this day, six years ago, was the day of my college graduation.
i can still remember the feeling of excitement then. my fifteen-year academic journey has ended and i can't wait to explore the world outside the gates of the university. armed with the knowledge and skills i have acquired, i braced myself for the battles ahead thinking that i am ready to face all the obstacles. what happens next, i am not sure. being young and idealistic, i hoped for the best.
but holding an engineering degree from a state university in the province is not enough, that i am sure of. the next step for me then is to pass the board examinations to become a professional in my field. i spent the next four months reviewing and preparing for the gruelling exams ahead.
it was the longest time i stayed away from home. together with friends, we were renting this small penthouse in sampaloc. the ultimate goal is to learn as much as we can to make sure that we pass the board but eventually, i realized that more than the lessons discussed in the center, it was the experiences during this whole time that directed me to take a step further.
a week after the exams, i was informed by my friend that the results were already out. the thing was, the list of successful examinees was already posted in the newspaper a day before. needless to say, i scanned all the stands just to get that particular issue. luckily, i was able to get a copy which i am keeping until this very day.
but when the excitement faded, something else kicked in. my carefully laid direction became a little bit hazy. until now i am not sure what happened but i just found myself turning my back on the call of work.
i returned to my university and enrolled myself in two master's program, engineering and math. it was not the most popular decision then because it seems that i am letting all the good opportunities pass me by. "strike while the iron is hot", yes, that's what i keep on hearing.
i did not finish the semester. a day came when i just realized that i don't want to study anymore. worse, i am not sure what i wanted to do with my life. right then and there, i packed my bags and told my parents that i want to go to my mom's province in the south.
for almost two months, i stayed with my lolo in surigao. but even under his wings, he allowed me to be responsible for myself. somewhere along the way, i lost who i am and he made me understood that its up to me to find that person and bring him back.
and i did, before everything was too late.
that was the turning point of my life. i bid my lolo goodbye and returned home. upon arriving, i had a long talk with my parents, telling them about my next plans. more than being supportive, i thanked them for trusting me enough to decide for myself and in the process, surpass the dark tunnel on my own.
after that, my path was clear again. i did not deny the call of work anymore.
i decided to act like the adult i am supposed to be.
a few months after my second term at the country's premiere university, a family crisis came. in order for me to continue my studies, i was left with one option and that is to go back to our province. back then, i did not understand yet why i am supposed to be the one to sacrifice.
had fates not intervened, i would have finished my degree from the university of the maroons.
but i am glad that fate did for i am not regretting who i turned out to be.