After 10 Years in College, This Woman Finally Finishes Her Civil Engineering Degree

She had two babies along the way. An inspiring story!


Taking an engineering course is difficult in itself with its high demand of time, effort, and resources. One cannot graduate that easily, more so pass the engineering subjects in a term, when the student is not fully committed or focused in studying regardless of reasons.

That is why it is beyond challenging for somebody who has some other important things to take care of while trying to finish an engineering degree.

Such is the case of Rosselee Maverick Sapitola from the Philippines, who have been through a lot before she received her diploma in civil engineering. For 10 years, she juggled responsibilities as a mother, a child, a partner, and an engineering student.

In a Facebook post, Rosselee shared what happened and which decisions she had to make in the past decade. The post, written entirely in Tagalog, was entitled, “A Journey of One Decade” to detail her ups and downs while finding her way out of college. This is her story.


Source: Roselee’s Facebook

Rosselee graduated in high school back in 2007 while being 7 months pregnant to the baby of his then-boyfriend Francis. Only the two of them knew about the situation – her parents only found out about it a month before she delivered the baby, because Rosselee was scared about how they would react to their only child’s early motherhood.

But upon knowing, all that Rosselee’s parents had to do was accept what already happened. It was tough for all of them to deal with that reality.

It was May 31 when Rosselee gave birth to Alekcee Maverick, just a week before classes start at Union Christian College in City of San Fernando, La Union where she enrolled for nursing. She skipped the first week of class because she needed to rest post-pregnancy.

Nursing wasn’t really the course that she really wanted. In fact, Rosselee didn’t know which course she wanted to take. But because she had friends who are taking nursing as well, she made the same decision.

Her first term in the course went well, only to have a difficult instructor in the following semester. Rosselee felt that the instructor were making things complicated for the students. It came to a point that she missed the classes under that instructor on purpose. For that, she received her first failing grade in college, which made her not pursue nursing anymore.

Immediately after that semester and over the summer, Rosselee started anew with the course Accountancy by taking classes in Saint Louis College in the same city. Unfortunately in the first term, she faced yet another instructor that made surviving the course hard for her. She made the same move before: she skipped classes and eventually failed the subject.

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Being the second time that she had a failing grade, Rosselee did not inform her parents about it. She was skeptical about continuing accountancy or not.

Until her father, over the semestral break, told Rosselee to shift to civil engineering so she could follow his footsteps. To redeem herself from her previous mistakes as well as to save herself from the humiliation that she got a failing grade as an accountancy student, Rosselee followed her father’s advice.

Engineering was rough for Rosselee throughout. Other than having a hard time to learn the difficult lessons in her subjects, she had to deal with Francis who became jealous of her classmates who were almost all guys. At one point, he wanted for Rosselee to quit engineering. For that, there came a time that Rosselee skipped her classes so they would not fight.

But she did not quit and wanted to fulfill her parents’ dreams for her. Even when engineering tested her character a couple of times – in the 2nd term of the academic year 2011-2012, she only had 1 out of 8 subjects passed; and in the first term of 2012-2013, all of her grades were marked dropped, making her stop school for a while with her parents’ approval – she did not make the same move of giving up the course.

She resumed going to school in the first term of 2013-2014 with Francis, who was away working as a seaman, disapproving. But Rosselee’s parents wanted her to continue. And she did.

While her relationship was shaky with Francis at the time, she met Marvin, a friend of her friend, and who happens to be her classmate. It did not take long for their feelings to grow between each other, especially when Rosselee was drifting away from Francis. And she finally decided to end it with his boyfriend during the semestral break, finding no reason for her to stay.

On December 2013, Rosselee had Marvin as her new boyfriend. She admits in the Facebook post that she falls that easily, but she barely cares about what other people think about her as long as she is happy and she doesn’t hurt anyone.


Source: Roselee’s Facebook

Matters about her studies were also doing well. Rosselee and Marvin were in the same thesis group in the first term of the academic year 2014-2015, which went smoothly for both.

Read more  Struggles of Being an Engineer in the Philippines

But came the second term, in November, when Rosselee noticed that she wasn’t met with her regular period. She found that she was pregnant with Marvin’s baby. The father of the child was ecstatic about the news, only for Rosselee to have a near miscarriage in the first week of December. Good thing that the baby had held on, but its mother had to make some adjustments. She dropped a few subjects that must have caused her the stress.

It was only in February that Rosselee’s parents knew about the second baby when they noticed the bump. They were immediately accepting about it and recommended that Marvin should live under the same roof with them.

With the baby being the priority, Rosselee had to delay her studies and let her boyfriend graduate first. She wanted to take summer classes but she wasn’t allowed to by her boyfriend and her father. So she took some rest until the first semester of 2015-2016.

She gave birth to Alexandria Julyen in July 2015, giving her time to prepare for the next term. Rosselee continued with her studies, with Marvin finishing his engineering study on April 2016 and left for Manila the following month for his board exam review.

Left alone to take care of her two kids, Rosselee went through the first term of 2016-2017 finding that balance between her family and academic life. It resulted to a few failing marks, which is rather not new to her.

Marvin had passed the civil engineering board exam which inspired Rosselee to do her best in her last term in college. At times when she felt like giving up, there was his boyfriend to remind her that she can do it.

And she did make it. On April 2017, she finally grasped her diploma in civil engineering after 10 long years in college and 2 wonderful kids. She ended her post with utmost gratitude to her boyfriend and her parents who were with her every step of the way.



Source: Roselee’s Facebook

In an exclusive interview, Rosselee revealed the most valuable lesson she learned in engineering. She said that one only needs to be resilient and hardworking to overcome things, no matter how big or hard they are. One should also be hopeful and patient to get the results the he or she wants.

After passing the board exam, Rosselee plants to work for the government under the Department of Public Works and Highways or get into the contracting business with his boyfriend Marvin.

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Dion Greg Reyes
A young civil engineer finding his place in the industry. Pilipino.

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  1. Look how she worked and finally received here degree. What irritates me with our society; My daughter and granddaughter are both in media and marketing. They each earn more than double my wages as a mechanical engineer. they d not have degrees. Their personalities is what they are paid for (and hard work, of course) Something wrong with this picture. it is a big dis-incentive to do the onerous studying to become a professional engineer.

After 10 Years in College, This Woman Finally Finishes Her Civil Engineering Degree

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