By Maan de Vera
Graduating college is going to be one of the most bittersweet moments in your life. It’s a glaring crossroad that we have to take on with both of our feet at once. You see friends take on different paths. Some are certain of what they want. Others are just trying their best to wing it.
It feels as if it was only yesterday when I went through this phase and, honestly, it was neither easy nor pretty. Looking back, this is where life has brought me a year after graduating:
1. I realized that it is truly difficult to land and keep a job.
Remember what adults used to tell us about how stressful having a job is? They are all correct. The struggle is definitely real starting from application. However, the struggle is even more real once you’re actually working. You’re going to have to deal with new people, new routine, and new responsibilities all at the same time. This will challenge you beyond your limits, but the fulfillment from every success will also be priceless.
2. I found myself missing school.
There is no tres to save you anymore because, IRL, it’s only all or nothing. You’ll miss running into your friends every day or spending the long breaks together while waiting for your next class. You’ll miss having access to professors whenever something will confuse you. Life after college may seem like an unending semester filled with all the demanding major subjects that you can think of. But it can also teach you things that you can never learn within the four walls of your classroom.
3. I drowned in bills.
This one is really funny because I honestly got excited when my first bill arrived. Graduation is the rite of passage to adulthood, but paying our own bills seals the deal. As time goes by, it got a bit less and less exciting to receive bills. Best believe that you’ll find yourself budgeting your salary up to the very last peso. You’ll also be introduced to petsa de peligro. In the end, while I would probably wish for my fairy godmother to Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo my bills away if I had one, there is still a certain amount of pride in knowing that I have earned whatever material things I enjoy now.
4. I don’t have much time for friends or family.
“When I graduate, I’ll definitely dedicate more time with my friends and family,” says a naive college student. Feeling tired is going to be the new norm when you finally start working. More often than not, you’ll be wanting to find rest in your solitude. You’ll see weekends as a chance to catch up on sleep while locked inside your bedroom all day long. In the event that you manage to muster enough energy to go out of the house, you’d rather not stay out late. This may sound terrible, but really it will make you focus on spending quality time with people since you rarely get to bond.
5. I am still learning.
All the hardships that you face will lead you into meeting a different version of yourself. Someone you never knew existed. Someone different, but also familiar. Learning doesn't end when school does. Life will have an amazing way to teach you things. Just make sure that you're ready to watch everything unfold and fall into its perfect place. The changes are going to be drastic, but they are going to shape you into the person that you want to be if you allow it.
Buckle your seatbelt because what comes after graduation can truly be daunting. It will be nothing like anything else you’ve experienced. It’s a roller-coaster ride with its ups and downs, twirls, laughs, and even tears.
Welcome to your adult life! You got this.
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