This is supposed to be an article about what happened when Salimbay (i.e. Nadine and myself) went to Ascott last Friday, where the UP-AIT Alumni Association First Friday Club hung out for beer, peanuts, pizza and a whole lot of networking.
This is also supposed to be about how wonderful it is to get to know a slew of accomplished AIT alumni; the thrill of getting real business cards amidst the sweaty awkwardness of being the only undergraduates in a room full of professionals and the way that they were so friendly in spite of that fact. How “Happy Hour” and eight beers can loosen you up to have an almost sensible conversation with those, uh, “oldies” (pardon the term), even if intimidation was nipping at you beneath all that college cockiness.
Well, this article is about all that and much more. We’ll get to the “much more” part soon enough. Here’s what happened.
We got there, ate peanuts, drank beer and socialized.
I got around a dozen business cards, Nadine probably more, and I was fascinated to hear about where the AIT alumni are working now. They were extremely nice, even if I reckon that I may have come out as the annoying college boy who talked too much, too little, or at the wrong moments.
Jake Cabudoy, currently Ascott Philippines’ Assistant Manager for Sales and Marketing, sang a very smooth “Change the World” number to the enjoyment of everyone in the room, and a very friendly Mr. Bernie Gapuz, president of the AIT Alumni Association, promised to give me his business card but was never able to. Next first Friday, maybe.
There was a speech about the Oakwood Mutiny and the way UP isn’t as pretty as it should be, courtesy of the night’s guest of honor: former DOT Usec. Oscar Palabyab.
I met a whole lot of Travel Society’s alumni, which made me kinda-sorta-parang want to apply, even if their application process scares the bejesus out of me.
All in all, it was a nice experience. It was a decent café, the waitress was cute, and the alumni were awesome. The café didn’t give me my change though, so let’s just assume that I purposely left a tip.
I took a bus ride to a friend’s condo and that was it. That’s how it was.
Now comes the “much more” part.
I don’t know what the heck I’m going to do after AIT! There are so many possibilities, and that became apparent last Friday night (#KatyPerry?). The sheer number is overwhelming.
What I hate is that this isn’t a “bright-eyed and hopeful” kind of thinking about possibilities. This is the existential and scared sh*tless kind of thinking about possibilities. I’m too old to be childishly idealistic; but then again, I’m also too young to be completely cynical. The world hasn’t damaged me enough yet, and I’m still holding on to that “sparkle” of dreaming big.
I want a job, nay, a career, where I will love what I’m doing, so much so that I’d almost do it for free (who doesn’t?). I want to do something so big that the world will seem small. I want to do something so great that people’s lives are made better. I want obscene amounts of cash. Otherwise, I still want to feel rich with anything- with experience, with love, with a sense of a life worth living. I just don’t know how to do it yet.
I’d be the first to admit that AIT isn’t the perfect puzzle piece I fit into. It wasn’t my first choice, and superficial online tests say that I’m supposed to be in the social sciences or journalism. Manghuhulas (fortune tellers), on the other hand, say I’m destined for business because of the shape of my face (thank you dear cosmos, you are ever so reasonable).
I’m still uncertain. Will I ever cry in a cubicle?
But when I shifted into AIT, I realized that I can actually fit the mold if I wanted to, without having to lose myself in the process.
Social scientist? Writer? Corporate mogul? Why not? Tourism is about everything anyway. It’s such a wide world and I’m determined to be brave for it, even if I haven’t figured out what I truly want to do with my life. I keep telling myself that “I just gots to be brave, just gots to be brave”… like Chucky, from The Rugrats.
In AIT, I realized that being creative and critical actually count for something, and that I am genuinely happy with this course.
One of these days, I am going wear my “Born to be Big” t-shirt and actually believe it, not just because I’m fat.
I am going to go through my harvest of business cards, be inspired by alumni and maybe get a few beers and toast to the future. I may not know exactly where I’m going, but I know I’m going somewhere.
Obviously. We all are.