Adulting Lessons

3 Lessons 8 Years of #Adulting Taught Me

Eight years of adulting taught me three lessons.

College graduation is the commencement of responsibility.

In the Philippines at least, one is expected to find good employment after completing college education.

In other words, after college comes #adulting!

The first job interview. The first day at your first job. The first (delayed) salary. The first resignation. The first serious career reflection.

All these you will definitely go through after graduation!

The many open doors can confuse you.
The many open doors can confuse you. Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

It has been eight years since I completed undergraduate studies and left the University as a student.

In these eight years, I have worked for five institutions and added two titles after my name.

In these eight years, I gave out a lot of application letters to around 70 companies, ranging from academic institutions to consultancy agencies and private offices.

I have made a lot of acquaintances and a handful of close friends. Thankfully, I have not made many enemies.

I have also resigned from four institutions either because a desire of greener pasture or a need for freedom from non-ideal conditions.

In two years, I will be thirty. By then, I have spent a decade in the office of #adulting.

I believe these ten years are preparatory for the next decades!

I share three lessons that the past eight years have taught me about #adulting. I know these lessons are not exclusive to me. 

If you are a graduating college student or a recent graduate overwhelmed by the path ahead, this is for you!

Your dreams will change, for the better.

Before graduating, there was one dream that was a priority for me: two years after graduation, I will be owning a car.

A car is a status symbol. Owning a car meant I invested much time and reaped much success.

A car is proof that I made it!

When I had that dream, my mother already told me that owning a car at the start of a career will be impractical.

An entry salary is not enough. True enough, my monthly salary slipped from my hands like butter.

Now, I do not want a car. The looming car problems in Metro Manila led me to abandon the dream of owning a car.

Working at the tragic Makati while living in Manila taught me how precious rest time is. Time really is gold!

The dream I have now is to be able to work near my residence with the family I am starting to build. 

I now understand that money and possessions are not the ultimate luxury.

Time really is gold!

Experience is the best teacher.

The adage is true after all!

My whole undergraduate coursework passed like a blur. I have little recollection of the technical and scientific concepts from my courses.

What I treasure as true education happened during organization activities and field works.

The field work team I was a part of may have been short, but the habits and lessons I got from those four months were invaluable when I began employment.

The value of teamwork and social skills were integral to the development of my career.

In any office, however excellent one is as an individual, no one can work alone successfully.

Knowing the balance of team dynamics is essential in surviving workdays.

The best way to prepare for the future is to be present today. Make sure you have buddies who are good influences and good teachers.

Train yourself through volunteering in small activities related to your work.

The best way to prepare for the future is to be present today.

Friendships may grow, most will wither, but you must plant more.

College was highlighted by the connections I made through my academic organization. I spent two and a half years as a regular member of the Junior Philippine Geographical Society.

During these years, I became friends with people who I spent time with every day. Hangouts, study groups, food trips. We spent all our free time with activities together.

Graduation came, and employment made us all busy. Now, we interact most frequently through Facebook likes, reactions, and comments.

We seldom met, often through sudden appointments or special events of the organization.

Those you help now can help you in the future.

I tried my best to stay connected in these relationships through texting, but other commitments just clouded free time.

Professional life gave me another discovery. Acquaintances are good work connections.

Though our friendships were not too deep, these college acquaintances were sources of possible job openings and work-related information.

You must be open to all interactions. You never know if those you help now can help you in the future.

And those who help you now, you can also help in return!

Do not be disappointed about past friendships that did not last. Make new relationships with your present colleagues!

Just remember what Proverbs says about choosing your companions: Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.


Graduation is a new beginning. It is the start of real life – the dawn of pure independence.

#Adulting is a training ground and a battlefield at the same time.

Continue learning outside the university.

Dream, experience and grow!


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