OpinionIs a diploma equal to cash?
Is a diploma equal to cash?
July 9, 2014
July 9, 2014

Miguel Gayares

Welcome to La Salle, Froshies. I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news.

Around a year back, I remember how my father’s friend lectured me that graduating with a college degree is an achievement in life that I must selfishly fulfill for my non-financial dreams and aspirations. He said that it is not about the common stigma that sons and daughters should repay the blood, sweat, and tears shed by their parents to send them into a college education. And most importantly, how graduating with a college degree is supposed to be an obligation to fulfill for one’s own self mission and vision. Nothing more, nothing less.

I opposed this thought quite a lot ever since I heard it back then. Since naturally, it is normal to have that sense of logic that if you graduate from a private institution of high regard, such as De La Salle University, money will be falling from the heavens once you get a hold of your diploma and set out to a new chapter in your life. And this time, instead of you working hard to earn 4.0s, you will be working your hardest to earn some money. That’s also assuming that you immediately get a job after you graduate. But according to the latest data, there are 12.1 million Filipinos who are unemployed. A staggering 27.5 percent of the total working population of the Philippines. Furthermore, this data doesn’t involve the recent college graduates of 2014.

The social norm of a graduate’s need to be a productive part of the working force automatically condemns us to embrace the immediate responsibility of not being a financial liability to our family, but more of as a financial asset to the entire household. A college graduate must immediately transform his or herself into an efficient income generator so to speak.

But sadly, this is not the case in today’s setting.

If you ever have a friend who graduated recently, the first thing that you’re most likely to hear is that they’re cut off from allowance or that they’re not financially well off due to being unemployed. Also, another trend that’s being faced by the graduates of today is also the warm welcoming of the poverty ravished world once they step outside the university’s realm. People who experienced how hard is it to earn for a living will often say to the graduates a bad omen of what’s to come, such omen is the cliche remark of “congratulations, welcome to the unemployment”. This immediately quells the notion of diploma as a key to the good and richer life.

Truth is, a diploma is just a testament to what you have achieved and who you are now. It is not a one way ticket to the life of the rich and famous. And it is definitely not a key to a new mansion in Forbes Park. Graduating is an initiation rite to celebrate that you have become more as a person. It is not an initiation to an elite country golf club.

What gets you that one ticket towards the life of the rich and famous is perspective and a specific goal that you achieve whatever the cost may be. You take your perspective away from the four corners of the classroom and start looking beyond what is in front of you. And then you set a goal as ambitious as punching the moon and then you start jabbing your way until you hit your target.

As proclaimed by Forbes, two of the richest Filipinos, Edgar Sia II and Butz Bartolome, don’t have a diploma from college, but they’re at the top of their field right now because they saw further and dreamed bigger.

The bottom line is that as a freshman or someone who hasn’t even reached the podium just yet, enjoy the time that you have in college while you still have the guise of being a student. Look further than just graduating and living out your chosen profession because there will be hundreds of thousands that will have the same profession as you. And everyone will definitely aim higher, but not everyone will be able to hit their targets on the spot of their choosing.

“Every single desire can lead to goals and every single goal has the possibility to become reality”, says by Santosh Kalwar.

So when that diploma is handed over to you and you start a new journey out there, keep your eyes on the prize and focus on your goal. Who knows, your diploma might just turn into gold.