Congratulations! You certainly deserve a break to rest and rejuvenate after such a long and tough journey to reach here but make no mistake, this will not be your last tough journey as you foray into your first taste of the working world.
You may have part-time jobs or holiday jobs before but let me assure you that it is very different. Previously, your main role and responsibility are to be a good student, study is your priority and your exam scores are your performance indicators. It is still the same in the real world, just a little complex. You will need to be a good employee, your work becomes your priority and your productivity, your year end bonus, your pay raises all have become your performance indicators. You’ll look forward to your yearly appraisal the same way you anticipate your yearly exams. A summon to your boss’s room is akin to being called to the principal’s office.
Not a long time ago, you form cliques in school: the nerds, the populars, the jocks, the goth..etc. You might think that it’s goodbye to all that once you don your business shirt. Sorry to burst your bubble, the cliques are still there, just diversified. No longer cliques are contained in the perimeters of the school compound, we now have cross state branches, the Americans or even international campuses. Your allies might not be the one sitting next to you but somewhere across Atlanta in a different time zone.
Talking about friends… Instead of hanging out at the mall or playing football in the backyard of your classmates’ house or even meeting up to cramp more study time at the local library, your social life dip to the lowest as you rush to meet deadlines in place of social dates. You no longer browse your mobile for the latest viral post on Facebook but you’ll still have your hands clamped down on your mobile phone, just that you are answering your boss’s email in the middle of dinner with your family. You’ll still keep in touch with your college mates but you’ll find yourself drifting further and further from each other, each time finding hard to have a common topic to talk about.
Well, at least you console yourself that you’ll be earning your own ka-ching, living on your own, breaking all the rules and doing your shit the way you like it. No one tells you to put away the underwear under the bed anymore. Your ka-ching will be divided into half that goes into your rent and food with another half into paying back your student loan. Unless you have roommates, living alone after a year ain’t seem like a good idea anymore especially during winters. And that underwear will still be under your bed when you decide to move in with your new fiancée in her apartment, together with the mouldy half-eaten half-forgotten pizza.
At this point, if you are feeling despondent about stepping into the working world, don’t. Embrace your spirit and go and explore the meaning of your life goals. Go and get lost, then go and find yourself. Take your break seriously. Go backpacking, go travelling, go lose yourself. It will be retirement before you will find so much time on your hand minus the energy.
Then take a deep breath, go forth and conquer the working world. Take your sword, forge a career and a reputation for yourself. You’ll meet exciting people and infuriating ones as well. Your patience and endurance will be tested again and again, so will your courage and integrity. You’ll have opportunities, silver and golden ones. Some are offered on a platter while the rest you’ll need to grab.
One thing that is truly inspiring, you can work towards making a difference to your life, lives of your loved ones or even lives of millions of people. This is something you can’t do when you are studying but something your education has prepared you for. So the first parts of this letter will not matter so much anymore as long as you know you are leaving a footprint, a legacy in this world.
So soar away, my young one. Be brave, be inquisitive, be passionate. One day, you’ll pass down wisdom as many of us do and make sure you look back your old days with smiles and fondness, never regrets!
All the best,
Join MiddleMe at Twitter (MiddleMe_net), FaceBook (MiddleMe.net) and WeChat! Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.