To the class of 2007
Below are three things I have learned since my graduation day in college. I certainly hope that this post would not sound as another graduation speech that you have heard somewhere or have come across in one of your college e-group spam. Rest assured, I will not spoil your festive mood by telling you how the real world actually operates or the current state of the nation. Anyway, you will know more about the first in the days to come. Your local evening news will take care of the latter.
Buy a good wristwatch. Do not trust your mobile phones with your concept of ‘time’. Your beloved cellphone will betray you in more occasions than one – it will run out of battery in the middle of the day or it will get snatched while you are riding a jeepney. Compared to your 3G phone that could probably do everything – keep text messages, play music and capture videos, your wristwatch will only tell you this: time.
It is important to keep track of time because it is the only resource that everyone else has, in amazingly the same proportion. How you make use of it will strategically shape your future.
Talk to your taxi drivers because like you, they also are trying to find their way around in this world. You will be surprised with what they can talk about – their heart-warming stories about their growing kids, their conspiracy theories about a controversial government transaction or even their classified information about a local politician.
I believe that wisdom is not the monopoly of the educated. So start a small conversation inside the taxi that you will ride almost everyday to work. The trip ahead will be less stressful, I tell you. And when you arrive at your destination, you will be a few pesos poorer but more importantly, one story richer.
Take pictures when you can. Use your 3G phone or buy a digital camera that is fit for your needs and to your budget. In a year’s time, you may not turn into a professional photographer like this guy, this guy or this guy. But what is important is that you have captured important moments in your lifetime – your first real date, your parents’ silver wedding anniversary or your dog’s curious look. These kinds of photographs will never land on the front cover of a National Geographic Magazine. But they will be good enough for your little grandchildren.
Fifty years from now, your memory will fail you. So take more pictures today. These photos are definitely not for your safekeeping in the long run. These are for the other generations that will come after you.
Aside from the three I enumerated above, there are a lot more important things that you have to learn, to unlearn and relearn after graduation. You will also realize that most of them were never taught inside the four walls of your classroom.
I wish you then good mentors to guide you in the years to come. They will tell you how to pursue your youthful idealisms in the proper perspective. Just always remember that graduating with a college diploma is one thing. What to make of that paper is completely another story.
Congratulations and rock on!