It was last year (After Ignite Conference 2015) when I was hired as an employee in a techie company and assigned to be trained in one of the exclusive schools in the Philippines. Despite long-hour drive and inconvenient expenses, I felt the thrill and a bit pride of being in that school even for a month. Every shift schedules, I just can’t help looking at these students from their appearance and their behavior. Not being biased or anything, but as I observed them, something struck me about these kiddos that’s a bit weird and sad. One of it is this: BEING SO “OVERRATED” PROUD OF THEIR SOCIAL SCHOOL STATUS. Please don’t get me wrong but as I looked closely, I just noticed how bold they proclaimed their school’s academic excellence and pride. And I can’t help but to be a bit disappointed because unlike them, I tend to shy my way out when I talked about the school I’d been with. I did the most opposite.
Being a graduate in a public university (which I’m proud by the way) I was opened in the reality bites that most people like me are not really recognized by the secular society because of our educational backgrounds and our school status. When you meet two people from two different university background, usually the most popular ones are the ones most recognized. And talking about school status, most well-known companies are eager to hire and promote someone from a prestigious campus than the public ones. So unless you’re a magna cum laude or an honor student, most graduate students from both vocational or government universities have lower chances of getting high-paying jobs and level of respect & dignity.
To this kind of circumstances, how do you usually see yourself compared to the other students? During my college days, I used to think that it’s better to be in a famous school if I want to have a high paying job right away. I’m also foolish to think that being in those schools, can make myself more socially-above than others and have a sense of proud identity. But I realized that all of it was a wrong illusion of arrogance and self-esteem issues. I don’t know about you, but I think as a student, seeking your identity and purpose in your school for all the wrong reasons is just plain wrong at all. And that’s the biggest lie, isn’t it? A lie that you should be in a high-expensive school so that your social status and respect levels will be higher as well. Well, let me tell you one thing:
Your school is not who you are!
Your school can never identify what is your destiny in your life. The school is an institute for learning, not your key to popularity success. As a student, you’re the one has the ability to make your life around for good and no universities can mold that for you. It’s a matter of your decisions and how will you stand firm to it.
On the lighter note, I believe also on what the school can do to make you become what you want to be in the future. And it doesn’t matter if you’re in a UAAP/NCAA schools or vocational ones. Looking back to my alma mater, we’re not considered as well-known to the state. We’re used to be called “Unibersidad ng Talipapa” before because of the junked cars and old storehouses besides our school building. But with the help of our school faculty members and city administration, our school was recognized as one of the “most top ranked” universities in the Philippines by having the most number of LET (Licensure Examinations of Teachers) and Criminology passers. As students, you too can make it happen with the help and right motivations of your school, not just school pride and school status.
Each of us has the destiny to fulfill. For whatever reason you’re on that campus, I believe God has a special purpose for you to be there. He wants you to be intellectually excellent and spiritually empowered to move changes to your classmates, teachers, and to the society. He wants you to be the SALT to bring taste, healing and a good preserve of good character; and a LIGHT that exposes the right, the truth and purpose of your identity.
Just think of it. If Joseph the Dreamer, Daniel the Prophet or Jonah go to their comfort zones and not let themselves into those foreign countries, miracles and salvation might not happen to the picture. Because they knew that despite their misfortunes and being sojourners of the land, they become a channel for change and it impacts a lot of people.
Again, it is NOT about what school you’re in. It’s about God’s marvelous plan for you to be a channel of change for His glory. It’s about molding your character, breaking your heart for what broke His, and being a beacon of hope to your campus. Whatever name of that campus might be, you’re in a right place that centers in His plan and sovereign grace. So before this school year starts, I would like to inspire you with this quote:
“YOU’RE IN A RIGHT SCHOOL”.
A school that’s not based from your identity nor the world’s twisted perspective. It is a campus where God will be sovereign to mold you, establish His plans for you and use you to share the Gospel so that you can change the campus, change the world.
Young people, stop being choosy and stop those wishful thinking. Whatever God puts you right now, you’re in a right place at a right season to fulfill His purpose for you and your campus. Win your campus for the Lord right now and see how He can move through the lives of people & to the world.