Pros and Cons Summary of My First Semester in STI Munoz-EDSA in Collaboration with Mr. Solis

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STI Munoz-EDSA is not really big compared to other branches, but I feel like the students are mute and the school is not only blind, but deaf despite of its size. Not a school in this world is perfect, but every school can improve and innovate their system and services for the sake of education. On the other hand, we, the students should also cooperate in making our stay not only beneficial to us, but also to the school that has served, and has been home for unforgettable memories for several years of our life.

My first semester in college has ended and I wasn’t able to post this before the first day of second semester starts because I was a little bit busy prioritizing something else. Now, before you jump on the lines below, I’d like to acknowledge that my batch mate, Mr. Dennis Reid Solis contributed on some of the pros and cons that he had also observed and personally experienced in his first semester in STI Munoz EDSA. We put our hearts and sincere thoughts in this blog and we hope that this can help open new ideas to our STI family for the betterment of the coming years.

SECURITY

The first thing that I have noticed on my first month in STI is that our bags are not being checked by the guards before we enter the school. Basically, we can carry anything inside the school, because no authority is blocking us into bringing just about anything in school.

Almost all the students, new and old were wearing civilian in the first few months, both senior high school and college. Imagine the number of people coming in and out of the school. How would the guards know who are students and who are not.

There was also an incident where a student got robbed right in front of the gate of the school. I don’t know if the guard reported that incident, but it did happen on his watch. When the guard on duty was asked regarding the incident, he mentioned that he is very much aware that things like that happen in STI. So what did they do to assess that?

RULES AND REGULATIONS

I don’t know what happened, but the huge “No-Smoking” warning sign tarpaulin that was initially posted in front of the gates of STI for several months were suddenly moved inside. Correct me if I’m wrong, but a school has the right to prohibit and remove vendors from selling cigarettes in front of the establishment, right? The Clean Air Act and CHED Memorandum Circular 96 states that 10 meters within the school perimeter is considered a Non-Smoking Area.

I’m just really curious on why did they move the warning sign inside, when it was perfectly positioned outside. Is it because they couldn’t stop the students from smoking in that area even with the humungous warning sign that can even be seen even when you’re walking at the overpass? Is that the best solution of STI, to change what is right because they didn’t get to think of a more effective way to control the situation? Aren’t they aware that it creates a long term bad image for the school when commuters and passerby saw STI students, wearing their complete uniform while smoking just right in front of the school gates?

TUITION FEE

I’m not a very good critique when it comes to tuition fees and everyone has their own take when it comes to finances, but like other schools, STI is considerate enough when it comes to payment of tuition fees. If you’re from Quezon City, specifically from District-1 you may request a 20% discount letter from the Quezon City Hall in Councilor Jun Ferrer’s office and submit it to STI every semester before the enrollment closes to help minimize the cost of your tuition fee. Being on the Dean’s List will also allow you to get an additional discount provided that you reach a GWA of 1.50. Another option is to be a working student in the school.

UNIFORM

I don’t know if it has been a long time since I became a student again, but the price of our uniform is way too expensive. When asked about the price of the uniforms, they always use the word “set” and give out a small piece of paper that shows 1 full set of uniforms and it looks so cheap when you see the amount written on the paper, but if you will calculate how much a daily pair of top and bottom uniform cost, you’ll think twice if you’ll just wash your uniform every after use or purchase an additional to suit the school days.

Another thing about school shirts, we suggested to have our own course T-shirt to show off in school events and competitions, where we can be proud of our chosen course… but they said that STI has their own branding and wants all branches to look uniform. So, too bad for our batch who are hoping to wear our own course shirt inside the school. We were told that if they aren’t stopping us from creating our own shirts, but it must only be worn outside the school, and our initial reaction goes like this, “What is the essence of wearing it outside when it’s more appropriate to wear and brag about it in school?”

My take on this topic is that STI should create a T-shirt and logo design that will represent the different courses we enrolled in, so that they have full control of the branding. Then mass produce it and include it in the uniform set. If the course shirt looks awesome, it would encourage more enrollees considering that school uniform is also one of the factors that affect a student’s decision in choosing a school. Another idea is to hold a contest wherein students can submit logo entries and the winning logo will be printed on the T-shirts. This can be by branch or the official courses shirt of STI.

