I Moved Out At 19, Now I'm Finishing College Working 2 Jobs While On The Student Council

I was young, supposedly halfway through my first college degree, working several side hustles to pay the bills with zero savings.

In December 2015, just a few days before Christmas, I packed my bags and set out to what could possibly be my most life-changing adventure. I was 19 at the time, supposedly halfway through my first college degree, working several side hustles to pay the bills with zero savings. As crazy as it sounds, I moved out and made the decision to live independently. 

For a lot of us, the idea of starting a life of your own even before you graduate or have a stable job is almost tabooespecially when factors like culture and practicality come into play. Somehow, there’s an unspoken rule that your life has to follow a very specific order: go to school, graduate, get a job, and if you’re more traditional, get married and have kids. Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with living your life that way. But hear me out when I say that there’s nothing wrong with living life on your own terms, too.


"I was often so scared about what the future would be like or if there’s a future for me at all." 

It wasn’t easy building my life from scratch. I remember raising a lot of eyebrows for my decisions. At first, I got a bed in a shared-living facility. I could still remember sending out at least 20 to 50 applications to random companies every single day while working on several side jobs to keep my bills paid. Sometimes, when the funds were running too low, I would just walk from work all the way to where I lived, usually from Makati to Mandaluyong or from wherever I got assigned.

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In moments where my standing by my decisions got a little too tough, I would question my capabilities. I was often so scared about what the future would be like or if there’s a future for me at all. After a while, I found my place in the world of freelancing as a writer. Some way, somehow, I also found my way into the digital industry where I also landed a few gigs as a body positivity influencer. Things got better and I decided to go back to school and really commit to pursuing my degree in International Relations.


Moving out early, even before I was fully prepared, so to speak, has shaped me into a person I never thought I would become. It has taught me both mundane and profound things. I learned that it’s really not a good idea to keep sleeping at 3 in the morning when you know you have to be awake by around 7 or 8. I learned that shopping is fun until you realize you’ve gone way beyond your budget and I probably didn’t need five pairs of shoes in one go to begin with. I learned that being surrounded with good people helps you keep your values intact and stay grounded. And so, choose your friends wisely.


"While I take pride and joy in being self-made, perhaps, the most important thing I learned in my adulting journey was a better understanding of the concept of independence."

I learned that I shouldn’t be afraid to take my time when I have to, because there’s really no such thing as too late. Moving out at 19 made me appreciate the small things, especially the privileges that not a lot of people get to have. It made me put more value on my education and to make the most out of my prolonged stay in college. It gave me the courage to join the first ever plus-size pageant in our school where I won and became the first ever Ms. LPU+.


Eventually, I was given the chance to run for the student council and it gave me the opportunity to serve my fellow students.

While I take pride and joy in being self-made, perhaps, the most important thing I learned in my adulting journey was a better understanding of the concept of independence. I used to think that independence meant isolation and just doing things by yourselfaway from your family. Now that I’m 23, I realized that independence is all about being able to take care of yourself so that when other people need your help, you’re at full capacity to help them, too. I’m not really the cheesy type, but being away from my family made me realize how important they are, especially my parents. My main source of motivation used to be proving the world what I was capable of as an individual. Now, it has changed completely for me because one of the reasons I want to be successful in all that I do is so that I can give my family a better life when the time comes. 


Finishing school, working two jobs, serving in the student council, and facing the day-to-day challenges of adulting isn’t easy. But at the end of the day, there’s really no other way I’d have it.










About the author
Maddie Cruz
Contributing Writer

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A Simple Learner Who's a Great Pretender

Maybe I'm just a learner, not a weirdo. A learner that knows how to listen and pretend. A simple learner who's a great pretender. Pretending to be slightly dumb enough not to be judged and criticized by those who do not appreciate my existence. We surround ourselves with people who's levels are either beyond or below our intellectual behavior, because as for reality, people may use you either for their success or your downfall. Since then, people tend to judge someone who has an intellect with things they shouldn't be. Making them a criticizer, and most of all, calling them weird.

Honestly, I'm one of this "weirdo" who actually loves to learn things, and for the record, I'm bullied and stressed out for making myself not to learn more and go with the flow to dumbness I had. Have you ever feel being assigned to some task where you know every process to make it easier and faster to finish but turns out to hesitate to voice out because some of your mates put themselves in charge. There are times where I know what to do, what to say, or how to react, but kept myself silent and pretend not to know anything that may help us. Maybe it's a good thing to just go with their ideas and learn from their perspectives, but sometimes you can't control it and says something, and once again called to be a weirdo and let you finish the work by yourself.

It's annoying that you only know one process yet they gave you the whole work and let you finish it by yourself because they insist that "MAGALING KA DIBA?". It's not your fault being an intellectual person, knowing such things that may help you to pursue your dreams, and have the basic knowledge about something. You don't need to know everything, just the basics. And as for those people who do not appreciate your existence, let them be and continue what's the best for you. In some cases, you'll be annoyed by this but most of the time you'll be thankful for it. Not for now but maybe later. Just be yourself either a weirdo, a great pretender, or a simple learner, and always remember to lower your voice and behavior because no one loves that.

Just be a great pretender not to hear any runts and be a good learner that appreciates everything. It's out of nowhere thoughts of mine, but simply I leave you this my favorite life quotation; "Don't introduce yourself, Let your success introduce you"

Jayson Miranda 21 hours ago
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