One Year After Graduation

To all the graduates who are supposedly set to receive their diploma this year, I want to congratulate you all on a job well done. Even if COVID-19 prohibits the traditional graduation ceremony, it can’t still erode the fact that all your hard work, perseverance, and sacrifices in the last four or more years have been paid off. Let’s wait for a little longer and for sure, you can have a full blast celebration soon after this monster disaster. What important is you’re safe and still alive to continue walking through your dreams. Once the world finally wins the coronavirus battle and everything begins to normalize, you’ll be living to another chapter of your life— the world outside the classrooms and petty school projects, the real-world. 

I tried to imagine if this pandemic came one year earlier. Probably, we were literally stuck in the mud with our thesis pending for approval and incomplete internship hours. Of course, we couldn’t work on these pre-graduation requirements if it happens that the entire Luzon is placed under lockdown. So even if online graduation is possible, I’m very sure that we’re not going to make it on the list. 

I’m glad that God allowed fate to be on our favor at that time, but sad at the same time because students and graduates of this year have to face this burden brought by the outbreak in our country. Some schools were able to resort to online platforms in delivering their graduation rites. On the one hand, there were also some elementary school teachers who considered visiting their pupils in their houses and sent them personally a congratulatory greeting, together with their printed diploma. 

However, a more deleterious impact of COVID- 19 on education hit even harder. Online classes, which seem to be the only way to open the school year 2020-2021 safely, are being pursued by the government but not every student can afford the costs. Those families who don’t have a stable internet connection or an effective computer set are forced to skip enrolling their children this year. Likewise, private school owners are also deeply devastated. Some of these institutions can no longer resume their operation due to tremendous financial loss. Everyone who seeks or provides quality education is really affected by the pandemic and definitely needed some attention.   

So if you’re like me who have successfully finished studies in the past years, be thankful enough. Give importance to everything you have now. For sure, you can’t have it without completing your education.

The After-grad Life

It’s been a year since I graduated. And everything I anticipated to happen once I step into the real world really happened. In a span of one year, I was able to submerge myself into the deep pool of obstacles that really challenged the skills I learned from school.

The transition period was difficult. When I applied and got accepted to my current job, it was only three days after my graduation. No rest. No extra time to prepare. I immediately set my foot on a sail because of certain pressure that if I wouldn’t get a job days or weeks after I received my diploma, my family will be disappointed. That’s why; when I was finally there, I really got badly attacked by culture shock. I arrived at a point where I questioned myself if this is what I really wanted to do in my life. I doubted my skills if it was really qualified to produce written content for a thriving digital advertising company. My first month being employed was the hardest. Salaries and other benefits, though helped me and my family, didn’t easily turn me on. While I was living my dreams to be a full-time writer, a part of me was still looking for other sources of happiness. But time really heals and it puts me in the right place. I was able to gain a new mindset and ended up being thankful instead. Later on, I realized that getting a job that can let you practice your expertise and can provide you a source of income is a heavenly gift to be grateful for, especially for entry-level applicants like me. But this is my little advice for you. Get enough rest. Don’t push yourself if you know that you’re not ready yet. This will only make you feel uncomfortable doing the things you supposed to enjoy. Don’t let inner pressure take on you. Let your heart lead the way. 

No plans for savings yet. Yes, it’s true. I don’t have any plans for future savings yet. Or if I have, this is the very least priority. Perhaps, I’m still in the stage of discovery on how I can effectively use the money I produced from my own hard work. Commonly, I consumed at least 65% of my salary in purchasing the things I deprived myself of in the last years. Buy this and that even though they’re not truly essential. And when I handed the cash to the cashier, I would start to regret I bought these things and ask myself “Where did I go wrong.” Well, common scenario every end of the month. But maybe I’ll partially thank the implementation of ECQ because I can’t go to the mall and shell out money. I’m glad to say that in the past two months, I was able to save money from my salary. Achievement unlocked, indeed. And maybe, I’ll continue saving money for the rest of my life, even after this pandemic. 

You’ll inherit practicality in life. As you stay in a place occupied by mostly adults and mature individuals, you’ll gradually see the reality of life. You’re going to realize that now, you’re actually standing in your own toes. All the decisions you’re going to make will matter. So in any aspect, you have to be careful. If you get used to the classroom setting where you can easily get over from your mistakes, this time you will not. All of your mistakes, whether unintentional or not, will haunt you every night as it may yield an unsavory outcome to you and to your company. Thus, you’ll learn to always do your best and fully put yourself to whatever you are doing. In this way, you’ll get a higher chance of preventing falling to these mistakes again. After all, you’re still a human and nobody’s perfect.

Real World is Fun

This is the last realization from my first year in the corporate world. Real world is actually fun, contrary to what most people say that it’s not. Doing the same thing every day will help you open up your mind and accept the fact this is the new life you have to live on. Along the way, you’ll meet a new set of friends, you’ll learn new things, and you’ll surely have a better perspective on handling various life situations. That’s fun, right? 

So please enjoy life after graduation. As you push your way through, you’ll get to know more about yourself. You’ll learn to weigh things on your hands. You’ll see how to properly distinguish what is right from what is wrong. 

You know what, one year is not enough to fully appraise your situation after you graduated. It’s only the beginning. There’s a lot more ahead. So keep moving. 

Photo Credit: Joseph Chan