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I'm Not Graduating with My Batchmates and That's Okay

It's not all that bad, though.
IMAGE Unsplash | www.unsplash.com ART Clare Magno

Among the highlights of graduation is getting to graduate with your batch. You take your first nervous steps into the real world alongside the people you've spent the last couple of years with. You take those block photos, trade those graduation pictures, remind one other to meet up as often as possible. You graduate knowing that the people you're graduating alongside have suffered alongside you, and you feel thankful knowing that they're a part of this important milestone in your life.

But what if you aren't graduating with your batch?

I entered college back in 2012, under the impression that I'd be going through my commencement rights back in 2016. It is now 2017 and only now have I graduated, a full year behind my batch—my blockmates, my friends, the people I'd come to know as my second family. It's a lonely prospect, and it's an experience that I had to undergo.

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But it's not all that bad, though.

The purpose of college

If you find yourself in the position of graduating without your batch, try to remember what college is for in the first place. The point of college isn't to see who can finish first. Rather, college is there for us to find ourselves and to grow into the people we want to be. For many, that's something that can be done in four years. That's fine. For others it takes a little longer, which is also fine.

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If it takes you a little longer to explore and discover the field in which you are best fit, that is fine as long as you find it.

Keeping the purpose of college in mind will make that extra year far more bearable. We can talk about college being the place to find yourself, but that doesn't erase the fact that it can get pretty lonely graduating apart from your batchmates. Your batchmates are probably the ones you shared the most experiences with and being stuck in school without them can be a pretty melancholic experience. So how does one get past that feeling?

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Together we walk

While you find that you haven't shared very many experiences with the batch you find yourself graduating alongside, that doesn't necessarily mean that you can't find a common ground. They may not have been the batch you entered college with, but they're students just as much as you are and have gone through similar experiences and shared similar worries and apprehensions, trials and jubilations. You'll find yourself sharing classes and schedules with these underclassmen, working on group projects and chasing deadlines alongside them, and you'll find that they aren't that different from yourself.

The idea that you really aren’t actually struggling on your own, but struggling with those struggling just as much as you are, will help you find comfort in the experience of graduating late.

 They will eventually become just like those batch mates of yours who graduated ahead of you.

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Have faith, and graduation will come

One reality that you have to accept when you find yourself taking on extra years is that, at that point, you may not really have much of a choice. Being worried about your chances of employment or your future beyond college may not have any effect at all on whether or not you graduate on time. More often than not, whatever worries you may have about graduating late may become nothing but a hindrance to you performing well and getting the most out of college.

To quote Newt Scamander from the recent Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, "Worrying means you suffer twice."

In the place of worrying over your delayed graduation, you could commit yourself to graduating in the best way you can manage. That extra year is a great chance for you to milk the remainder of your tertiary education experience—to boost your grades, to hone your skills, and to improve yourself in whatever ways may be available to you. Wallowing in self-pity and fear will keep you from doing these things. Instead of wallowing, you should focus yourself on doing the best you can with the time that is available. You will reap the fruits of your labour after that, regardless of your late graduation.

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Some tips for the would-be delayed graduate

With all this having been said, here are some tips for surviving those extra years without your batchmates:

  1. Focus on yourself. Take this time to find out what matters to you and where you want to go with your life. Make the most of the extra year, or years perhaps, of tertiary education.

  2. Break down your walls and make friends. Keep in mind that, while the underclassmen may not be your batch mates, they're going through battles the same way you are. There’s comfort to be had there.

  3. Have faith and continue to do your best. Your choices may be limited to taking that extra year or dropping out of college. Instead of letting your delayed graduation get you down, do your best in the time that is available. You’ll get to the finish line eventually, as long as you have confidence in yourself and set your mind on graduation.

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Finally, if the prospect of graduating without your batchmates still keeps you under the weather, remember that this is the age of social media. It honestly isn't hard to remain in contact with those who have graduated ahead of you. Most are a message away. As it is in any relationship, if you and your real batchmates are committed to one another, finding time for each other won't be a problem. Make time for them.

So go, take your fifth year and your sixth year if you must! Make the most out of your college experience, delayed graduation or not. Remember to enjoy college while it lasts—you'll be left with regrets if you don't.

Do you have interesting college experiences you want to share, too? Tweet us @candymagdotcom or submit your story. You just might see it published in this space!

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Alo Lantin
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A community page where you can share your feels and show your skills! Learn more here

This is a drawing and a poem I’ve made for a summer love. Our time together was short-lived but the feelings were not.

“God’s Gift”

On a platform we stand

Faces seen all in a blur

Relentless searching led by a spur

To find someone, to feel something

Aren’t we fools to waste away time?

To look for one man’s treasure

Somewhere as ephemeral, as fragile

As a bond built in crime

But aren’t we just like every weary heart?

Hoping for an oasis

In the midst of the desert

Wanting to quench our thirst

Aren’t we all like frosted windows

Of old and battered houses on winter?

Wishing for the sun to give us warmth

To melt the facade so we can show what the inside is made

Aren’t we maven pretenders?

A Casanova? A Temptress? Who made us this way?

