Around 1996-1997, I had to face that reality. I took up entrance exams only in 3 universities - UP, DLSU and UST. For my first courses of choice, I chose Family and Child development at UP Diliman - for the part of me that had an inner calling to become a teacher, BS Computer Science in DLSU as it was the "IN" and exciting course at that time(before the Computer Science as a course became saturated), and BS Medical Technology in UST as I always wanted to be a doctor and I idolized my brother who took up the same course in the same school. 3 schools, 3 different career paths. For a 17 year old girl who did not know what she wants - it's a matter of fate.
The first university that gave me an acceptance letter was DLSU. It was one of the happiest moment of my life and I can remember it vividly - the excitement and RELIEF most of all !... and I never looked back. Deep inside, I knew I wanted to be a Lasallian - and I got my wish. I also realized that it can be challenging to be a teacher and I did not want to study for 8-10 years to become a doctor. Computer Science can be a viable choice.
It was a happy experience being in college. I remember during our freshman orientation, the speaker was so passionate on how we can be successful in this field and it made me so excited on what my future holds, I had met new friends, I was in a new,totally different environment coming from an exclusive school. I did not struggle with social changes. Actually, the one that struck me more and the hardest challenge I faced in college was the course that I took up. I never thought that this course is one of the hardest in DLSU at that time. It had a lot of Math and Calculus subjects, technical subjects etc.
I did not have a computer. When I was a freshman, I frequently go to computer shops to do my projects. Its so unfitting that I was taking up Computer Science and had no computer at home. At that time, though internet was there, it was not as prevalent as it is now. Desktop computers that time were expensive and and laptops were for the well off. Even celphones at that time were just simply for calling and eventually texting purposes and I also did not have celphone at the time too :)
One time, when I was doing a group project at my friend's home, I noticed that she had a new computer. I was so amazed (and inggit)! She had Grollier's CD! We had encyclopedia at home - the hardbound ones... and this Grolliers? Amazing!
It had me fixated to own a computer. I convinced my mom(bless her heart) to gift me a computer on my 18th birthday instead of holding a debut. I had little money in the bank and she just can add up to that. I remember that computer we bought - at 1998, it was a tower CPU type, with a 56k modem and pentium processor - it was the top of the line :) So cool for me!. We bought it at SM Megamall for around 70,000 PHP. I was happy.
That was the start of my love story with computers. I had the computer until I was around 24 years old. That computer was my trusted partner in my college life. I actually bought it at school several times (albeit the size) via taxi while beating deadlines to work at the Gokongwei lobby(comsci bldg in DLSU). At home, the computer was placed beside the dining area hence I was always there instead of my room hehe. This computer had me well versed in the world wide web - for official and leisure purposes. This machine had helped me in my small projects until my thesis.
Dial up? Well that word seems to be an obsolete thing now but back then, it was the connection of choice. Unlimited internet? No, I had only 10 hours worth for a month at pacific internet at 600 PHP(and no one can use the phone when I am connected hehe). Sometimes my friends would lend me an "unlimited" account at SKY internet and that was the time when I got hooked on IRC, ICQ and YM (no facebook yet!).. and eventually FRIENDSTER.
That was a happy time. I met some new friends, even some "online suitors" or suitors who did not have courage to face me personally and only got the courage behind the computer. I also got hooked on mp3s (winamp, anyone?), creating blogs and websites, a little social media available at that time like chatting and e-mailing my friends. I created my own virtual world :)
I only got my first laptop after college after 4 years of working - with my own money, this is following my very first desktop computer which served me a good 8 years... and I have had many after that. I am now using macbook pro - I never bought a desktop computer again because of its sheer size. I am enjoying fiber connection with unlimited internet - far from what I used to have. Now I can do almost anything with this little device of mine - I can actually do my work at home.
I started my love story with computers and technology when I was 18 years old and it was mainly because I sort of had to due to the course I chose. I had my share of child hood with no internet , no word processors (hello typewriters), no social media (hello being a resourceful child), no smart phones .. and I would have to admit having no computers has its share of advantages.
Although technology also has its own share of advantages too as we enjoy very well now and given the fact that I am in a tech industry as an IT person working for a bank, I had this longing for the life I used to have before it became the norm.. Well, this is the first of some reminiscing posts that I have in my head (which hopefully I can keep up and continue). Most of it are times before the computer age invaded my life :)
See you soon.