"What's your dream?"
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
At some point in our lives, we've been asked these questions. Or at least, something along those lines. Chances are, you've tried answering them–or drawing them. A stickman version of yourself wearing a lab coat, a hard hat, or a magician's hat. A child can dream!
The truth is no two people are the same. Likewise, no two dreams are also alike. Finding and pursuing yours is a personal quest, and often a hard one. Unlike school projects, there is no formula to follow nor a map to show the way you should go. If there were a crash course for that, we would have told you already.
But once in a while, we see a light at the end of the tunnel.
We get clues and signposts leading us to take the next right step. People we trust. Hobbies we enjoy. Role models we admire. Experiences we encounter. Opportunities we take. All of which shape our decisions and, ultimately, our direction in life. As a student, you make small and big decisions every day. But the question is, where is it leading you?
We won't ask you to write a 300-word essay on your life's one true calling. No one has it all figured out, and we don't expect you to. We are all making it along the way, learning from each other at best. But what we can do is talk about them and figure it out together! After all, life is best shared. And there are real people with real stories to share.
We sat down with some students who experience and have experienced the same struggles you're facing. From the million-dollar question of what career path to take, down to the everyday challenges of being a student in a pandemic-stricken world.
Who knows, maybe their stories can lead you to take the next step for your future.
A dream delayed is not a dream denied. For someone who has been studying in college for 11 years and counting, Aries Villanueva can surely attest to that. At 27 years old, Aries is dead set on pursuing the dream he started a decade ago: to be a creative director in his dream advertising agency. But it’s a dream still in progress.
Diligent and grade conscious, Aries' college story is one for the books. By that we mean: He shifted courses. Stopped studying. Started working. Stopped studying again. Started working again. And stopped working to start studying again. (If you’re confused, it’s okay!)
Long story short and fast forward to today, Aries is almost at the finish line of his college journey, working on his thesis and making the most of his internship. While academic pressures, work stress, and financial hardships remain a challenge, Ariel has no doubts that the final result will be worth it. “Kahit na gaano pa katagal, I’ll trust the process,” he says.
With his determination and passion for design, we’re quite sure the end result will look a lot like him holding his hard-earned degree, ready to take on the world of design.
Learn more about Aries' student life, dreams, and aspirations in our quick conversation!
Why did you choose your school?
“My friend actually encouraged me to enroll at FEU Tech bilang graduate rin siya dito ng Information Technology (IT). At that time, bago pa lang yung multimedia programs kaya sakto sa akin! After doing my research and weighing my options, confident naman ako sa credentials ng FEU Tech as a leading IT school in the country and, most importantly, I felt at home!
I enjoy the learning pace dahil trimestral kami. Bukod sa nakakapagpahinga ako, napagsasabay ko rin ang trabaho ko sa pag-aaral bilang self-supporting student ako. The school is also generous with scholarships and very supportive of their students. That gave me peace and assurance na mapagpapatuloy ko ang pag-aaral ko sa college.”
Why did you choose your course?
"Nagsimula ang hilig ko sa multimedia arts noong naging freelance designer ako sa isang advertising agency. I worked on campaigns and digital posts. Na enjoy ko talaga siya! Parang nung hinawakan ko yung mga design apps, I realized na yun talaga yung path na gusto ko. So I decided to shift from my first course and started searching for schools and courses na mas aligned sa gusto ko—which is really more on design. Pagkatapos ng tatlong taon na paghahanap, I decided to enroll in the College of Computer Studies and Multimedia Arts sa FEU Tech!
What’s the most challenging part about being a student? How do you overcome it?
“Sa pag-aaral ko, our finances is really the most challenging part. May mga times na kakabahan ka talaga kasi hindi mo alam kung may pambayad ka ba ng tuition for the next term. Dahil academic scholar ako, meron ding pressure to maintain my grades. Laging mataas yung expectation ko sa sarili ko. Kung hindi, magbabayad ako next term.
During lockdown, nag try akong maghanap ng student loans. Fortunately, nakita ko yung Bukas at natuwa ako kasi partner na siya ng FEU Tech. I applied and approved naman yung application ko within one week. Ngayon, nasa pangatlong installment plan na ako!
