The fact that you aced the UPCAT should be enough proof that you’ve got what it takes to study in UP. After all, with the complicated process by which the UPG is computed, it is near impossible to qualify for UP only by luck. Your brain is definitely up to the challenge (not to mention your guts!), but can your body cope with the paramount stress of college?
The answer to this question lies in the physical exam that is a requisite for admission into the university. It’s not such a terrifying process, really; the staff at UP are friendly most of the time, but they might lose a bit of patience with you if you do not know how to follow instructions. Remember to read, read, READ all the instructions (here, in your admission letter, and in official UP sources) because they will be very important.
You need not undergo the check-up exclusively at the University Health Service (or the Philippine General Hospital if you’re from UP Manila) of your campus. Some campuses will allow you to undergo only one part of the check-up outside the campus, while others will give you complete freedom over where you want to have the check-up done. If you do choose to have your check-up done outside the campus, make sure that you undergo a complete one and that you can secure a medical certificate. You need to have this medical certificate validated at the UHS of your campus.
The complete physical exam has the following components: general check-up (i.e. height, weight, blood pressure, and vision acuity), dental check-up, chest X-ray, and triage. The order in which you will undergo these steps depends on the policy of your campus. Some campuses might require you to bring duly completed medical exam forms (sent to you with the admission letter), while others will require you to secure a permit or fill up forms right on the spot.
Allegedly, the scariest part of the physical exam is when you “go Oblation” at the clinic, so to speak. This is not true for all campuses. In UP Manila, for example, you will be allowed to decide if you want to have certain parts of you checked or not. If you do end up having to “go Oblation”, just remember that it’s all part of a doctor’s job and that it’s for your own good. After all, everyone also says it’s part of any UP student’s experience.
The doctors or the dentist might give you recommendations, but don’t worry; your admission will not be delayed should you be unable to follow the recommendations (except perhaps in urgent cases). In fact, as soon as you’re done with all the steps, you can get your medical certificate right away!
The infirmaries of different campuses have slight differences in their operating hours, but they are usually within the regular eight-hour work shift (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM approximately). There are also different schedules for the physical exam per campus; some campuses implement very flexible schedules, while others set specific schedules for students in different degree programs. Furthermore, different campuses may also have different instructions when undergoing the process (e.g. in UP Diliman, your X-ray results will be available after two working days). Pay close attention!
Three Down, Two to Go!
You’re almost there, incoming freshie! You have gotten nearly everything UP will provide so you can enroll. You will have to take care of your other enrollment needs yourself, such as documents from your former school. Stay tuned for Part 4-A of the “Admission for Incoming UP Freshmen” series, Curricula and Pre-Enlistment!