By Joshua Corcuera
It is graduation season, and many college students will celebrate this June or July as they leave their schools and enter the professional world. But, of course, there are some, unfortunately, who would wait a little bit longer.
To sum up the point that I’d raise in this column, I always believe that finishing college and getting a diploma is a journey, not a race. Therefore, we should not pressure ourselves, our friends, our classmates, our relatives, and other people to graduate on time.
College life is much more complicated in contrast to basic education, and all degree programs are difficult in one way or another. Whether one would graduate in four years, or in five or six years, or would receive a diploma at an older age, all of them deserve to be congratulated for succeeding in a very challenging journey.
Speaking of college, the environment in higher education is vastly different as compared to high school. For instance, it is entirely possible that an academic achiever in high school would struggle to merely pass some subjects in college.
Unlike in basic education where students are taught basic concepts to intermediate lessons of general subjects, college students are taught much more advanced topics in a specific subject. For example, a high school would be taught about math, science, English, social studies (araling panlipunan), MAPEH, Filipino, and so on. Of course, these are challenging for their age, and we do not invalidate their sacrifices.
In college, however, students take a specific degree program, such as accountancy for example. Aside from taking a few general subjects that resemble those of Senior High School, an accountancy student would have to study complex and deep topics regarding accounting.
Furthermore, college students are deemed to be independent and have to manage their own time. Unlike in high school where students are given a schedule to be followed, and a class adviser to guide them, there is no such thing in college as university students have to enroll themselves and choose their own schedule.
Furthermore, the absence of a class adviser in college is perceived as a means for teaching college students to be independent and responsible. This is also in contrast to high school where students are constantly reminded and warned by teachers and advisers to complete their academic requirements. In college, the professor would most probably not care and immediately give a failing grade to those who fail to comply.
It may sound scary, but college life can be more bearable if one is responsible and diligent. More importantly, having a good social life and good friends in college is very important to lighten up the burden of university life.
With this, it is crucial to support our friends who are in college. Definitely, they have struggles and are dealing with constant challenges. Hence, we should neither pressure them nor demand that they graduate on time. Rather, lending a helping hand and listening to them would be much better.
For those who would not march this month or next month, it is understandable to feel bad. But remember, that graduation is a journey, not a race. There is nothing wrong with trying again. What is essential is the determination to keep going and to finish the journey, no matter how difficult it may be, no matter how long that journey would take.