Careers and the employee life,  Ruminations

What my first job fair did to me

Today I attended my first job fair as a company representative. We went to a university in Las Piñas, where the grounds were filled with chattering students, all happy and carefree. My coworker and I set up a booth where we could receive resumes from hopeful, soon-to-be graduates. We sat, and ate junk food, there for the better part of the day. 
All the while, a strange feeling was taking over my heart.

In April, it will be one year that I left school. It will be one year since I graduated college with a degree in Behavioral Science, got a job, and moved out. Twelve months isn’t a long time, but for me, it felt like a lifetime ago, a lifetime when I wasn’t as responsible as I am now.
Seeing the campus brimming with joyful students sent me back to my own college days, when I didn’t need to be grown-up because… well, I didn’t need to. My mom paid for everything, school was okay, I had my fair share of dating, and I was surrounded with my funny-ass friends. Sure, I had some very, very difficult times emotionally, but still, I was technically a child, you know? I wasn’t even close to being grown-up yet.
Now I’m juggling work, Toastmasters, coming home to see my family, this blog, and maintaining a long-term relationship with (hopefully) the man I want to build my future with. How’s that for a switch?
Sitting there surrounded by sunlight and classrooms and students made me reminisce about the times when it seemed like all my problems could be solved by having a job. It’s laughable to even think that. 
School meant I could skip class to get wasted. Skipping a workday for alcohol seems just wasteful.
School meant more holidays. Work means “You get a holiday on Wednesday but when you come back on Thursday there will be twice as much to do then.”
School meant friends you love to be with every day. Work means figuring out the politics and culture of the organization before even saying hello.
School meant freedom to be a slacker. Work means you’re free to be a slacker – just as long as you don’t mind losing your job.
I probably haven’t completely accepted the simple fact that my days of coasting are over, and that I need to shift my mindset into something healthier. I may be way more responsible now than I was then, but deep down I still have the same wiring of a girl whose favorite phrase was “I’m not going to class, I’m too lazy and I want to drink/sleep/watch TV.”
As of this moment, I am officially accepting the fact that I have a lot more maturing to do.
It’s true what they say: when you’re a student, you want to start working, but when you start working, you’ll wish you were a student again. The grass is always greener, I suppose some will say. But I choose not to let my nostalgia get in the way of where I am today, and what more needs to be done.
Growing up isn’t about getting to do what you want to do. It’s about doing something you don’t want to do because you need to. And right now, I need to stop wishing I had the last four years back, and focus on where I want to be next.

Ela is a twentysomething who is constantly getting stuck in self-destructive behavior and bouts of low self-esteem. She struggles with depression and writes to relieve herself of her feelings. Sometimes she even blogs about other things like makeup and positivity. One of her pieces was published in the Inquirer Young Blood in October 2017. She likes cats, dogs, and sometimes even people.

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