As we turn the last page of the memorable chapter we have shared together, let me put in writing my thoughts and heartfelt graduation messages that may serve you dedicated prologues to the more challenging and demanding chapters of your young adulthood.
Goodbyes do not necessarily mean turning our back completely on the interim yet fervent connectedness we once had but extending our invisible threads far enough so we can accommodate more people and expand our social network.
While we have already nurtured a true friendship and family, and hence, celebrated diversity since we crossed our paths, we have also come to this inevitable point of parting our ways. You are now but a band of explorers embarking on an expedition through the vast and unmapped oceans. You are now but a caravan of desert travelers confronted with the changing winds and shifting sands. You are now but ready to face the harsh realities of life. Go forth, map your journey out, and leave your footprints in the sand.
In my own little ways, I have shown you how I cherish the past, live the present, and shape the future. May these heartfelt messages foster self-affirmation and confidence and be in your luggage as you venture through life.
***** STEM-FOUR-O-THREE *****
Charlo, You’re a compassionate leader. I told you to look after your brothers and sisters, and so you did it with utmost love and compassion. I told you to inspire others, and so you have earned their respect and been regarded as their elder brother. You have my respect and warm approval. As you live a more demanding young adulthood, always do the right things and take accountability for all your actions. Listen to others, not just to their words but also to what their hearts say.
Rowelito, You’re a confident communicator. You always speak your mind with people around you. Your brothers and sisters see you as a crystal-clear soul who keeps no secret. Your wit and humor have caused laughter and positive vibes in times of struggles and stress. As you broaden your social network, always be quick to listen, slow to speak and judge, and slow to anger. Don’t be afraid to say ‘sorry’ and admit your guilt, may it be the least to cause the conflict.
Harvey, You’re a future-oriented guy. In a little silence, you have visually mapped out your journey towards a more promising future. You have all the motivations and the means to achieve your goals. I see a responsible young man in you. As you drive your car towards your destination though, don’t be afraid to ask folks for better and safer routes. Share the roads as well with others – cyclists, runners, skateboarders, and pedestrians.
Martin Luis, You’re a dependable young fella. You know your responsibilities as a student very well. You can work silently and produce remarkable results. Seldom that you speak of negative thoughts and ill intentions. With your dedication towards the completion of your tasks, others can depend on you. Soon as you engage yourself in more collaborative efforts, continue to inspire others with your initiative, commitment, and passion.
John Carlo, You’re a highly sociable person. You always spice up our days with your witty remarks and positive aura. You can easily get along with people because you hold no ill will and hostility. You can be the strength of your team in times of conflict and pressure, but you might also ruffle a few feathers. As you expand your circle, learn from your social encounters with people and always be reminded of the value of empathy.
Rico Lhorvin, You’re an idealist. You have developed your personal standards for things and systems around you. When they fall below these expectations and standards however, you become easily disappointed and anxious. We need people like you who suddenly appear dubiously vocal and skeptical but willing enough to participate in the improvement and change. Find people who can share with your future advocacies and help you out with the change the world deserves.
Jerome, You’re a great achiever. You don’t settle for mediocrity. You always strive for excellence. You are determined enough to accomplish your tasks whatever they take. You take courage questioning things that do not conform to your beliefs and expectations. Take time, my child, to unload a little of the burden on your shoulders. As Brian Tracy puts it into words, “Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event.”
Jimwell Earl, You’re never lost, son. You are not an outcast because you have been just recently adopted by our group. You haven’t been lost, my child. You’ve just been defocused and distracted by things that come beyond your control. As you redeem yourself for all those shortcomings and imperfections, indulge in more informed and mature decisions, but do not forget to give yourself an occasional treat. Don’t waste a good mistake; learn from it. All it takes is courage.
Mark Jayson, You’re an earnest man. You are a person of actions rather than words. You know much when and when not to speak. You have developed a sense of kindness and concern for others. You always find ways on your own to solve your personal problems. You’re a grown-up man, indeed. As you face all the challenges that life offers, don’t be afraid though to ask help from others. Good people cannot turn down an earnest man like you. You can always count on me.
Niño, You’re a quiet kiddo. You are but a hatchling breaking free from your shell. Silent at a corner for months, you have finally learned to fraternize with the rest of the boys. You have never been a worry despite your quietness because I know you’re doing things responsibly in your own ways. You don’t have to be afraid of people as you go out of our circle. People always need someone like you who would simply listen and react a little to exaggerations.
Mark Jonathan, You’re profoundly humble. You are a refined man. You have been raised well by your immediate family as can be observed in your character and language. You have just been nourished a little by your social interactions within our group. While all good deeds are rewarded, continue being a blessing to the people around you. You don’t have to force yourself to change for the norms of the society. You are but already an epitome worth emulating.
Shan Stephen, You’re a diligent man. You are never an ordinary individual. You have served as a catalyst for sustainable solidarity among your closest friends. Your ability to sustain your performance across years of backbreaking acads has been astounding. While everybody covets the limelight, you prefer at the comfort of your deep-seated fulfillment and happiness. We all have our own definition of success, and I see you defining it in a quite unique way.
