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Newbies sa Silliman

By John Carlos A. Plata

The summer season has long been over, and as Silliman University opens its doors
for another prosperous school year, changes have begun to take place. While the graduates move on with their lives to roam the world o’er near and far, new students
enter the fray–and they’re not even in college (yet!). Behold, the students of Silliman University Senior High School!

The bright, young individuals you may probably encounter in large groups around the campus–often near the Ausejo Hall ramp or in the library–were given the challenge to be the first batch to fully embark on the twelve-year curriculum and experience a fresh perspective in holistic education.

Proclaimed even by themselves as “the experimental batch,” the Grade 11 students face quite a struggle. “The experience here in SUSHS is more similar to college—very different sa mga public schools,” said Jeanelle Divinagracia, who finished junior
high in Dumaguete Science High School. Being branded as high school students in a college environment isn’t making matters easy for them. From the several changes done on the grading system back in junior high, to the rigorous demands of the Related Learning Activities (RLA), the pressure to adapt to an unfamiliar territory, and unnecessary criticism from older students, these young individuals have withstood difficult trials since the moment they were chosen to pioneer K-12. The fact that they remain strong in taking on the challenge of a new education system makes them a force to be reckoned with. Being the youngest batch on campus, there is
more to see from the Grade 11 students. “Senior high is exciting because we don’t know what might happen. Expect us to be globally competitive [in the years to come],” said student Jypson Esturas, noting the main purpose of the K-12 program—to enable the Philippines to keep up with the international standards and produce competent graduates equipped with world-class education.

With much pressure on their hands, the senior high students call for understanding as they adjust to a college environment. As their ates and kuyas, the older students in the school have a responsibility to fulfill. The new set of “freshmen” must not feel intimidated,
but welcomed in different groups and organizations, helping them develop competence,
character, and faith. They must not feel regret in their decision of trusting this university. They must be respected and cared for like family. Above all, they must be able to feel that Silliman University is their home.

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