The summer season just happens once in a year. For students, this is a time to relax and to unwind from the stress of school requirements during the last semester of the school year. For me, as a fresh college graduate last March 2016, it is a time for me to either relax or to find a job. Some of us go for a vacation to travel destinations domestically or internationally. However, it’s okay if you haven’t spent the #SummerGoals you’ve seen on your News Feed. Some of us just wake up, eat, Facebook, movie marathon, sleep and this becomes a routine for 2 months. Whatever it is, summer should be a time for us to be productive.
Hence, as the school year begins today for you, but for me, before I will be starting my work 3 days from now, I would share the things I did this summer before I would face another life-changing chapter of my life.
1. DEVOTED MY TIME FOR HEALTH, PHYSICAL FITNESS AND WELLNESS
I have been conscious of my health ever since because I was a fat kid before. With my 5’3” frame during my 6th grade, I almost weighed 150 pounds. I was actually bullied by other people, especially my friends and worse, my family. At first, my only motivation was to lose weight. However, as I was cleaning our house during the summer after I graduated in grade school, I saw a dusty book from our shelf entitled, Eight Secrets of Health by Dr. Ethel R. Nelson. This was a book which my mom bought from someone who is a Seventh-Day Adventist. I read this book which eventually changed my life. Through this book, I learned that it’s not just about the physical appearance of an individual, but rather, the overall well-being of an person such as nutrition, exercise, water, sunshine, temperance, air, rest, and most importantly, trust in Divine power.
I firmly believe that in this era where everything is already fast-paced, let’s still not forget the basics in life such as taking care of ourselves first. We can do this by eating clean, drinking pure water instead of artificial and colored beverages, engaging in physical fitness activities, sleeping early and waking up early, and communicating to the One who loves us the most through prayer before going to sleep.
Also, one way of loving ourselves is by taking care of ourselves first. How would we able to love others and to take care of them if we cannot even take care of our own selves, right? We should not wait for illnesses and diseases to emerge before we would value our health. Let’s invest in our health while we are still young. Let’s make it as a lifestyle instead of a cure because when we are living healthily, we are unstoppable since we can do anything we wanted to achieve in our life.
2. SERVED MY FELLOW YOUTH
I became a member of Youth For Christ – Gawad Kalinga in May 2010. I became active again in YFC – GK after I graduated in college. It was a fulfillment for me because I mentored 9 teenage girls who are younger than me during our Youth Camp. I was able to share my insights and to impart my words of wisdom to them based from my experiences in life. I got motivated in serving Youth For Christ – Gawad Kalinga because I wanted to bond with younger people and to know them better and understand them especially in the adversities we experience in this generation. Aside from that, I joined our Provincial Youth Fest last May 29-30, 2016 at Manticao, Misamis Oriental.
I had one close friend of mine in YFC – GK, who I consider as my younger sister. During the summer, I really find time to bond with her which developed our closeness. Because of this, it’s a mission for me to be a role model for these young individuals. I believe that in this generation right now, young people need more role models for them to look up. It’s really a fulfillment when you would be able to see a person you’ve mentored who had achieved greater heights in life and had made a difference in our society.
3. STARTED TO SERVE OUR CHURCH
It was summer last year when I started to have that thirst in serving our church. However, my goal of serving our church happened a year after which is this year. I really considered it as a miraculous experience which I never expected. Last April 26, it was a schedule for my final interview in a banking institution that I applied for. Because of this, I attended the 6AM mass during that day here in our parish and requested Father Janusz, our Polish parish priest who speaks fluently in Visayan, to pray over for my intention. After that, while I was riding a motorela during my commute, I saw our neighbor, Tita Langging. She then asked me if I am willing to become a reader/commentator in our church. Without hesitations, I enthusiastically said my yes to her. That was the beginning of how I became a servant of God. What I considered as a miracle in this event happened last week. It was an answered prayer when the dream banking institution I applied for called me and informed me that I was hired. I eventually remembered Father Janusz and our church. Above all, I felt that it was Him.
With this, I wanted to devote my time and my life in serving Him and our church because of the amazing things He has done in my life. Without Our Almighty Father, I wouldn’t be able to achieve these things in my life right now. Likewise, I realized that only a few young people these days are dedicating their time in serving Our Almighty Father. As Pope Francis said, “If you don’t serve for others, then what are you living for?”
4. READING THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN LIFE BOOK
This book is a must-read for any person living here on earth. If you missed reading this, you also miss to discover the purpose and the plan of God in your life. I highly recommend you to read this book as this is truly life-changing. You would be able to shift your life’s perspective on essential matters. This book is available at National Bookstore. Just spend Php300 in this amazing treasure and you wouldn’t miss anything in your life.
5. JOB HUNTING
This is the greatest struggle of a fresh graduate, finding a job. At first, you think that you would immediately land a job because you graduated from a reputable and prestigious institution in the country. You think that by the time an employer would call you for an exam and for an interview, you would eventually get hired. You’re wrong. I’m wrong.
When finding a job, one needs to have the determination to succeed and the patience to wait. I found this as a struggle because I thought that I was already hopeless. I felt useless. Aside from that, I got pressured from my batch mates who already have jobs. Yet, I realized that everything comes to you at the right time. You just need to be patient. During the 1st week of June, the three companies I applied for called me for that coveted job offer. I never thought that I would be hired because it has been almost 2 months ever since I had the final interview with them. Yet, I turned down the other two and chose the one company I applied which I fervently prayed for.
To college students, one advice I wanted to impart to you is to make the most out of your college life by engaging in extra-curricular activities and in your schoolorganizations. This really helped me in boosting my self-esteem and my confidence when I already applied for work. You are molded to become a better person by going out of your comfort zone and by achieving things you never thought you could possibly attain such as accomplishing projects. Also, I believe that being pro-active in your school organization in college is one thing that companies look for a potential employment. Most importantly, to be a student leader, firstly, you should remember that you are a student. So, always prioritize your studies first before your involvement in extra-curricular activities.
6. DEVOTED MY TIME FOR BLOGGING
I never thought before that I would have a talent in writing when suddenly, in my 4th year in college, one Financial Management instructor inspired me to continue what I stood for on certain issues. I realized that I should use this talent of mine to impart my thoughts and the lessons I’ve learned in my life. I believe that this world would become a better place if we continue to share essential life-lessons to other people so that they would become better individuals.
So, during the next summer, make it the time to be productive. I know the excruciation of either waiting for the first day of school because you already got bored in your house during the summer or for the day when the company you’ve applied for would call you for that job offer.
If you know you have to wait anyway, why not make a decision to enjoy your time while waiting? Through this waiting, I felt that I haven’t wasted anything. I felt that I am prepared to face another chapter in my life because of this summer. I believed that my summer is a summer worth spent for because I chose to enjoy that time while waiting.