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by Lionel Emil Javier |

By: Josh Tiu

Artworks from: LDR

So you’ve finally reached the goal of wearing that toga. You’re moments away from walking up to the stage to get your diploma; you’re nearly there, you’re nervous, you’re excited, you’re focused on not tripping over while you’re walking up to them to shake their hands. It’s seconds away and you’ll finally hear the words you’ve dreamt of for years; “Congratulations, you made it”. You’ve graduated but after that brief moment of relief you’ll eventually realize that even though you just finished that phase of your life the real challenge is yet to come.

Welcome to the real world, fresh grads. Now to tell you the truth this part is not pretty. Yes it is exciting because you’ve been preparing your whole life for this moment of “freedom”, but honestly this is the hardest part that you have to face because you have to figure out which path you have to follow in life, what your purpose is, what career you want to take up, where to start, and how to survive the remaining years you have in this world. 

Tell me do you know how expensive having a wi-fi subscription is? How much electricity and water cost? Food budget? Shampoo? Heck, do you even know how much it costs just to wash your clothes every week? Your RENT?! All of these eventually you have to find a way to make money for because you can’t keep relying on your parents for this especially if you seek independence. And trust me, you won’t immediately have the answers for all of this because no one really does. Yes there are people in your age group who seems they have everything figured out but the truth is not everyone can do that and THAT’S O.K. Life is finding out about these things along the way and here are a few personal tips I’ve learned after I graduated. 

1. Talk to your parents. Yes. Talk to them because for years they took care of you, your siblings, and themselves. Spend time with them after your graduation. Ask them how they started out and what they did when they were your age because if they got you this far then they have these things figured out.

– I had a subtle talk with my parents about my plans after graduation but like any other “plans”, nothing is final yet. Right now, I’m using my break to rest and at the same time, to reflect and deliberate on what path I should take.

2. Learn how to fix your legal documents NOW. You’ll eventually do this regardless if you want to or not and it’s a hassle getting your legal documents, especially if you have a deadline to submit it. So if you’re still trying to find out what career path you want to tackle or what industry or company you want a job in,then better start learning how you can get your legal documents now. Don’t be lazy or procrastinate (even though we’ve all been doing that for years) because they won’t wait for you unlike school requirements so you have to be sure all of your documents are complete and prepared by yourself SO DO IT.

– fixing my legal documents is at the back of my mind right now. I just need to get my birth certificate first from PSA since the government offices are not accepting the ones from NSO.

3. Review yourself. Start to test and analyze your skills and capabilities. Check where you’re good at and look for areas where need to improve because by doing so you’ll have a better understanding of yourself and your limits so you’ll know which industry and work lifestyle is best suited for you.

– I have been doing this for a long time now but I am still struggling on what I should focus on or what career I should take. Maybe, being a “jack of all trades, master of none” has its downside. I know there is also a good side to it, but I just cannot see it yet.

4. Spend less time with people who are slacking and more on people who are striving. What you need most are people who motivate and inspire you through their works and their words. Remove yourself from the people that drag you down because you don’t need all of that negativity when you’re trying to figure out your life and it’s okay to lose some “friends” along the way. If you seek positivity and to excel then you will attract the people who have the same vibe as you and they will be your fuel to succeed in life

– I am lucky to be surrounded by people who are hardworking and to be in an environment that has positivity in it. It gives me different perspectives and knowledge that could become handy when the time comes. Also, I enjoy my time alone since this is the time where I can be careless when it comes to doing things that I enjoy doing like listening to music, reading books, watching tv series/movies, and experimenting with my art style. When I say careless, it’s this feeling that in whatever I do, there is no fear of judgment or invalidation. I also understand that these uncomfortable feelings are essential for growth but it’s nice to be alone from time to time.

5. Purpose. Find your purpose. Yeah this part won’t be easy but no one said it would but finding your purpose may set you on the path you desire. Because to be honest most of your life you’ll find yourselfworking and there is no escaping it but that doesn’t mean you should be stuck on a job you hate. Seek purpose in your job and do what you love so that every day you wake up you’re filled with excitement and thrill in your work because you’ll be motivated to strive higher and greater in everything you do rather than being burned out working on something you have no interest in. Your purpose may be about helping and saving other people’s lives, working with a company you truly admire, brewing coffee and serving people with good food, performing and making the crowd go wild, creating artworks for the world to see, or even to starting a clothing brand you dream about.

– There is no easy answer when it comes to finding one’s purpose in life since life is constantly moving and expanding until we reach our limit. Meaning, each day, we learn new things and we immerse ourselves with new perspectives which could change or add to one’s purpose in life. As for me, my purpose in life is still uncertain but this I know, as long as I don’t step on other people and as long as it values all other living things in this world, then I am at peace with what my purpose might be.  

So again for the last time, it won’t be easy but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible so face life head on and prepare for everything. Just enjoy every moment of it even the hard parts because we all have to start small but our dreams should always be bigger than all of the challenges we’ll face. Congratulations for graduating, Kids!