Wiiiieee!.. I’m xur it will help me a lot! Thanks! :*

Ateneo Survival Guide: On Facilities Outside of the Ateneo Campus

Despite what people may think, an Atenean’s time isn’t spent entirely on studying.  Students also need to attend to more mundane matters like sleeping, washing their clothes (or having them washed) and taking that occasional breather from the stresses of college life.

If you’re fairly new to the Katipunan area, there are a few places that can help provide these services for you.

Bed, Board and Laundry

For those who prioritize proximity for board and lodging, the most obvious choices would be the Cervini and Eliazo dormitories within the Ateneo campus itself.  On the other hand, if you prefer some space away from the learning institution, there are a bevy of decent alternatives available.

One Burgundy Plaza and Burgundy Place along Katipunan Avenue are but two examples of these.  These are also noted for housing two popular gimmick areas (more on those later).

The other streets near Ateneo also host other places you can stay in.  You can find the likes of Golden Crescent Mansion (Rosa Alvero St.); Eagle Star Condominium and My Place (F. de la Rosa St.); CDM, Sunrise and Casa Baronessa (E. Abada St.); Loyola Heights Condominiums (along the corner of E. Abada and F. de la Rosa) and the new Studio 87 (Xavierville Avenue).

There are still other places you’ll stumble upon when you leave the Ateneo premises.  Besides, available boarding houses usually advertise within the campus and without.  Just keep your eyes peeled.

It helps if you can do your own laundry, but if you’re really stressed out and you need help, there are at least four laundry services nearby:  Rustan’s Supermarket has an Alphinc (or something like that) laundry service inside and a Laundromat nearby.  The Casa Baronessa compound I mentioned above has Laundry 415, while Loyola Heights Condominiums serves as the headquarters for E_Labako and Wash In A Rush.

Entertainment Venues

Unfortunately, there aren’t too many malls in the immediate area (Though there is SM Marikina, if ever you feel like traveling a bit).  If you’re an electronic gamer like I am, you’re in for a treat:  there are several places you can visit for your video gaming needs.

Among the plethora of internet cafes in the area, two of the most noteworthy ones are Hobby Stop (corner of Katipunan and F. de la Rosa, in front of Ateneo Gate 3) and Blue Skies (a short walk away from Hobby Stop along F. de la Rosa).  I’ve noted these two because they offer more than just internet services and games for MMORPG and LAN parties—they sport some next-gen consoles as well (The former has several PS3s.).

If you’re looking for niche establishments that cater to one specific console, however, consider dropping by Frii Spirit (at One Burgundy Plaza) or XBX Interactive (at Burgundy Place) for Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 gaming, respectively.

Finally, if you’re feeling a bit “crabby,” you may also wish to check out a place dubbed Game Crab over at FBR Arcade along Katipunan.  It’s the place to go to for board game fun.

Lots to Go Around

Whether it’s sleeping quarters, or laundry or just plain old entertainment, there’s no scarcity of places to visit around the Ateneo area.  Take the time to tour the surrounding streets when you can.  Who knows?  You may just like what you’ll find.

Ateneo Survival Guide: Academics

So you’ve passed the ACET and you’ve made it to the Ateneo—congratulations!  A lot of people consider that much-coveted slot in the University on a Hill as a great achievement, and rightfully so.

That’s just the beginning, though, so don’t get cocky.  If you thought the ACET was challenging, be aware of the fact that it’s really only a taste of things to come.

The Power of One

The Ateneo workload has this nasty tendency to creep up on you when you least expect it to.  Grow complacent and the next thing you know, you’ll be drowning in a mire of paperwork and requirements.

To counter this, develop the habit of doing a little bit of work on a daily basis.  Even if there’s nothing pressing at the moment, study or do some important school-related stuff.  That way, when crunch time comes, you won’t be scrambling to get things done at the last minute.

Probably the only exception to this is Sunday, or whatever your day of rest is.  The thing is, there may be certain crunch times when you may need to do some work even on your supposed day of rest.  During normal workload times, however, it will serve you in good stead.

Credit for the above advice goes to my mom and a former professor of mine.  My professor claimed that he used to go out and watch movies during exam week because he did a little work a day, everyday.

