Here is the message given by College President Jonathan Bayogan in welcoming students during the Students Orientation at the DNSC Gym on 17 June 2011:
Warm greetings, everyone. Before my message, let me thank the choir for the splendid renditions of the national anthem and the invocation. Acts like those nourishes the soul. And, the high school student’s creative piece – it perks up the spirit.
Today, I welcome you all (faculty, staff, old and new students and friends of DNSC). As I welcome you, I echo a message given to students of a prominent university in the United States some years ago.
So, to all the freshmen, the big day is here; you’ve made it to college. All of us who were here ahead of you, welcome you. To all upperclassmen who worked hard to reach this far, welcome back. To the freshmen, this is the beginning of a new adventure and to the upperclassmen, the adventure continues.
I went to college in 1974. The world was so different then. But I’m sure I felt the same way you do now – expectant, but clueless as well.
The first thing I want to say to you, especially to the freshmen, is to loosen up and relax. As freshmen, you’re supposed to be innocent as the stereotypical promdi. But there is a certain freedom that comes along with being innocent, so enjoy it. You can go around the campus and ask dumb questions, and get away with a smile instead of a smirk. Every campus needs freshmen, so play your part, and complete the campus cast. Next year, you become a sophomore, and then you can ooze with confidence and appear like you know everything. That’s called being an upperclassperson.
The second thing I want to tell you is that, the future has uncertainties. You don’t know everything about the future. You can predict, guess, dream and do what you can to make your dream come true. And that’s all about it. At times, the prediction or the dream comes true. But surely not in exact detail as originally predicted. No one knows exactly what’s going to happen. So, relax and enjoy student life, while you do your best in the things that need to be done.
The next thing I want tell you is one that is sure to happen – you are going to change. After your years in college, you will not be the same person you are now. Your stay will be marked with many, major changes in you as a person. If you are conservative, that will be challenged greatly. You will question time-honored practices and traditions. If you are liberal, you will also be challenged greatly. You will wonder what made you think you were smart enough to set aside time-honored tenets, traditions and your culture.
Over the next four years, you may not question everything. But you will have thrown away an incredible opportunity to invent yourself if you don’t spend these years asking questions. You will never again have this much leisure to sit around and talk and search and learn about many things, especially about truth. You can play it safe and live through four years of college with no angst or fear. But you will have fought very hard to remain just as you are – the same person you were four years before. And that could be the greatest tragedy in your lives – not changing at all.
In summary, college life is a time of great change in yourself. The compelling environment of change is owed to countless encounters – with your peers, professors, administrators, the community – and yes, with uncertainties. When you loosen up and embrace this period in your life, you will invent yourself – beyond what you may have ever dreamt of.
With these, we in the administration, the faculty and staff of this college, welcome you all to Davao del Norte State College. May you have a great adventure with us throughout your college life. And we hope this adventure equips you with adequate skills to help you deal well with the rest of your lives.
Daghang salamat and Mabuhay!!