Graduating LATE: It is NO less an accomplishment.

APRIL 01, 2017.

The LONG wait is OVER!!

My heart beats faster every time I hear stories of hope, perseverance, patience, and trust in the Lord. This is somehow a late post from years ago, but let me share this with people who felt dormant as they struggle to finish school or aimed for another thing.

That our life is about improving, and not proving.

Me and my daughter during our scheduled graduation pictorial.

And then, there was everything. Because on that day, I finally graduated from college with a degree in Bachelor in Secondary Education -major in Social Studies. And that’s after more than a decade. That is right, it took me more than ten (10) years to get a tertiary diploma.

Sleepless nights, controlled bronchial asthma, fatigue, depression, insensitive and hard-headed people, mental breakdowns, and even disappointments. But those were inexplicable emotions brought by a series of cramming and lack of rest, sometimes. Well, I’ve realized it’s okay to admit “I WASN’T PERFECT. I WAS STRUGGLING’. I’ve juggled from being a single mom to a cow and later, became immaculate, to being a working individual, a partner, and all the things an earthen commoner could have; yet managed to survive. It’s all worth it.

Spending my graduation day with my father, who really showed me to be tough and be a person full of hope.

Life doesn’t offer us a smooth path, creases are everywhere. There were always be tough times, regrets, and failures; as well as success, rewards, and happiness. The majority believed that graduating from college “should” takes only four to five years from start to graduation. And as we enter the campus as freshmen, we hear stories of “Jurassic seniors” who took more than the required number of years to graduate, but we never thought that would be us.

Let’s face it – our life, maybe for some, is not a cakewalk. We tackle a lot of things, we hurdle quite a number of obstacles, we deal with the scope and demands of people around us, the issue of staying reasonably healthy, enjoying some social life, and for many, working a job at the same time to help cover their tuition, expenses, being a breadwinner, supporting a sick family member or reasons, other people couldn’t think of. And boom! When these challenges reach a tipping point, half a decade is not enough to earn that college degree.

Well, delays can be factors of, from deciding to change your field of studies to transferring academies, scheduling mishaps, financial constraints, or worst, personal endeavors. I wanted one timeline but life gave me another. Acceptance came in, the realization took place that graduating from college later than expected was no less of an accomplishment.

Final demonstration teaching – a requirement before graduation. How lovely to impart knowledge to these young people.

As I went through a DECADE of waiting for it, it made me realize that it pays not to worry so much about where you ranked, what family background you have, the price of things you purchased, but rather think about the joy it brings when your mind is at peace – when the only thing you can think is the positivity of the next couple of years, and the upliftment in everything you do.

Few uncontrollable things happen in our personal lives. We are lucky to learn this lesson earlier than most of us. The setback that we had does not mean “failures,” and we are “not inferior” to those who have it on time. Still, the time will come when you will be crossing the stage in a shapeless gown to grab a diploma. It doesn’t make you less of a person either. No matter how long it takes, nothing would stand in the way of getting that college degree. What truly matters is the perseverance and determination that we pour out to get the end goal.

My message: YOU WILL GRADUATE. And when you do, be the epitome of the knowledge you gained. Use the learnings to help shape the world and be an instrument of a sustainable life here on earth. Be the bigger person to everyone. Extend your compassion and understanding to those in dire need. And that is – SELF- ACHIEVEMENT.

I’d like to thank Our Good Lord for giving me a life that not everyone could have; an opportunity after getting through the fire and a chance someone in this world is dreaming of.

It’s been a LONG ROAD, but still is A-GOOD-ROAD. Certainly a huge milestone.

*********P.S********

It’s pertinent to thank those people who serve as a chamber of my inspiration. My family raised me, for guidance, unconditional love, and teachings on being not-a-lady but a WARRIOR. Mama Jocelyn, it’s been eight (8) years since the last time I saw you, but a-HUGE-SENSE-OF GRATITUDE for giving me a nerve-wracking and mind-boggling childhood; so much fulfilled. Thank you, Papa Widgardo, you were such a strong springboard. My sisters and brothers!! They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds. Lol!

Che, thank you so much. Please accept my sincere gratitude for your help during my ‘trying times.’

Tita Esper, you always believed in me. That alone is enough for me to keep going.

Sir Anchilo, I don’t know what we did to deserve you. Thank you, Sir.

Friend and peers, mentors, and professors thank you for utmost understanding; especially those working students who really wanted to work their way up.

***Opinions expressed here are the writer’s own and not by any organization.

9 thoughts on “Graduating LATE: It is NO less an accomplishment.

    1. Courage is being decided yobs. Need mo lang magdecide. Kapag nakapag decide kana, act on it na. Then pray. So far, sa pagkakantand ako maski nung nabubuhay pa si mama, walang pinaghihirapang di binibigay.

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