I guess every once in a while, specifically every 2-3 months, I must make it a point to return to my Alma Matter UP. I have never been more nostalgic of a school than UP. When I left CSI (now USI) or Pisay, I never had any nostalgia for it as severe as the nostalgia I now have for UPD. It seems that for the past days I keep on seeing in my mind the daily school scenes – the crowded AS lobby or FC walk which I regularly pass to go to my classes; the slippery AS walk during heavy rain seasons; the CS-Coop complex where the PMS tambayan is located as well as the small Coop store with Ate Elsie; the crowded CASAA whose menu seems unchanging but I am desperately missing now; the IB lobby and the IB classrooms including Pav4 which witnessed my calvary trying to pass my Bio subjects. I even miss the Math building which I swore I will never return to after my ideal last semester of Math subjects only to return to it for 2 more semesters because I can’t seem to pass my last Math subject.
I never thought I will actually miss UP. After overstaying in its walls, not because I got admitted to another degree or a position in the University but because I had overextended my studies, I thought I will never pine for its charms once I get lucky enough to leave it. Now I have not yet officially left the University but I am already pining for it. I miss the fresh smell of the Sunken Garden during the early hours of the morning, when only a few students are milling by for the 7am classes. I miss the light breeze coming from the large Acacia and Narra trees lining the Acad Oval – the Acad Oval that has been redesigned into the Walk of Fame in celebration of the UP Centennial and to raise funds for UP.
I miss the sight and smell of UP. The influx of joggers during Sundays; the multitude of soccer teams in the Sunken Garden; the UP Ikot and Toki with their color-coded roofs; the crowds frequenting the isaw stands in front of Kalai; the throng of people in the SC rushing from one photocopier store to the next. I miss even the festivities. The festive atmosphere of the Lantern Parade (which I think I will watch this December even if I have to specifically travel to UP for it); the competitive spirit of the UAAP season especially during the cheering competition – that ultra-jam packed UP side in the Araneta coliseum where sweaty bodies stand next to each other, hollering at the top of their lungs and nobody cares because you’re all joined in one spirit – the UP spirit. Heck, I even miss the frequent rallies – the red shirt days or black shirt days; the conglomeration of students to protest the latest absurd government or school policies; the activists who occasionally disturb classes with their message of reforms and change. How I miss the good old UP days.
Why am I being struck by this nostalgia now, I do not know. Is it perhaps because it’s been 12 weeks since my last visit to the school that has been my home for 5 years and which has shaped a lot of who I am now or is it perhaps because I am constantly dissatisfied in this world I am moving in right now, constantly feeling that my mind is severely rotting away.
For whatever reasons I may have, the nostalgia is deep within me – pure and raw. I just hope it doesn’t translate to another semester of residency else I will be on MRR (maximum residency rule).
*Note: The pictures were taken by other people. I just made a Google Search for them. Perhaps when I re-visit UP this month I will take my own photos.😀