I’m Maricel Urkom. I am now a student in Cebu Normal University. There’s one thing I am sure I want, and that is to become a student in the University of life. I’ve always enjoyed putting myself in a learning situation. Now, since I don’t have a job, I am spending most of my time studying and participating in the toastmasters club for my professional enhancement.
If there is one reason I study and joined toastmasters is because I really don’t want to be idle. As quoted in the Bible “An idle mind is a dwelling place of evil.” I have realized when I don’t have anything to do, I start to envy people and compare myself to them. Way back in high school, I envied my best friend because she was an eloquent speaker. She could speak English without any signs of nervousness and I hated public speaking. Actually, I never dared to talk in front of my classmates. One night, (because I am a product of night high school) my terrorizing Asian history teacher came into the classroom. She was so angry as she started class with a long sermon because most of us didn’t pass the examination. One ironic situation that ruined my confidence was when she announced that I got a perfect score. I heard her calling my name and she asked me a question from the exam – a question that would test my integrity. You know what happened? I couldn’t answer her question.
You see, that experience was very destructive. But since then, I’ve tried to improve and search myself. I was not happy about myself, so I sought a feeling of SATISFACTION in life.
Until When I went to College, I had to try to fit into a new environment. One day during break time, I ate out and saw a sign in a bakeshop that said,” once tasted always wanted”.“Really!” I reacted. What’s does this phrase mean? Does it have another implied meaning?” Is this about College – try something once, if you like it do it again?”
To make a long story short, after that introspective lunch break, I joined the debate team representing our department. Thank God, I had first timer’s luck. We won. It was my first time to win an award – best speaker and best debater. It was an overwhelming feeling. The applause of the people and their shouts praising and congratulating made me feel important. I thought to myself, “Is this the pleasure that I am looking for?” I was sure that’s what I really wanted. After that I understand the meaning of “Once tasted, always wanted”. I understood the sweet taste of public approval, prestige and acceptance.
So, I did it again and that time it brought me to a turning point of my life – it left me the option of whether to quit or to try again after I failed in the extemporaneous speaking contest. I was standing in front of the public, listening to my topic – academic freedom. I heard over the crowd,” The topic is easy”. Unfortunately, I couldn’t come up with an idea and I was just stuck there frozen until my time was up.
Therefore, I chose to try again. I was looking for SELF- SATISFACTION, SELF- FULFILLMENT and SELF-WORTH. Being a student in this university of life, I have learned that I shouldn’t compare myself to others. Instead, I should strive to become greater than what I am now. It is not about battling against other people, but it is about battling against MYSELF. After I learned about Toastmasters Club from my English Teacher, Mrs. Joylyn Paz, I told myself that one day I would find you Toastmasters. And now… I am here delivering my first icebreaker speech in the toastmasters club. It’s a dream come true.