This was supposed to be a speech for this year’s graduates or for students going back to their home countries.
I realized however, that this piece is also perfect for every
college student, for every student.
When I was in your place 18 years ago, I was so excited. I was seated there, but my mind was already flying in the Philippines.
In my mind, I was mentally listing down all the things I wanted to do once I set my shoes on my home country’s asphalt grounds. The thought that I’d be so free! Yey! My mom and dad won’t be there. I can do whatever I want. I can go wherever my feet may take me. I can try different things and make many adventures of my own. Away from a land of no restrictions, to the land of the free!
Maybe you are experiencing the same thing right now. I may be speaking here, but your mind is already partying in the Philippines. =)
Well, if you’ll ask me if my adventures happened, if my most awaited time to finally be free from my parents was worth it all.
Yes and No. Yes, I did try many things when I was there; I went to different places in the Philippines and went to few forbidden areas. I climbed different mountains with friends, I made different adventures with high school classmates, I interviewed DJs and celebrities, listened to politicians, talked to local vendors, visited orphanages, wondered in unknown places, involved in community works…I’ve encountered many unique individuals when I stayed there and have done really great things during my stay.
It all looked like a great adventure, yes, but no, not all of those things were worth it because I’ve also failed so many times just because I didn’t think things through. I was so excited to try everything until I realized that not everything should be tried. That experience is a good teacher, but experience is very costly and that I’d rather learn from what people have experienced and see the effects and consequences so I can learn from them. Instead of trying them.
So, this is my moving up or graduation words to you, whether you are leaving Saudi Arabia or not.
I want you to THINK TWICE.
Those two words, I give to you. THINK TWICE.
When you are about to search for your adventure, I want you to THINK TWICE before you actually do it. Think of the danger, the consequences, the purpose, and the cost. Will something bad happen to me? Will I be missing out on things? Is this the reason why I am here? Will it cost my parents’ hard earned money to go to waste?
When you are about to CUT classes or are pressured by your friends to go somewhere in the middle of school days. I want you to THINK TWICE. Think of the lessons you’ll miss, the extra efforts to make at the end of the semester to pull your grades up, and the sacrifices of your parents abroad, before you do your so called “adventures.”
When you are about to cheat for a quiz or a major exam. I want you to THINK TWICE. Think of how important the lesson is for the job you are going to take in the future. Think of the shame it could give your parents when you get caught. The heartbreak they could get if you don’t study well or fail. And the cost of another semester or year. Remember, another year for you, means extension of the years your parents have to work abroad.
The most important one is when you are about to ENTER A VERY PASSIONATE RELATIONSHIP.A relationship that could lead you dying inside just to hold that special someone….yeah, a deadly one…I think you know what I mean, you look like smart group of people. So, I WANT YOU TO THINK TWICE, THRICE, or four times, a hundred times if possible. Especially when your “baby” asks you to be alone. He has to think twice. You, on the other hand-HAVE TO THINK TWICE ABOUT HIM.
Ask yourself, what are my priorities? Gusto ko ba ng inspirasyon or konsumisyon sa buhay ko at this point of time? Why am I sent to the Philippines again? Think twice. Preserve yourself. Make your parents happy by finishing strong in your studies.
Be the best you can be when you go out there. Think twice when you are about to pass a project.Is this enough? Can I improve this? Strive to be a better person by that simple act of thinking twice before you do something.
For when you think twice, you give yourself a chance to assess your situation, to be smart when you are making decisions, and to be the best you can be when solving a problem.
Lastly, remember that if you fail in the middle of your journey, THINK TWICE again. You have the choice to STAY where you are or to MOVE ON from where you’ve fallen. Be sure to move on because life will not wait for you to be okay. You have to set your mind that you are determined to always keep on moving on.
So, finish strong. Finish smart. Surround yourself with people who can help you be a better person. Learn to let go of those who are not even interested in helping themselves to be better. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask help from people older than you.
One day, you’ll be standing in front of other students, telling your story, make it a good one. Make it worth all your loving parents’ efforts. THINK TWICE.