Lost in UP: An adventure story

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grad school diaries / grad school life

I have always come to the University of the Philippines to get my additional readings photocopied/springbound, because the print/bind shops there do it so well. There are only two places I know like the back of my hand: the Shopping Centre and the college I [now] belong to.

The Shopping Centre burnt down last year, so that’s one less place I remember. Anyway, I digress.

It was a grey July day that I went to the university’s campus on a mission. My to-do list:

  1. Drop a letter at the Institute of Environmental Science (an errand for my boss)-done
  2. -Submit physical and dental exam forms and x-ray film at the Health Services-done
  3. Submit medical certificate to SOLAIR-done

What I didn’t anticipate, however, was that I had to trot off to the Office of the University Registrar to submit the Student Directory Form, the medical certificate issued by the Health Services, my transcript, Plan of Study, and God knows what the others were. I couldn’t remember. I was told that the Registrar was a bit far off–but yes, I can get a jeep and tell them I need to go to the OUR, pay ten pesos. fall in line, and submit the papers I had in my hand to someone called Mabel—or was it Jen? Then I was supposed to go back to SOLAIR to give back the green paper.

When I arrived at the Registrar, I had to wait in a long line of people, but I didn’t have to wait very long–I was number 206 out of…250. Not bad, not bad.

Finally, my name was called, I submitted my documents, got my student number, and a password to the CRS. Finally, I was done. And that’s when the real adventure started.

When I left the Office of the University Registrar, I was at a loss at where to go next. There was hardly a jeepney, and not even a cab was on sight.So I walked, and walked. I didn’t know where I was going–I thought of using Google Maps, but I was afraid to take my phone out as someone might snatch it. I kept on walking.

I saw the avenue where my college was located, and I thought, finally, I’m close! I began to wonder why the street wasn’t familiar, so I got really worried. As I really didn’t know where I was going, again, I just kept walking, and asking directions, hoping, hoping that I get to my college.

Unfortunately, my poor short legs gave out, and they were too tired to move further. I didn’t know what jeepney routes I should take, so I hailed a cab. It was when I was sitting down that I realised that my legs felt like jelly, and could pass for jelly, haha. As the cab ran its usual pace, I made a very embarrassing and funny discovery.

I was walking on the same avenue as my college, all right.

But on the other side of the avenue. D’oh.

I also realised another thing. I have walked quite a distance. I just walked on without actually thinking how far I went. For someone who isn’t a fan of walking as myself, I did quite well.

I have learned two lessons from this adventure.

1. Use Google Maps. The University campus is safe as churches. No one will snatch your phone.

2. Try to memorise the UP Ikot jeep route. 😂

Have you ever been lost inside your University’s campus? How did that go, and how did you find your way?

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The Author

Filipina, thirtysomething. Public servant by day, grad student at night. Blueberry cheesecake and cat enthusiast. Loves a good caramel milk tea with egg pudding.