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“A Year to Remember” By Richanela G. Flores It was an ordinary day in the town of Caloocan City. Summer was ending and kids were gettingready for the new school year. Most children felt unhappy in returning to school but some thinks it’s cooland nice to meet new classmates and have new friends. However, there is a girl named Callie AnneRivera that was very nervous this day and very tensed. Today was her first day of high school and hernerves were really wracking. Callie is a new student in a famous university in the Philippines. She belongs to the first sectionwhere students who got the highest scores in the entrance exam belonged to. She was very pressured andconscious about her future grades and rank in class because of the expectations of her family. She’s aspoor as a mouse and lives in a squatter area and expected as the bread winner in the family. The onlything that makes her entry to the university that has a high tuition fee is the full scholarship offered to heras she graduated elementary as the valedictorian. And she promised to herself that he will take care andmaintain that opportunity by being the Top 1. It was six o’clock in the morning when she walked up and step out of their small bedroom. Shewent to the kitchen and ate her breakfast. She took a bath then dressed herself and prepare for school.“I’m leaving mom” Callie said to her mother. “Okay, take care and God bless!” her mother replied. Shegrabbed her backpack and ran out the door quickly. She rode a bus and ten minutes before her class starts,she reached the university. “Argggh. This is it” she said to herself. She entered the gate and gave a little smile at the security guard and hurriedly went in herassigned room. There, she saw a bunch of people, new faces and she doesn’t have any idea on which onecan be her friend. She was afraid of rejection if she’ll greet or approach someone. She’s waiting forsomeone to approach her, but nothing tries to. Some are shy, and some are afraid in Callie’s thick andcrossed eyebrows. After a few minutes, their teacher came. “Good morning class” the teacher addressed1|P ag e
enthusiastically. “Good morning Ma’am” the students replied. “Okay, you may take your seat” said theteacher. Callie’s heart is beating too fast and she’s very nervous. She was feeling alone. She’s sad and shedoesn’t have any friend for now but then she thinks maybe later she’ll have. The teacher introducedherself in the whole class and then wrote the class schedule in the board. She also reminded someimportant things like rules and regulations inside the campus. “Okay, class, you’re going to introduce yourself one by one. Let’s start with you Carl” the teachersaid. The boy that has a nametag and was sitting in front stood up and introduce himself. After that, theteacher called another student to introduce himself and the routine was done repeatedly. Callie is losingher confidence because her classmates were so cool and great achievers also! Now, its Callie’s turn, sheintroduced herself to the class finding her heart beating so fast. Afterwards, she took a deep breath andfeel so relief. She started in interacting with her new classmates. The day was over and she went home. She prepared the things and requirements needed as their teacher told them to bring. The nextday, when she went to school, in her mind she thinks that the battle for the honors is going to start. She’svery grade-conscious in the sake that she has no time to have a bonding with her friends. She’s veryindependent and selfish in going to the top 1. Everyday of her school life is so miserable, she doesn’t evenhave close friends to share unforgettable experiences and have a shoulder to lean on. But Callie doesn’tmind it. Some of her classmate teased her as a geek and nerd. Callie is very intelligent and hardworking.Most of the time, she got perfect scores in their exams. But now she’s depressed and losing self-confidence gradually because of the rumors thrown to her by her fellow students. She feels alone andnothing that she has no friends. And she admits that in the very start, she prioritized her grades first. Shecan’t tell this burden to her mother because she’s scared that she might get angry and mad at her. Hermother is hoping that Callie will do her best to be the first honor. Callie’s father died two years agobecause of a car accident. She’s the eldest child and has five little siblings. Callie didn’t know what to do. After a month, still, she’s independent and carrying the burden ofloneliness. She admits it is her fault. She’s too selfish and desperate in her dreams. She’s insane. At2|P ag e
school, she tries to approach her classmates but she’s always rejected. Some jerks tripped at her, throwcrumpled papers whenever she walks the corridor and laugh loud. Because of this, her studies were beingneglected. “Aissshh. I don’t know what to do! Damn!” Callie said in her mind. She kept on focusing inher studies but then she’s always destructed by her loneliness. While visiting their school garden, a greatand nice idea came in her mind, she remembered that she’s not alone, she has a God. She went to churchafter school. There, she kneeled down and pray. “Lord God, thank you for everything, for taking care ofme and my family and for all the blessings you gave. Please forgive me for all the wrong I have done toyou and my fellowmen. I am so selfish and desperate. I’m hardworking enough to study but I admit thatone time, I cheated, I have a code in my pocket and I use it to have perfect scores. I’m greedy. I don’tdeserve to be trusted. Now I’m carrying the burden of loneliness. They see me as a geek and nerd. I justwant to achieve my goals and my dreams. But I’m wrong in my way, and now I will do my best to begood and to be a friend they will trust to. I will try not be selfish anymore. Amen.” From now on, Callie started approaching her classmates. She’s not that selfish as before. Andgradually, she gained trust and friends. She studies and reviews at the library with her new friends. Andsometimes, when they have Math assignments, and some of her classmates don’t know how to solve it,Callie taught them some ways to be able to get the answer. Callie was very happy that she has now herbest friends. No one in the campus now calls her as a geek and she’s running as the first honor of theclass. She now then realized that school is not only based on the competition for the honors. School is likea treasure box which many assets can be found. And those assets are your classmates and friends that willtreat you as their true sibling. Those teachers that serve as your second parents. Grades were just onlynumbers, the real intelligence can be only found in your determination and eagerness to succeed in life ina good way without harming others. Months had passed and this day was a hot, sunny and ordinary day in Caloocan City. Summer iscoming soon. Most students are very happy because for them, suffering for the school year was ended.However, there is this girl that is very nervous today. And this is Callie. Today is the recognition day in3|P ag e
her school. She’s invited and her teacher said she belongs to the Top 10. She’s very happy yet nervousbecause she doesn’t have any idea on what her rank is. In spite of being nervous, she tries to smile and bethankful for this another blessing from God. Her best friends Sydney, Vernice and Andrea are also invitedin the event. They keep on thanking Callie for this. For them, Callie is one of the instruments why theymake it to the top. Callie is a very great student teacher! She’s very great and smart. When they don’tunderstand the lesson, Callie tries her best to explain it to her classmates. After an hour of preparing,Callie gets the event invitation and the ribbons. She and her mom were ready. They leave the house thenrode on a bus. Her mom is very excited and proud. For her, Callie is number one. Her daughter did herbest. They reached the university and they went to the auditorium where the event is being held. Theprogram is started with a prayer. During the awarding, Callie was in a cold sweat. She’s rooted to thespot. But when the emcee announced that she is the top 1, she’s very surprised and thrilled to bits. Shehugged her mother really tight catching her eyes teary. “Thank you Lord! This is for you!” Callie prayedsilently with her hands together. She and her mother go up the stage and get the certificate and medal.4|P ag e