It has been quite a ride for you; possibly this has even gone on for about a year. You applied for the UPCAT, took the test, waited for months, got wind of the results, and took the necessary steps leading up to your entrance into UP. It is now the moment of truth, and you are on the threshold of officially becoming a UP student.
You might have heard somewhere that UP also stands for “Unibersidad ng Pila”. This joke is pretty old, and procedures have become much faster with the increased use of technology, but it is still quite true. The enrollment process can be tiring and even a little soporific, but there is no denying that it can also be a little enjoyable.
You cannot just waltz up to your campus to enroll anytime you want. There is a schedule you have to abide to, along with the rest of your college and possibly even other colleges or degree programs. There are two periods for enrollment, one in May (which may be the advanced registration or the general registration, depending on your campus), and one in June (which may be the general registration or the late registration). These periods can last from one up to however many days your campus specifies. Freshmen are generally advised to enroll on the earliest possible date.
Due to the lengthy enrollment process, the Freshman Orientation Program is held on a separate date from your enrollment. The date varies from campus to campus, so just be sure to check all available sources—your acceptance letter, your upperclassmen, Facebook groups, and the official website from your campus.
Your acceptance letter from UP says it all. It tells you which documents to bring, what time to be there, which offices you have to visit, and what to expect on that day. In some campuses, the physical exam and/or the enlistment might be done on the same day (e.g. UP Manila), while in others, a brief orientation program may be conducted at your home college.
Some of the documents you are required to submit, like the Student Directory and the Form 5, will be issued to you by your home college. Deficiencies are entertained by some campuses, provided that you comply with the given deadline of submitting deficient materials; some campuses are less lenient and will not accept incomplete requirements. If your school has not yet issued your Form 137, worry not because it is an exception to the above rule. You will be given a request letter to submit to your school.
Payment of matriculation fees immediately follows the processing of requirements. Remember to inform the assessor of any scholarship you might have been assigned or of your STFAP bracket. Once you have paid all fees, the slots you have enlisted will officially become yours and you will get your schedule. You might also be asked to immediately proceed to having your picture taken for the ID, or you might be assigned a schedule for it. No worries, though; the ID is processed while you wait.
Freshman Orientation Program
This may be scheduled anytime after your enrollment—perhaps a day after, or after the first day of classes. Attendance is very important, as you will be introduced to the different facilities of your campus, reminded of the university’s rules and regulations, and notified of upcoming events that you must attend. You can also ask questions about how things go in your campus. If that sounds drab to you, well, it’s not! There are fun hosts and intermission numbers, and you also get to bond with friends from your college and other degree programs. I promise that it is fun.
Five Down! (Yay!)
Congratulations! You are now a bona fide student of the premier State University. This is the point where things start getting serious, your training for the real world begins, and challenges arise waiting for you to knock them down. Be proud and happy, Iskolar ng Bayan. You are not where you are now for nothing.