I enjoyed discovering and doing things on my own as a child, so I ended up having a lot of interests as I grew up. I made clothes, beverages and food, and I drew and painted, both digitally and traditionally.
As I grew older, I became more aware of the reality and practicality of adulthood. As a child, I did not understand that I had to choose just one of my interests, because I was told at a young age that I could be, or do, anything. However, I still dreamed of more.
I realised that if I studied business, I could apply my knowledge to several areas. That was why I took Business Management, because I can be anything and anywhere, as long as business and management are both present, which is the case across all industries.
We have an entirely different education setting here in my home country, the Philippines. We do not offer the same programmes; we only have limited choices which mostly requires a minimum of four years to complete. People thought that I was rushing my education by taking this qualification because my programme only takes two years, but in reality, being a Higher National student gave me more time. More time to explore, discover, learn, experience, and be productive.
Before the pandemic happened, traditionally, students had to stay at school from 6AM to 7PM for classes every day. As a student who loves to explore various things aside from academics, I realised that traditional classes do not work for me because of the time it demands.
While I was studying Business with Pearson, I was also learning outside the institution. I learned about the coffee industry and trained to craft specialty coffee. I was also able to practice and hone my art skills. I even got to land on a few art projects, including illustrating for academic resources. I was also able to start a tiny cafe in our town in partnership with our local farmers. I manage the shop but because I am knowledgeable about making coffee, I am also the barista.
I am well-aware that no matter how perfect we plan our life path, our future will remain uncertain. I cannot say I know who I will be and what I will be doing in the future, but I am certain of what I want to do right now in the present. I think aside from having goals and learning how to manage risks, one of the most important things for me right now is to be in the moment and to keep doing what keeps me going.
I am confident with what my programme has taught me, especially my favourite lessons - learning about value chains and business strategies. With the help of the knowledge and skills I have gained in my Higher National, I was able to turn my simple hobbies into my career. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to study and work at the same time.
At the start of my journey, I felt lost, because I had no one to follow in this path. It felt like I really needed to pave my own road for me to go down. But then my adviser told me: “Now is the perfect time to make mistakes and learn from them.” That line resonated with me; it helped me create opportunities for myself, with courage. I think it is important that, as we learn our lessons, we also learn something from ourselves; when we better understand ourselves, we are more capable of reminding, motivating and controlling ourselves.
I think rather than believing that anything is possible; believe that anything will be possible; and be in the place and with the people that will guide you. I feel like an astronaut on land, constantly seeking, learning and doing.