Man who wished to build a house for his family earns architecture degree after 8 years in college

    MANILA, Philippines – A 31-year-old working student from Bocaue, Bulacan is another proof that pursuing your dream has no age limit. Despite his age and financial struggles, Jonell Calisin finally finished a degree in architecture after eight years in college.

    Jonell Calisin graduates with a degree in architecture
    Jonell Calisin graduates with a degree in architecture after more than 8 years in college | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ Jonell Calisin

    In a Facebook post on Saturday, July 16, Jonell shared his inspiring graduation story. He started sharing his journey by saying, “Mahirap pero hindi imposible.” He is set to graduate from Bulacan State University with an architecture degree.

    According to his story, Jonell went through so many hardships to finally attain his college degree. He said that at his age, he’s the last among his batchmates to graduate college. But despite it, he’s more than proud of his achievement.

    Because of poverty, Jonell juggled being a college student and a gasoline boy in 2010. Unfortunately, he lost his job in 2012. This prevented him from continuing his studies and he dropped out of school for three years. Determined to succeed, Jonell tried to look for other jobs so he could have enough money for school.He worked as a merchandiser and factory worker.

    When he finally studied in school again, he failed several subjects. This made him almost lose his patience and determination. But he remained focused on his goal to finish architecture.

    Finally, as he posed for his graduation photo, Jonell couldn’t help but be proud of himself for how far he had made it. He studied for 8 years and a half in college and there were many times he questioned if it was still worth it. In the end, his hard work was rewarded when he got to finally graduate.

    He wrote, “Hindi kami mayaman. Hindi ako matalino. Hindi ako proud na umabot ako ng 8 and half years sa college. Pero ang tanging maipagmamalaki ko lang ay yung hindi ako sumuko sa hamon ng buhay. Naalala ko pa noon na lagi kong tinatanong ang sarili ko kapag nahihirapan na ko. Tama pa ba o tama na?”

    Jonell recalled the many times he didn’t have enough money for school and how his parents would borrow money just to support his studies. He also felt the shame of being the oldest in their class.

    He said, “Nahihiya rin ako kasi ako na yung pinaka matanda sa mga kaklase ko. Pero hindi ko na lang pinansin kasi sa edad na 31 nakagradute na din ako. Nakaka intimidate din minsan na mas matanda ka pa sa prof mo minsan ka batch mo pa sila.” he said.

    Now, Jonell motivates other students, especially those who feel they’re too old for school, to continue pursuing their dreams. He said there are many times that you have to go through challenges so you’ll become stronger in life.

    Jonell wrote, “Trust the process. Minsan kailangan mo talagang pagdaanan lahat ng hirap at pasakit para patatagin ka ng buhay. Hindi madali pero hindi imposible. Kapit ka lang para sa pangarap mo. Lagi mo lang iisipin kung bakit mo ginagawa lahat ng yan, kapag napang hihinaan ka na.”

    One of Jonell’s inspirations in life is their small run-down shanty. He took up architecture because he wanted to be able to build a good house for his family.

    He said, “Lagi ko lang tinitignan yung bahay namin pag gusto ko nang sumuko. Lagi kong iniisip na gusto kong makaranas ng may maayos na bahay, yung hindi kayo nababasa pag umuulan. Hindi sobrang init pag tag araw, yung sarili nyo na yung lupa.”

    Jonell’s word of advice continued by saying that our dreams are possible if we work hard and believe in God’s plans. He said, “Magtiwala ka lang sa diyos at magugulat ka na lang nakamit mo na pala yung mga pangarap mo. Tuloy mo lang yung pangarap mo kahit nahihirapan ka na kahit pagod na pagod ka na kasi worth it yan ipaglaban.”

    Mahirap pero hindi imposible Ako na yata ang pinaka huli sa batch ko sa 2010 na gagradute. Dahil sa napakaraming...

    Posted by Jonell Calisin on Saturday, July 16, 2022

    — Sally, The Summit Express

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