Note: In 2010, a year after I graduated, I wrote a letter to new graduates about how the real world is treating me. It’s a very rant-y, I hate my sucky life, I lost all my ideals kind of letter that if I were the reader, I’d be very afraid of going out of college or I’d be totally annoyed at my 2010 self. Flash forward to 2015, where I’d like to believe I have already learned a lot and have better things to say to the young ones. Could you believe it has been six years since I graduated? Gahd, I’m getting old. Below is that letter, and I recently made a new and better one, it’s a little bit hopeful and helpful, I’d like to think so. Haha! So here goes…
An Open Letter to Batch 2010
Dear Batch 2010,
Stay as long as you can. The real world sucks. The pay is not always good. In a month’s time, you’ll ask yourself “What the hell am I doing here slaving myself for this person’s gain?” You’ll miss your friends and all your inuman-bonding sessions. You’ll miss being a parasite. Budgeting sucks, especially if you’ve got little to budget. Seeing that big TAX DEDUCTIBLE on your payslip sucks even more. Sometimes, you just want to punch your boss and scream at his ugly face how mean he is, and just how many times you killed him in your mind, but instead you smile, and that sucks the most.
You’ll be stressed out, overworked, turn into a work alcoholic (I like!) and end up looking like a zombie. Office politics, I don’t know what office politics is. Responsibilities suck, you can’t say you forgot to get the work done. There are no grades, only paychecks are in numbers. You screw up, you’re done. You’ll have zero social life, zilch in your bank account. Meeting up with friends seem impossible. You drag yourself to work everyday and you’re itching to come home the second you walk inside the office.
But you’ll live. As Monica Geller puts it, “Welcome to the real world. It sucks, you’re going to love it.”
previous idealist fresh grad Mina
Dear fresh graduates,
Congratulations! You guys are now officially bums! Kidding! Here’s a kind of a road map, or an idiot’s guide to making it in the real world.
What I actually meant up there was to stay connected to the relationships you were able to cultivate in college; be it with friends, acquaintances, ex-lovers, especially your teachers. They will come in handy when you hand in your resume and ask them as your character reference for work, wink, wink. The pay is still not good. Who are we kidding? Some companies still treat their employees like shit; hell, some companies tell their employees that they are not their employees. This is the reason why I, alongside over a hundred employees, am waging a labor battle. It’s an uphill climb, but I’m positive we’re going to see the sea of clouds one day.
That BIG TAX DEDUCTIBLE? Still big, especially now that you know where your taxes went: Jeane Napoles’ closet full of Hermes, Prada, Chanel and other big-named brands you can’t even pronounce right; Binay’s Batangas mansion; Tanda, Pogi, and Sexy’s bank accounts; and other cases of graft and embezzlement that will have your blood boil in no time.
Sadly, I am a zombie who cannot be an alcoholic anymore, so if you do not want to end up with a fucked up stomach like I did, eat your meals on time, and eat healthier stuff. Health over that goddamn work, you only have one body. While we’re at it, go get insurance. One of my biggest regret is not getting insurance early on in my career. Sure, my first job gave me a meager salary (minimum wage, beybe), but my current job gave me financial freedom that I should have thought of this three years ago. Premiums are lower when you’re younger. You may think that you’re young and wild and free and #YOLO and don’t need it, but trust me, you do. One day, you’ ll get old. I’d hate to say I told you so. Unless you want to be part of the Forever 27? Are you even that talented to be part of it? Getting insurance does not mean you’re going to die, I mean, you are, but at least you’re prepared for it.
Oooh, now I know and I can say that office politics fucking sucks. There are mean and horrible bosses, but there are bosses who would know your worth and help you and hone you and mentor you to become the person you are going to be. Look out for those kind of bosses. Stick with them. Never, ever burn bridges. You know how they say that it’s a small world after all? It is. I learned that the hard way.
Screw crying for that dream job or company you weren’t able to get in from the get go. There’s a reason why you didn’t land in that company right away. Work your way towards it. There are going to be detours and roadblocks, learn from it. My first job was a far cry from my bachelor’s degree. My second and third one got me closer to it, like it was preparing me for something big. And true enough, all the things I learned in those three jobs I applied like crazy in this current job: THE DREAM JOB, the one I’m leaving, to give myself another chance to find my stars. Maybe in north, east or west? Clearly, the south and I are on the verge of breaking up. This means that you do not stop when you think you’re living the dream. Dream harder. Chase after the dreams that scare you, they say.
I know I said up there that you’ll have less time spending with friends and family. You would. But you should make time. Not having the time is such a lame excuse, don’t be an ass. It’s either you don’t want to spend it with them or you do not know how to set your priorities straight. Believe me, I learned it the hard way. Make time.
Lastly, do not stress out if everybody else seems to be ahead of you in life. Nobody even gets out of it alive. We are, after all, taking different paths; you don’t even have the same goals in life as them. It’s not a race, it’s a journey. Your grades? Fuck yeah, they’re not going to define who you are. When step into the “real world,” it’s going to be anybody’s game. I’d hate to break it to you, but after a few years, employers wouldn’t even care if you graduated with Latin honors, at first they would of course, but afterwards, all they would care about is how much work you have done in your previous work and your experience as well as your character.
You also need to keep in mind to stop feeling jealous on what people are posting on social media. They are only posting the best times of their lives in it. It’s a branding, an image, a way of marketing one’s self and carving out the flaws in front of everybody’s eyes. So do not get jealous of that friend who just got a car, he’s starving himself off just to pay for it; that girl who always posts her #OOTDs, her credit card’s all maxed out; that couple who keeps traveling and are on their 980127183 monthsary, maghihiwalay rin sila; and that friend who has a super cute baby; that baby’s probably a vampire who keeps her parents up all night despite her cute photo shoots online. So have that much needed social media detox, everyone’s fraud in there after all.
In the end, you’ll live, you’ll survive, you will thrive.
As Monica Geller puts it, “Welcome to the real world. It sucks, you’re going to love it.”
Wishing you all the best,
A wiser, but still learning Carmina