September 28, 2016

On taking a double major: Jill Banta

by Lance Ting

As we Ateneans face yet another school year, a year shrouded with mystery for us to discover on our own, we may find adventure and excitement, defeat and failure, or even love and passion. We say goodbye to familiar faces who will continue their life of magis outside the school. However, we also welcome the new batch of freshies, who are full of life and potential. We welcome the school year unsure of what the future holds for our academics, orgs, and even families. Not to fear, however, Jill Banta, an Atenean scholar with a double major in BS Chemistry and BS Materials Science and Engineering, and a minor in Development Management, is here to share her experience on her five-year journey in the Ateneo.

Interviewer: How’s Ateneo life so far?

Ate Jill: It’s my fifth year already and I’ve been through a lot of struggles, but I’ve already learned to adapt to changes and shocks. Right now I’m doing my second thesis on food packaging and it’s something that I like to do because I see the value in what I’m doing. I’m also doing a minor in Development Management, hoping I’ll be able to find a way to use innovations in chemistry to address pressing issues in the Philippine society.

I: What were some of the challenges you faced in Ateneo? How did you overcome these challenges?

J: As a self-supporting scholar, my biggest problem was finding a way to sustain myself while studying. I was able to find jobs with the help of OAA and my Gabay friends, becoming an academic tutor, student assistant, transcriptionist, facilitator, and tour guide in my stay in Ateneo. I think what really helped me survive college were the supportive people around me. My blockmates and Gabayanos were the primary people who have cheered me on through tough times. We find ourselves doing the same things together, and I’m glad we’ve shared moments of studying, chilling, hanging out, “partying”, and crying over long exams, to name a few.

I: How did you balance your org life, academic life, and family life?

J: Since I’m a dormer, I spend less time with my family but make sure to call or chat with them regularly. With acads, I spend my breaks reviewing in the library. Last year, I did org work almost every day because of my position in Gabay, but it didn’t hinder my studies because I always delegated org-related tasks fairly (i.e. we divide the tasks among ourselves and accomplish them on the discussed deadline).

I: What tips would you give the freshies?

J: My biggest regret was being afraid of asking questions in my early years in college. As a tip, I’d say don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ateneo has different offices which would be happy to assist you in times of need. There’s the guidance office, OAA, OSS, and your home department. We also have excellent professors whom you can consult when you have academic–related questions. Some of them might even turn out to be your life mentors.

Ate Jill Banta is in her fifth and final year in Ateneo. It was quite a journey for her and she will be missed once she graduates, so we asked her what legacy she wants to leave behind before her journey outside college begins.

“Honestly, I’m not keen on leaving a legacy behind as I’d rather be unnoticed, but to my peers, I hope to be remembered as someone who loved and fought.”

I: What will you miss about Ateneo?

J: I’ll miss the community of people who are driven towards service to our nation. When I go down the hill, it will be very hard to maintain the Atenean mindset of magis and men-and-women-for-others, but I’ll always return to my experiences in Ateneo to remind me of these things.

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