HAILEYSTONES| A Shift In Consciousness

FOR SOMEONE who doesn’t consider themselves as the jealous type, I am seething with envy. Although their triumph has nothing to do with my own achievements, I still can’t help but feel cheated. I am pretty content, for the most part. I don’t think I’m supermodel-worthy, but I don’t think I’m butt-ugly either. I go to a good school. I have a great barkada. I’m dating my best friend. There’s really not much to complain about my life.

I was never the type to go stalking after anyone, not even my own boyfriend. I have better things to do with my life than worrying about whether he’s creeping around with some other chick. The same goes for everything else in my life.

I can be pretty secure with myself, except when it comes to my own graduation.

Everyone and their mother is graduating. By the time this goes to print, over half of my high school batch will have graduated. Everything from the cheesy Facebook posts thanking their parents for everything, to behind-the-scenes shots of their commencement practices, and even to the numerous selfies of them with the hat and tassel. I can’t help but feel this weird, inappropriate resentment bubble up in my stomach.

I want to graduate now. The fear of what happens next — and of how one’s twenties should be the “time of their lives”– is, right now, negated by my eagerness to do my own parents proud. I want to go shopping for graduation shoes, as UP Min is particular about us wearing nude or cream closed-toe pumps. I want to be able to start writing my thesis’ acknowledgment page, and put into writing the crushing amount of people who have helped me along the way. I want to place an order for my sablay, which is ironic considering that, in any other case, this means to fail. We wear ours as a symbol of pride, of achievement, of glory.

Mostly, however, it’s my own pride getting in the way. I have always been the achiever in my barkada, the one that people look to whenever they need help with their homework. The fact that they are technically graduating earlier than I am has sent me into a little bit of an identity crisis. This isn’t fair, or logical, or reasonable. I have never wanted anything so bad in my life. I am so close, and I know I deserve it.

We all tend to define ourselves by our achievements and merits. I know I worked my butt off in order to get where I am now. There is so much more to prove now that I am so close to graduating, and I am raring to just get out there and go. The anxiety of waiting to find out whether you’re finally going to get your diploma or not tends to get the best of me.

At heart I have always been a do-er, and to see my hopes and dreams within reach is thrilling. I’m not used to having good things happen to me, and so I welcome any opportunity that will help me get them. Even if this means having to flip burgers or serve coffee, I would take it.

Of course, I know it’s not fair to those who are really graduating. My envy isn’t valid at all. Heck, I am ridiculously excited for all of my friends who are making that leap from schooling to the wonderful world of employment. Some of them completely deserve their success. Others were a hop and a skip away from flunking out, but for that I am even prouder. So many people have dropped out of college for one reason or another. Not everyone gets to do that, but the thing is . . . I want to do that, too. I just really want my degree in my hands and to be able to validate what I had already started doing for myself. Is that so wrong?

Posted in Opinion