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Graduation: Concluding Years of Lessons and Realizations

It still feels surreal and all my life I’ve been working so hard to make it to this point. Despite having goals and dreams for the far future, when you’ve achieved a goal you’ve been working on for decades, it’s as if you’re clueless as to what your next move will be. School has been part of my daily routine and in some way, it’s become a comfort zone of mine (despite it triggering so much negative emotions, hahaha). But now that I’m done, it’s as if I have no idea with what’s next. (Copied this from my Facebook post, hahaha!)

I can finally call myself an architecture graduate. My thesis was both the worst and best part of my college life. I was able to study something that I really am interested in (not exactly love–but I’ve developed a certain kind of love as the months passed by) but at the same time it almost wrecked me whole.

Being able to march in front of thousands of people and claiming my (fake) diploma wasn’t just because of me, it was a collective effort of yours truly, my family, friends, and mentors. I would never have done it without these people. I’m always grateful to the Universe for their existence.

I’d like to share 10 lessons and realizations I’ve learned and gained in my college years:
  1. It’s okay to take breaks as long as you never give up. This is an overused statement but it’s true! Please give yourself breathers. Don’t feel guilty if you watched an episode of your favorite series today. It’s okay, just make sure you’re ready to work again right after.
  2. Reward yourself with your little victories. If you’ve managed to finish a chapter in your thesis, treat yourself with a favorite snack. It’s the little steps that make up the whole, so go ahead and celebrate.
  3. Remind yourself why you’re doing this. If it’s always been your dream to be a successful designer, then remind yourself that. Reminisce how you’ve always dreamt of operating a cafe or traveling the world.
  4. Look back and see how far you’ve come. Instead of being sad with how there’s so much more to do, try to look back in the past and realize how all your efforts brought you to where you are today.
  5. Be the person you’ve always wanted to be. If not, continue striving to be the best version of yourself. I know this is hard but you’ll eventually be proud of yourself and your achievements. You’ll be comfortable in your own skin. It takes time but it’s something to be proud of.
  6. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. People who really care will take their time and energy to help you even if they don’t get anything in return. (Yes, people like them exist!)
  7. Pray. I’m not a religious person and let me be honest when I tell you that I really am lost when it comes to beliefs. But I do believe that there’s a Greater Being out there. I pray to the Universe whenever I feel like I’m troubled and whenever I feel happy. It’s not all the time but it helps in keeping me sane especially during the times I felt alone.
  8. Failures and mistakes do not define you; it’s how you handle them that shape you. You may have committed mistakes here and there, but that only makes you human. In fact, it’s okay to look back at those mistakes but look at how you’ve managed to get back up again.
  9. Life is never a race; we all have our own pacing. We are all different and it includes pacing. Some take a few moments while others take years. If you’re one of the latter, don’t worry, as long as you focus and do your best, it will all come to you.
  10. And in the end, it’s all worth it. It really is. You’ll realize all the hard work and sleepless nights brought you to this very day. (Well, sleepless nights aren’t really ideal but it’s just part of the sacrifice for me to be where I am today.)
I hope these lessons somehow ignited a fire within you (in a positive note), dear reader. College isn’t the easiest but I hope you’ll learn to never give up your dreams. Continue moving forward and may you always find the light in times of darkness.

For anyone who feels alone or is going through a tough time in their life, please do not hesitate to message your loved ones. And as always, I’m here, a message away. I may not be able to give concrete advice but I’d like to listen to you and your thoughts.

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