Graduation

Episode 142 – Thursday, March 30th, 2017 (7394)

The month of March is almost gone, and most of the graduating students out there are already to march for graduation after finishing their elementary and high school studies (most college students might end their school year up to June). Right now, they are exciting yet sad because they will take apart after years from being classmates (either transfer to other school or study different colleges). They will wear togas and graduation dresses to march on the stage to get their diplomas (some might be dummies). After graduation, they will now look for their new directions in school life and in the corporate world (if they luckily find their first job).

For those who are still young people, they must begin their journey starting with their first schooling. When they begin as kindergarten, they are so easy to be graduated. But in the years to come, they’ll experience challenges. When they’re graduated from elementary, it’s just tough because they may continue to study high school. When they’re graduated from high school, it becomes tougher because they might have some hard time to pursue their college studies (choosing their favorite course, entrance exams, college tuitions, payments for thesis, etc.). But after all, when they’re graduating college student, it is the toughest for them to face the serious challenge – looking for their first job. I know this because many might become unemployed after graduating college, but only some might be luckily hired to start their career.

Being graduated is just like a basketball. When you commit a foul for the sixth time, you’ll already achieve to be fouled out as you’re graduated from playing basketball. Hehehe! And it is just like last month during the Love Life Retreat where I was graduated together with other batch mates (Batch 4) who eventually became my new friends.

Since I’m no longer a student at all, I just want to share my story on this episode about my past experiences in graduating from school. I don’t know some of my present friends, mostly from the Feast, are still students studying in college, but of course, most of them are already experiencing past memories when they’re still young. There are my encounters to be graduated from elementary, high school, and college within the span of almost 10 years.

Elementary Graduation (2001)

This is a graduation program of PSD held on March 29, 2001

One of my memorable moments during the time when I studied at Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD) in Pasay City was my elementary graduation. For 7 years since I entered there to become a student, I took hard times to achieve all the year levels that I studied from preparatory (1994-95) up to the sixth grade (2000-01). And because I was consistent to be top of the class, I was awarded as first honor for my 7th consecutive time during our graduation rites on March 29, 2001. During the event, I and other batch mates didn’t have any togas or white graduation dresses to be used. We just wore white formal dresses to march on the stage for our elementary graduation. Most of them continued their high school at PSD so that they were remained my classmates, as well as my batch mates. About half of my classmates in the sixth grade had been my classmates since prep, and our friendship were remained strong which lasted up to 10 long years – the longest friendship that I ever had.

High School Graduation, not once, but twice (2005 and 2006)

Do you wonder why I was graduated high school twice? It’s not because I was not a repeater, but there was an explanation why I did this, not once, but twice.

When I applied for exchange program, I was thinking the consequence where I could become exchange student if passed the exam and interviews. The consequence: I would sacrifice my final year at PSD because I would study my fourth year high school in the United States, but in returning home I would be back at the same school to study my fourth year high school again. It was because my high school diploma in the U.S. couldn’t be accredited to the high school curriculum in the Philippines due of exchange program. And that’s what really happened to me when I passed to become a foreign exchange student.

ASD Class of 2005

Let’s move forward to May 24, 2005. After 10 months of studying at Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD) in Talladega as my host school, I finally “completed” my senior (fourth) year studies, and I was so ready to march for high school graduation together with other 20 batch mates. My ASD Graduation was one of the most memorable moments that I ever had during my wonderful life in the U.S. But because of the rule, I would repeat my high school studies for the final year at home. I was thinking about my homecoming at PSD after my return home from the U.S. where I would have a new batch to become my new classmates (including the one who became my mortal enemy). But it didn’t happen, and instead I was surprisingly transferred to other school after 10 long years of my study at PSD. Thus, my school life was about to adjust once again because I would study in a non-deaf school.

Graduation program of IMS on April 7, 2006

Let’s move forward again to April 7, 2006. After 9 months of struggles but remained high in my grades, I was finally and officially graduated high school. Although the high school graduation of a non-deaf institution, International Montessori School, in Santa Rosa, Laguna was so simple, I felt that I finally achieved to complete my high school after technically 5 years since I started as freshmen back in PSD. So, within almost 11 months, I had high school graduation twice in two different schools, two different countries, and two different “worlds”.

College Graduation (2010)

PUP-Sta. Rosa Commencement Exercises Program

After high school, my school life was level up to college. It was challenging for me because I had no common friends or even from my high school classmates to follow my entrance at Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Santa Rosa Campus. But when I started to study there, I met lots of friends who eventually became my close classmates. Within four years in our one class, we really enjoyed together with fun and laughter. And on May 6, 2010, we finally achieved our goal to be graduated college. It was my second time that I was graduated in the month of May (after ASD, 5 years ago), and it was the greatest achievement for me to finish my studies after almost 16 years of hard works, headaches, sleepless reviews, and bonding with classmates that I had in four different schools in two different “eras”.

After college graduation, most of us had hard times to find our first job, and we overcame those challenges that we had been struggled from college days to our corporate world.

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Speaking of graduation though, I just remind that my former (long distance) girlfriend has been already graduated from college recently last month (mid-year graduation). I learned the latest news about her after I “spied” one of her college friends on Facebook (stalker? Hehehe!), and I was so glad that she finally achieved it. I don’t know if she still remembers me because I was the one to contribute her studies. Nevertheless, she’s now welcomed to her new journey to be a career woman, and I’m so proud to her despite that we’re no longer friends or lovers because we had never any communication since our break-up almost two years ago. However…, until last Tuesday, she showed up again in my life. I’ll explain about this on my next episode.

Anyways, back in my wonderful school life, there were four different schools that I was graduated from elementary, high school (twice), and college. I’m so amazed when I check my own resume that I attached my educational attainments. I’m just thinking most employers might wonder why I had four different schools that I attended (including two that I was graduated from high school) and I was from a deaf school despite that I’m not really a “deaf” person (which is still having a discrimination among the corporate world).

Being graduated doesn’t mean that you already conclude your journey. It is just the beginning. Graduation is one of your achievements that you made during the years of your school life. I guess you really miss being a student though, but may your future child/children/generations will learn from your experience. Well, happy graduation for those graduating students! And good luck for their future!

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