CEBU, Philippines - Coming home to Dumaguete for the 108th Founders Day of Silliman University felt a little weird particularly because I was no longer one of the organizers this time around, but a spectator, a visitor in an event that I used to skip meals and spend sleepless nights preparing for. I feel weird—and a bit old, not to mention—as I went around campus to hang out with my friends this time no longer as a student but an alumna.
One thing I love about my school is the strong alumni spirit that comes with it. Right after graduation, I always felt a nagging urge to come back for Founders Day this year and so did the rest of my batch mates. That’s what happens when college occupies a special place in your heart—when you can consider that brief four years of your life as the best, most irreplaceable moments in time.
From pulling all-nighters for that final defense to simply cooling off after a long day spent on boring lectures, our college batch has all the reason for being giddy about our first grand reunion which is (ack!) still ten years on the way.
The excitement of the grand reunion, however, also held with it some fears that transcend grades and our parents’ fortunes. No matter what Latin honors you’ve been able to reap, we all shared the same fears come the grand reunion and here’s a run down of what’s keeping us and what will keep us on our toes for the rest of the years prior to coming back home as a batch.
UNEMPLOY-MENT. It’s one thing to bum around and be unemployed a few months after graduation but it’s an entirely different thing to still be a bum and to wallow in the little mud puddle of unemployment ten years after graduation. Yep, we’d hate to come back to our school ten years from now, to be asked by whoever we meet with ‘Asa ka nagwork karon?’ and to answer them ‘Out of school youth ko, bai’.
WORKING FOR A COMPANY THAT PAYS US AT MINIMUM WAGE OR LOWER. This is perhaps worse than being unemployed because working your butt off in some so-so company and being paid subsistence wages is nothing short of a waste of all our hard work in school. Besides, what speaks more of slavery than that? We’d hate to join round table discussions especially when the topic of how much do you make for a living pops right up. Ang pride, ang pride…
ENDING UP WITH A CLASS A BUM. Reunion is like an end-of-the-month report. It’s about updating your batch mates with how far you’ve gone in your life—love life included. Believe me, batch mates can be the most vicious critics when it comes to who you end up with and really, ending up with a bum, much more a jobless, gold-digging bum who’s a dead ringer for one of the livestocks in Farmville is reunion suicide.
STILL IN SCHOOL. No, I’m not talking about being still in school to pursue one’s Master’s or Doctor’s degree. I’m talking about still being in school after garnering a gazillion INCs, being booted out of five different courses and counting. Sure, it pays to “try and try until you succeed”, but come on! Yep, having our batch mates find out that we’re still donning that school ID marked 2005 is a fate we consider worse than death.
TYING THE KNOT YEARS TOO EARLY. Okay, we accept the fact that there are some of us who didn’t follow the entire sequence of events the way our parents presented them to us before—some of us went to school, had babies, got married, then started searching for jobs. For those of us who didn’t fall into this tangle, we’d rather fail our majors than attend reunion with this under our belts.
Our batch has a long way to go before we all meet up and catch up on each other’s lives—and thank God for that. The count down for 2019 begins now.