In the middle of the night, we lie in bed, thinking: “What if I won’t make it?”

TOGAS, diplomas, and a sentimental graduation song. It’s that time of the year again. But more than the grand celebration that is the graduation day, what concerns hundreds of thousands of graduates this year, like any other year, is how to face what comes next – adulthood.

As daunting as it may sound, adulthood will give you that “ayoko-na-please-let-this-be-over” feeling and yes, it could get worse.

The thing is, we’ve actually been warned and we did brace ourselves. But we still lie in bed in the middle of the night, thinking: “What if I won’t make it?”

So to the newly graduates, this is for you. We’ve gathered some insights from three young professionals who are striving their way to making it big in life. These, in our deepest hopes, might help you prepare for what is yet to come.

Adulting is like a dysfunctional engine and a pump of gasoline. It takes all your energy at once then refuels your tank thereafter,” says the 22-year-old Edelaine Encarguez.

Encarguez, who is currently in her post-baccalaureate degree at West Visayas State University, shares, “There will come a time when you try to question your choices. You will even lose your sense of direction at some point.”

She adds that she “fears failure as much as everybody else” but what she fears most is “losing myself by sticking around something that makes me unhappy.”

“I got hired 20 days after graduation. I had high hopes of seeking the best place ‘neath the sun as early as possible. I just wanted to land a job parallel to my bachelor’s degree, get paid – I honestly didn’t mind the salary grade at first but then I realized I have to make ends meet – and just be happy and contented at work,” Encarguez says.

But “because I did not make clear and definite goals before I got employed, it led me to a state of disarray,” she adds.

According to Encarguez, this “eventually translated into anxiety and being low-spirited towards work.”

ENCARGUEZ

“I realized that setting expectations after graduation is equally as important as turning yourself in as an employee to any job,” she stresses.

And so did the 21-year-old University of the Philippines-Visayas graduate Rolando Devanadera, who expected life after graduation to be a “tough game.”

“After graduating, I wanted to land a job in a renowned company here in the Philippines. As a fresh grad back then, I look forward to my superiors guiding me in the corporate world,” says Devanadera.

Like any other typical Pinoy, Devanadera was also “burdened by some of my relatives’ expectations,” only making the struggle “real-er” than ever.

Currently, Devanadera works in a company that he was “aiming for.” But even if you love your job, some things would still get in the way.

“Being an adult feels like living in a totally different world. You have to say goodbye to the things you were accustomed to,” he shares.

When asked what is the hardest part of becoming an adult, Devanadera quipped, “There are so many things!”

DEVANADERA

“First, saving money. Making a decent amount of money makes you impulsively buy everything that you see. I remember the first time I got my salary, I almost spent everything in clothes and groceries,” shares Devanadera. “Second, leaving people and things behind. You’ll have a new set of friends and a new daily routine. Your priorities will gradually change, like, instead of going out with your friends on a Friday night, you’d rather stay at home and rest.”

“Lastly, being caught up in constant stress and pressure. You will be so engrossed in figuring out how to become an adult that you’d forget you still have a life. You’ll work for hours – never having the time to enjoy life and do the other things you love to do,” he adds.

Entering adulthood also made the 21-year-old Ayna Tajanlangit view life differently.

“Being an adult means you have to stand up for yourself financially, emotionally and physically,” says Tajanlangit, a business management graduate of St. Paul University-Iloilo.

Tajanlangit shares that she is now at the “crossroads” of her life. “I am at that point when it’s hard to decide and it’s hard to get up,” explains Tajanlangit.

Tajanlangit

But she says when there are times when others doubt your abilities, you just have to remember why you are doing what you are doing.

“Somehow the saying is true, that the warrior within us is a child. My childhood dream pushed me to keep going no matter how hard it is,” Tajanlangit stresses.

Encarguez, Devanadera and Tajanlangit also shared some advice to fresh graduates.

Fresh graduates must know that “it is important to seek advice from people who can help you grow personally and professionally,” according to Encarguez.

“To achieve optimal discernment, solitude won’t suffice. We need people to see and appreciate our worth, most especially at home and at work,” she adds.

Moreover, “choose a job that doesn’t drag you out of bed just because you’re afraid of breaching a contract,” Encarguez says. “Above all, heedless of the other factors, choose a job that makes you genuinely happy as a person.”

Devanadera, on the other hand, says one must take care of his/her health. “Mental, emotional, and physical health are important. Never abuse your body in doing so much work. You may not feel it now, but you will in the future.”

Encarguez also says “never to rush things,” adding that “everybody has his/her own pacing,” to which Tajanlangit agreed by saying, “Believe in yourself. You’ll get there.”/PN

(Photo credits to Edelaine Encarguez, Rolando Devanadera and Ayna Tajanlangit/PN)

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