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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Positive sparks

BOARD examinations usually drain an examinee of considerable energy, not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. That’s why escaping to the tranquil mountains of Sagada was the most perfect way to reintegrate for new Cebuana architect Keshia Stephanie Lim and her study group after months of grueling review until the actual test last January.

“I remember before the trip I told my friend, ‘I hope our ride home would be a good one’ to which he replied ‘I’m confident it would be great.’”

However, the architecture graduate of the University of San Carlos (USC) confided that they were actually just trying to comfort one another, because they felt devastated from the exam, which they said was more difficult than they thought it would be.

They were riding a van on their way home when news about the results of the January 2017 Architects Licensure Examination (ALE) came out. Keshia admitted that she was nervous to take a look at the Professsional Regulation Commission’s website and that her friend had to show the ALE results to her. There, she saw her name ranking fourth place in the exams.

And what made it more exciting for her was that her friends in the study group got the rest of the top five places.

Unlike her college classmates, Keshia reviewed in Manila. She was the only student from USC in the review class and in her study group. But this did not deter her from gaining the much-needed focus in the review and she felt happy that she was able to find a group of friends who had a similar work attitude as hers. And for her, this was one important key for her success. Keshia was the only student from Cebu to finish in the top 10.

“What probably made a difference was that I was in a group of very positive people with lots of positive energy.

I guess if there’s one thing very vital, it is to constantly surround yourself with people who motivate you, who believe in you and truly wish you well, and most especially, who are always genuinely kind,” she said.

For people to top the board exams, some would usually think that those who did it had to study all the way until the ALE. But for Keshia, she was not fully into the books and review materials. She did activities that would help her relax, but still attracting whatever positive energy she could get. In food trips, it was all healthy and devoid of junk food. And yes, she did meditation.

“Meditation was very helpful for me and for all of us. I remember in every start of the exam and midway, I’d take 10-15 minutes meditating, or until I felt that I was calm and collected. I probably looked really strange but it doesn’t matter. Also, I made it a point to always have a good amount of sleep,” she revealed.

Her experiences in architecture school also came in handy in her preparations. Keshia was part of the team from USC which won the grand prize in the World Architecture Festival student charrette competition in Singapore.

She said it helped her “become more organized, have better work ethic, learn to work in a team as a team.” Moreover, it helped her believe that anything is possible, how impossible it may seem.

Now that she’s a licensed architect, Keshia dreams to make a difference in the community and live life with a meaning as a design professional. The steps may not be concrete just yet but she looks forward to make people truly appreciate good architecture.

“I want to help show and convince people that architecture and design can positively affect the way we experience things, the way we think, the way we behave, the way we live our lives; people of various walks of life and social classes. And I hope that together with other passionate individuals of the profession, this radiates to a group of people, and then to a community,” Keshia added.

She believes that her profession is vital to city’s positive transformation, and she’s 100 percent positive about that.
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