On Graduation

I was browsing through LiveJournal and I got to this post via Katia‘s post: Kung Bakit Bad Trip ang Pagtatapos ((Rough Translation: Why graduating isn’t all it’s cracked up to be)). This is a speech given to the University of the Philippines, College of Arts and Letters graduates last April 21, 2007 by Mr. Ben Cabrera, National Artist for the Visual Arts. Reading this made me realize that it’s been a year that I have been out of school. My graduation was held on June 17, so I’m not an official college graduate for a year yet, but I finished school around late April last year.

I’ve mentioned this to some of my friends and also here but let me say it again: I miss college. People say high school is the best years of their life, but I beg to disagree: my college life rocked. It’s probably because college opened my doors to so many new people after being surrounded by people I have known for almost all of my life in elementary and high school. I lived for the change and challenge college brought me, as well as the chance to be a “regular” student and not an overachiever that I was.

Mr. Cabrera listed ten reasons why graduation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and I’ll post them here (translated) with some comments of a 1-year graduate. :)

1. No more allowance.
Oh yes, this is so true. The no allowance rule comes every summer of a student’s life, and amusingly, it [allowance] has become one of the reasons why students started to like going to school. Simply put: no school = no moolah = no gimmicks. The only difference between having no money during summer vacation before graduation and after graduation is that you can still ask for money from your parents as long as you haven’t graduated yet, but once you have, asking money is harder because you’re supposed to get a job so you could pay for your own gimmicks. Not only that, but once you graduate and get a job, you’ll have to be more responsible for your own expenses. This counts paying for your phone bill/load, food, gas, and if you have a younger sister or brother, you’d be asked to help with their expenses ((Luckily for me, I’m the youngest in the family so I don’t have anyone else to help with schooling)).

2. No more friends. You and your friends won’t be able to hang out as much anymore. There is also a slower process of making new friends when you join the workforce.
True too, especially if some of your friends didn’t graduate from college the same time as you did. Or if your friends got a job before you did. Or they suddenly became busy with their own social lives — family, old friends, boyfriends, girlfriends…well you can’t blame them. :-/ And I’d have to agree that you and your friends can’t enter the same company at once, unless you all start a business together.

As for the slower process of making new friends, it’s true too, especially if you start working for a company who has more older employees than people your age. In college, you get to meet new people every term while at work you get stuck with the same people until someone else comes in or you get out and join another company.

3. No more time to read.
AMEN! Although I did have time to read around Christmas, right now there’s just no more time to read as much as I want (that’s why I have so many books up for queue, and my book ban is almost over!). Moreover, let me add, no more time to write. :( By the time I get home, all I want to do is watch TV and sleep. Weekends make me want to do that too. Loser. L-)

4. No more summer vacation, only a short vacation during Christmas.
Let’s not forget Holy Week too. But anyway, it’s true. Hay, what I would give to have a really long summer vacation after four years. The cons of studying in a trimestral-based school. And have I mentioned that I haven’t been to the beach this summer yet? Boo.

5. No more free gimmicks.
Mr. Cabrera talked about the UP Fair here, so I guess it’s equivalent to University Week or CCS Week. Gah, I miss those! Especially CCS Week! Acoustic Night (started at our batch!), Faculty Variety Show, PasiCATCHan, Livewire, free movies, lots of games, less classes…aaaahhhh! How I miss it! It’s not always free, but it was definitely a break from monotony. No more things like that after graduation. :(

5. You can’t absent yourself anymore.
Well, you can if you already have leaves (which I don’t). But then in college there are a number of absences you can take at your own expense ((By this I mean that if you absent, you’ll be missing out on lessons but not on money)), but there’s always recovery time by your classmates. :P In DLSU we had 7.5 maximum absences for MWF classes and 5 for TH ((This means Tuesday and Huwebes. Hahaha, the first thing that was explained to me by my Lasallian Ambassador was that TH means Tuesday and Thursday, not Thursday only. Talk about killing excitement :P)) classes. If you’re a DL, however, you get unlimited cuts, and some professors don’t follow this rule at all. :P

7. In connection to the sixth reason…you can’t just “drop” your work if you don’t like it.
True. Although I never dropped any subjects in college (haha, I failed them. Boo), I know how this is. At work you can’t just stop going to work because you don’t feel like it and come back after; it’s either you resign or stick with it until you enjoy it…or it makes you resign. :P

8. You can’t text while at work.
Well, technically I can since I work for a telco, but yes, you can’t text anyone just that. Unlike in college, when you’re bored, you could text the person beside you to talk, or text your crush, or text your friends from another class/course/org to meet you after class to hang out. At work you can text your friends who also work, but most of them don’t reply anymore because they’re also working. Le sigh.

9. You can’t copy from anyone anymore.
Well, who would you copy from?

10. When school’s over, it’s over.
I like how Mr. Cabrera says it here:

Pag tapos ka na, tapos ka na. Ito ang ikasampung dahilan kung bakit bad trip magtapos: hindi na p’wedeng bumalik. Hindi ka na p’wedeng bumalik. Tapos na ang mga araw ng baon, kaibigan, pagbabasa, bakasyon, libreng gimik, pag-aabsent, pagda-drop, pagtetext, pangongopya. Tapos ka na e. Tapos na. Oras na para magsimula.

To (roughly) translate:

When you’re graduate, you’re a graduate. This is the tenth reason why graduation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be: you’re not allowed to go back. You can’t go back. Gone are the days of allowances, friends, reading, vacations, free gimmicks, cutting, dropping, texting and copying. You’ve graduated. It’s finished. It’s time to start again.

Sigh. So, so true. As much as I want to do it all over again, I can’t. No one can. Even if you and your friends decide to take Master’s or a second degree, it’s not going to be the same as it was in college. Life’s so much simpler then than now. Back then all I worried about was studies, org stuff and if the guy I like liked me back. Now I wonder if this job is really for me, about my family, my health, my dreams — everything that a naive young 1-year grad thinks about.

Yes, it’s exciting to graduate, but once you get here, it’s an entirely different world. Sometimes cruel, sometimes not, but usually unknown which makes it a bit more terrifying IMHO.

But even with all those (non) perks I listed, it’s still a fairly exciting road. The Great Adventure, ika nga.