April 2009 - God, I have forgotten the exact day. I feel older than my age.
I came home from the middle east after my three-month on-the-job training to graduate with flying colors. I have expected that, maybe, a year or so, before graduation, but never before I went to college. That day when I promised my mom that I'd take her up the stage after four years, I must have been lying; otherwise, I might have been crazy.
Not that I'm boasting.
I was a bright child. I've received a couple of medals as a kid, but I wasn't the student who had ten medals pinned to their gala uniform. I had only three at maximum. I was number one only once in my life and that was when I was in first grade. Because you see, when you're a bright child, someone else (or maybe, a gazillion of them) would be brighter or even brightest among all.
The funny thing was, people used to ask me what my worst subject was. I would always, without fail, say Mathematics.
And how bad is worst, you may ask?
It's the worst. I got a straight seventy-five for Trigonometry. Only one point less and I could have failed.
They used to laugh at me. Oh, they still do.
So it baffles me, still, how I managed to top college.
But what I'm really saying is, you can do it. It has been said a million times, and it's true.
I just realized now, that I wanted to tell so many things that time as I stood by that podium. Unfortunately, it was my moment and I was consumed by the fact that I wanted to thank so many people, which I did, and I have forgotten that it was the moment of around three hundred something students, too.
Today, I want to tell them I'm proud of them. If you have spent four, six or ten years in college, I want you to know that I blush pink with pride for you, and I hope you feel the same way for yourselves.
See, no matter how many failing grades you get or if you graduated college at the age of 60, if you have shared that awesome once in a lifetime moment with me two years ago, then it is worth it. I believe you have fought your way through, the way I did.
I wasn't smart to the highest level. I used to skip class and have my mom sign the excuse letter. On some days, I would come to school with a fabulous hang-over or without sleep. Sometimes, I'd come from a bad day. I was in college. You do a lot of things at that age. But the important thing is, no matter how drunk or how screwed up your day is, you should never let it get in the way of learning.
You have to motivate yourself, which I think is vital. If you value your dream of becoming a teacher, doctor,or engineer, then just come to class. For you, fortunately, every passed unit is one step closer to that dream. If you have a basketball star in you, then you could always look forward to finishing your classes to attend the varsity practice after class. Or maybe you like that girl sitting in front of you in Chem101 class, so you try to keep yourself awake for some three-hour class.
I motivate myself in the weirdest way. When I wake up to go to school, I always tell myself that I have to enjoy that day so the time can fly by fast and I can go back home and sleep again. That worked real fine for me.
Every student is dying to get out of college. Everyone thinks that sitting in an office on top of a skyscraper equals real life. But once you're there, you'd start thinking how monotonous your day is; how it's the same people everyday; or how you walk the same road on the way to your office every single day.
So, to the people who sat there with me two years ago, I pray that you enjoy what you are doing. In real life, it's a matter of loving who you are, who you will still become, where you are, who you're with while being the responsible person you should be.