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AITOpinion, Rachel Tabilin

To the Graduate and the Otherwise*

By Rachel Tabilin

Photo courtesy of Cesz Urbano

For a senior college student like me who’s still blankly brooding over her unfinished thesis and taking her internship only now (which was supposed to be have been taken the previous summer), I can’t help but wonder how I have let time move past me and how I’m now about to be left behind by my dear friends who are well on their way to the “real world”, whatever that means.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m incredibly proud of my friends for graduating on time. One just can’t imagine how much time and effort they have given and how much of the same thing they have given up for their academics. They have something special in them that I quite lack—unfailing thirst for excellence and success. And that is why I feel a bit bitter about the whole concept of graduation. But that is also why I’m enthused to strive as hard as my friends have. I’ve heard that when people who strive for excellence rub shoulders, there will be a chain reaction; so not only am I proud of my friends, I’m thankful for having them as well. They’re like the good bunch, sort of.

I’m only beginning to understand what the real world is, what the “world” beyond the rooms and buildings in campus is like and how school only serves as sort of a simulation of this real world. But the whole idea annoys me. Isn’t life in school just as real as life in the real world? Don’t we suffer as much, or perhaps even more while studying as we do while working? Wasn’t it John Mayer who just found out there’s no such thing as a real world; it’s just a lie you’ve got to rise above from?

Screw it. There’s a whole world of possibilities awaiting us, and as long as we do our best at the things we do and we’re happy doing them, I think we’ll be fine, regardless whether we’re still in school or are about to face the real world. And for those of us who are not yet graduating, no worries; Ate Ara, former team captain of the UP Pep, always tell us, “We’re get there!” We’ll get there, to wherever we want to go. It’s going to be a rough ride, after all, there is no paved road to our dreams, but it’s going to be fun as well. It’s just up to us to make it so. And in the wise-wise words of Lil’ Mama: whatever you can imagine, you can do.

So I guess this note is a tribute to you, for working hard and playing hard. Here’s to life after college, to realizing our dreams, to awesome adventures ahead. Cheers!

*for lack of a better word


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The official newsletter of the UP Asian Institute of Tourism.


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