By Joshua Corcuera
And just like that, I am about to take my final examinations for the semester. As we approach the last week of May, several higher educational institutions, specifically those who start the school year in August, are about to end their classes after finals week. How fast time flies indeed.
In where I study, full face-to-face classes started just last January, which is the first time in almost three years that I entered the halls of my university. There were various changes, from new upgraded facilities to the frequent wearing of face masks, and so forth. But some things just never change.
With the return to onsite classes, examinations are likewise being taken onsite as usual. During the pandemic, online classes forced students to take tests online, without the need for pen and paper. For this semester, students have been separated one seat apart once more for the past few months.
To me, this signifies that society has returned to normal after years of struggle as a result of the pandemic. More importantly, learning in a school environment has become possible again as we move on from the scars of the public health crisis.
Another thing that did not change inside universities, however, is the intense efforts by students to study, study, and study, so that they could pass their exams and prevent a singko from any subject. The library of my university is fully packed once again with students reading thick books for hours. Even in other campus locations, such as the gardens and quadrangles, many students devote much time and effort to understand their lessons being taught in class.
Of course, this is expected and is supposed to be the case. After all, the reason why we go to school or university is to learn new things. But obviously, some students take it too far.
Due to increased expectations from society and intense competition in the professional world, many students sacrifice their personal time and mental health in the hopes of being an academic achiever—which obviously is a very good thing once you enter the workforce. It is common for students, especially at university, to be puyat as they spend the night reading books and notes and watching video lectures and other available online material.
One of the realizations I gained during my stay at university for these past few years is that education should not be merely confined to academic growth. As much as academic growth is crucial, educators must see to it that the youth would develop holistically—to grow not only in academics, but also morally, mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually.
Excellence should never be limited to the number of medals and certificates that one has accumulated. After all, what purpose would these medals serve if the one who earned them would be physically and mentally exhausted?
Students are humans too, not machines. Henceforth, it is crucial for learners to study hard, and to have enough rest.
And for educators, they should place a heavy emphasis on promoting holistic growth as the workplace and the real world do not merely want students who are brilliant academically but are also capable of doing good things in a practical manner, and getting things done.
As I take the final examination this coming week, I would definitely spend several hours studying, but I would also not forget to get enough rest. Without sufficient rest, I would just quickly forget what I am forcing to study in the first place.