As I sit on a table surrounded with my housemates, I can see all of them struggling to comply with all of the requirements they need to have in compliance with their graduation. I can see myself on them as I was fighting against exactly the same things a year ago. With that, I can see that most people, if not all are doing all means to achieve his/her own goal. I’ve been seeing the same scenario in this table for the past months and it made me look back on the things I’ve had after complying all of these—GRADUATION, A DEGREE!
The day after graduation, I was torn between statements of “No, you must reward yourself first for working too hard for your degree” and “get up, find a job, pay your parents back for all the sacrifices and achieve your life goals”. Apparently, it is never wrong to reward yourself of some good treats for working your butt off in attaining your degree. On the other hand, it defeats the purpose of graduating on time if you make reasons of delaying your life goals, doesn’t it?
In a perspective of my young mind and experience in 21 years, here are some of my realizations after graduation:
1. Not figuring your life out just yet is natural. During youth, you are at the peak of your curiosity, exploring possibilities of doing this and doing that and the consequences of this when you do that. It is just natural not to know what you want to settle for in the future, exempting the fact that you graduated with a degree you really want to practice. So, it is definitely fine at the age of 20 or 21 not to know where you are going, just do not totally lose control of what you aim. Chill.
2. Your first job is not your forever job. You might have attained a degree in education or journalism and practice it in the first six months of getting that degree. It rarely happens that you practice your degree in profession, I congratulate you if that’s the case, but there will always be something in you to think over the box and have the urge to try other profession and savor how it feels like. Quitting your first job is not a crime at all.
3. You want to do so many things but you lack resources. It is like a norm in the Philippines that your parents are supporting you every step of the way towards your goals. However, most parents, if not all, assume that fresh graduates can support themselves right after. But that is just not the case. After graduation, you will still long for the things you do when you were in college such as hanging out with your friends, going out on a pub, buying these stuff and all. And it will kill you every time you want to do so but you can’t because you don’t have money. And it sucks.
4. Romantic relationship will be the last item in your life. This may not be applicable to all but you will be at the lowest point of your life because of confusion in priorities. You will not know how you will be able to start in achieving your wants. It is very difficult to be in a relationship without knowing your own sense of direction. So do not expect those relationship goals just right after graduation because reality in life slaps real hard.
5. You will have the worst feeling of inferiority. It is awful to be belittled by other people but at some point in other people’s life, they feel inferior, especially fresh graduates when it comes to job application. You must acknowledge the fact that you are not the only person who graduated Summa, Magna of Cum Laude in this universe, you’re not the only fresh graduate with that degree from that university. However, you must trust yourself and everything else will follow. It is completely understandable if you will be rejected a couple of times. What matters most is that, you tried.
6. You must plan your future. It really pays if you plan your life. Not just a general plan but a detailed one. When you plan a house, you just don’t decide when to build a house but you also must consider where to get money to build a house and what materials to be used. In short, you must plan what is gonna happen in your life and what you want to achieve 5 or 10 years from now. To make it more effective, list down the things you want to do or achieve yearly. Just a little piece of advice, take a look at that list first thing in the morning.
7. Failure is delayed success. It is inevitable that you compare yourself with your batch mates right after graduation. You will have the tendency to compare their success to your success and you will realize that some of them are already ahead of you in the race. Maybe that is because they are so eager and so driven not to be left by time. The extra amount of effort and hard work made all the difference. Maybe, it is no just your time to shine like they do, or maybe there are better things ahead of you that God made you wait for. Just always remember that the best things come to those who wait but better things happen to those who chase them. You’ll shine when you least expect it.
Things do not always work the way you want them. They happen in the most candid way, in your least expected timing. You do not expect these phenomena to happen but I surely that if they do, just trust yourself and trust God, you’ll be perfectly fine. These things are better in their right timing. Just relax as you witness magical objects in your life unfold. It’s okay to stumble down, it’s okay to be confused, it’s okay to be rejected. Don’t rush, enjoy your life with purpose!