Graduation marks a joyous yet scary phase in life, as the excitement of newfound freedom and possibilities is tempered by the uncertainty of venturing into the adult world. As the Class of 2023 prepares for their final march this coming 70th VSU commencement exercise, we asked them about their plans and goals as they begin  to walk a new path in life. 


A graduating BSChem student, Merily Sagliba said that she would want to work right away and travel.


“I would probably miss the allowance nga igo ra pang lumpia and one rice and the super long walks nga ‘exercise’ nalang kay waley pang plete pero naay pang shopee. [I] would like to gain experience then TRAVEL, VACATION, TRAVEL.”


[I would probably miss the allowance that’s just enough for lumpia and one rice and the super long walks that I consider ‘exercise’ only because I don’t have fare money but there’s allowance for shopee (online shopping). (I) would ljke to gain experience then TRAVEL, VACATION, TRAVEL.]


Pamela Legaspi, a graduating Agribusiness student, said that she won't waste any time securing a job after graduation, firmly believing that she has already invested ample time in her studies.


“I'm coming back to my main goal: giving the best life possible to my father and to the entire family. Looking back, this is the reason why I take the risk of studying in college (though we're financially challenged). I wanted to prepare myself for the real life where burdens and responsibilities are much heavier, and to gain credits to have a good work. To achieve this goal, I will look for a job that will help me in stabilizing my family to a good life.”


Jane Frances Cañega, a BEEd graduating student, plans to take the Licensure Exams for Teachers (LET), but before that, she wants to find a job first to help her other siblings.


“Actually, manarbaho anay kay mayda mga kabugtuan nga kinahanglan buligan kay naswkela pa... (laughs) tas magtake hin board exam kay nak main goal gud kay makapasar gud hin LET puhon.”


[I want to work first to be able to help my other siblings who are still studying. Then I’ll take the board exam because it is my main goal to pass the LET in the future.]


Al Joven Arpilleda, a graduating Agribusiness student, intends to invest time in self-development to avoid hasty decisions and the possibility of making wrong choices in his life journey.


“After graduation, I want to move out of town to develop myself, get more experience, and focus on myself. I have always loved traveling to new locations, and I [hope to] find a job in a corporate office in which I can keep growing as a business management student and be able to establish a career path and achieve my goals efficiently. Huna-hunaon najud nakog ayo akoa choices before mo decide ug maging wise na sa pag manage sa akoa self (laughs).”


[I have to think carefully about my choices before I decide and be wise in managing myself]


Meanwhile, Joanna Grace Dueñas, a graduating Development Communication student, finds herself in a crossroad of choices. 


“Honestly, I am still contemplating my life choices ug unsay ako unahon jud after I graduate (laughs)—whether I would follow my papa's dream—a lawyer or grabbing the opportunity as [a] program analyst in a TV station. People might say na it feels great to graduate in college, but in my case it's the opposite—life after graduation is scary and brutal. You have to meet the expectations of your parents and relatives, and people will look at you if you have achieved something great or not. Graduating with a degree is indeed fulfilling, but graduating without having a secured job or career is arduous to handle.”


Marielle Angelica Ogaya, one of the only two Summa Cum Laudes of this year’s graduating batch, expressed eagerness to use her experiences and the knowledge she gained throughout her college life to become one of the people who value social change.


“So much things have been overwhelming the past weeks and it's like days move faster than ever before I could even think of life after graduation, but I am excited to the new journey of what it takes to uphold the lessons and values that my degree taught me in communicating for social change.”


As the graduates step out of the familiar halls of academia towards the uncertainties of life, they will bring the learnings and words of wisdom shared by their fellow graduates, families, mentors and professors. Navigating the outside world has never been easy but with the knowledge and memories they have, pressing forward will be the same as looking back to what they have overcome.


From choosing to have immediate employment, to spending time with themselves, or choosing other opportunities. Whatever path they may choose, what’s important is that they learn to embrace the experiences they made along the way, setbacks or success, for those will shape them to be better individuals.

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