Editor’s Note: The letter below was originally posted on the author’s Facebook page intended for her graduating students. It has been slightly edited.
Dear 2015 graduates,
I never pictured myself writing a letter of advice (or a long Facebook status post for that matter) to my students, but life has a funny way of changing one’s mind. I guess in that one year that I spent guiding you through the thesis process, my concern for your academic performance has extended to caring about how you will navigate life after 4 years of university.
In other words, you guys are so lovable that you managed to chip off that carefully built barrier between teacher and student. So when one of you asked me directly for my two cents’ worth about life after college, I decided to come up with a list.
1. The two months after you graduate is your magical transition period
I say it’s magical because there is that 8-week time lag where your neurons (it seems that in this case they are not rapidly firing) are still trying to come to terms with the reality that you are already full-fledged adults who are capable of independently finding your own way in the world.
Take advantage of that lag. Have fun and embark on every little adventure that you have dreamed of with your friends (may it be doing the Boracay adventure together or an inter-island road trip).
Believe me that the memories you will be building with your barkada will become few and far between down the road. Work and life will be making demands on you that are vastly different and oftentimes more difficult than what you had in college.
2. Use the two-month transition period to truly reflect on where you are heading
Listen to what your gut tells you and plan accordingly. Know what you’re passionate about, what fuels and drives you till you’re old and gray. Remember that this is not college anymore, where you have lulls and breaks between classes.
You will be working 8 hours every day, Monday-Friday (sometimes Saturday), so I’m sure you can picture how soul-sucking it will be if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing.
You don’t want to be a dried-out prune by the end of your work life (and we don’t want you to depend on your parents and family businesses for the rest of your lives either).
3. Remember that you are fresh graduates competing with other fresh graduates
Odds are, some of them will be more capable than you, who are really good at selling themselves. What will make you stand out will be your work ethic.
Be sure you have one.
4. Learn how to use your privacy filters in all your social media accounts
You don’t want to give the wrong impression to your prospective employers.
The rule is: if someone is interested in you, he/she is bound to Facebook stalk you (this does not solely apply to your love lives).
5. Learn how to distinguish between battles worth fighting for and what are not
Being able to do so will help you survive to fight another day. Having this skill will be kinder to your skin in the long run (less wrinkles, trust me on this).
6. Be forgiving not only of others but of yourself as well
Be kind. You will commit mistakes along the way just like any other human being. Learn how to care for your bruised self. You are your own cheerleader.
7. Keep in touch with your family and friends
They are reminders of who you truly are and what you truly value. They will be your one sane anchor when things get crazy or when you go crazy.
If they have seen you at your worst, odds are they will not run away at the first sight of insanity.
8. Don’t sell yourself short
Know your worth and the only way to do that is an honest evaluation of your skills and abilities.
Do not delude yourself either. It will not do you any good. Your perceived reality and the reality of others should at least match in some way.
Remember that delusions of grandeur are symptoms of mental illness.
9. Take care of yourself
What you do to your body will catch up with you when you reach your 30s. Remember Newton’s third law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
It does not only apply to objects, it applies to you too.
10. And above all, dream big and soar high but fight for your dreams
No one will do it except you. Take heart in the knowledge that possibilities are still endless in this rapidly shrinking world.
I wish you all the luck in the world! Congratulations, my thesis kiddies, and congratulations to Psychology Batch 2015! – Rappler.com
Ruby D. Ilustrisimo is currently an assistant professor of the Department of Psychology at the University of San Carlos in Cebu City. Before becoming an academic, she had the greatest adventure as an environmental educator in Thailand where she took multinational grade schoolers to different ecosystems and even got chased by an elephant once.
iSpeak is a parking space for ideas worth sharing. Share with us your ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Illustration of graduate and teacher with background of education icons from Shutterstock
There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.