Graduation is supposed to be the happiest time of a student’s life where they can celebrate their personal success and achievement after being in school for 4 years surviving the wrath of the teachers, the grueling exams, the complex group projects, the dreaded finals and midterm examinations, and everything else that comes along with the challenge of college. But here you are now: a survivor and ready to move on to the next phase of your life- adulting. But I want you to look back at the time just before you graduated and ask yourself if you are prepared for the imminent future that is waiting for you. Subconsciously at your final year of college, when you realize that you still have doubt within your system, you begin to realize some things and begin to even wonder as to whether you have made the right choice or not. At some point in your life, you would cone across these issues that you might need to fully accept in the near future:
At some point in their lives, the students have always known one universal truth: that not everything that they have learned will be applied in their jobs or profession in the near future. Communication graduates will not be asked to memorize the quadratic formula or on how the plutonium is a very unique element in the Periodical Table of Elements unless they will be asked to do so by the writers and creative directors will ask them do so. Because at the end of the day, most graduates of most 4-year courses end up working in office jobs. While graduates of architecture and engineering will obviously be needed in this growing industry. There are certain jobs that will only ask you to do this and do that without really going beyond what is required of you. Star Wars Jedi Master once said that you must unlearn what you have learned.
In the States, going to college is a life-changing experience. But one bitter reality that you would have to understand is that getting a college degree is quite irrelevant these days. People who get this course become something else entirely in the future because of personal reasons. For instance, a graduate of Chemical Engineering eventually settled to become an entrepreneur selling jewelry instead because at that time, he realized that it was not going to be enough to sustain his family. Another reason as to why a degree is slowly becoming irrelevant is because some companies will only ask you to do this or that whether you have the proper training or not. Business-process outsourcing (BPO) companies that normally hire Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are typically people that are as young as a high school graduate. Ever wonder why? For starters, the goal of CSRs is to simply gain product knowledge about the services of the company and begin addressing customer concerns on a daily basis from a certain period of time. And you wonder why there are so many turnovers?
As mentioned before, students in the United States going to college is a big decision for them. Today’s education has made it possible for some countries not to go to college. After Grade 12, it’s okay if you do not wish to proceed to college as the purpose of Junior High and Senior High is to equip you with the necessary skills that you need depending on the track you choose: Accounting and Business Management (ABM), Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), General Academic Strand (GAS), Arts and Design, as well as Maritime Studies. After taking one of these strands, try asking yourself if taking a specific course in whatever college you choose will help you become one step closer to your dream job or will you end up earning things that you already know since the K to 12?
Once you have chosen a course for college, it means that you are prepared to face whatever is coming your way. You just have to hope that the course you have selected is what you really want. Sure, maybe you can still change your course in the middle of the at the end of the semester realizing that you have made a mistake, but at that point, you would have wasted not only your parent’s money, but also precious time that you cannot recover. And just like the first advice, you will have to unlearn everything and learn new things over again. Students have their own reasons on why they have selected that course in the first place. Some do it out of fear and security which is why they go for a business course when their heart belongs in the fine arts department. Some respect their parents’ decision and select that course since it will make them happy (e.g. Asian children picking Law school or something.) Some just pick a course at random since they do not exactly know what they would want to do with their lives. While some select their course out of passion and a long-time dream. Once you pick that course, it will create a ripple effect that will certainly affect you and the rest of your life. So make sure that the course is right for you.
As mentioned before, people pick select their courses in college for very different reasons. But that does not mean that you have to wait till after college to do on what you really want to do with your life. If you happen to be stuck in a course that does not make you happy, are you really living out your life to the fullest? Are you simply content with the situation you are placed in now? If you feel like you could be doing something, then by golly, do it! If you feel like working already, then drop out and start working.
“We tend to pursue “shadow careers” – jobs that are similar to our dreams, but not quite our dreams.”—Ben Arment. I love this quote so much because there are so many people, including myself which can relate to this. There is this one scene that stuck inside me when her friend asked if she was content just reporting on the sidelines as an ESPN reporter or would she rather be a racecar driver and live out her life doing what she wants? The careers that we sometimes end up with may be a close enough thing, but it is never really the same. You do not feel the same passion and drive that you really want to feel and experience when you are a music teacher instead of a singer or someone teaching rock and roll. Eventually, you learn to just settle since it does help pay the bills after all. But is that really something you want to or something you think you would want to do?
“He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.”—Benjamin Franklin. In a world full of ‘what ifs’ and ‘buts’, sometimes, you just have to seize the opportunity once it presents itself. People tell themselves that they are secure with their livelihood and that it is more than enough. However, the question is, are they truly happy with where they are now? Because people who value security over their passion in life is really missing out on the greatest opportunity that they can have.
So, here is an advice that the students have to keep in mind all the time: When you have the opportunity to pursue your passion, go for it with all your heart without ever looking back. If you succeed, you succeed. If you fail, then that means you have to try harder so that your dreams will shine.