What They Don’t Teach You about Life after Graduation
“Be bold, be brave. Remember, you can get a degree in one field, while your profession can be in another. It’s not set in stone to follow the same field as your course.”
Photo Credit : All Day,
Graduation Day is a day you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. It surely was for us.
I remember my Graduation. We entered the graduation hall adorning our academic dresses, fully prepared to put a full-stop to formal education. At least for the time being. The hall looked out of place, filled with hundreds of students; some standing around awkwardly, some rushing for the scarcely available chairs and others wondering if they were at the right venue.
As I stood leaning against an occupied chair, after a long pause, the door opened with a bang, catching us by surprise. This wasn’t the entrance we had in mind for graduation.
A man, who could pass off as a student himself stood on the dais. “Get ready for a lot of free time or as it is called ‘doing nothing’. While you’re doing that, get used to unexpected elements coming your way. After this graduation ceremony, you will each enter a classroom designed specifically for each of you – your life.’
Confused, we contemplated whether this was a prank, till the man clarified,
“Today, I will give you a class, it holds the most credits and only you can grade it.”
He approached the whiteboard and wrote – ‘What They Don’t Teach You about Life after Graduation.’
1. First come, first serve – “If you want something, go get it. Most of you stared at the seats in the hall; only a handful grabbed the opportunity to sit on them. The rest of you stood, lingering, wondering whether to sit or not. Get used to doing nothing. You can’t constantly be busy. Even machines take a break. You’re human! Be quick to get what you want and then be patient. We are so used to everything happening in a specific manner that we misinterpret the period of transition as a moment of nothingness. Calm waters build up to a wave.
Your days of learning have just begun. You are the most uninformed once you complete education, because the world outside has no set agenda. You will learn more than you have to and much more than you want to. Mostly from your wrong decisions.”
2. Fail and Sail – “In school we’re taught failure leads to a retest. But there is no retest for failure in life. In truth, failure is the best form of passing. Making mistakes is a means of creating a comfort zone, out of your comfort zone. You will fail several times and fall even more. Challenge yourself. However, don’t expect results out of everything. It can all be going your way and suddenly it diverts and you’re alone. Surprises will continue. From giving surprise tests as a child to a surprise in joyful moments, surprises will have a way of keeping you active and on your feet.
The only way around failure is to be persistent and try every technique known and come up with new techniques when the preexisting ones fail.”
The man paused. A sheath of silence enveloped the room.
“I see you all looking around, wondering when you will be tested, but the idea isn’t to be prepared for one day but to be ready for each and every day.”
3. Every second is a new experience – “Your life is no longer divided by timetables and semesters. Each moment is as important as the other. Don’t let time be an excuse for something you want now, to happen later.
Don’t underestimate time. Although the watch dictates time, you control it. You want time to fly? Involve yourself in something you really want to do. If you want time to stop and feel never ending, then do something you don’t want to. Let experiences be the guide to your work and time a mere bookmark of when it happened.
One part about school you won’t miss is the umpteen subjects you studied. No longer can this be used as an excuse for concentrating on too much at one go.”
4. Focus – “The only subject you have to concentrate on is your area of passion. No excuses, no distractions. You are the teacher and the student. Be bold, be brave. Remember, you can get a degree in one field, while your profession can be in another. It’s not set in stone to follow the same field as your course.
The best bit about being the captain of your own decisions is that you are accountable for it all. While it’s your mess if made, it’s yours to cherish once cleaned.”
The cloud of silence grew thicker with the fear of the unknown brewing in each graduate.
“It’s good to be scared. Trust yourself, you will find a way. Remember your first day at college, or your first day at anything. It’s always intimidating. This now, is your first day at being you, whatever and however you want to be. Keep a level head and keep moving forward.”
Charged up, we shuffled, almost forgetting the original reason for being in the hall.
“One aspect that will remain the same is the rarity of sleep. Make sure to zone out so you can zone in.
The world is your classroom; it’s yours to learn from and yours to teach.”
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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