ANTIPOLO City, July 16, 2013—Raising more than $3000, passing screenings, and undergoing preparatory formation is only half the challenge for World Youth Day (WYD) pilgrims who also happened to be students. Assumption High school students had to do advance school work for the three weeks of classes they would be missing to go to Brazil – no mean feat.

“We were fully aware of all the make-up work we’d have to accomplish. It was overwhelming and for a while, we were all stressed out of our minds because it all seemed like too much,” Carla Alcantara, a third year Assumption high school student, shared in an interview.

Student-pilgrims’ sacrifice

Alcantara, who is vice-president of her class, explained, to miss three weeks of classes is equivalent to a whole unit of lessons.

It would also be doubly hard because after Assumption pilgrims get back from Brazil, it will be unit test week, giving them practically no time to study or review previous lessons.

Even Assumption Philippines assistant sub-group leader Sr. Mary Ignatius Vedua, RA admitted it was one of the more radical implications of joining the WYD.

“Preparation has been very pleasant, but the hard part is studying in advance and doing make-up work knowing that one needs to catch-up with a 3-week absence from classes and prepare for assessments as soon as the delegates get back to school,” Sr. Migs, as she is called, explained in an interview.

WYD learning experience

For the 15-year old Alcantara, the pressure to do well academically despite the Rio de Janeiro trip was eased by considerate teachers who gave projects and activities related to the WYD experience.

Other teachers also agreed to continue make-up sessions with the students as soon as they get back.

For Alcantara, the WYD is a learning experience par excellence—something which her academic work has prepared her for.

“I have faith that World Youth Day will teach me so much more than academics can because of the realities I will encounter…However, the lessons taken up in school will definitely play a big part too because they allow me to have a broader view on things from different aspects,” she explained.

Assumption Philippines comprises 12 students from Assumption – San Lorenzo, five from Antipolo and one from Assumpta Technical High School in Pampanga. (Nirva’ana Dela Cruz)