PROFESSORS

It’s normal that as a student like me critique my professors, because they were assigned to be the mentors of my chosen field. We’re going to be together for a semester and that’s not a joke considering their roles has a very high influence and impact to us. But the thing with being very observant students, we didn’t just critique our subject professors, but also other professors that might probably handle us on the coming years, if they are still in STI.

Let’s start with this professor who didn’t follow the handouts and weren’t giving us any handouts at all, but tried to do the best to show and make the students experience and learn the main essence of the subject. This professor had a difficult time in trying to connect the subject to our course, but we did learn a lot.

A professor who just entered the classroom, went straight into teaching the lesson after recapping the past topic and introducing the new topic, without much of an interaction with the students may seem like this person doesn’t really care if the students learn or not. But the truth is, this professor cares so much to the point that sharing words of wisdom to students became a habit to motivate us. You won’t believe it, but there’s something that this professor told the class that made me realize my own potential and corrected my study habits.

Then here’s a professor that I personally saw and heard asking another professor in the faculty to just give the students an activity, leave and just take the day somewhere. This happened when I still don’t know any professor at all, because I’m a new student. Is this the meaning of self-study for this professor? Too bad for your students… and their parents who paid you and believed that you’re doing your job. So how many times in a month, or let’s say in a week do you do that? If this is your habit, please don’t encourage other professors to do the same.

Want more? There’s this professor who I seriously hate a lot for being so damn unprofessional. This professor isn’t one of my subject mentors, but gets into my nerves, all the time. The way this person unreasonably and unacceptably talks to students makes me want to stand up and return the actions. I can’t say that this person is being strict just like how other professors fit the description, because the way this person treats the students and the words used when talking to students, makes me want to ask how this person qualified for the title to teach. Thank God you don’t exist in our branch anymore this second semester.

If there are professors who aren’t that dedicated to teaching, there will always be those who will professionally and wholeheartedly take their job seriously. There are these professors who would sleep late just to finish checking submitted works and won’t leave the school until there is an unfinished business with a student. These professors have all our respect and praises. They literally deserve it for their dedication and performance. It feels so good to have unforgettable mentors that you can look up to when you’re feeling down on your chosen field. You guys are the treasure of STI Munoz EDSA. Keep up the good work because you’re influencing not only lives, but futures of the future.

Sorry for the redundancy of the words, but I did it on purpose to avoid the pronouns, because it might create inappropriate rumors amongst the group of professors. Let’s just keep this as mysterious as possible. Don’t even try to message and ask us who exactly those professors are, because I won’t be giving away anything, they are still professors. But the main point here is that STI should screen their professors properly before hiring them.

EDUCATION

The excitement and stress of a subject doesn’t only depend on the student’s capacity to understand a certain lesson, but it also depends on the way it has been taught and when it was taught. So what am I saying here? It depends on the professor and the class schedule. If you have a professor who is capable of making a difficult lesson appear easy while maintaining the essentials, then consider yourself lucky. And yeah, we have those kind of professors in our branch, but I can’t name them here.

Next is your class schedule, whether you’re irregular or regular. Like for example, if you have a number of 4 to 5 classes a day without enough rest time, well, you better check if your butt is still in tack after sitting from one class to another, straight. Yeah, its student life, but you should also balance your time and give your mind a break in a reasonable manner even if your class schedule is stressful. But don’t be furious if you’re given a bad schedule (for regulars) and for not being able to fit your subjects the way you want it (for irregulars), because there are also many reasons to consider before a school is able to lay our class schedules. Meaning to say, you just have to learn your own ninja moves in making your life in school less of a pressure and more effective.

We are all familiar with ELMS right? Professors use and follow handouts provided by the school in lecturing and that’s fine, only if all the professors are uploading the files in ELMS so we can do advance studies, but sadly that doesn’t always happen. So be grateful if your professors are uploading handouts timely or advance, because you get to browse and study in advance. I’ve also noticed that the majority of the students relies on ELMS when studying for a lecture and especially when reviewing for exam week. If students aren’t provided with handouts and only provided with the topics, they tend to feel more pressured and stressed to study for that certain subject. Without handouts that students expect to receive, they end up relying with their own notes, but what if they also don’t have complete notes because they are really expecting for handouts?

