To The Graduates
The fun’s over. Oh please, don’t give me the “I-had-to-stay-up-all-night-for-a-15-page-paper” crap. That is nothing compared to what you will face out here in the real world. Say goodbye to freecuts, for every day that you miss out on work, you will see that on your paycheck and it will hurt so bad you’d wish you didn’t pretend to have an upset stomach just to watch the premiere of the Avengers (or whatever it is you kids watch these days). You can’t just randomly waltz in your office with the trend, remember: you have to look professional. Unless you work for Skrillex, you have to at least seem to have good hygiene.
No more drunken binges that begin in the afternoon in the city and ending up in Tagaytay for breakfast. Nope, you have deadlines to meet and asses to kiss from 9-6. And if you have to work with the time difference of other countries, good luck setting up meet-ups with your friends. Get used to eating at Mcdonald’s or Jollibee or whatever fastfood joint in your building that can accommodate your 1 hour UNPAID lunch break. At first, it will seem like a good idea to head over to the newest mall and hang out, but honey, you’ll learn the hard way.
You’ll begin to count the number of hours that you work and whenever you’d pass by a store, instead of just texting your parents to buy you what you want, you count the hours you have to slave off just to purchase that. Suddenly, everything seem so expensive when once upon a time, you dreamt that you’d use your first salary to treat the whole barangay for an impromptu fiesta.
You’ll learn to actually ignore texts and phone calls because yet another headhunter/recruiter is contacting you for “an exciting career opportunity”. Or worse, your phone service provider wants to alert you that you’ve spend 400% over the plan you subscribed to them during those “help-me-friends-I-wanna-go-back-to-the-carefree-life-of-yesteryears” moments that will attack in the middle of the night.
It’s not the end though, you will finally learn to appreciate all those things you couldn’t wait to grow out of. Bringing lunch to high school or college was unthinkable but once you calculate the costs of having to buy lunches in the big cities, you’re going to start scouring for your old Power Rangers lunch box. Watching the news will only depress you with the rising crime rate, gas prices and other problems that you will automatically watch Cartoon Network in your spare time. You’ll finally get to talk eye to eye with your parents when it comes to family decisions. Hobbies will turn become the center of your life. And that crush you’d had since you were in freshman year of highschool? You will learn to see why you were never meant to be together because your paycheck is way bigger than his, and frankly, you shouldn’t date paupers whose tax bracket is lower than yours.
And yes, you will learn to miss that school you cursed everyday on twitter and facebook. I still do, and everytime I pass by my university, I want to leap out of the car, take of my heels and dress and put on my ratty shorts, slippers and sando to have 50 pesos worth of isaw and lie on the grass. But, we all have to move on and face what the present can give us. I’m thankful for my years in college and it’s nice to visit it in my head sometimes but in time, I will also graduate from this phase and move on to another level of frustration, problems and fulfillment that life throws our way.
So, graduates, I wish you all good luck. Bid sayonara to your alma mater: it’s time to grow up.
P.S. Try to squeeze in about a month or two of debauchery with your friends before you work. It’ll take at least 6 months before you get leave credits at work and bosses frown upon 3 week vacations to Europe.
*Photo part of my Project 365
**Day 3: A Bite From The Past