WITNESSING BY JUSTINE LANCE C. LUMBRE
WITNESSING BY JUSTINE LANCE C. LUMBRE
Grade 9 - Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Good morning Sr. Jo, Mrs. Bayle, Mrs. Mendoza, Mrs. Alcabedas, Dr. Sacdalan, GS and HS personnel, parents and fellow Theresians.
I am Justine Lumbre and I am in Grade 9. I was overjoyed when I was asked if I wanted to share my story with you today.
You see, I am what you might call a “returning Theresian” because I left STCQC after my Grade 7 year to study in the United States.
You might be wondering why I did that. Well, it was simply to satisfy my curiosity of experiencing life outside the walls of STCQC and outside the boundaries of the Philippines. After Grade 6, the “what ifs” in my life started, and the biggest “what if” is this question…”What if I studied in the US?”
I remember asking myself this question during my whole year in Grade 7. What if I leave STC to study abroad?
I was in a dilemma, because I thought of the many exciting adventures I would have if I study abroad, but at the same time I thought of my family and friends whom I would miss if ever I do leave. Well, my curiosity and thirst for new adventures got the better of me, and so I left everything and everyone behind to study in Dallas, Texas.
I always looked forward to school and I never feared the first day, but for the first time in 7 years, I felt nervous walking through the doors of my new school because of many reasons. For one, the language that the kids used was different. Yes, I understood English. I was even good at it, but it was in the way they used the language that didn’t quite make sense at the beginning. The subjects too were different. And, the most striking difference was that we did not have Religion or Christian Living classes. The way of dressing too was different. Well, we didn’t have to wear skirts which should fall two inches below our knees. And a lot more…
I did adjust rather quickly to my new environment finding my own set of friends and getting used to how they act and talk, and I credit it to my Theresian training of adapting quickly to the changes around me. However, adjusting to the school system there was a totally different thing. Schoolwork was a piece of cake! Homework was minimal, group projects, and teambuilding or other cooperative activities were non-existent. There were no Kasayanan ni Teresa para sa Pamayanan or KASAMAHAN sessions, no monthly mass celebrations, no family day activities, no band fest. There was nothing of what made STCQC feel like home.
One year in the US was enough for me to realize how much I missed home…how much I missed my family and friends…how much I missed STC and what it offered me. I missed how the various activities in here shaped me to become a good follower at the same time a strong-willed leader with a sense of unity with other people. I missed the simplicity of the Theresian lifestyle that made me more compassionate and caring towards others. I missed the opportunities and moments for me to have a stronger and more passionate relationship with God, by being blessings to others. And lastly, I missed how the academics in school kept me on my toes and challenged me to give my best and excel in all my endeavors. I really did miss out on a lot of opportunities when I was away from STC.
And so because of these realizations, I decided to come home. I realized that I didn’t need to go out of the country to get a good education, because STCQC offers more than what other schools offer.
I am sure that if I finish my high school years here in STCQC, I will be more than ready for college life because STCQC does not only provides us with opportunities to excel academically, but also provides us with avenues to value life and see the beauty of it.
Once again, I am Justine Lumbre and I’m proud to be a Theresian.
Thank you for listening and have a pleasant morning ahead.
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