The Hell Within

The Hell Within

Communication in English II | Final Reflection Paper
Ateneo De Manila University
2nd Semester, S.Y. 2010-2011
My deepest thanks to Mr. Ryan Recabar for giving us this assignment.

I know that my entry here in Ateneo is hard-earned not only by me but also, most especially, by my parents. So do my entry in the dorm. The tuition and dorm fees are expensive – very expensive – and my parents need to work very hard to pay for it. My dad is a government agent who earns just enough for us without any extra for luxury. My mom used to work at an insurance company but is now stocked at home. I know…I know that studying here very well live to their saying “igagapang lang namin ang pag-aaral mo.”

Ever since I arrived in Cervini (the name of my dorm here in Ateneo), I expected things won’t turn out good. I knew I won’t live normally as I used to do in the province or even just live “okay” like during out campus seminars and trainings in high school. I was right eventually. Or I was wrong. I expected less.

My life in Cervini is worse than I’ve prepared for. My life in Cervini is a burning furnace. Most people here, sadly, are insensitive and air-heads and very few are disciplined. I know for a fact that I’m surrounded by rich kids who each have five personal maids at home. I also know that they’re educated people. They can’t enter Ateneo if they were not academically excellent after all. But majority of these “educated” and rich people have never experienced the bitter side of life. They’ve never experienced to be poor. They’re self-centered and have everything they want, which is evident with their imported Lacostes, pricey iPhones and multiple Nikes. They all have somebody to clean their rooms, to wash their dishes, and even to fix their beds in the morning.

As a result, Cervini is as dirty as a dump site. Plastics here, Styrofoam there. McDonald’s on one bed, KFC on another.  Not only that. “Battle ships” are always floating in toilet bowls every now and then. Do these people use their yaya(s) even just to flush their wastes? A huge number of people here also don’t know when to zip their mouths and be quiet. One great example is my roommate (who goes by an annoying name that starts with E) who is terribly noisy all the time. He’s selfish, doing whatever he wants even if I, or my other roommates, am studying, sleeping or simply wants silence. He plays DotA (a popular computer game) nonstop with his speakers and mouth in full blast. He has a dirty mouth. Yes, dirty – bad words come and go every five seconds.

One day, I got really pissed with E and plotted a way of pissing and annoying him back. I started to get food from him sometime during the middle of first semester. It lasted for weeks until one of my roommates, who I once caught also getting food from E, reported me to him. I can’t blame myself. You might have done something graver.

That doesn‘t apply to E alone. Almost everyone in this God-forsaken dorm is like that. They just enter our room without knocking and bang the door in full force. They play the guitar at 2 am while I’m sleeping. They shout, they run, they do everything they want at any time without even thinking of others. That’s why I sometimes regret my decision in going to Ateneo even if this university is the dream school of my life. I sometimes tell myself “What if I entered UP instead? At least people there aren’t that ‘rich.’ At least people there are of the same status in life as me.

I miss my old school, my high school and grade school. People there aren’t rich but have concern for each other. People are noisy and fun, but they know when to make noise and not. Not everyone is smart, not everybody can pay tuition but everyone helps each other; is sensitive to the needs of others; is simple; and knows how to flush the toilet.

There are hardly any perceptive people in Cervini. Most of them I can count with one hand. I guess I’m still lucky to have one of them as my roommate despite the series of very unlucky and uncomfortable events that have haunted me for the nine months of stay in the dormitory. Marvin, though not as neat with his things as anyone would want him to be, is the quiet type and the most respectful I could think of in the dorm. I sometimes see myself in him when he just walks out of our room whenever dormers flock in and laugh and shout boisterously instead of arguing with and shouting at them back. He knows when to be funny and when to be serious unlike others who only know “fun.” He even offers me help in some subjects – which is way different from the inconsiderate vast majority of dormers.

Why am I saying all this?

Well, I needed to pay dorm reservation for next school year’s first semester last March 7 due to the scarcity of a place to stay in Katipunan. Yes, I’ll be staying here again for who-knows-how-long. I’ll be in hell again. I tried to plead to my mom and ask if we could look for places once more. But I have really nowhere else to stay. The condominium they’ve been paying for some years now isn’t done yet. What can I do? Nothing. It’s sad to think that my life next school year would be sad again. I could only pray and wish to God that a miracle would happen.

Sometimes, I just wished I never got accepted in this dorm during my freshman application. Sometimes I wish they just kick me out. Sometimes I just want to go to a hotel and stay there. Most of the time, I want to go home.

Yet, Cervini may have been really meant for me. After all, it is just less than hundred steps before my first class. After all, it offers the luxury of waking up at 6:55 in the morning and still not be late for a 7:30 am Chemistry session. Maybe, I’m just too sensitive. Maybe, I’m just used to the tranquility of Bulacan. Or maybe not, too.

I never want to stay in this dorm again but if my parents think it would be for my own good and safety, even if it’s against my will, then I guess I just have to accept and live life. I don’t want to do my projects and assignments in this dorm again but if it is God’s will, even if it’s against my longing for home, then I guess I just have to follow.

Life isn’t easy after all.

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~ This article has been inspired by one of my posts in Daily Scribbles of the same title. You may have observed a switch in topics from the draft and the final paper.

~ On March 13, I and my parents found a place in Katipunan for me to stay at. Well, I won’t be staying in the dorm anymore. No more hell. God is really great.

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