by Ayi Dave
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, love and belonging are essential for one to reach self-actualization. Going in to Ecosoc, I was unsure of whether I would find the people whom I could be myself with, whom I could treat as family. Little did I know, there were people with open arms, ready to accept my perfections and flaws—people I would like to call my GW family or fambam for short.
I found it kind of weird that I was put into a ‘family’ with people who were virtually strangers. Besides all of us GW kids being Econ students, the only other thing I knew I had in common with my GW siblings was that we bid for the same people to be our parents. It wasn’t much to work with, but hey, that’s a start. By the end of our apps’ Acquaintance Party (“Reminisce”), we bid an insanely high price for our guardians who we weren’t even sure we would get along with. There was so many things to be scared of, yet my excitement for what was to come overpowered any fears i felt and constraints i had.
It was so awkward when we first got together as a family. People were quiet and our guardians had a hard time to get everyone talking to each other; I actually had to try really hard. Admittedly, it’s difficult getting close to 8 people all at once, especially to a level of closeness you would think siblings would have. To add to the awkwardness, I think i’m pretty awkward myself, so that’s double the awkward.
The app process was what it took for us to establish and strengthen our familial bonds with each other. Doing the GW tasks (like the photo marathon) with my family helped my siblings bring themselves out of the shell that mere acquaintances put themselves in with each other and it helped me slowly come out of mine. My family grew on me all throughout. The people who I once considered strangers were now becoming the people I would look forward to spending time with whenever I would go to the tambayan. There weren’t any apprehensions when it came to being with these people. I felt like I eased into their company as much as I felt like they valued mine. I felt like, hey, I like these people, and they are actually starting to accept my weirdness.
Knowing what it was like to have great GW guardians throughout my whole app process, I felt the need to return the favor somehow. I wanted to find out what it was like to touch the lives of a handful of people in a way that only a GW guardian could. It didn’t take much for me to want to be a guardian because I kind of like taking care of people. Now that I am one with 7 beautiful babies, I can safely say, with my babies as proof, that paying it forward has never been this fulfilling.
Again, I am faced with a difficult problem: how in the world do i get these people to talk to each other? Yes, we had our awkward times but i’m glad we overcame that. Let’s just say i’m glad it isn’t just me and my fellow guardian who comments in our GW family Facebook group. My wards are active in their own ways, and i couldn’t have asked for better kids.
I can’t imagine my Ecosoc life without my GW family. These people, once complete strangers to me, are now among the people whom I consider closest to me in Ecosoc. Trust me, I didn’t expect that i would give such a high value to GW families. Maybe because I feel the need to achieve self-realization, or at least the 3rd level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? (Lol not really. Not at all.) After what it had done to me, and how much support I got from my own GW family, I realized how silently crucial a GW family impact can be. I am extremely grateful to have my paths cross with these people and I am equally thankful to be able to bring my GW family together.