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[Y-SPACE] To batch 2022, what’s next?

by Mitch Costales

It all started in the school year 2012 when the first batch of the K-12 Program set foot in high school. The late President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III signed the K-12 Law on May 15, 2013—one of the milestones that he was remembered for.

The K-12 curriculum changed the educational system of the Philippines, yet the subjects taken in Senior High School were somewhat similar to the prerequisite subjects in College. As everyone is not that capable of having the resources and means to study, the additional two years became bothersome for the underprivileged sectors.

Believe it or not, I am a part of that batch. I am writing this with both a grateful heart and a perturbed state of mind. I am thankful for I am about to finish school nine months from now, but I am worried about the uncertainty that my future brings.

Yesterday, we met our professor in one of our major subjects and he asked us, “Sino rito ang gusto mag work sa ad agency?” I did not raise my hand, not because I don’t want to work there, but because I don’t know where I might end up. This pandemic hindered us to experience the reality of our transition to adulthood and with the responsibilities that came with it.

I know that I’m not the only one who’s feeling this. There are a lot, if not all, who are also scared of what’s next after graduation. Morning classes will be morning shifts. Classmates will be workmates. Deadlines are no longer negotiable. Just the thought of it makes my heart sink. Graduation day is my most awaited day but that day also scares me for I don’t know what’s waiting for me. The beginning of a new chapter in our life marks the conclusion of one we've been writing for eighteen (or more for some) years.

We have dreams and aspirations but we also have fears and anxieties formed by the doubt that we have if we could or could not reach those dreams.

10 years from now, ganito pa rin kaya tayo?” A question that Basha asked Popoy—a question we could also ask ourselves.

Aside from the existential questioning of our knowledge and skillsets, we doubt our relationship with the people around us. As much as we would love to have the same bond and connection with our circle, reality says otherwise.

10 years from now, some may be successful and some may be suffering. Some may have reached their dreams while some may be eaten by their doubts and fears. Some may have families while some may even find it difficult to have a partner. Some may own a mansion while some may struggle in paying rent. Some may have already traveled half of the world while some don’t even have visas yet. What’s after college is already harsh and a decade after college is daunting.

'Now,' a word with only three letters that I always forget. With my anticipation of what’s next, I lose my heart to what’s now. We are afraid of how dark our future may become. However, right now, we are holding the torch to light up the way and fire our passion. As I look beyond the walls of tomorrow, I do not see what’s right in front of me—the steering wheel to maneuver the path to my dreams.

To all those who are reading this, especially to my batchmates, we have less than a year left. No pandemic can rip off the opportunities right in front of us. College is about making mistakes and letting yourself learn the hard way. Together, let’s commit mistakes, and together, let’s write beautiful stories on how we turned our doubts into dreams achieved.

Let loose. Be part of the organization that you hesitated to join because you thought that you can’t. Participate in class and disregard the fear of being wrong. Volunteer in extracurricular activities that you were afraid to try before. Connect with the people that you always wanted to meet. One small step is a huge leap towards your dreams. What you choose right now may someday be a decision that you will be most grateful for. Let loose and grab that chance to take advantage out of every opportunity.

"A rough road makes a tough soul out of us." As cliché as it sounds, it’s not about the destination but the journey itself. If we focus too much on what’s next and forget what’s now, we might miss out on the greatest chapter of our lives.

Mitch Costales is an incoming 4th year AB Communication student. His experience as a student-leader, both at the high school and collegiate level, has helped him become a better individual.

YSPACE is a platform open for young writers to contribute their worth-sharing thoughts and stories to the world. It is a space for young people and by the young people which aims to promote a strong sense of empowerment and inspiration to young Filipinos.

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