I know that as a student we should all be responsible, but when students know that they are supposed to be receiving something from the school for what they paid for, but ended up not having it, feelings of resistance to study and just make uncountable reasons not to study would be their last resort. I don’t have any complain whether a subject gives out handouts or not because I have my own way of being updated and keeping track of lessons. Stuffs that I’ve been writing here are just purely based on what I have observed.

ORGANIZATIONS

Internal organizations are not recognized due to lack of advertisements and projects. If you go around the campus most of the bulletin boards only remind us of upcoming exams, instead of providing a general information about activities or about the existing student organizations that will allow freshmen to explore more about STI.

We were about to create a general bulletin board as our project in NSTP-I that will post general information about the current school events and will be updated by the elected Student Council, thus still be supervised by STI. But it has been rejected because they said that updates are all available in the Facebook page without considering that there are also students who doesn’t often have internet access to log in.

The election of the Student Council was a surprise to everyone including the professors. The dissemination of the news and the election week wasn’t something that got the campus talking. The running parties weren’t able to show their agendas in a very convincing way and we don’t have any idea who they are or how many parties are running for the year. A Student Council is a powerful and helpful organization, only if they will be handled properly.

STAFFS

Let’s be real, not everyone is always in a good mood when at work. There are days that people just aren’t like themselves because of exhaustion and stress. But seriously, there are staffs that will literally get into your nerves. We’re not sure, but I feel like the departments are only having their own meetings and not a general meeting where all the departments are seated in one room to talk about student concerns. We didn’t get a chance to ask if they are doing that, but didn’t waste asking because we can obviously see that they are not doing that based on the way they answer our questions.

Then, here comes the exam week where a boatload of students will be paying for their tuition fees, while only cashier counter is open although there are 3 windows to accommodate transactions. So what’s the consequence? Students don’t get to take their exam on time because they were waiting for their permits. If the system is down, can’t they seriously go manual for the sake of making things a little less stressful for the students in exam weeks? You know, for them to be able to catch up on their exams on time. I never experienced having to get my permit on the same day of the exam, but seeing the struggles of my schoolmates, I think it deserves a paragraph in this post.

FACILITIES AND SERVICES

All the rooms in our school is fully air conditioned and every room has its own projector which I’m really glad to brag about. We have computer laboratories and an internet laboratory for the students to use so they won’t have to pay in computer shops. Our library also has a separate room where students can use for academic purposes. Students can also register one gadget and get a free Wi-Fi access inside the school for one semester.

The Cozy Room is a good idea for students to lounge in, where we can rest, read books and take a nap in our free time, but seriously, I don’t know if they are ventilating and dehumidifying the room. The floor is carpeted, students are asked to remove their shoes before entering, so yeah, as you’ve guessed, it smells like sock party inside the room. How are you supposed to relax and feel cozy when your nose couldn’t take the smell? Ventilating, and dehumidifying an air conditioned room is important to avoid the production of airborne contaminants, dust and molds on the furniture that may lead to health and comfort problems.

Let’s move on to the canteen area… I think that the tables, chairs and the area allotted for the canteen is not sufficient for the number of students who wants to eat at the canteen. Maybe it was enough when tertiary were the only students, but now that STI has senior high school students, I believe it is not enough. Dennis thinks that the garden area should be removed and be placed somewhere else, and extend the canteen area to be more useful for everyone. We always eat lunch at the canteen so I agree with his suggestion.

Now, let’s move on to the locker rental of the school. Before being able to get a locker, you are going to be oriented about the policy. We all know that we are reliable for our lockers and the school is not liable for any lost items. But when the policy stated that we should hand over a duplicate key to GSSO so that they can open the locker in case of emergency, such as random checking of prohibited materials without the owner’s presence. My take on is, both the school and I can open my locker, what if something got lost while the school states that they are not reliable for anything? Where should I put myself then? Isn’t it that they should call the attention of the locker owner first and let them open it before anything else?

