Planting your Magical Beans

kuya karlMy friends know how big a fan I am of Friends, that 90’s TV show about six attractive young people living in New York. And while I was browsing for an episode I still haven’t watched, I stumbled upon this episode where Rachel faced a predicament: “What if it doesn’t come together?”

And for a graduating student who is extremely bothered about the future and has zero self-esteem, this dilemma is quite harder to overcome than it should be.

During the course of my college life, I have been wallowing over that thought over and over again. To begin with, my first year of college was an uneventful one: I was afraid to go out from my bubble, settled for anything mediocre and familiar.

But the thing is, this kind of attitude led me nowhere. I regret the times that l let the opportunities fly by just because I like being in the familiar. I regret the times I did not exerted the right amount of effort simply because I am too shy to execute well.

Going back to Rachel’s predicament, Phoebe told Rachel that what she needs to do is to plant her “magic beans” just like Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk to launch her to something better.

I knew I had to step up, so I took the first magic bean I came across by applying as a photographer for the Flame. It was a risky decision because for one, I barely knew anything about taking good photos.

When I was applying for the position, I am not even aware of what composition is, and was still in the process of mastering the exposure triangle. To add, the pressure is off the charts considering how good my colleagues are in photography.

Luckily, I was accepted and became an apprentice. Motivated not to disappoint everyone, I pushed myself to be better at what I was doing.

I set aside my nap times and Minecraft sessions to do something productive like reading on how to capture effective and appealing photos and going around the city with my camera. Until now, I never regret making that choice.

One thing led to another, and to cut the story short, I am now in a much better position than where I was four years ago.

Planting your magic beans will go a long way. If Jack never exchanged his cow for a bag of beans, the story will never progress. If Rachel settled as a wife of an orthodontist, she will not become an executive in a big fashion company. If I continued my prior trajectory, I will not be in a sofa past midnight, sipping coffee while writing this farewell column due the next day.

Sure, there will come a point where you are going to be exhausted and disappointed, lose your motivation, and just simply quit. But do remember that any setback will launch you to something better.

To answer the earlier proposition: Yes, everything will come together. Just take the leap and plant the magic beans that you have.

And of course, try to have fun.


My journey in this hell hole (a.k.a. college) will not be as enjoyable without these people.

To my parents, your love and support drives me further. Thank you for being there when everyone turned their backs on me. I owe it all to you.

To the Flame, who I like to personify a lot, thank you for giving me the opportunity to prove myself that I can do it. You gave me an outlet to explore my talents and capabilities the classroom cannot accommodate.

To the editors, especially the seniors, kudos to us! Keeping the Flame alive is an arduous task, but I can say we did it with grace.

To Janine, thank you for being a patient and hardworking partner; to the photography team, Danie, Kath and Marianne, I have seen you guys have grown a lot, and I could not be more proud of you. I hope your passion and willingness to be better at what you are doing will never fade.

To 4JRN1, you guys are the smartest and the most talented people I know. Go forth and change the world. And get some sleep.

To Tovy and Marla, thank you for making my college life less stressful, and being the siblings I never had. Stay awesome and gamol.

To Aly, thank you for being so patient and for pushing me to become the best version of myself. Always remember that I will always have your back.

And to Batch 2017, welcome to the real world! It sucks, but you are going to love it (Geller, 1995). F

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