Support Systems

Have you ever seen people studying together?  There’s actually a good reason for that.  Shakespeare quipped, “a sorrow shared is a sorrow halved.”  Now this is not to suggest that studying is actually a cause for sorrow; rather, it does suggest that anything that feel too burdensome for a single individual can actually feel lighter if accomplished with friends.

The Ateneo workload can be challenging, especially during the so-called hell weeks or months.  One of the things that will keep you going is the support of other like-minded people.  Just make sure you hang out with positive, encouraging and edifying people or else you’ll end up burdening yourself all the more.

Admittedly, this is one principle I learned relatively late.  I was too busy playing the strong, silent type to truly appreciate the need for companionship and social support.  Thankfully, some good, faithful friends taught me invaluable lessons about the finer points of social support.

Theology in Action

ADMU is a Catholic institution, so expect the Jesuits to feed you a plethora of theology for breakfast.  While you’re at it, you might as well make the most of it by putting it into actual practice.

Mind you, don’t just pray when the pressure is on and you desperately need divine intervention.  The trick is to pray at the start of the semester, and even when things are going well.  Remember that daily discipline I mentioned above?  The same holds true for prayer.

Finally, realize that no one ever passes the Ateneo on their own strength—they’ll need the help of their Maker and other people to do so.  Keep that firmly in mind, give it your best shot, and you’ll do just fine.

Ateneo Survival Guide: University Culture

Every school has a unique culture all its own.  In fact, the atmosphere of a school may very well be one of the deciding factors of whether to study in it or not.

If you’re thinking of studying in the Ateneo College, allow me to tell you a little bit about it.  This should also help mitigate the effects of the culture shock for you as well, especially if you didn’t come from the Ateneo high school.

Before I proceed, a caveat:  I’ve based the following observations on my experience of the school’s culture at the time.  Since the only constant is change, your experience of the said culture may end up being a little different from what I’ll be describing here.

The People

My mother once told me that you could immediately spot an Atenean by counting the number of books that that person carried around.

Of course, that was during her time.  Nowadays, Ateneo college students can look pretty laid back—except during exam time.  If it’s the geeks who carry the books, it’s the rest who carry themselves with a certain sense of confidence or accomplishment.

Oh, and it’s fairly easy to spot a guy who came from the campus’ high school—he’s usually the one following the ladies around.  Seriously.

The presence of the fairer sex may be no big thing for you if you’ve spent some time in a co-ed institution, but for those who’ve had to live with a sausage fest for four years, studying in the college may be likened to a captured wild stallion escaping his corral.  It is a breath of fresh air in more ways than one.

Over on side of the university’s teaching staff, expect to run into a motley crew of professors and other school staff:  they can range from the extremely orthodox to the delightfully kooky to the maddeningly eccentric.  Some may astound you, others may entertain you, still others may bore you to tears, but one thing’s for sure, you will learn something from them, regardless.

Campus and Academic Life

One look at the Ateneo compound will tell you that it’s quite conducive to the pursuit of knowledge.  Several buildings housing classrooms, departments and other facilities are spread out over the entire campus.  The landscape people made sure the area was dotted with grassy fields and a bit of foliage for good measure.  All in all, it’s perfect for contemplative walks or peripatetic sessions.

Like any good academic institution, Ateneo has its fair share of student organizations for that extra-curricular flavor.  In fact, there are probably just as many organizations as there are courses.  Some organizations cater directly to certain majors, such as the various management societies.  Look around enough and take your pick—chances are you’ll be able to find something that captures your fancy.

The academic pace in Ateneo can get pretty hectic during the so-called hell periods (hell week, hell month, etc.).  Fortunately, the University has its set of chapels and its very own church where one can concretely practice theology.  It’s not surprising to see the number of pray-ers getting down on their knees as the final exams draw closer and closer.

The Choice

If this sounds like a good atmosphere for you, by all means, apply at the Ateneo.  It won’t be an easy journey, but then again, the really worthwhile experiences normally aren’t.  If there’s one thing I can guarantee you about it, however, it’s this:  after going through it, you’ll never be the same again.