MAINTENANCE

I appreciate the improvement in the cleanliness of the comfort rooms compared to my first month in school where I seriously had to look and observe in what building are comfort rooms are acceptable enough to use.  I think the maintenance cleans up several times a day now and not just only when school is about to close for the day. Nowadays, I often see them holding their cleaning materials, sweeping the floor, wiping the windows and mopping the stairs. There were also times when I couldn’t use the comfort room because they are doing a quick cleaning, which is totally alright for me. Good job for the maintenance department.

EVENTS

We all enjoyed the Academic Week even if everyone was exhausted including the professors. But I felt like the schedule of exam week and Acad Week has been flatly sandwiched. Then, the dissemination of important details was way too late to even give an average event preparation. I don’t know how it went last year, because I can only comment on what I have experienced. Although we all did well, I believe that there’s more to show only if everyone was given enough or reasonable time to prepare for the activities and contests.

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In the recently aired TV commercial of STI the school looks inviting, fun and accommodating, but it doesn’t really materialize in real life. The advertisement was great and convincing, but how will they sugar coat what is actually happening, and how will they convince the students who are currently wearing STI uniforms to do the same?

We, the students, are the walking endorsers of the school, how will students be proud of their own alma mater if we don’t see and feel any improvement that we can brag and be proud of? How will we be confident in sharing our STI experiences with other people? STI Munoz EDSA can improve their system and image, if they will put their students’ concern on top of their priority list. This branch can create many excellent students if the people running it every day will be more open to suggestions and in working on it.

It’s just 5 months and I know that every school is currently adjusting their system and services because of the K-12 curriculum, but I’m hoping that on my 2nd year in college I’d see more improvement. STI Munoz-EDSA should also consider the school’s capacity in accepting students to avoid classes in the library.

If you’re also an STI student, from any branch, please do comment down below and share your own experiences and thoughts. Tell us what you’re experiencing and what can you be proud of? We’d love to hear from you! We hope that you enjoyed this blog even if it’s lengthy… Click HERE to direct you to the Facebook post and to be able to comment without having to create an account here.

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STI Diaries 03: First Month of College Life and The Impact of K-12 on Students

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“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy,

not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

– Socrates –

The memorandum released by the Commission on Higher Education states that students who graduated high school before the implementation of K-12 are given a chance to ONLY enroll in college within the year 2016 – 2017 and 2017 – 2018, failure to enroll from then on for all future enrollees will automatically be in Senior High School. (Click here for the complete Memorandum.)

Freshmen college enrollees who graduated high school before K-12 are extremely diverse. The majority had work experiences, many continued to be working students, some already have children and others gave way to their younger siblings to study first before them. Everyone has their own interesting stories to tell.

If we are going to base on the old tertiary curriculum, the standard age of freshmen college students would be around 16-years old, but the memorandum from the Commission on Higher Education forced everyone to enroll in college, pulling all high school graduates over a decade to complete their undergraduate degrees because of the restriction given to them.

You might be wondering how old the freshmen students I’m with right now… Well, most of them are in their 20s, ranging from 23 – 27 years old, only a few are in their teenage years because the last batch of 4th year high school students is now attending Grade 11. I also have a classmate in his 30s and another in her 40s if I’m not mistaken. This is just an estimate in the course I’ve taken, what more in other courses.

Everyone came in different walks of life that doesn’t only carry high school experiences with them, but also got deeply involved with the outside world. They know the meaning of hustle, pressure and had the taste of what life really means when you’re not carrying the title of a student. How life is when you don’t have a Bachelor’s Degree and how companies evaluate you as a person including your salary range.

I then had this observation and understanding that the meaning, importance, eagerness and seriousness of education depend on a person’s life experience. How much they value education comes from their lifestyle, the people around them, their environment, the hardship they went through in life and how much they want to make a change.

I am not saying that people who doesn’t suffer in life treat education with insignificance, I am only pointing out that the extent of willingness to learn, absorb knowledge and value of the tuition fee is quite far from people who ventured early in life with a rough road and are forced to be in situations that they aren’t supposed to be in base on what I have observed.

So what’s the catch between the students who thinks that they should be in college (Senior High School) and the batch of freshmen college of school year 2016 -2017 (High School graduates before K-12) together with on-going college students?

