- UST has a very special way of welcoming freshmen. You would walk through the Arch of the Centuries and have a university-wide welcoming event. Aside from that, your own college or society will prepare welcome activities for you guys, so make sure you have a camera handy and ready. Because you wouldn’t want to miss these moments.
- Do not always eat at the Carpark. Explore the streets of Dapitan, Lacson and P.Noval, or you can even walk as far as P.Campa. You’ll learn that there are A LOT of good carinderias around. Special mention: Do not miss Lovelite and the tusok tusok in Concepcion. If you smoke, the best spot is the kanto of Antonio and try to go to Tapsi for inuman sessions, that place never gets old.
- Join Organizations! You are lucky that you are studying in a big university. Some colleges/universities don’t have many organizations. Roam around Plaza Mayor during Recruitment week and look for the group you’d like to be part of. Join an organization that is in line with your passion. This is an opportunity to broaden your group of friends and the people you know. Let’s say you are into acting or theater production, you can join Teatro Tomasino or Mediatrix. If you’re good in dancing, you can join your college dance troupe or if you’re that good, might as well join Salinggawi. If you’re good in writing or you are interested to be part of the news team, you can join Thomasians Writers Guild or The Varsitarian. Join as many as you like, pursue what you’re passionate about. College is not just about studies, but also about extra-curricular activities.
- Recite. Do not hesitate to answer when the teacher asks. This isn’t high school anymore where if you answer incorrectly, your classmates will laugh at you. In college, if you recite, you look smarter and some of your classmates will be glad if you volunteer to answer. That would spare them from being called out to recite.
- Memorize the UST Hymn. It is not necessary. But I think 30% of UST population only knows the exact lyrics of the UST Hymn. Be proud to be one of them. Plus, you get to sing it if UST wins during UAAP.
- Try living in a dorm. Even if it’s just a year. It will complete the feeling of the college life. It will give you that sense of independence. And you’ll learn a lot from it. You’ll learn how to save and how to manage your allowance and how to spend wisely. And you will probably meet there you best friends. It is not a joke to live in a house with your friends for one whole year. You’ll learn their best and not-so-good side.
- Be prepared during rainy days. I guess, even before you took the USTET, you are fully aware that UST is an island. I wonder why they don’t count it as the 7,108th island in the country. But kidding aside, UST is known as one of the most flooded schools in the Metro, alongside FEU and other universities in U-Belt. So when it is around July or August, make sure you bring your umbrella and boots (Remember, you are no longer in high school, suspension in college is very rare). In addition, be prepared to be stranded inside the school. Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it seems, your college will provide your food (just make sure you’re inside your building). And like what most Thomasians say, “Hindi ka Thomasian kung hindi ka sumuong sa baha o na-stranded man lang“. It just became part of the culture.
- Love your professors and be nice even to the staff (guards, ate and kuya/s) of the school. You’ll learn a lot of things from them.
- Lastly, enjoy your whole stay. Make a lot of memories. College is just 4 years of your life (or more than 4 years, to some). Don’t rush, I know everyone wants to finish college so we can all earn our own money. But I swear, once you graduate from college, you would want to go back to these 4 years of your life.