Graduation season
VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez (The Freeman) - April 2, 2019 - 12:00am

It's the time once again when students wearing togas walk down the aisle and up the stage to receive that hard-earned piece of paper called a diploma. As they shake hands with school officials and guests onstage, they look to their parents for affirmation. “I've made it!” they would exclaim under their breaths. I can remember this feeling vividly too. It's like I have just conquered a very long battle and have come to my reward --finishing it with honors. I can't forget the look on my dad's gleaming face, full of pride that his daughter finished well in school.

Suddenly, the euphoria dies down as the days go by. People will forget your honors and medals. Your graduation photo that was viral on your immediate circle's feed is now nowhere. It dawns on you that you have to live life after graduation --looking for a job, a stable one at the very least. It will be grueling and excruciating; there are long lines for getting government requirements and the waiting. The anxiety waiting just to have what you want is endless.

But haven't we asked ourselves what really lies after graduation. Is the educational system creating awards, titles, and grades just so an individual can land a good job? The sad reality is that is how it goes in the Philippines. Oftentimes, students don't even get the good job they deserve. They end up in jobs that are totally unrelated to their course because there aren’t enough jobs available. What is lacking today are opportunities for young minds to explore and grow. There are just too many students but few offerings for the different degree programs. Of course, some would also opt to go for a job with a higher pay despite it totally being different from what he or she studied. The real world demands bills to be paid and a whole lot more, passion can't fuel that demand.

And so, we are caught in a crossfire between passion and practicality. It's the same cliché every year. We can talk about it, yeah, but it's too absurd. I think what every graduate needs to have (apart from a good job) is a heart that spells compassion for the country. Right now, we need people who can forego their dreams so this country can rise again. The government has a lot of openings for young people but it is tainted with the perception of low pay and corrupt bosses. While in some cases, it might be true, it may also be worth a try. It is something worthwhile and at the end you can say that you have done something for the progress of this country.

There are so many areas that need work --education, infrastructure, local governance, tourism...the list goes on. Maybe the reason why you can't find a good job is that you are destined to be part of the government and be the change it needs. Who knows?

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