The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons with autism spectrum disorder. The ASP has been in the forefront of providing services and training to families living with autism.

02 July 2010

How I Survived My First Year in College

By: Patrick Louie So, teen with autism


My first year in the Ateneo de Manila University was relatively easy on the academic side, since it is similar to those in high school. However, I had some issues with tardiness, but studying was no biggie. The following are sayings on how to make it through in one piece.


1. Minor Adjustment Issues

June, the start of the school-year, is the worst period for me. I was still used to my summer schedule. However, by July, I readjusted back to school life. After a long break like start of the second semester or after Christmas break or start of the summer term; I need minor adjustments in between long breaks.


2. Prioritize Studies

I do not have much time to study, but nevertheless, I try to absorb as much information as I can from the lectures of the professors and combine them with multiple runs of textbooks readings. I do particularly take down notes if it is not in the textbook. I also do advanced reading of the topics discussed.


3. Social Life

As for social life, it is best to be avoidant of others. For breaks, I usually use one of the public computers to access the web. By doing so, I remained neutral with most of my peers – no friends, no enemies.


But then, I teased girls who looked too boyish. Ironically, I also tease them because they were attractive to me, but I just didn’t know what to do. They often ran away from me or [hated] me, though I meant no harm to them.



Patrick So, with his friends in school


4. Look Your Best

It is still best to have nice looks. I don’t mean being “uso” (trendy) and that, but it is important to be well groomed (as in having fresh breath and clean face). Pimples may or may not be an issue, and facial hair should be kept short. As for clothes, they’re a non-issue for me as anything goes – just don’t wear clothes meant for the opposite sex - and not too tight-fitting.


5. Food Choices

I do not try to eat food from the canteen, since they contain gluten and casein. Without my enzymes, those two will become opiates that act similarly to narcotics! Thus, for me, home-cooked meals are the best. I remembered eating pizza once, which gave me a tummy ache. The cheese made me lactose intolerant.


6. Shifting Classes

In college, I shift from one classroom to another. It’s unlike high school. Schedules can vary from hectic in one day, to just one or two subjects in another day. I focus on my studying during the lighter days.


And lastly, remember this, keep the relationships with your parents healthy, or else something nasty like scoldings may come to you!


Have fun and good luck in college!


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Patrick So
is a sophomore in Ateneo de Manila University, taking up BS Life Science. He plans to pursue a degree in Molecular Biology in the future.

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