Last October 2017, I visited my high school with my friends Rekha and Euri. It started with a random tagging at a Facebook post then popped the question “Tara, visit tayo sa CSA!”Kailan? Bukas pwede ako !” Knowing that it is very rare for us to meet schedules due to work responsibilities, I took the chance to have a reunion with them. It was quick and very random, yet one of the most memorable days I had with them too.

The vast soccer field, where Fatma and I used to hang-out after school hours or watch the soccer games of our classmates.

The route is still very familiar to me. Except for the heavier traffic and more number of cars coming in and out, we passed by the same houses in the village and had the same security check before entering the premises. For four years, CSA was my second home.

CSA Gymnasium

It was a mixture of emotions. Every corner of the campus unfurled memories, experiences worth remembering. In the span of thirteen years, the changes were evident — and we changed a lot too. More state-of-the-art facilities were installed, waiting sheds were converted into covered parking lots, the gym was transformed into an impressive sports complex. It made me proud. It made me look back and appreciate who I am today.

The parking lot near the HS building, where we always walked when going to the gym.

This post will discuss the reasons why visiting your former school is actually good for your soul, how it changes your perspective amid the mundane life that you have.

Swimming pool – where we had swimming for our PE classes in 1st year HS. Now, there is also a kiddie pool! Amazing.

You reconnect with old friends.

I haven’t seen Rekha and Euri for a long time. If not for this agenda, it will take months and years before seeing them again. I can’t think of a better company in visiting CSA than them, my longtime high school buddies. We toured the campus and pointed the differences now. We looked back at our usual routines every morning, the frequent spots we went to and laughed at the bloopers and blunders we had back then.

With Rekha and Euri at the 2nd floor of the HS building. At the back are bulletin boards of different clubs and organizations

You become more grateful.

This can also be a chance to go back to your teachers and say, “thank you”. We didn’t see our former teachers because we arrived past school hours already. But surely, The things we’ve learned in school, both theories and experiences —contributed further to how we carried ourselves well in the real world outside.

The garden in the middle of the HS building

I also recalled the hurdles I experienced back in HS. I was not born into a rich family, just blessed that my parents were able to save up to prepare for our education. I survived high school even if my dad lost his work for a year, and my family had a big financial crisis. I remember sometimes not going to school because my siblings and I had no allowance. Or I skipped the field trip because we can’t afford it. Sometimes I’d loan money from my friends and I’d pay them at the end of the year. I walked from Dasmarinas Village to Glorietta just to reach home after the cheering practice, all because I can’t afford to pay the cab fare and we didn’t have a car. Those small things which I surpassed made me stronger. It made me grateful for my parents who strived hard to send us to school despite the lack of finances. We had little resources, but they had high dreams for the three of us.

The corridors near the gym.

You realize how much you have grown.

You will have this realization that you weren’t the same person as you were in your younger years. You’ve made wiser decisions and broadened your circle. You’ve achieved your dreams. From a simple high school lass to a fine career woman that you are now, you’ve changed a lot. Going back to your roots connects you to your old self and makes you appreciate your journey to transformation.

Some artworks of the students at the ground floor of the HS building

It makes you appreciate the little things.

Honestly, it was a humbling experience for me — thinking that people like my family worked hard to secure our future through education. I also recalled those times when I had little allowance before and can’t afford the small whims such as going to the mall, watching movies at the cinema after exams, or buying at the fast food. It made me appreciate that now, I can buy almost anything that I want with my salary.

Before, we spent grueling hours staying up late to finish a project or review for the exams the next day. I cried over my grades because I only had passing marks for the hard subjects such as Trigonometry, Geometry, Physics, and Chemistry. (Not afraid to admit that!) Now, I don’t have to prove myself anymore. I have a stable job even if I did not excel in these subjects.

Before, I had a few friends. I was shy and had insecurities during my teenage years. I came from an exclusive school for girls so it was hard for me interacting with the opposite sex, much more to create new friendships. Now, I’ve grown more confident with myself. I’ve met different kinds of people and became more comfortable socializing. I also accepted myself wholly — my strengths and weakness, unlike before when I hated myself for things I don’t have or I can’t do.

The longest cafeteria you’ll ever see. This is where we ate during breaks, review for our quizzes, or prepared for ACP in the morning.

It inspires you to plan for the future.

It made me wonder, “how much will the be the cost of my children’s education in the next few years?” Visiting CSA inspired me that if my parents can afford it, I also can! I’d also work hard to provide for the education of my kids — maybe not as expensive as CSA, but I’ll make I’ll do my best to support their dreams in life.

c88c8c0d8dbf9194e38ad3c78d7df599 (1).jpg
CSA theater- where we watched performances, symposiums, and awardings.

You are not defined by the name of your school.

There are people who didn’t even finish school, or went to a not-so-famous school yet they are successful today. There are also people who studied at a prominent university yet failed in life due to poor choices. That being said, education is just a stepping stone to achieving your bigger dreams — but it won’t define your future. It’s still up to the person on how he will utilize his resources to shape his life for the better.

Salamat, CSA.

I owe a lot to you. You are a huge part of who I am today.

This is where I stay in the morning after being dropped by the school bus.