3.29.2006

Lessons from a not-so-ideal graduate


I am the last person who should be talking about graduation. I didn’t even attend my own.

I saw graduation as a hurdle to get over, an obstacle I had to overcome so I could finally start working full-time for this paper. When that fateful day came, I wore a toga all right, but only to my dinner party. And it was the wrong shade of blue—the shop at Recto had run out of my college’s colors.

Despite my absence from the ceremonies, graduating from the university taught me a few things—some big, some small and some, well, forgettable.

You will miss school. Sure, you’re still in the middle of rejoicing over the fact that you no longer have to face your nasty professor and you’re probably thanking the high heavens because the days of surprise quizzes are over. But when you’re neck-deep in paperwork and are collecting overtime hours as if you can sell them on eBay for a fortune, you will definitely start missing those days when your biggest problem was today’s graded recitation. You know those annoying adults who tell you things like, “Oh I wish I could go back to school” or “I’d rather be a student forever”? Pretty soon, that will become you.

Take a break. You have your entire life to work. And once you start working, you’ll be doing it forever. Or at least until you’re 65. You’ve just spent at least sixteen years of your life in school. Now is the time to take a break. Whether your idea of a timeout is a weekend in Boracay, a month at your grandparents’ place in the province or a full week in your pajamas eating Cheetos and watching DVDs, do it. You deserve it.

Don’t let your course dictate your life. Your parents won the first battle—you hate math but they made you study accounting. You don’t know how you ended taking up dentistry when you can’t imagine staring into people’s mouths for the rest of your life. Here’s a little nugget of wisdom: Your course doesn’t dictate who or what you will become. A friend who took up geodetic engineering is now making a good living in publishing. I know a biology graduate who is now running her own business, a nurse who became a priest, a lawyer who decided to open a restaurant. You future is waiting—and you get to decide what it will be.

The school you graduated from does not determine the quality of your future. There are still small-minded companies that only accept applicants from the supposed top universities but don’t let that stop you. Just because you came from one of the more popular schools doesn’t mean you can rest easy. And it doesn’t matter either if you came from a school that no one else has heard about. It is you, and not your diploma, that will make your future.

Pursue your passion. Life is too short for you to be stuck doing things you really don’t want to be doing. Sure, blessed and few are the people who get to do what they love for a living but you might just turn out to be one of them. You would never know if you don’t try. Whether it’s art, music, sports, writing, food—pursue your passion. Your happiness and success may just depend on it.

Don’t let your college persona determine who you will become. (Unless you really loved who you were in college.) It doesn’t matter if you were the nerd, the dumb jock, the bully or the wallflower. College is over and your new life is beginning. Now is the time for reinvention if you deem it necessary. Think Madonna—but maybe not her cone bra phase. If you were the wallflower, break out of your shell. If you were the bully, try to be nicer. The world is waiting—try to be the best person you can be.

Make good decisions. Remember, the decisions you make after college have real-life consequences. Making a mistake no longer means just being sent to the dean’s office or failing a test. This is the real world we’re talking about.

Work hard but don’t forget to play. Love yourself by learning how to balance your time and your life. Working hard is good but not to the point of burning yourself out. Life may be a race but everyone needs pit stops once in a while. Don’t forget to have fun, adults are allowed that, too.
Handle your money well. Earning your own moolah is a big thrill. And spending it is an even bigger one, especially in a world with iPods and nice shoes and well-stocked malls. But saving a little cash every payday is something you have to do. It may not be fun but the security is worth it.

Create your own adventures. You don’t want to grow up too fast. Find pleasure in the small things, seek thrills from your everyday life, create adventures out of nothing. Organization is necessary in every grownup’s life, but the occasional spontaneity will do you good.

Make a difference. Find a cause, own it and do what you can for it. The world needs you.
Stay in touch with your friends. There is something important about not forgetting the people who knew you when you still had braces, when you were obsessing over that hot senior, when you were scared to death about getting your class cards. They will keep you young. They will keep you grounded.

Don’t stop learning. Say hello to the real world. Now your real education begins.


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This story was taken from www.inq7.net

1 comment:

~yna~ said...

i got touched with the same context you sent me through mail. Naka relate gid ko... in fact, ill bring the printed version sa Cebu. hahaha... Thanks for the research poi.