11:11 PM Pia San Felipe 0 Comments

It's that time of the year again. The week I used to dread as a clueless freshman simply because, well basically, I do not have a clue (duh, self, you already said you were a clueless freshman then) as to what would happen. It was such a hype to all the upperclassmen during our Freshmen Orientation Day. "Bedista ka nga, na Integrate ka na ba?" It was a rite of passage although not mandatory but it seemed as though you're going to miss half of your college life if you weren't integrated. A week before our integration was set to start we were given a list of themes (dress codes) that we must follow as there would be a punishment (10 or was it 5? jumping jacks during our time) if we are not to abide by the rules. I felt like they were putting us to shame, making us dress in a silly way and not caring whether or not we were comfortable with what they're making us do. So I despised the first four days of our Integration. But having gone through the fifth day, the final day, the day of our Integration Rites that made me look at it at a different perspective. Rolling in the mud and running along Mendiola looking and smelling like garbage felt liberating; it's as if I was stripped of all the arte; I was pushed out of my comfort zone and surprisingly, I enjoyed it. I came to realize that the whole week was not only meant to, as they put it, "welcome us into the Bedan community" but also to make us realize that we can go through a day being (or dressing up as) like someone we never thought we would be like; that we can crawl and roll around on mud; and that we can show, or rather run around, the whole of Mendiola looking like we were pottery clay that came to life. It taught me to trust who I am with and in the same manner, make them feel like they can trust me too. It felt like it was the upperclassmen against us meek freshmen and we gotta stick together and trust each other.

Thus, the Freshmen Integration Week does not only serve as a welcoming rite for the new breed of Bedans but also a throwback of sort for us. It allows us to see ourselves when we were still clueless lions. It gives us enjoyment while allowing us to interact with you. During your Integration Rites you might feel like we're bullying all of you but we're not, we're just pushing you to your limit, getting you to go out of your comfort zone because that's what life does to you, it tests you and pushes you to your limit 'til you're out of your comfort zone. The Integration Week also gives us something to brag about to our non-Bedan friends because we got to experience something that only Bedans experience. And no shit, it's actually fun. So don't worry freshmen, you'll get your turn next year. You'll experience the fun of Integrating our incoming babies.