The struggle (of students) is real: part two

Art by Analyn Camantigue

Getting that degree doesn’t come without the bumps and bruises. In the second part of our student struggle series, we get learn more about the hardships of Business and Fine Arts students.

Read part one here.


EJ Labios, College President, DLSU College of Science (COS)

The struggle: COS has courses for Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Mathematics, Statistics, and Physics. In COS, there are a lot of times when students have difficulty balancing their personal, academic, social, organizational lives since the trimestral system here really speeds up the requirements and exams. The quality of learning is never compromised, so academics really take a huge chunk of our time, giving no time to destress or spend time with our families, and sometimes deal a blow to our motivation. Also, a very competitive academic environment is formed in some courses.

I think a lot of students in my college really opt not to join organizations as a result. There are also those who don’t join since they don’t want to add extra stress and give 100% focus to their studies. In terms of our thesis, some students don’t get the opportunity to do some experiments due to the high costs of certain chemicals and use of machines.

How they cope: For more productive and effective learning, I have course mates who create reviewer groups, where they create a reviewer together and review at the same time. For some classes, we also have “transcripts” per meeting. We also have a Professional Organization for each major course here in COS called the Alliance of Science Organizations, where they help out the students academically by having a website for reviewers, tutorials, and more!

Advice: Atul Gawande once said, “Better is possible. It does not take genius. It takes diligence. It takes moral clarity. It takes ingenuity. And above all, it takes a willingness to try.”

Don’t always think that just because it seems impossible to reach your goal you should avoid trying to do it. Nothing will happen if you don’t take that leap of faith to start things. Things will get hard, and you might take a step back sometimes, but it’s all a part of life. Take chances, opportunities, go out to the world, and continuously define and redefine your purpose.


Nothing will happen if you don’t take that leap of faith to start things. Things will get hard, and you might take a step back sometimes, but it’s all a part of life.


Sari Suplido, College President, College of St. Benilde School of Design and Arts (SDA)

The struggle: There are three problems that usually affect our studies in SDA which is lack of support from parents, mental health and lack of full time professors. Because SDA is an arts school, parents and other external aids often do not believe in the courses due to them thinking that the arts does not really earn in society. Also, based on the statistics, SDA has a very large portion of students battling mental health [issues] which often causes students to miss classes. Lastly, in a simple way, most of our major subjects are only available once a year due to the fact that our teachers are working professionals in their art field and often are only part time, leading to difficulty in booking classes and meetings for consultation.

How they cope: The student government has projects each year to [tackle] mental health! There are a lot of seminars and activities to aid and guide students. The students also help each other by sharing the expense and lending the materials needed to make it lighter on the pockets. Also in the crowd of SDA, most people are very diverse and are inclusive to all which helps creativity and innovation and allows work to be done best despite limited resources.

Advice: Struggle is normal and should not discourage you from working hard because it will always be worth it. Always surround yourself with inspiration and motivation. Allow your passion to thrive.


Struggle is normal and should not discourage you from working hard because it will always be worth it.

Sophia Monique Alhambra, UP Diliman Visual Communication and Industrial Design Representative to the College of Fine Arts Student Council (CFA VisCom)

The struggle: In Fine Arts we have Industrial Design, Visual Communication, Studio Arts: Sculpture & Painting majors. Materials are also very expensive and not everybody can afford everything that we need. For example, we have Film and Photography classes and we need to have our own cameras because our college doesn’t offer rentals. Having a pen tablet is also essential for a Fine Arts student because most of our advanced classes are all digital. Having these tools are a huge investment and people usually have a hard time because of it.

Specifically for the College of Fine Arts, we struggle with feeling insecure about our art. Some students I know also have a hard time dealing with commissions because of how plates/projects consume most of their time. Every artist gets art block from time to time which makes conceptualizing for new ideas more difficult.

How they cope: For us in Fine Arts, we need to be resourceful and sometimes it compromises the quality of work that we produce. For example, instead of buying quality materials we opt for the cheapest option and try to make it work. People also try to sustain their financial needs by doing commissions and work aside from studying. Students also help each other out by sharing or lending materials, same with what Sari said. Our council also helps provide academic spaces where the students can focus, make their projects, and meet their deadlines.

Advice: Just remember to give yourself a break especially when you feel stressed with your studies. Taking breaks in between actually increases your productivity. Always remember that a clear mind keeps you focused.  


Always remember that a clear mind keeps you focused.  


Rizza Tan, College President, DLSU College of Business (COB)

The struggle: We have nine courses in the COB: Accountancy, Advertising, Applied Corporate Management, Business Management, Entrepreneurship, Interdisciplinary Business Studies, Legal Management, Management of Financial Institutions, and Marketing. One of the struggles DLSU students face, generally, is coping with the fast-paced teaching of professors. I believe that this is because of the trimestrial system that we have in the university (we only have 13 weeks per term).

Specifically for the College of Business, I believe there are some struggles in competitiveness and creativity, which the admin, professional organizations and the student government are currently working on.

How they cope: Like what I said a while ago, the admin, professional organizations and the student government works together to help students cope w those struggles mentioned.

Advice: Be open to and actively participate in the programs the admin, professors, orgs and student government offer. All those programs were well thought of, through observations, FGDs and surveys. It’s also important to be self-motivated when learning and open to experiences.

#school #self

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