SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 09 June) — College life is undeniably one of the most demanding parts of a student’s journey; some even think it is innately stressful because of heightened responsibilities, increased pressure, and the likelihood of failing time management. Even so, all these do not always wrap up one’s grit, ardor, and determination to succeed in life.
This sums up the story of Bryan C. Eguna, a former Supreme Student Government president, a cum laude from Surigao del Norte State University – City Campus, and the 3rd Most Outstanding Student Leader in Caraga Region (Caraga Federation of Tertiary Student Leaders, 2023).
Believing in his dreams
After moonlighting as a student leader, Eguna was on Cloud 9 when he received his medal as cum laude for an elementary education degree on Wednesday, June 7.
The Latin honor was something he had dreamed of reaching ever since he began studying. “I always dreamed of graduating [college] with a Latin honor,” Eguna said.
Behind his success in his studies, Eguna knew that something had fueled him along the way. “I come from a family that’s not that financially stable, and so I always did great in my academics and likewise in leadership to prove to anyone else that I am more than me,” he shared.
Bound to fulfill his dream, Eguna gradually perceived the truth that the road taken was not easy as he played the roles of student and leader, not to mention his shared responsibility at home.
“Over time, I understood that there were many holes to fill as a student, as SSG president, and of course as a son,” he said.
But challenges do not always win over the yearning to make a difference. Armed with faith in God, Eguna chose to continue, saying he had to because God is with him and “a lot of people motivated” him—family, friends, fellow student leaders, just to mention a few support system.
Moreover, Eguna stressed that “time management” was one key that enabled him to balance everything. “I had this strategy where I listed the things I do every day, both academically and in leadership. In that way, I was flexible and productive, as I could manage both,” he narrated.
While busy juggling roles at school, Eguna also has a heart for the community and a spirit of volunteerism.
As an eco-warrior he volunteered for several clean-up drives and tree-planting activities in the city. He believes that these simple steps can have a huge impact on the place we live— the present and future generations will profit from these actions.
Not only that, as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Eguna advocates promoting inclusivity across the social spectrum, believing that everyone, regardless of gender, should be given equal rights in the workplace, school, and the like. “I realized that I should be cognizant and be an advocate with regard to this based on my experience,” he said.
As a consistent honor student, he also had a fair share of boos. “All throughout my life, I’ve experienced being discriminated against and judged, which led me to question how I look physically. But I realized that in order to be someone who is empowered and unstoppable, I must accept who I am and not be affected by what people say about me. I’ve always taught myself that the only validation I ever need is one from myself,” he remarked.
Love for Nadine Lustre
Aside from his family, Eguna shared that there’s a celebrity whom he really loves as well as idolizes, and that is Nadine Lustre. “I have been a fan of her since 2014. What I admire about her the most is her realness and bravery,” he confessed.
More importantly, Lustre’s constant humanitarian acts strengthened his admiration.
“She’s doing charity work—helping our community—and that’s what made me truly love her,” he continued.
He added he is thankful to Nadine for serving as “inspiration” throughout his academic career, particularly with regard to developing greater self-assurance while making a difference in the community by engaging in charitable endeavors at the same time.
Eguna plans to take the Licensure Exam for Teachers next year. For now, he will venture out into accepting tutorials for elementary levels to earn money to finance his review.
College life may be tiring for many. But to Eguna, it is more than just how it feels to be in college—it was a supplemental, important point in his life that made him even the best version of himself and beyond. ”And though I will not be studying [in college] anymore, I will still continue what has been started, which is to serve the community.”
He is eager to join other organizations to expand his horizons while enriching his capabilities as an individual and more so as a leader.
(Batang Mindanaw is the youth section of MindaNews. Jhon Steven C. Espenido, 22, is from Surigao City. He is an AB English Language student at Surigao del Norte State University.)