September 29, 2016

On taking a double major: Abby Gabaton

by Abigail Napeñas

With the aspiration to continually exceed the limits of her God-given talents, Abby Gabaton decided to take on subjects that sparked a lot of interest in her: Economics and Management Engineering. Now in her junior year, Abby shares her faith-driven journey as a double major and what she has gained from the experience so far.

Interviewer: What inspired you to take the leap and pursue a major aside from the one you are currently taking?

Abby: Looking back, I was initially inspired and challenged at the same time by people who have done so. As the majors came into the picture, I searched and found a deeper meaning to what I was doing. I thought that I owed it to myself (to push the boundaries of any God-given talent) and to other people (to do my absolute best to pay back and forward) to take this path. Also, I am interested in studying Economics, the other degree I am taking, and hopefully, this interest will sustain me during sleepless nights. I am further motivated by the support I get from my family, friends and the Office of Admission and Aid (OAA), as well as other involved departments.

I: How is your college life now considering you are taking two majors instead of one? How has this affected the way you handle your academics as well as your extracurricular activities?

A: Of course it is difficult, not only because of the load, but because of the expectations that come with it. There’s a certain impression regarding people taking double degrees, but more often than not, it just stems from a certain interest or skill we want to learn more about. I enjoy what I’m doing and I think that helps in dealing with the extra load. I impose stricter rules on myself when it comes to time management; time for leisure and extracurricular activities has somewhat been reduced to a level of “still having a .”

I: What are the challenges you encounter as a double major?

A: There are many sacrifices that come with taking a double degree. Aside from the hassle of enlisting for additional subjects not initially in your IPS, you would have to take overloaded semesters if, like me, you’re an average kid who didn’t advance any subjects through CEP. That could mean extra hell weeks and less sleep compared to your blockmates. It would also require more discipline, focus, and patience for longer study hours. The expectation of doing well somehow adds to the pressure as well.

I: Is the decision worth it?

A: I made a vow to myself that I would never stay with things that make me unhappy — that does not exclude my plan in taking a double degree. If I ever find myself taking the consequences of this action negatively in the long-run, I will quit. So far however, the additional requirements have been difficult but manageable, and I am happier. So I can say that the decision has been worth it.

I: What advice would you give someone who’s considering taking the same path you are? Any tips or tricks on how to manage it?

A: If someone has plans of taking the same path, don’t. Just kidding! If you really want to go for a double degree, by all means, do it! But you have to make sure that you won’t sacrifice the quality of education in your first degree. The second is just a bonus, and if what you really want to do is shift, then just shift instead of taking a second degree. Give value to your education based on its quality, not its quantity. If you’re really set on this path but are hindered by some doubting voices, don’t hesitate to ask around. Department chairs and secretaries, as well as upperclassmen, myself included, would all be willing to lend a hand. As for tips or tricks…if you really want it, you’ll make it. There are a million ways to get something you want if you just pray and work hard.

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