Spencer, You’re a brave young soul. You just have it a little fast forward. In a flash, you have assumed a big responsibility to carry on your shoulder. You now have an little angel to be the center of all your hard work and pursuits. It may have been a sudden turn of events, but you remained steadfast. As you struggle with your new role as a man and provider, I wish you sound decision upon making all your priorities and sacrifices.
Lucky, You’re a cool kid. You are cheerful and friendly. You are always energetic. Your social battery does not get easily drained as you always innovate ways on how to deal with people around you. When given a task, you always do it with your special skills and dexterity. George Matthew Adams once said, and I tell you, “A cheerful frame of mind, reinforced by relaxation is the medicine that puts all ghosts of fear on the run.”
Edward Joshua, You’re a determined youth. You know yourself much more than anyone else. I remember the time when your mom told me you have already decided for your college and that you enrolled yourself at a university with a little of her knowledge. I truly admire your determination. As you make another leap forward though, remember that you always have your family and friends on your back willing to listen and provide you with time-tested pieces of advice.
Scott Dave, You’re an active listener. Your listening skills have helped you come up with your sound judgments and decisions. You have demonstrated as well utmost courtesy to people in authority and adhered to the policies without resistance because you believe in a shared responsibility. Always remember that people are in conflict because they fail to listen and put themselves in the shoes of others. Let us inspire others to listen.
Erickson Henry, You’re a friendly dude. You taught me the dolphin dance. You once taught me to be young again. You’re a playful big guy with a big heart. You have shown so much concern to your brothers and sisters. You can get along easily with people because you are an honest person. You can always make as many friends as you can. As you do so, take time as well to influence them with your positive character and thoughts.
Arnel, You’re a creative thinker. I have observed how enthusiastic you are in your expression of creative insights. You have the yearning to impart what you’ve learned about life to the younger ones. You might not have been given a lot of leadership opportunities, but I see a great potential in you. As a piece of advice, keep your aspirations fueled by your achievements, may these be acknowledged or not by people around you. You have a bright future ahead!
Adrian, You’re a charming gentleman. You’re a calm person, and you take things lightly. Your positive aura has proven that life shouldn’t be taken too seriously as all adversities simply sweep through and fade out. Your team can’t afford losing you as your optimism is truly inspiring. As you face your greatest tests though, remember this line from Mehmet Murat Ildan, “What makes your life rainy or sunny is your attitude towards life, not the attitude of life towards you!”
Maverick, You’re a strategist. You always stand firm against all odds. You’re an objective man, but you also keep your heart open to the appeals and pleadings of others. You’re not afraid to say ‘sorry’ when you believe you have done something wrong against people around you. I thank you for understanding and filling in for the shortcomings of your brothers and sisters. As you lead your next teams, encourage collaboration and always show your appreciation.
Tonn Archie, You’re a thoughtful confidant. You’re sensitive and responsive to the needs of people around you. You know very well when you’ve done something wrong against them. As you do so, you feel sorry and do your best to ask for forgiveness. You always have the knowledge of your brothers’ whereabouts because you care for them. When things get worse, don’t lose hope and simply drive away. Remember, I still have your key!
Krist, You’re a strong-willed buddy. You’re a great survivor. Remember those days when we would just laugh together to lighten up your burden as we talked to your subject teachers about your academic deficiencies. You have been confronted with the harsh realities of life at your early age, I know. You’re the man! As you go on with your life, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to learn from them. Most importantly, learn to let go and forgive.
Ralph Alvin, You’re an honest-to-goodness companion. You have been very supportive of your friends. You have shared with them those celebrations of achievements and consoled them in their failures. As you support the growth of your friends, explore your personal inclinations as well. It’s Abraham Maslow who once said, “One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again. Fear must be overcome again and again.”
Francis, You’re a soul unleashed. Your name literally means ‘free.’ You have fully realized and enjoyed your freedom as you make a balance of things. You’re not only good at academics. You’re also into active sports. Kiko, always keep yourself on the right track! You can be the best of both worlds. Believe in yourself because people around you always cheer you up. As you take a more serious path though, still find time for your other interests. Life is what you make it!
Christian, You’re a self-reliant pal. You have started to trust yourself and make informed decisions instead of always seeking advice. No one knows the real you but you. I know you have so much inside awaiting release. You haven’t been wrong upon trusting me as a friend and confidant. You’re never alone in your brave encounters of trials across the sands of time. Should you need a few words of encouragement, I am always just a click away.
Jhon Gilbert, You’re indefatigable. It’s sad that you’re experiencing an inevitable and drastic transition at your young age. While others are already in a deep sleep, you remain awake worrying much about your tomorrow. You’ve got to be strong. Always remember, we have your back as we have always been. As the famous line from Helen Keller goes, “Although life is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” Kapit lang!