SHS students are not aware that the latest batch of Freshmen College is not within their age bracket, and has a different perception and set of experiences in life and education. Both sides need to understand and respect each other to completely avoid clashes that are happening recently.

The only way to instill harmony is if secondary levels respect the seniority of tertiary students, like how we respect the authority of our professors even if our age is not very far from them, and also, if tertiary students will respect the innocence, curiosity, intelligence and playfulness of the youngsters. Focus on the good side of everyone, stop dwelling on their negative side, because each group gave a positive advantage to each other. We just have to look deeper.

There is a high chance that what is happening in my school as of this curriculum transition moment is also happening in almost all college campuses nationwide that opened for senior high school. Keep in mind that you’re in the same school, roaming around the same campus, seeing the same faces every day and will be carrying the school’s name in your transcripts in the future.

Unless you understand and cooperate with one another, waking up, going to school and being excited to learn won’t be easy for you. The school will always be a strange place for you and it will have a negative effect on the way you learn. Start by appreciating the strength of everyone around you that can help you achieve your aspirations.

My final thoughts, if you think that the world is cruel to you or your parents because of the expenses and debts you had in years of studying, think about how life is to people who didn’t receive the proper education. If you’re having a problem with school expenses right now, don’t stop struggling, because you are suffering for a good amount of your future.

For more updates about college life, stay updated on my STI Diaries blog category!

Thank you for stopping by!

 

If you find this blog helpful I encourage you to please tag, share or comment down below your own experiences.

STI Diaries 02: Tips on How to Save Money on Buying School Supplies

You don’t need lavish or unique school supplies to study. You don’t need to use all your savings just to buy branded stuffs. Change your mentality that you blend-in well when you have the coolest items in your backpack. Yes, you cannot study without materials to use, but you can study without branded school supplies. Motivation to study doesn’t come from the brands you carry inside your bag, but what you want to achieve in life. It’s not about being the trendiest in school, it’s about how competitive you are. Start changing the way you think so you feel motivated to wake up for school every day.

 

Tips on How to Save Money on Buying School Supplies:

  • Clean Before Buying. You must have scattered or hidden supplies somewhere in your house that are still in good condition or haven’t been used, so shop inside your house first before paying at the counter of bookstores.
  • List The Supplies You Need. From sweeping your cabinets, drawers and study table of excess or usable school supplies, you will notice that you still have some stuff that you can use to save money. The key in saving here is to only buy what you seriously need.
  • Check The Sales Section First. You may find the sales section friendly when it’s back-to-school season, so better check what they have on that table before roaming around the store.
  • Bulk Buy Then Divide. You can save from buying bulk items and the quantity is far greater compared to buying in singles. So if you have a close schoolmate, family member, cousins or even neighbors who‘s attending the same level, you can ask if you guys can just split divide the items and expenses amongst yourselves.
  • Stock Up If Possible. Most school supplies are disposable, so it’s best to take advantage on the sales section for back up supplies while the offer is still hot. At least you won’t be rushing to visit the bookstore when you suddenly run out of supplies in the middle of the school year or in the middle of a busy day.
  • Buy Second-Hand Books. You can find new and used books at Recto and you can even sell your old textbooks. Another tip is to buy or ask if you can borrow the used books of higher batch students in your course.
  • Avoid The Small Items. This is easier said than done, especially for the ladies, but please try to avoid buying items just because it’s cute or it’s your favorite color, when you know that you won’t be using it and it’s just for your eye’s pleasure.

 

Shop Quality on These Items:

You will wear and use this the whole year! It has to survive!

  • School Bag
  • Black Shoes
  • Notebooks
  • Pencil Case
  • Socks
  • E Shoes
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Lunch Kit
  • Water Jug
  • Umbrella
  • Raincoat
  • Rain Boots

Shop Quantity on These Items:

You will surely lose these items by accident!

  • Ball Pens
  • Different Sizes of Pad Papers
  • Markers
  • Highlighters
  • Sticky Notes
  • Scissors
  • Pencils (Depending on Your Course)
  • Rulers (Depending on Your Course)
  • Coloring and Art Materials (Depending on Your Course)

Note: For students who attends universities that doesn’t require them to wear school uniform, create your own school uniform to save money from weekly shopping. By means of creating, it means buying clothes and shoes that you will wear only for school. Be creative on your pairing and in buying accessories. You can always wear something new when you go out to an event or hang out with friends, so don’t feel bad on wearing the same thing in school days.

