WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A PHILO MAJOR?
by Kaira Millen Catacutan, Philosophy Department Representative
What is it like being a Philosophy major? A life as a philosophy major depends on how YOU decide it.
With only 15 academic units to take as a Philosophy freshman and 18 for the rest of your life as a philosophy major, Philo majors most certainly have time in their hands. Older Philo majors usually spend time along the silent halls of Pavillion 2 and in the cold Seminar Rooms while younger ones enjoy the daily hike from ground floor up to the breezy and humid fourth floor rooms of Palma Hall. Don’t despair though! Cognate electives allow room for adventure from the Sophomore year onwards.
One of the perks of being a Philo freshie is that you get a ‘priority’ in the subject that’s always fought over by everyone, Philo 1. You are guaranteed that Philosophical Analysis will be offered to you in a silver platter. (You have to line up for the other GE’s though! This is because the new curriculum, followed by Student Numbers 2018 onwards, requires a number of high-demand courses.) While it is universally known that books and essays define social science students (much more for students of philosophy)Philo majors tend to find ways to divert their attention away from the inescapable weariness (for the weak) of the overwhelming Descartes, outrageous Hume, or the compelling Kant.
Some Philosophy majors apply for part-time jobs in the university offices; they are called ‘student assistants’ or SAs. They man the helpdesk, answer phone calls, send out and receive documents and the like. An hour of service merits Php 60. However, only second year standing students may apply for these positions. Others prefer to be spending their time applying for various university and college organizations. The Department of Philosophy itself is home to two Philosophy-based organizations: UP Kabataang Pilosopo Tasyo, which only accepts Philo majors, and UP Philosophical Society, a university-wide organization. Both organizations hold open philosophical discussions, a worthwhile activity for those who enjoy bonding with philosophy outside of class. Philosophy students who have the heart to help also join Apeiron Core Group, the department’s official volunteer core group. Events and initiatives for Philo majors are made possible by Apeiron’s selfless volunteers. In addition, you can also volunteer for the whole college as a member of the Office of the Student Affairs Peers or OSA Peers.
You can also build your body, go to the gym, jog around the oval, and then have a view of the sunken garden while you digest your earlier discussion in class and reflect on what the purpose of your life really is--which we believe is the purpose of having a fewer number of required units than other courses (a healthy mind in a healthy body, right?).
You can do all of that or you can go home early after your 2:30 PM class, chill, and then bury yourself in the depths of Philosophy.