Dahil sa Bukas, nakakahinga na ako. Sobrang gaan sa pakiramdam na hindi ko na masyadong iniisip yung pambayad ko sa tuition every term. Kapag tight yung budget, Bukas talaga agad yung iniisip ko kasi mabilis lang yung process at diretso na sa school. Magugulat nalang ako the next day na okay na—nabayaran na ng Bukas yung tuition ko sa FEU Tech! So iisipin ko nalang ulit siya sa next month kapag magbabayad na ako sa due date. Para sa mga working student na tulad ko, ang laking tulong ng Bukas kasi mas napagkakasya ko na yung budget ko. Naka schedule na siya sa akin every cutoff.”
How do you cope with learning in the pandemic?
“Ang kagandahan sa FEU Tech ay hindi nila nire require yung synchronous classes. As long as you watch the recorded sessions and do your modules, it’s okay. That made it manageable for me as a working student. Dahil hanggang 6 PM ang trabaho ko, magpapahinga lang ako saglit tapos pwede na ako mag-aral from 8 PM to 12 MN.
I’m grateful kasi very supportive rin yung mga professors sa FEU Tech. Aware sila na scholar ako so sinasabihan nila ako kung medyo nanganganib na yung grade ko para makabawi ako next time. Sobrang na appreciate ko yung environment sa school na suportahan talaga. Dahil dun, I still enjoy my classes kahit kasabay ng trabaho.”
What are your favorite learnings so far?
“I love everything about graphic design! Lalo na yung subjects namin on photography and advertising principles. Since I really enjoy studying these things, mas nakikita ko yung gusto kong gawin in my future career. It’s also where I see myself excelling!”
What motivates you to study?
“Yung pamilya ko! Sa 11 years na pag-aaral ko sa college, hindi nawala yung tiwala nila sa akin. Hindi sila nagkulang sa moral support. They’re still hopeful that I'll get my degree. Kaya yun din talaga yung pinanghahawakan ko. Nagsusumikap akong makapagtapos para masuklian ko rin ang suporta at sakripisyo nila balang araw.”
Why is education important for you?
“Ang cliche man pakinggan pero naniniwala talaga ako na ang edukasyon ang bagay na hindi maaagaw sa'yo. As long as you have that, may maipagmamalaki ka sa sarili mo. It's really for your advantage. Education din yung tulay para sa kinabukasan ko—para sa mga gusto kong mangyari para sa sarili at pamilya ko.”
What is your dream career?
“To be a creative director!”
What is your career goal? Why?
“Pangarap ko talagang makagawa ng campaign that will be globally recognized! For instance, sobrang fan ako ng Department of Tourism. Lalo na yung ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ campaign. Hopefully, kapag naging creative director na ako someday, I'll be able to do something as meaningful and impactful as that. To be able to showcase my skills while promoting our culture and tourism.”
How do you see yourself five or ten years from now?
“Five years from now, I’ll already be a creative director sa gusto kong advertising agency. Nakagawa na rin siguro ako ng napakaraming campaigns by then. To be honest, achievement na yun for me—just being there, doing things that l love.”
What is your message to students who are considering FEU Tech?
“Worth it ang pag-aaral sa FEU Tech! Galingan niyo lang sa pag-aaral kasi supportive and generous naman ang school pagdating sa mga pangangailangan ng mga estudyante. Don’t forget to enjoy your college life rin. Try not to add pressure on yourself, lalo na ngayong online classes.”
What is your message to aspiring creatives like you?
“Be unique! In our field, we really have to stand out. Don’t be insecure kung may ibang mas magaling sa’yo. Iba-iba naman ang design. Just focus on your craft and give your best! Hanapin mo kung saan ka magaling at yakapin mo yun nang buong buo.”
What is your message to your future self?
“Trust the process! Kahit anong mangyari sa buhay mo, maniwala ka lang that good things come to those who wait—and persevere. Tulad ng 11 years na pinagdaanan mo sa college, someday you will just look back and see how far you’ve come. Tiwala lang!”
Are you inspired or motivated by Aries' story? We surely hope so!
We know talking about an uncertain future can be quite overwhelming, even a bit scary. And that’s normal! The good news is you don’t have to do it alone. With stories like Ariel’s as well as other students who continue to take small steps toward their dreams, we hope you are reminded that a brighter and better future for you is also within reach–just waiting to unfold, one decision at a time.
Now all it takes is for you to take the next right step. And together with Bukas, you can! The question is, what path are you taking?
Learn more about how we make education affordable for thousands of Filipino students like you. Download the Bukas app on Google Play today! Kung gusto mo maging updated with our latest content and updates, you can connect with us on Facebook or reach us anytime via email!