I recently graduated university, having completed a bachelors of Communications, majoring in Advertising, and Public Relations. Everyone kept congratulating me at the ceremony, online, and for the days post-graduation. But always with the congratulations there was THE questions:
“How do you feel now?”
“What will you do now?”
“How does it feel to finally be an adult?”
But the truth is I didn’t feel any different. I had my piece paper saying I was done, and went back to work.
It was the moment I had been waiting from my entire education, and when it actually happened it didn’t really matter to me anymore…if that makes sense?
Looking back, my education felt like it passed so quickly, and I grew up so fast just trying to make sure I would be a successful adult. To better explain myself, let me take you back to my education.
I was always a high achieving student who got good grades without really trying, without stressing, and without procrastinating. To me, it felt easy.
Whenever there was an assessment I would start, and generally finish it on the same day. If there was an exam, I would prepare, and memorise multiple question scenarios, and form an essay no matter what the question would be. I was various types of captains, and got along with all of my teachers. I was that student that the teacher would use my work as an example.
My education to me was a breeze but no matter how easy it was, I always felt that pressure that I had to be the straight A student. I would be repeatedly told by so many people that if I didn’t do well in school, I wouldn’t well in life.
So I always tried to go above, and beyond to set myself apart. In high school, I ended up getting a full academic scholarship to a performing arts high school, getting a grant to study film-making in South Korea, then graduating the DUX, Valedictorian, and top of 4/5 of my subjects. During all this I was working several casual jobs for several promotional agencies, and working as a contractor for Nespresso, and customer service for Mercedes Benz.
For university, I ended getting a partial scholarship for my degree, was a member of the Deans Scholars program, was a member of the Great Thinkers Club, represented my university at the Harvard Program for Asian and International Relations, and got a grant to study in South Africa for a summer program. On top of this, I completed five internships, and was working full time in my field of study.
It was so engrained on me starting from day one that I had to study, study, study!
And now that I’ve graduated it doesn’t feel any different. I already have my full time job, already bought my Mercedes Benz, already engaged, already living with my partner, and already saving up for my first home.
I had friends in high school, and university but a majority of them I don't talk to anymore, or on rare occasion. The more I was outside the classroom, the more connected I felt to those outside. There are still friends from school I talk to on the rare occasion, but it was only really until I engaged with the outside world that I found where I truly fit in.
The thing with school is you become friends with a lot of people just because you see each other every day. But being out in the real world, you gravitate towards those with the same goals, some aspirations, same interests to form connections deeper than just being in the same location everyday.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all ungrateful for these incredible opportunities that I have been blessed to have. I understand how lucky I am, and that without all these experiences I wouldn’t be where I am in life.
I guess the real point of this post is more of a self-reflection. I’m grateful that I am finally done with my education, and am excited that I’ll have my life ahead of me to learn outside of the classroom.
All I know is that it helped me to get to where I am.
A big thank you to everyone who was part of my life, no matter how big or small. While this graduation doesn't feel very important to me now, everyone who has been there for me through it all, this is for you.