Every year since I finished high school, around March and April, I get constantly bothered by an uneasy feeling. I usually get fast and hard thumps on my chest and a troubled tummy. I get anxious, nervous, and fearful that something bad is about to happen even when there’s none. It has become so much of a normalcy that I already have a name for it — “End of the School Year or Graduation Season Woes.”

I finished high school in 1995, but I did not graduate. I studied at a non-graded school, from Kindergarten to Senior High, where students learn and master lessons at their own pace, and unlike other schools, students do not receive numerical grades (during our time, at least), but rather checks (if passed) and squares (if failed).

Unfortunately for me and to make a long sad story short, I was not able to finish all my (graduating) requirements on time and graduate with the rest of the batch because of poor choices and priorities. To make things worse, I kept everything from my parents.

I fooled around instead of prioritizing my studies. I lied to my parents even up to the point when I already knew things had gotten worse, and I already needed (their) help. 

I lied to my parents, humiliated them, and broke their hearts and trust in me.

In order not to repeat my graduating year though and still be able to enrol for freshman college on time, my mom had to practically beg teachers to allow me some time to finish all my requirements. I was given only a week and a half to finish a year’s worth of Physics, Trigonometry, and Geometry. A year’s worth in a week and a half. 

I was dang lucky enough to even be given another chance, so finish, I did. And I was able to enrol for college the same time as everyone else.

Every time I’d share this story, people are left in awe at how I was able to accomplish all those in less than two weeks. What they fail to see though is how and why it had come to that. I fooled around and lied. I chose to have fun and defy my parents. Plain and simple — there’s absolutely nothing amazing about that, at all. And if given the chance, I wouldn’t want to go through it again; I would do things differently. I may have learned lessons from it later on, but the difficulties and hurt I had put my parents in, are totally not worth it.

That’s why, after all these years, I still get these bothersome feelings around graduation season. It reminds me of a time when I was at my most foolish self. It reminds me of a time I hurt the two people, who despite the betrayal and lies, still chose not to leave me alone to deal with the mess I have made for myself, and forgive me for it.

And I guess that’s also why, after all these years, I continue to share this story, not just so that others may somehow learn from it, but also, in the hopes that with every re-telling and sharing of the story, I learn to forgive myself as well.

*Photo borrowed from the internet.


Author: doreenmariaclara

I 'write' in the shower, like any normal person.

5 thoughts on “Jitters”

  1. Your story reminds me of myself: every time I apply for a new job, I get the jitters. Just like you, I’ve been foolish for most of my college life. This foolishness resulted in a general weighted average of an embarrassing 2.25. A thing of shame, really. Though I had aced major exams once in a while, my absences and indifference to schoolwork almost killed my future. My transcript of records is riddled with 3s and INCs and some 5s. I couldn’t change a single thing in it.


    1. The funny thing is despite the unfortunate situation I put myself in while in highschool, I still did not fair well, specifically in freshman college. I failed one subject almost on purpose, too. School just really bored me as a student. I saw the importance in it, but it was very difficult to keep focused. I guess it’s true: I love learning, but I dislike studying.


      1. Hi, it’s me again!

        I’m writing this message with an awkward feeling.. I was just wondering if you would accept an editing job on a 2000-word essay? It’s not a regular thing, just this once. I would, of course, be ready with my payment if your rate is within my budget (payment mode is up to you). I’m in urgent need of an editor. I don’t know anyone who writes as good as you. It’s not even the grammar that I’m concerned with, but the overall flow of my essay — the consistency of the voice, necessary prunings, areas that need development, etc.

        I have friends with Master’s and Doctorates in English, but they’re no good at writing.

        But if you’re too busy with work, I would perfectly understand. You may send me a message at lime.j.onasan@gmail.com


  2. It’s a personal narrative about my experience in a drugstore where I got a sly treatment from a pharmacist. I know it sounds mundane and trivial, but I explored the theme/ideas.


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