Merry Criezon Festijo, RN
BS Nursing, 2009
Certified Hemodialysis Technician
Direct Patient Care
Fresenius Kidney Care- Bayonne Medical Hospital, New Jersey
It feels bizarre to write my own success story, as I don’t find myself at the pinnacle of my definition of success.
For me, I still have a long way to go for the success that I am longing for. I have pondered about it many times as I felt that I am not worthy because there were a lot from my batchmates who are more successful. I’m asking myself if I am worthy enough to be a writer about success. Readers might find my story irrelevant, some might find it boring but I wrote this with high hopes that through this article, I can touch even one single soul and be a source of inspiration to continue striving, not to stop dreaming, and be courageous in life.
Back in college, I was just a nobody, an ordinary student who doesn’t know what I really wanted in life. Thankfully I choose to be a Lycean and found my purpose why I chose to become a nurse. Being compassionate, responsible, and having integrity are the values needed to become a nurse, and in Lyceum I was molded to be one.
LPU not only focuses on academic excellence, but it is also encouraging students to be involved in building and helping the community through various student organizations. I found myself to be the vice president of one of the Best Student Organizations in my time, the Red Cross Youth (RCY) Council-LPU Batangas Chapter. RCY was also recognized and awarded by the Philippine Red Cross. We have managed to do mass blood donation programs, community-based gift-giving programs and were the assigned first-aid responders during school activities like PISTAKASAN and Foundation week.
My nursing career helped me to travel to different countries around the globe. I am in awe that in all the countries I’ve been to, there will always be a fellow Lycean who is willing to help you in any way possible. Moving to a foreign country is not a smooth sailing experience. It was a bumpy road as I needed to start anew and at my lowest point. In all honesty, I cried a river during my first year abroad. Back then, I cannot accept the fact that I wasn’t able to land a job in the health field. Because of the salary offered that I can’t resist, I just swallowed my pride and accepted it. I was earning enough, but I felt something was missing so I resigned. With the help of a fellow Lycean, I met a person who helped me get a job in a well-known manufacturing company and distributor of home furnishings and houseware. Though this career is not aligned with my profession, I still managed to be superb and was acknowledged by my bosses. But it seems that nursing is ingrained in my roots, despite being accomplished in my current career, I was still feeling incomplete. One day, a call changed my life, like a superman who saves the day, a sister of a college friend asked me to come and apply with her in one of the biggest dialysis companies here in the United States. I was a bit hesitant and afraid because I know nothing about dialysis, well except for the anatomy and functions of the kidneys as we are taught in college. I gathered all my courage and tried my luck, went thru the selection process, and went through a series of interviews. The experience was nerve-wracking but at the same time I was thrilled because I know, I was a step closer to my chosen profession as a medical practitioner. And the rest was history.
Today, though the situation is difficult and stressful due to the pandemic, I am proud to be a so-called front liner. Although there are times I felt horrified because of the nature of my work where I am exposed and my health is always at risk, it is quite satisfying to be able to render and provide the best care needed by those patients during this hard time. This pandemic became an eye-opener, humbled me, and helped me remember the values I learned at LPU, to let God be the center of everything and rest all my worries with Him, to have strong leadership and integrity to lead others, and to be compassionate to others.
On a final note, do not let others’ expectations towards you define your success. You are the master painter of your life; you control and take charge of it. Don’t let obstacles and failures bring you down, instead, use it as a ladder towards the triumph you’re eyeing for. When your heart feels complete, happy, and gratified, you are indeed victorious and successful, no questions asked, yes you are! #ButiNalangNagLyceumAko