Student Graduates Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude from Two Courses

Everyone knows that earning a degree is not easy; yet there are those who make college seem so easy as they ace the tests and complete the course with flying colors!

One graduate even went viral recently for not just graduating summa cum laude from his Civil Engineering course but also as magna cum laude from his first course, Management Engineering! Isn’t that amazing?

The impressive student was identified as Timothy Jason “TJ” Simeon.

Graduating as Magna Cum Laude

It was in 2010 that Simeon earned his first degree at Ateneo de Manila University.

When he graduated as valedictorian at Xavier University, he had a lot of choices in the universities to study in college. He passed the UP College Admission Test and was also offered a full scholarship grant at Ateneo.

Photo credit: Inquirer / TJ Simeon

Though he thought about studying in UP, he eventually picked Ateneo after taking part in the school’s Junior Summer Seminar program. In this program, top students from high schools all over the Philippines are given the chance to enroll in college-level courses to get a feel of how it is to be in college and study at Ateneo.

Simeon gained automatic admission to the Ateneo’s Bachelor of Science in Management Engineering course after taking part of the summer program.

Xavier and Ateneo are both Jesuit schools so it was an easy adjustment from high school to college, especially in terms of culture and values. I actually found the college schedule relaxed compared to the 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily schedule of high school,” Simeon shared.

Photo credit: Inquirer / TJ Simeon

The ‘relaxed’ schedule let Simeon have more time to study and also take part in extra-curricular activities. This made him enjoy his college life a lot and helped him finish the course as magna cum laude.

Graduating as Summa Cum Laude

Just like most of the students in his batch who graduated back in 2010, Simeon found a job. But after working for 5 years, he went back to school through the encouragement of his dad.

My dad, as an engineer, sparked the idea of taking Civil Engineering as a second degree, given how the construction industry is growing in the country,” Simeon revealed.

Since he had always wondered what it was like to study in UP, the school was certainly the best choice when he got around to earning a second degree.

It was both easier and harder taking my second degree. It was harder adjusting back to college life after spending 5 years working in the office. At work, I didn’t have to worry about my job beyond the working hours. I had the weekends to relax,” he explained.

He also didn’t have friends or a college block to turn to, especially in the first few months that he was back in school. Thus, he was often alone.

Photo credit: Inquirer / TJ Simeon

Since he graduated magna cum laude from his first course, he felt the pressure to also complete his second degree as magna cum laude. Yet Simeon would impress everyone when he actually surpassed that goal to graduate as summa cum laude. Wow.

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