“80% of my friends change after college in their first year of full-time job”, a friend said.
For better or worse?
“Subjective to judge. For the worse I’d say.”
Really? That gives me a chill in this time of the year when graduation is around the corner and everyone is squeezing out every single second with their friends. Well…don’t panic. That is just one guy saying his experiences. I’m sure there are plenty of variations. But still, change is probably necessary, whether in order to formalize a new budget plan (and actually sticking to it) or maintaining a different lifestyle.
“Well. But sometimes people did not really change. It’s just that we didn’t see their complete or various selfs. We see only part of it and when the other parts reveal themselves, our biases tell us that they have changed. Most often for the worse”, another friend commented. As much as my emotion tells me to counter that, my rational side tells me that there is truth to it. Yet, there is certain excitement to see how people will change, for both better and worse, after graduation. Will that girl become an international human rights lawyer one day? Will that guy reform the Singaporean educational system one day? Will that friend really open up her own gallery one day?
These questions ring in my ears as I hear great news from couple of my friends about graduate school applications and job search. It’s exciting to think about that but it’s also clear that we won’t have a GPA anymore. There is no such thing as GPA for life. No first honors. No honors with distinction. No dean list. Not even that ribbon for “most enthusiastic participation”. There is only us and the people around us. We can choose to either look for motivation externally (peer competition, salary raise, promotions) or internally (experience of flow, enjoyment, sense of possibility, passion)
So I guess that is like senior second semester when senioritis kicks in (sorry, I got caught too). We all somehow get the idea of “before” and “after” graduation for our senior last semester. “Before” lives in the college life and “after” in the “real-world”. Yet, reflecting on this, it seems that the “freedom” we have in last semester of college is simply a prelude to the accountability we will have on ourselves after graduation.
So? Goodbye, napping, TV shows, spontaneous outings, and daydreaming. Time to set this straight.