This sanitary engineering topnotcher failed in 10 subjects while in college.
Failing has always been a part of life, but in today’s day and age, we still see it in a negative light. When you fail, you immediately think of your dreams ending and how you’ll never be able to achieve them.
But in reality, not every successful person started out as such. Just like what Bob Brown said, “Behind every successful person, there’s a lot of unsuccessful years.”
These were the words that pushed Engr. Yurice Winaya Pesigan to get to where she is now, a topnotcher in the January 2022 Sanitary Engineering board exam.
Yurice, a native of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, has always been set to become a Civil Engineer and build her own construction firm from scratch. That was why when she learned that she had passed the admission exam at Mapua University, she didn’t hesitate to leave her hometown to study in Manila.
However, there was a bit of a change in plans when Yurice started her enrollment process in Mapua. Her dad suggested that since she was taking up CE, she should consider enrolling in the Environmental and Sanitary Engineering course, too. He said that the latter is closely related to CE and would be very helpful in her career in the future.
Being the go-getter she is, Yurice agreed and did a double degree. She knew that it wouldn’t be an easy journey, but she was prepared to take the risk for the sake of her dreams.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go exactly as she had planned. Right in her first year of college, she had her very first failed subject, Calculus. She knew she did her best to get a passing grade, but it still wasn’t enough.
The moment she learned about her failed subject; her first thought was how disappointed her parents would be and how her dad might impose “stringent measures” to get her to study harder. She really dreaded telling them about her failure, but when she finally did, she was surprised that they were actually very supportive and understanding.
“They understood that I had a hard time passing the subject and advised me to move on and try my best again,” Yurice said in a Facebook interview.
So that was exactly what she did. She focused on mastering the subject and surrounding herself with people who had the same goals as her. Thanks to her classmates’ help and her parents’ encouragement, she managed to pass Calculus the second time around, something that she was really proud of.
However, her hardships were far from over. Throughout her entire five-year stay in Mapua, Yurice failed nine more subjects. All these failures were starting to discourage her, and she was having second thoughts about ever reaching her dreams.
But one inspiring thing about Yurice is that she never gave up. Whenever she felt exhausted from studying, she would pause and go over the success stories of previous topnotchers who were once in her shoes. Reading their stories reminded her that giving up is not an option.
So despite every failure and challenge thrown at her, Yurice remained standing and fighting until she was finally able to get her double degree in September 2020.
Right after finishing college, she enrolled in a review center to prepare for the board exam. This was yet another challenge for her to overcome, especially since this was during the height of the pandemic.
Since the review was done online, she frequently had to study on her own. Thankfully, the review center guided them on what topics to focus on, so creating a study plan became easier.
But just when Yurice was finally getting the hang of the online review, she got sick for one week, throwing her off course. She initially feared that it was COVID-19, but fortunately, it was just the normal flu. Even with her sickness, she continued to study the boards.
However, there were dozens of times when she started doubting herself and her capabilities. She was unsure if her review was enough and if she was really prepared. That was until she dreamed of the Lord. In her dream, He was telling her that she could do it and that she was ready.
When the day of the Sanitary Engineering board exam finally came, Yurice was understandably a bundle of nerves. But while shading her answer sheet, she held onto her dream about God. It helped her push through the entire exam, but in the end, she was still not sure whether her effort was enough to land her a spot on the topnotcher list.
All her worries went away when the results finally came out five days after their last day of the exam. The minute Yurice saw her name in the Top 3, she couldn’t help but announce the good news to everyone in their house. Her family was nothing short of ecstatic about her success, and there were even a few tears of joy shed.
Tons of job offers have been sent her way since then, but Yurice plans on focusing on the Civil Engineering board exam in the meantime.
Engr. Yurice managed to squeeze in an interview with GineersNow, where she shared her tips and tricks to success.
Why did you choose this course? Who or what was your inspiration?
My inspiration is my father. He advised me that taking environmental and sanitary engineering is helpful to civil engineering professionals, which is why I decided to take both at the same time.
What are your favorite subjects in your entire engineering study? How about least liked subjects?
My favorite subject is Water Supply. I enjoyed answering problems here because memorizing formulas was more accessible for me compared with remembering terms from different subjects, especially in the subject of public health, which is my least liked subject.
Have you had any subject failures or disappointing academic performance, to the very least? If yes, what did you do about it? How did you cope?
I failed ten subjects in college. I was reading success stories of topnotchers who have similar situations as I had, and it inspired me to aim for the top. Every time I feel exhausted studying, I go over their stories to remind myself not to give up and that topping the board is achievable for everyone.
What is your most difficult and most painful experience during college life? What are your greatest struggles while in college?
The most challenging experience I had was the covid 19 pandemic. I was about to graduate when the pandemic hit us. Taking online classes was hard because I had to review the topics on my own. Also, it was difficult to study, knowing that many people across the world were afflicted, and a lot of my close friends and relatives were also infected.
