Some people cry at weddings, but some of us? We cry at graduations. Even if we don't mean to, even if we don't show it, we do. Graduations are rife with feelings of uncertainty, excitement, relief, bliss, melancholy... all of which lead to the realization that something big is coming. That on the day of graduation, everything is going to change.
[related: Daily Diaries: All The Crazy Things Students And Alumni Do In The Name Of School Spirit]
632 thousand college students graduated in the Philippines as of September 2016, according to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). Each of them held aspirations of grandeur, of prosperity, and some, perhaps of saving the world. Wasn't it just a bit more than a decade ago when Lelaina Pierce, an aspiring documentary filmmaker played by Winona Ryder in Reality Bites, asked us in her graduation speech, "How can we repair all the damage we inherited?"?
Many of us, we aim high. But not all of us get where we want to be a year after graduation, five years, ten, or even fifty. While this may all sound pessimistic, some of our so-called grownups may not feel the same way. Here's what they have to say to this year's new graduates...
Emac, 60, Accounting, Government Employee. Emac's top graduation memory: "My husband was teary-eyed because he didn’t expect he would be able to help me finish my studies."
Gerome, 26, Fine Arts, Shoe Designer. Gerome's top graduation memory: "What I remember during graduation practice is my constant thinking that someday I am going to look back on my graduation day and say that I have 'made it.'"
Mae, 28, Statistics, Process Reviewer. Mae's top graduation memory: "I cried when I gave the graduation token to my parents. They were also crying as I said thank you while hugging them."
Danielle, 27, Journalism, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. What graduation means to Danielle: "Financial dependence to my family ends there. It's also bidding goodbye to my comfort zone (relatively safe school walls, kind professors, familiar schedule, easier tasks), but definitely not farewell to my friends. I knew we will work with them in the media industry anyway."
Isabel, 26, Management, Law Student. Isabel's top graduation memory "Natisod ako. I wasn't even looking forward to it because I’m anti-social."
Dawn, 24, Electronics Engineering, Field Engineer. Dawn's top graduation memory: "Sablay and sunflowers."
Yan Yan, 27, Philosophy, Self-Supporting Professional. Yan Yan's top graduation memory: "My social science teacher said I have the potential to be successful; it’s just that I don’t take interest to anything during those times. Maybe because I didn’t even know what I really want, it’s hard to stay focused when you don’t even know where you are going."
Marge, 28, Psychology, Teacher/ Center Directress. Marge's top graduation memory: "My parents and the mother of my first love met each other. I think it was a warm feeling back then."
Edward, 30, Electrical Engineering, Electrical Engineer. Edward's top graduation memory: "I remember walking in the rain. It was raining during my graduation. I remember my cousin popping out of the crowd offering me an umbrella, though I really didn't care getting soaked."
Kish, 25, Communication Arts, Writer. What graduation means to Kish: "Independence and adulthood. I’ve always been an independent person. However, with graduation, it meant that I needed to be truly independent. I moved out of the house, rented a small room, and stopped asking for money from my parents. I wanted them to see me as an adult so I stopped "behaving like a child."
ALSO READ: The Roundup: 6 Ways to Rock Graduation Season
Images by PV Sandrino / Banner photograph from Pexels.