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If you were given the chance to change something from the past, would you?

I’ve always dreamt of being a writer for a known magazine or perhaps a cartoonist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer. I’ve always found it satisfying to see my name in print, especially in our school paper. Perhaps because I want to see my name published, not to be known for it, but to express my thoughts, take a stand and make my voice heard.

So, why did I choose Civil Engineering as my degree program instead of Journalism? Or even Architecture or anything arts-related instead?

Since I was a child, I always hated mathematics. I easily give up when solving equations. Even answering simple mathematical problems is a problem for me. Not even once did it cross my mind that I’d love solving those, but being a risk-taker myself, I entered the Engineering program.

It basically stemmed from three things: its practicality as a future job, the idea of the career as an in-demand profession by the time I graduate, and the fact that it was my parents’ dream for me.

Honestly, I can’t imagine myself as an engineer. Never did I imagine that I’d stay and not flunk this program. But why did He choose me to stay on these five long years of challenge and struggle?

Maybe He didn’t want to turn me into that someone that I wanted to be but as what my parents wanted to see me. All for myself and for my family’s future. Now, however, I should see myself as one so as to help them as soon as I get my diploma.

To my Nanay and Tatay, thank you for believing in me and helping me pick up myself when in doubt. My brother, Kenzo, and my Lola thank you for always being there to motivate me along the way.

My everyday struggles for the past five years have taught me that rejections and mistakes are the tickets to the concert of my dream. Every failed quiz or exam, shaky recitation, and unforgettable embarrassment has honed me to better myself and be prepared for the battlefield of tomorrow.

To my main college circle: Anne, Duday, Marlou, Melvin, Niko, Rosette, Alyssa, Nicole, JM, Jolo, and Martin, I am greatly indebted of the knowledge, laughter, stories, and answers that we share for the past years. Thank you.

Also, to my PHF, classmates, online friends, and kainumans: thank you for accepting me for who I am and never getting tired of it.

There is no doubt that college is hard, yet my classmates always see me like a chill and relaxed student. I myself can say that my college life did not just revolve around the axis of academics but also in the atmosphere of campus journalism.

My publication life started as early as grade school, then continued into my high school years. I was a cartoonist and artist back then, until my fourth year in college when I discovered the writer in me. Turns out I’m a ‘hybrid’, which surprised me. From editorial cartoons and graphics to news articles, poems, short stories, down to this last column, I am proud to say that I am a product of my creativity and self-learning.

Of course, my own development as a student journalist wouldn’t be as progressive as it is now without the help of my The Luzonian family, which I considered my creative outlet and my safe haven.

To Rover, Sophia, Kim, Ada, Angelo, Ivan, the new writers and artists of the pub, particularly Saym, Maria, AC, and Ham, thank you for being my home.

My The Luzonian life is probably the highlight of my college journey even if being part of its staff meant sacrificing time and effort that should be allotted for academics.

But I have no regrets. Still, I do not let my grades fall below the threshold for passing. I am not part of my college’s cream of the crop but I strive and I choose to not quit.

These days, when I am asked to pick a task to do first, I remind myself to do what I love doing. I know that it should always be a matter of priorities, but in my case, it is a matter of my own happiness.

Hitherto, my dream didn’t die there. I suppose writing for this publication and serving the whole student body is God’s way of telling me that I am now living my dream. It may not be a post at the Inquirer, but He introduced me to a family — a yearning and loving family that loves me for all the right and wrong reasons.

Let us always remind ourselves of how such simple things can be so special to a person, just like me. Let us be goal diggers, always aiming for our target goals amidst our failures. I always believe that our dreams are a speck of stardust that orbit the nebula of our own hardships and the galaxies of our lives — glittering and glowing in the dark.

Wrapping my (hopefully) last column, I want to end my five-year rollercoaster ride not with an extro, but with an introduction: I am Kyle Joshua Cadavez, a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, major in The Luzonian.

And I do believe that if given the chance to change something from the past, I’d refuse to do so. No doubt, the answer would be no.

And I, thank you.

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