On graduating and other pressing stuff
Anticipated milestones in life are difficult to "feel" when they do come. Like birthdays. You don't feel twenty-one on the day you turn twenty-one, because that's the day you were just starting to feel twenty.

Graduation is very much the same.

I didn't feel like five years has passed since I entered this university. I was living by the week- which exams and requirements are due next, and when's the soonest we can go out to chill and celebrate. Sometimes, when things are at their absolute worst, getting by the day felt more important than anything else. Yet now here we are. It's really something to be proud of especially when you've been through hell and back.

I didn't feel like graduating even after classes ended, even when I knew for sure I was going to walk up that stage for my diploma. It was a gradual feeling that slowly crept up to me.

The funny thing is I first felt it when mom and I bought my graduation dresses (yes, dresses; one for college recognition and the other for the university graduation). I got a beige lace dress for the first and a ladies' barong + dress for the second. When I was in the fitting room trying out the dresses which, by the way, I think the salesladies were more invested on my fitting them than my mom and I ever were, well... it dawned on me. I am graduating and this is what I'll look like on that day.

Another grown-up thing I was required to learn before graduating was how to do my own makeup. We starting hoarding makeup (because I had nothing. Really. Starting from scratch except for my trusty Chapstick haha) because the 7am call time for the univ grad was soooo early we can't find a makeup artist willing to do my face at 4:30am hahahahaha. So in short, I had to study how to do my own makeup in less than 24 hours. Primer-foundation-concealer-powder to set, contour a bit + blush, then onto the brows and eyes, then finally the lips. (See? HA)

College recognition went first, on the 20th, and I brought my grandparents along. I was hoping I can bring them up the stage, but realized the restrictions only offered two people up on stage, and univ grad none at all. So it's just mom and dad. And Lolo and Lola's seats were reallyyy far from the stage; I was really saddened because I know they're as excited as my parents are (perhaps more!). They were pretty much at the back.

The funny thing is out of us five, Lolo has the best camera phone hahahaha. We did photo ops near the sunflowers along Univ Ave!

I remember Dad telling me that Lolo kept saying he'd be very lucky if he lived through any of this grandchildren's graduation, so I know this is a big deal. I'm happy not merely because I'm graduating, but because it's the triumph of the rest of my family, too. Lolo is eighty-one now, Lola in her mid-70's. I'm happy they joined me in this important milestone in my life.

By the way, I got a Service Award (aka award for overachieving organization officers/members haha) and the Academic Achievement Award (GWA of 2.00 and up). I definitely wasn't a Latin honor candidate (my GWA in the end was 1.91 haha) but I kinda regret not doing better, I guess? I never knew my optimum study habits until I was in 5th year. But looking back, I'm still not so sure I'm going to do well in my Pharm Chem subjects HAHAHAHAHA so I'm content with this already :)))

Univ grad the next day was a breeze. We sang as One UP Manila Choir! I was really annoyed though because the alto behind me was obviously off-key... and immediately next to her were the tenors. It was messed up and difficult. I'm not proud of my Lead Me Lord performance haha I think I lip-synced 60% of the time :))

Another memorable thing: shifting our Sablay from the right shoulder to the left. It was definitely the highlight of the ceremony. Made me realize that I worked my ass for five years to be able to do this. And it felt like it was worth it.

After x names from the rest of the colleges (we were the penultimate college to be called! College of Medicine was the last haha) finally, finally got on stage to get this (dummy) diploma! The real one's to be issued in a few months, so we got an inspirational letter instead.

And these are the people who made #Sablay2017 possible. When you're sixteen and about to enter college, you're not supposed to know what to do with life. You're not even supposed to know what you signed up for. Because being in College of Pharmacy is hard; everyone goes out of it with battle scars. I didn't know that until I actually was in it already. But I'm glad I fought my battles with these people who made things easier to bear and made the journey fun and memorable, too.

I have no other pictures that day. Here's the three of us who've always shared secrets and beers HAHAHA

If you're going to ask me what's next, I'm gonna give you a big, fat Idontknow. This used to trigger me most of the time and make me panic because everyone's watching what you're going to do afterwards. The questions start asking themselves, but they're not getting any answers yet. It's panic-inducing. And I'm afraid to even try, because this fresh grad slate is sooo clean that I really don't want to mess it up.

But now I've learned to be okay with it- temporarily. When you're twenty-one and you've just graduated, you're not supposed to figure out what to do with the rest of your life. I've learned that you can take your time, and just take the first step towards an opportunity you find it hard to pass by. Life's not like a one-way track anyway; where I get to in the future is not based on just one decision. It's gonna be loaded. And I'm going to get to those other decisions soon, so this one's okay for now, I guess.

We're going somewhere someday, buddy.
Padayon, Iskolar ng Bayan!

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Friday, June 23, 2017
@ 13:41