Graduates, this is not the end- you are not yet done.

Life blogger Teresa Gueco letter to graduates

When I was still studying I often hear my higher year Ates and Kuyas who already graduated from college rant about how hard it is in the real world. I keep hearing things like life is much more different in real life and stuff like that.

To be honest, I didn’t understand them. I was thinking what possibly can be harder than what we’ve had in college? I mean we were forced to do crazy stuff just to make ends meet so an eight hour office job will be just fine, right? It’s freedom- we’re finally free!

But little did I know.

During college we were forced to learn and adapt how to stay awake and efficient with just 3 hour sleep, and some days we even have less than that, with a quiz or exam that same day. Personally, I’ve experienced having to go to school for my 8:30AM class without sleep, aside from power naps that I feel guilty having during that time, and then go home at 10 in the evening to repeat the process of my non-existing sleep for more couple of days.

That time I keep saying that I can never be more tired than this, not possible. I can’t understand our working friends rant because all I ever wanted that time was to get the hell out of college and get done with studying. But I was wrong and so I would like to write a letter for the graduating students about the things I wish I knew when I was about to finish college.

Dear Graduates,

                To be honest I am not sure if I want to congratulate you or send you a warmest hug for I know you’ll need it soon.

                It might seems like a book’s index or glossary but trust me it’s just a chapter’s summary and there’s still a Unit Test that you need to pass before going forward. You’ll face questions that seems like not part of the previous chapter but you have to answer it anyway and I am here to tell you to answer it patiently. Think about it. Is it A, B, C, or D? One question but can either make or break you.

                Friends, life is not a race and you don’t have to speed up, but to be honest I’m not even sure if your speeding up process has anything to do with your own decision or just a mere pressure from the people around you. I can’t blame you. With the kind of society that we have it’s almost impossible not to be pressured because most of us has a tendency to feel like what we think right is right.

                But hear me on this, you are your own. If you really want to grow then decide for yourself. It doesn’t matter if you decide to be practical and choose a path that is way out of your career path for a greater good, what matters is that you keep your stand. Human up and face it. Who cares if you need to choose pay grade than your passion? Who freaking care if you only have enough to make a living while doing the thing you are passionate about?

                If you are here reading this to seek advice to help you choose between your passion or being practical then I have to disappoint you. I will not imply an answer to a question in which you can only answer. We have different kind of life and sometimes what is best for others won’t be best or even good for you. If you choose passion then by all means, go and be happy because I’m happy for you. If you choose to be practical and leave your passion aside then it’s fine, I’m still rooting for you and all I ever wanted you to know is that I hope you are happy, if not I hope you become one along the way.

If you are those lucky human being who doesn’t need to pick between the two then I am very much happy, I hope you shine and grow more and help others too because whether you like it or not people or your friends will get jealous of the life you have and I hope you are there to make them see that you are all different but are equally talented and good. You might not notice it or like it but there will be people whose pain will come from your happiness and success. You’re not at fault and you don’t owe them anything but I have to ask you to be there for them. Cheer them up, affirm them because there will be times where it’ll be hard for them. So be that tiny hole- that whistle on a pressure cooker- and don’t be a heat that produces pressure for they have too much.

Graduates, the next couple of months will be hard for you. The training wheels will be taken away and you’ll have this mental clock that will keep on ticking, making you want to speed up the process of growing. But remember this, you are your own. Do not let yourself drown by the sound of the clock because it’s all in your head and that ticking sound is just a mere pressure that you keep on getting and forming are just inside your mind.

You have the power to silence it and adjust the melody for you are the master of your own.

Graduation is not the answer or an escape for you are not done, not yet. The challenges and sufferings will not stop, the pain will actually intensifies and I will tell you to keep on holding on and keep fighting.

What I learn from the past few years is that you will only age in number and in physical form but you will never be old enough to break down or be ready to any problems that will only intensify as you age.

When you feel like giving up and feel like the next summary chapter is way beyond your reach, if you feel like you are stuck, if you feel like you already suffered enough and can’t take any longer, just look back and see the journey you took and the challenges that you surpassed. You are here now, you already suffer enough, ngayon ka pa ba susuko?

Congratulations on your graduation! You are not done, but it also doesn’t mean that you can’t start something new.

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