Any topnotcher study tips or tricks that you think others should emulate from you?
Socialize with everyone in school. Join organizations and make friends with your classmates. They can help you with many things in college, like lending notes, giving free tutorials, and many more. Learning is fun if you are surrounded by other people who have the same goal as you in engineering school.
What is the best engineering school advice you can give to other students?
Failing a subject should never be a hindrance to success for engineering students.
Some subjects might require more time to study, and that is completely normal.
Focus on these challenging subjects so that it will be easier when you need to study them again for the board exam.
Board Exam Experience
What were the most significant struggles you experienced while preparing for the board exam? What did you do to overcome them?
I got sick for almost one week during my review. All along, I thought it was COVID because of some skin rashes I had. It turned out to be just regular flu. I was quite depressed, but then I continued with my usual schedule in spite of said distraction.
Did you enroll in a center for your review? Do you recommend doing so? Which one did you go to?
I enrolled in the Intense Review Center. Preparing for the board exam became more accessible because of their guidance on the topics on which you will need to focus on.
How did you find the board exam? Easy, average, or difficult?
The board exam was difficult. All possible answers were given in the choices, so I wasn’t sure if I did well or not after the exam.
What were your expectations after you took the board exam and before the results were out? Did you have a feeling that you would be at the top?
After taking the board exam, I expected that I would pass, but I was not confident enough to be part of the topnotchers list.
What did you do the first minute you discovered you topped the board exam?
I immediately announced it to everyone at home. No words can express how thankful I was. Everyone was happy and was in tears of joy, especially my parents.
Who do you owe your success to?
I owe all my success to my family, especially my papa and mama. They were the ones who gave the best support while preparing for the board exam.
What incentives did you get from your university and review center after your board exam success?
I was informed that my school would give a monetary incentive.
Share your most effective study habits.
Every morning, I study topics that require a lot of reading and memorization. I feel refreshed at the start of the day, so I quickly understand my lessons. In the afternoon, I study topics with computations. It keeps me awake and helps me avoid taking naps. In the evening, I attend my review classes.
Give five important tips for future board exam takers who aim to become topnotchers.
- Trust the Lord. Pray to calm yourself and rest all your worries. I doubted myself several times before taking the board exam. Not until I dreamt of him. We were in St. Jude chapel when I had this vision of the Lord telling me I am ready and I can do it. That dream became my strength while taking the board exam.
- Study as if everything will appear on the exam. Every topic is essential. Never miss a chance to get the correct answer.
- Practice answering more problems than the usual problems given by the review center. Indeed constant practice makes you perfect.
- Rewrite formulas. It is easier to remember formulas when you write them repeatedly.
- Do not compare yourself with others. Reviewing for the board exam is stressful enough to mind others’ business. Do not dwell on your worries.
Family & Love Life
Describe your family.
I have a very supportive family. I have my mother and father, who constantly remind me to study hard every day, and I have my two siblings, my source of joy during my exam preparation. Talking to them was a breath of fresh air for me. My lolo and lola who prayed for me. My lolapoy who made sure I eat well by cooking very delicious meals during my review.
Did your parents encourage you to study engineer?
Yes. My parents encouraged me to study engineering. They were telling me that it fits my personality, and yes, they were right.
Are you in a relationship? or it’s complicated?
Not at all. I still have so many plans that need to be accomplished first before having one at this stage of my life.
Describe engineering in one word.
Why is engineering necessary in our society?
Engineering is everywhere. Without them, lives will never be more manageable. The development will be achieved in a society with the help of engineers.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
I see myself starting my own construction firm. With my knowledge in engineering by that time, I will be confident enough to attain it.
About Sanitary Engineering
Here’s a snapshot for those who want to know about sanitary engineering.
What is Sanitary Engineering?
Sanitary engineering is the application of engineering principles and practices to the planning, design, construction, and operation of facilities that process or treat water for human consumption or use. It also includes the collection and disposal of wastewater. Sanitary engineers work to protect public health by ensuring that water is clean and safe to drink and that wastewater is adequately treated before it is discharged into the environment. They also work to prevent the spread of disease by designing and implementing systems for safely collecting and disposing of waste materials.
What Does a Sanitary Engineer Do?
Sanitary Engineering: a Technical Field with a Bright Future
Sanitary engineering is a field that is often overlooked but is essential to keeping our world clean. Sanitary engineers are responsible for designing and overseeing the construction of systems that treat and dispose of human waste. They work in a variety of settings, including municipalities, hospitals, universities, and research laboratories. This technical field has a bright future as we continue to face ever-growing challenges in the areas of water quality and wastewater treatment.
The work that sanitary engineers do is critical to public health. In order to design effective wastewater treatment systems, they must have a strong understanding of the chemical and physical properties of water and wastewater. They must also be able to apply this knowledge to practical problems. In recent years, there has been an increased focus on sustainability, and sanitary engineers are playing a pivotal role in developing more environmentally-friendly treatment systems.
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