A sly fox? A ruthless hunter?

Let down the walls, It’ll be okay

Rushed for a hug, now no hesitating

Engulfed by a sense of bliss or was it longing? Eyes wide-open,

Stepping on a quicksand I embraced the fall into the deep end

Gazed at you lying there unaware With you, found something rare I swear

Realization dawning as loud as a thunder

As the Beating of your heart put me into a deep slumber

Waking up from this reverie

Truth slapped me back to reality

Two worlds so different, now I see If only I could I’d be anything and anyone you need me to be I’m the ludicrous clown, you see

Thought if I ruin it first I’d be free

From the doubts brought by my own insecurity I was so wrong,

What a tragicomedy Brought by the month of April

We rushed the ticking of clock to May Hands interlocked

Weaved skin to skin on a rainy day But when June came to say hello, all went dark grey

What was once there ceases to exist Like the wilting of a flower

Once so beautiful, so full of life Now turned into dust by death’s kiss

Unbounded joy brought by your presence

Paralleled with the perennial ache of your absence Yearned for and offered seventh heaven

Now the heart weeps for evanescence

A mirage, to be the fair maiden The sorrow to find out I’d end up our own villain

But all’s well for you are but a distant dream Gamaliel, You are, I knew it from the very beginning .

Written by me, the one-shot story

Coffee is about a girl who used to cherish moments with someone in a cafe. Sometimes, a simple drink can leave an imprint on someone's mind. ____________________________________________

Coffee

It's been a year since my boyfriend and I broke up. I love him and he loves me too but things just didn't worked  the way it should be. Now I'm heading at the cafe where we started and ended. I have no choice but to go there after all it was made up of both happy and sad memories. But that's life , right? We can't be happy all the time. Challenges come and hearts can break. But it doesn't just end there.

"One signature coffee , please." I said as I ordered from the cashier.

"What size?" she asked.

"Small." I said.

Then she took my payment and I headed towards the seat near the window. A window seat.... for two. The cafe was surprisingly full tonight unlike the past few days.

Again, I have no choice but to sit on that window seat. It is where we sit often. It is our seat. Our place. There are a lot of couples at the cafe and wow I'm alone. There's a part of me which says you should be happy because he's not the only guy in this world. Another part of me says you're still hurt so don't pretend to be happy. The truth is , I am both happy and sad.  I'm happy because we're both free and we can focus more in our careers. But I'm sad because I'm not the other half of his heart anymore. I'm sad because I let him go even though I still love him. I'm sad because I can't see him. I'm sad because I can't share this relaxing coffee shop where we can chill with the aromatic smell of the coffee.

"Small signature coffee?" the waitress said as she serves my coffee.

"Yes. Thank you." I said.

"Since you're a regular customer here, we would like to give you this item for free." the waitress said. She handed me a purple journal with the name of the cafe on it and a pen.

"Oh thanks." I said .

"Enjoy your coffee!" she said.

I took advantage of using the freebies from the cafe. A window seat is also a bonus in inspiring me to write something. While sipping my coffee my brain and my heart began to function smoothly.

And so I wrote: My coffee has been cold lately, I can't feel anything after taking a sip and there's no heat to leave a pain on my lips. And it was a relief. But then, I remember one thing about sipping a cold coffee instead of a hot one: cold coffee doesn't leave you any marks when you sipped it, just like a blunt feeling. But a hot coffee will leave you a remarkable pain from the heat which reminds you that you are alive to feel....

I closed the journal and stared at the window. He was the coffee. The hot coffee. No matter how our breakup hurt me, he left me a mark and a lesson to learn. A hot coffee can be a challenge too or an obstacle. They all made you feel that you are alive. That you can go on with your life. You can still stand up. Love taught me to move forward. He taught me to be stronger. He is love.

Belley Marie A day ago

WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE A BROKE FANGIRL/FANBOY

One of the proudest things as a fan is the feeling that you are part of their growing fandom and stardom. From streaming their songs online, watching their music videos, TV guestings, collecting photocards, albums, lightsticks, attending to their concert and fan meetings surely, you're a fan! But there's a problem, MONEY.

It's really heartbreaking when you hear that members of your favorite band are coming and their concert is just around the corner but here you are thinking of how to sell one of your kidneys just to go to their concert (kidding).That no matter how much you try to save, it will never be enough for a ticket because you are only a student who has limited resources or if you're an adult, you have bills to pay. So joining a "team bahay" livestream is your last resort, but sometimes even those links don't work!

Of course if there's team bahay there's also "team airport/ team labas", fans who waits at the airport hoping to see their idols upon their arrival. How we wish we could also attend and be part of it, something like shouting their names, fanchants then cry out of happiness while waving their lightsticks or banners. What a concept isn't?

Hey, cheer up! being broke doesn't make you any less of a fan. Know that there are other ways to support and love them. For sure our idols have the same and equal love to us no matter what "team" we belong (team concert, team airport/labas and team bahay).Maybe for some people, they might think we are being overly dramatic without knowing that for us fans, their existence itself and music saved us and made us happy once in our lives. -Gwy June 16,2020

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