2020 would be the year I’d fulfill all my aspirations of being accepted in my dream university; all that’s left to do is to study for my external examinations and do well, right? Well… then a series of events occurred – mostly, the pandemic. In early March the glaring headlines:
“#WalangPasok (no classes) due to Covid-19” – Philippines, was flashed all over social media. Later on, the IB sent the news that “May 2020 examinations will no longer be held” to every May 2020 examinee. My insomnia (and the eyebags I’ve collected) and my exam preparations as I trudged through my two years in IB were for nothing, thanks to this nanoscopic organism. I then deferred to November 2020 examinations, to ensure that I would reach the required grade requirements for university. Thus, I am back to square one.
Online classes continued so we could finish all the units we hadn’t tackled yet; I took my final exams online and received my high school diploma. I graduated, yet I didn’t feel like I did. I pitied myself and my batchmates that we had to finish high school apart. We were supposed to celebrate our victories, walk across the stage, wear our togas, and shout to the world “we did it!” Yet, we were robbed of all of these momentous events.
My parents drove me around town to get me out of the house, and frankly, the outside world was unrecognizable… but foremost, heartbreaking; I saw the elderly on the streets, weeping as they have nothing to eat; restaurants with fewer staff than they had before hinting that they’ve let go of some; beggars coming up to our car holding signs that they have lost their jobs and need money to feed their families. Living in the Philippines, it’s devastating how my fellow Filipinos who’re impoverished are pushed even more below the poverty line. It ignited the flame in my heart to work harder toward my goals: aiding my fellow Filipinos as a doctor.
My dear IB students, I utterly understand how our current situation may discourage many of you. However, the pandemic has taught me that we, the future generation, hold great potential to do astounding feats. This situation should not hold us back. Thus, we must take all these distressing events to fuel our determination, as we are the new hope of this world. Let us find motivation, whether it’d be to help out our parents, our community, or our country.
Also, instilling in us the IB core value “caring”, we must be compassionate for those who’re suffering and aid them to the best of our abilities. A small act of kindness can go a long way, such as checking up on your friends and family, donating goods, participating in organizations – or even starting your own! During this pandemic, we must open our eyes to the state of our world, and bear in mind that we have the ability to change it for the better through solidarity.