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'As A Fresh Grad, My Dreams Were Put On Hold And IDK How To Feel'

The year is 2020 and our life goals have literally been thrown out the window.
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The year is 2020 and there’s now a meme for every feeling you can’t describe through words. Like this new one that perfectly captures what our 2020 plans look like. If you haven’t watched Parasite yet, this one might be a total spoiler. We’ll let you figure out what it means.

 

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It’s a pretty recent meme but it’s already spreading in various versions, depending on which corner of the pop culture universe you associate yourself with. The year is 2020, we’re in the midst of pandemic, and our life goals have literally been thrown out the window. Fresh grads didn't get the ceremonies they deserve and they're entering an unstable workforce. Things don't seem to be looking good.

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You might feel slightly discouraged.

Just when you were finally getting your life together or mustering up the courage to put yourself out there, you end up spending a good amount of time cooped up in your homes, because it’s unwise to literally go out there. Classes are being reconfigured to operate online. Graduation rites—the culmination of sleepless study nights with matching iyak sessions sa banyo—are not happening, at least not the way tradition dictates. Nothing is normal anymore and it might feel a little demoralizing.

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You might feel bad for feeling bad.

It’s completely logical to worry about your derailed plans, but sometimes, you can’t help but think that there are much more urgent and graver concerns to worry about, like real people’s lives being put at stake every day because of the pandemic. Maybe you’re feeling a hint of guilt for how vastly different your problems are from the rest of the world, or at least those around you. But hey, this doesn’t mean your personal concerns about your goals are rendered invalid. These emotions don't immediately go away on their own, so you will have to allow yourself to process them in order to reassess your plans moving forward. We may primarily be facing a fatal disease, but recent events prove that this pandemic is not just a health crisis.

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You might feel a little displaced.

No one can say for sure when or if things will go back to “normal,” but this feeling of uncertainty shouldn’t stop you from finding meaning in your life. In an article on Psychology Today, Steven C. Hayes, PhD mentions the five hurdles of staying home due to the pandemic and one of the challenges stated was that of finding meaning. Now that our routines have been shattered and our dreams have been put on hold, what defines us now? The author suggests finding alternative ways to fulfill our passions and redefining what’s truly meaningful for us.

Our goals aren’t just things to check off a list. There’s a motivation behind each of them, and looking for an alternate way to fulfill those motivations from things we can do at home might help. We set career goals because we yearn for a sense of success, but maybe we can still achieve that desire for accomplishment through fundraisers or online charity drives.

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It might feel like there’s no more room to dream or chase after goals, but that’s not entirely true. You can still work your way towards your goals or set new ones little by little, day by day.

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Candy Bulletin is finally here! If you're an aspiring writer, vlogger, artist, or kahit marami ka lang talagang time, submit your entries here and make your mark in the Candy community! Share your feels, show your skills. Don't worry—we won't judge. ;)

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Mylene Mendoza
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Katherine Go A day ago

Cold Food

The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.

Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.

Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.

For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?

Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.

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