Half of the people on my Facebook friends list belongs to the 18-25 bracket. That said, it is not surprising to see a lot of them post their graduation pictures and telling everyone how happy and honored they are, and how thankful they are to their parents. Some congratulations here and there, and jesting about where the next drinking session is.
I actually got to talk to these friends personally and after the all-too-casual congratulations, I utter an equally casual “So what’s your plan after graduation?” The kids who graduated from Engineering, Accountancy and Nursing give me an automatic “Board review”. Some tell me they’re going to Manila or Cebu for it. Some utter a famous review center in the city. The others who are not from those courses either tell me they’re going to apply for a huge company (even if they say that it’s unlikely that they’re going to be accepted anyway) or tell me “I don’t know, bahala na”.
See, this alarms me. They just spent most of their life going to school and preparing, year after year, for the next year. Then they graduate. Then they don’t have a plan afterwards? I’m scared to think that these kids might just be scared to decide for themselves or they’re not used to having a default direction. After all, for more than 20 years, most of them just anticipate 2nd year after 1st year, 3rd year after 2nd year. And so on.
When I ask them why they’re so indecisive, they tell me that the course they took isn’t their first choice anyway. That their parents chose it for them. That their friends took it and they just jumped into the bandwagon. That they lost their amour for it when they failed one subject years ago. I tell them that that may be the deal before, but now they can have a fresh new take in life. Today, corporations are not that strict on the job requirements. Well, some technical know-how may not be negotiable but for numerous fields, the degrees earned may be negotiable. For example, I know of a Physical Therapy graduate who now leads a huge Philippine bank and a nursing graduate who did a great job in being a Marketing Officer of a rising hotel.
Moreover, if you think you are not really in the mood to be an employee, you can just scrape a little capital and start your own business. You can take one of those short courses in events management, candle making, graphic design or even Pilates! Do something you love and figure out a way to earn from it. Trust me, if you really like what you’re doing, you’ll be good at it and it will show! And the income will follow! It took me a few years and a few shitty jobs to get to where I want: events planning and having my own events outfit. But you can do better. 🙂
You can also take more time to figure out what you want. It’s better to delay a little than take a wrong turn in life (again). Take a short vacation, see your friends and have a little fun. Maybe for the summer? Just make sure this doesn’t stretch ‘til you’re 30, okay? That’s a different story.
So, graduates, CONGRATULATIONS and good luck in taking the wheel of your life!
PS I hope you’re not like ^THIS^ guy! 😛