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“Graduation will happen.” UP graduate inspires netizens for finishing his studies after 9 years

He also gave words of encouragement to everyone who stayed in university longer than expected. 

  • A 9-year university student shared some insights he learned upon facing society’s standards regarding education and how he coped with it.

“SUMAblay.
SUMAmpung taong naghintay.
SASABLAY.”

This is is what Ronald Gem Celestial wrote in his tweet, proudly telling the world that after nine years of hardship just to get a degree, he finally finished his college education.

Seeing people come and go for almost a decade, one might feel discouraged after years and years of studying. But not this BS Chemical Engineering graduate. In a tweet, he joked about experiencing everything on the campus of the University of the Philippines Los Baños, all he needed is to finally wear the famous Sablay.

As society has seemingly put this idea that a student must get their degree after four years, Celestial admitted that not graduating on time hurt him.

“I won’t lie and tell you it didn’t, but not graduating on time hurts. The moment I learned that I wouldn’t graduate again made me feel ashamed of myself. I used to do well in high school, people used to tell me that I was smart, and expected me to do well in UP, but I didn’t,” he wrote in a tweet.

But instead of becoming dispirited by the words of those who don’t know any of the struggles, he redirected his focus. Instead of graduating on time, he found the real end goal of his studies.

“But along the way, I’ve realized that being an Iskolar ng Bayan is not just being academically excellent. It is a commitment to the Filipino people to whom we owe our education. A vow to serve the underserved, to fight for and with the marginalized, oppressed and powerless, and to offer ourselves just like the Oblation,” he answered when we asked him about his greatest challenges at UP.

“I took their criticisms both as challenge and inspiration to keep fighting.”

But as he finally got to the end of this chapter in his life, he has faced another challenge, not having to experience a traditional commencement exercise because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, he did not mind it as he sees more important things to be addressed to help the country survive the virus.

“There are more things that need to happen amid this pandemic—mass testing and transparent reporting of data, utilize the budget to address the people’s socio-economic needs, address public transportation concerns, accessible education for all, and support our front liners and the public healthcare system.”

When asked about his message to those who are experiencing the struggles that he conquered when he was still a student, Celestial cheered them on and told them to not lose hope.



“Rest if you must but don’t quit. Graduation will happen. And when that time comes, walk with pride, because despite all the sleepless nights, tears, failing marks and struggles, you made it.”

Written by Jacks

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