great that our passion ignites.

5. Dream big. I never knew I would experience the things that I have experienced. I just had these far-fetched dreams when I was in my first year. Now that I’m graduating, I sometimes still can’t believe how I got to where I am now. All it took was for me to have big dreams and perseverance. Now I am off to far greater dreams.

6. Don’t forget where you came from. Humble yourself and respect others. Remember that you represent your roots so always do your best to raise the flag of where you came from.

7. Give back and be grateful. You are never alone in your successes so don’t forget to say your thanks to all those who have helped you become victorious.

© 2013 Dolce Vita. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. (

Photo Credit: Tumblr User Post


About Mariel Tan

Artist at heart who shares the spice in her life. Visit my blogs:


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