Para sa lahat ng graduates ngayong taon, welcome to the real world! Hindi ka na estudyante; responsible adult ka na. (Well, supposedly.)

Marahil ay nao-overwhelm ka o baka medyo lost. Siguro naiisip mo, “Ano ba ‘yan, adult na ‘ko, but I still don’t have everything figured out.”

Okay lang ‘yan! Normal lang talaga ang ma-lost minsan, lalo na kapag dumadaan sa transition, gaya ng pinagdadaanan mo ngayon.

Napagdaanan ko na ‘yan (at pinagdadaanan ko pa rin minsan), kaya ito naman ang Top 5 tips for fresh graduates na sana ay makakatulong sa’yo:

1. Responsibility

This is the first key to becoming a responsible adult: Responsibility.

Huwag mong ubusin ang oras mo sa mga unproductive na bagay—tambay sa bahay, Netflix buong araw, gala, gastos, road trip. Wala namang masama sa pagpapahinga, pero kumayod ka rin nang konti.

Ayusin mo ang resume mo. Kung nasa creatives industry ka, gumawa ka ng portfolio, maghanap ka ng mga job opportunities o humanap ng mapagkakakitaan. Subukan mo ring tumulong sa mga gawaing bahay.

Do what you have to do to help you move forward, whether gusto mo magtrabaho o mag-aral ulit. Mag-establish ka ng maayos na routine—mula sa oras ng paggising hanggang sa oras ng pagtulog; mula sa oras ng paghahanap ng trabaho hanggang sa oras ng paglilibang.

The key is to still have an established routine so you can have some direction. It will take a lot of discipline because no one is setting this for you, but it will pay off.

2. Relationships

Speaking of friends, make sure na solid ‘yung key relationships mo—mentors, peers and friends, church community, and family—kahit anong mangyari. Protect these key relationships and make time for them.

Mentors help guide you through this season, and with peers and friends, you can encourage each other to keep going. You could also share key learnings with each other.

Staying connected in church and in small groups is crucial because so many people drift away from God after graduating when they lose connection to people who remind them about God and His promises.

This can be hard when you’re in a new season, so this is something that every fresh grad has to fight for if they want to nurture and protect their walk with God. Schedule time with friends and mentors. If you don’t schedule it, it will never happen.

And lastly, make sure na solid yung relationship mo with your family. They are your solid support group during this difficult time.

3. Resilience

Speaking of difficult, guys, mahirap talaga ‘tong time na ‘to.

Noong fresh grad pa ako, wala talaga akong direction at hindi ko alam kung ano ang dapat kong gawin. Naga-apply ako sa iba’t ibang companies, pero hindi ko alam kung tatanggapin ba nila ako o naghihintay na lang ako sa wala.

May mga kumpanya na feeling mo talagang ‘yun na ang para sa’yo, pero sa huli may pipiliin silang iba. Minsan parang okay naman, tapos bigla nalang silang hindi magre-reply at iisipin mo nalang, “May nagawa ba ‘kong mali?”

Sa season na ‘to na puno ng rejection, confusion, at minsan, anxiety, importante talaga ang resilience. Accept the reality that it will be difficult. At kahit mahirap, laban lang.

Araw-araw, bumangon ka; mag-apply ka ulit, maghanap ka pa ng mga job opening. Huwag kang susuko. Sabi nga ng mga researcher, hindi IQ ang main factor ng success ng mga tao kundi grit—‘yung tipong kaya mong lumaban kahit ano mangyari.

Paano ba natin ‘to magagawa sa kabila ng lahat ng anxiety, discouragement, at rejection?

4. Reliance

Rely on God. Kung gusto mo ng direction, ask God. Kung wala pa Siyang bibinigay, keep asking God. Maybe God is teaching you to seek Him wholeheartedly and to rely on Him completely during this time.

Sabi nga ni James, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5)

Rely on God for wisdom, direction, comfort, courage, reassurance, favor, open doors—everything. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17).

Surely, kasama sa every good and perfect gift from God ‘yung trabaho mo, ‘yung future mo, ‘yung finances mo—lahat!

That reminds me of another fresh grad kwento.

There was a time na hinatak ako para tumugtog sa isang event sa church. Ito ‘yung mga time na sobrang lost at anxious na’ko dahil sa paghahanap ng trabaho.

On the day of the event, sinasabi ko kay God, “Lord, sobrang wala ako sa mood para mag-worship ngayon. I hate where I am. I hate this season. Sobrang anxious ko at hindi ko alam kung saan ako dapat pumunta. Wala kang binibigay na direction.” Bigla kong nakita ‘yung music director namin na binuhat ‘yung anak niya, at sobrang chill lang nu’ng anak niya habang karga-karga niya.

And God spoke to me really clearly that time saying, “I’ve carried you as a father carries his child. Why should I let you down now?” And I remembered God’s promises to me throughout my college life—His encouragement through every challenge and how He kept reminding me of the verse, “you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” (Deuteronomy 1:31)

And that gave me the peace that I needed to worship and to keep going.

Rely on God. It’s not all up to you. If it were, it’s so easy to get pressured, but when you have the assurance that God’s got you and He’s leading you, you’ll have peace, whether you already know where you’re going or not. Never take your time with God for granted, but in this time, all the more have that discipline to seek Him and read His Word every single day.

5. Rest

You’ll have to be responsible, you’ll have to put in time for key relationships, you’ll have to fight and stay resilient, all while relying completely in God.

But in all of this, don’t forget to rest.

‘Pag nagtrabaho ka na, limited na ang vacation leave mo. Enjoy this time. Mahirap ang college, at mahirap din magtrabaho. Rest. Okay lang naman mag-roadtrip, mag-out-of-the-country, mag-enjoy; basta balanse lang.

And make sure to rest with God. Take this time to seek Him more and hear from Him more. I’m sure He’s got something to say during this time.

I’m excited for what God will do in and through your lives in your next season! Whatever happens, we’re praying with you and backing you up. You’ve changed the campus, now change the world.