STI Diaries 01: How I Landed On My Course

We all agree that choosing a course in college is one of the hardest decisions to make in a person’s life, especially when you’re still trying to find your voice and your passion.

There are factors that affect your decision in choosing your major such as parents request, what job will be in demand for the coming years, which companies will surely absorb you once you graduate, what most of your friends are pursuing, what the news on your TV screen is saying and more… I bet you’ve experienced at least one of these.

I myself also had a very difficult time figuring out which course to pick while I was still in high school. I’ve been thinking about it since freshmen years until I graduated high school. That’s 4 years in the making following the old curriculum. Call me a late bloomer, but I still wasn’t sure up until I started working before entering college.

My choices were Interior Designing, Fine Arts, Multi Media Arts and Fashion Designing. But guess what, I dreamed of becoming a soldier when I was a little girl! Kidding aside… As you can see my choices were all related to making designs, decorating and drawing, because I inherited my father’s eye for the arts. That explains my passion for arts, but you haven’t heard about the struggles of how I choose my major and the factors that influenced my decision before I finalizing it.

I won’t name this person who was very dear to me to the point that she became one of the reasons I had to struggle in solidifying my passion for visual arts. She told me that I won’t succeed in being a graphic designer because it won’t pay the bills when I graduate. I was a vulnerable teenager in those years, so I was very affected about what she said. Her influence was very strong, so I started letting go of my coloring materials, one by one.

The person I look up to for support was also the person who told me to be practical and get a job that will pay my bills when I’m older, because visual arts will get me nowhere in this generation. As time goes by, I succeeded in losing interest in making visual arts, the only down side was, I don’t have a back up passion to replace the old one. I was completely lost.

So here’s my stand. Go to college not because your parents, relatives, friends, culture or the society said so. If you’re being forced into doing something you don’t want and you choose to abide, it’s not discipline, it’s called upsetting yourself in the long run especially when it comes to decisions related to your career. Worse, you start blaming other people for how you ended up.

This is what I’ve learned… Go to college because you want to enhance your hidden skills, talents, knowledge for you and your future family. Your college background will help you build the backbone of your dream career so enjoy and learn at the same time. Don’t go to college just because you don’t want to disappoint your parents or anybody. Always remember that as a student and as a person, you’re the gun in this life, and your bullets are the knowledge you accumulated throughout the years.

I already did my part of sharing. Now, please comment down below the history of how you ended up with your course, the struggles and confusion you went through before finalizing your decision.

STI Diaries 00: Where My College Journey Begins

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Major in Digital Arts, STI College Munoz – EDSA branch enrollment checked!  Now I’m a certified STI student! The wait is finally over! I am so excited for my college journey! So I’m opening a new blog category called, STI Diaries where you can join my college life and be involved in my struggles! Just kidding with the join me on my struggle part!

You’ll be able to meet my professors, my schoolmates, friends and school administrators in my STI Diaries. You’ll see my activities inside/outside the school and I will also be having a section where I will share the lessons we had in class and maybe post the assignments (without answers) for my classmate’s reference just in case they were busy while the paper works are being announced.

If you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned my schedule yet, it’s because I won’t be posting my class schedule for my safety. I know I don’t have stalkers, but let’s just keep my class schedule hidden. You get me, right? Yeah, I know you understand that! *High Five*

Before I forget, I got a 10% early enrollment discount because I enrolled in the first week of April, I also applied for a scholarship program, but they don’t have the exam schedule yet and I will visit the Quezon City Hall next week to ask for a 20% discount recommendation letter from Councilor Victor V. Ferrer Jr, this discount is only applicable for the STI College Munoz – EDSA branch.

You can only choose one between STI’s scholarship offer or the discount from the Quezon City Hall. I’ve also heard that Dean’s List and early enrollment discount can be combined. I hope you find this helpful.

If you happen to be an STI College Munoz – EDSA branch student, please do let me know below the comment section so we can hang out! You may also follow me on my social media accounts.

I’m a new student, show me around the campus?

Thanks in advance! See you on the first day of class!