Rafael, You’re a transformed young adult. You had me irked on our first day with your discourteous approach. That was when you’re not yet my advisee. Soon I took over the class, I have observed you grow as a person of character and of seriously profound thoughts. You have shared as well a little of your life, and I hold in high regard your inner courage upon overcoming of all that life throws at you. You’re never incomplete, Rafael.
McQuartey, You’re an easygoing youngster. Little do you bother the tension and pressure around you. You just smile and do what you think your part is. Going thing is, you know when you need to ask. You’re still young at heart. You’re a kind of person who still listens to and seeks guidance from those whom you believe are expert and experienced. Listen to the elder’s advice, not because they are always right, but because they have more experiences of being wrong.
John Carlos, You’re a big-hearted steward. You have kept your brothers and sisters at the comfort of your presence and direction. You are but a big brother who inspires respect and speaks with authority. You are serious at times but can stir up the mood of your team without making so much effort. It’s a gift you can nourish alongside your deep passion for photography. As you capture the beauty of the world through your shutter, keep your confidence on a boost.
John Alexis, You’re a meanderer. You have admitted your diffidence and disobedience, but with your cooperation, we just got things through. I have almost reached the limit of my patience and faith, but I decided to give you a good fight. Till the end, I have been tracking and keeping you up with your academic commitments. “If you don’t learn from your mistakes, then they become regrets,” says John Cena. See you someday wearing the smile of success on your face.
Yvan Malcolm, You’re an inquisitive lad. You are an innocent, warm-hearted young man. You are curious about almost everything. Your hunger for knowledge and experience has fueled your academic performance. As you explore the world of adults, may you have strength and courage to surpass all hindrances and stand victorious at the end of the line. When things go against your will, pause a little and reflect on your next moves.
Millen Yhumie, You’re a soft-spoken young lady. You don’t allow the disarray of your environment destroy your inner peace and serenity. Your supreme self along with your greatest potentials nourished from within awaits release and realization. Soon you immerse yourself into a bigger world and undertake bigger roles, you’ll discover your true purpose and create a surprising and striking impact of transformation among people and society.
Edlyn, You’re a strong woman. You have your ways and means of resolving conflicts and mitigating drastic outcomes of your decisions. You are a results-oriented person, and you do whatever it takes for the completion and success of your tasks. Your intentions, however, can easily be misunderstood as you prefer not to be vocal with your qualms and concerns. As you lead your team, value open communication as much as you value accomplishments.
Alexandra Maxinne, You’re a resolute, sweet angel. You are generous and thoughtful. You have willingly embraced the demanding environment outside the comfort of your immediate home, hence finding a more challenging yet fulfilling one. You have been treated as the youngest sister who deserves all care and protection. In return, you have been the strength of your team during those sleepless nights and grueling days of your academic endeavors. Thank you, Maxinne.
Maria Melizza, You’re a highly organized, detail-oriented lady boss. You have undertaken your duties as the record keeper just as committed and efficient as I expected. Never have I received a response of ‘I don’t know, Sir,’ from you because you value much responsibility and accountability. I have never paid you back for all your efforts, but I believe you’re more than deserving of all the blessings that come along your way. Kudos, Melizza!
Alexis, You’re an adorable lass. Your charm and positive outlook in life are contagious. You may never know how much you have contributed to the healthy environment of solidarity and direction. You have developed and demonstrated as well a sense of empathy towards your brothers and sisters. As a gift, I give you the words of Alphonse Karr, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”
Jazmine Michaela, You’re a good-natured gal. You have nourished your interpersonal skills across years of wholehearted communication and empathy with people who share the same interests and openness. You can be a trustworthy friend who is more than willing to listen and offer your shoulders for others to cry on. In your darkest moments, do not hesitate to knock on our doors. You will always have our warm welcome.
Kate Rachel, You’re an ever-supportive friend. You cherish every moment you shared with your friends. You haven’t put them down even in your most discouraging and depressing chapters. As you help cultivate your social bonds and mutual trust, you also expose yourself to a great deal of experience and learning opportunities. Celebrate your friendship with this line from Simon Sinek, “A friend is an emotional bond, just like friendship is a human experience.”
Sunshine, You’re a gorgeous lady. You’re beautiful inside and out. You have proven that your self-worth depends not on your physical attractiveness but on the purity of your heart. Inside a gorgeous Sunshine is a strong lady who does not resign herself to the uncertainties of life. We all have heavy yokes on our shoulders, and yours maybe a heavier one. Another strong woman once said, “Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.”
Coline, You’re a righteous authority figure. You are a morally upright person. You uphold high standards of character in your encounter with people from different walks of life. Your judgments and decisions are always based on what you believe is right and what benefits your team. As you lead your people through the righteous path, expect negation and resistance, but always remember that nobody can put a good woman down.
Jade Angelou, You’re a fun-loving girl. You are high-spirited and easygoing. You drag reluctant people up onto your dance floor and help them boost their energy levels. Your social battery does not easily drain off. You are eager to make new experiences but easily disheartened by things that don’t work out as planned. You are still young. Let’s just put it in the words of James Froude, “Experience teaches slowly, and at the cost of mistakes.”
Andrea, You’re a reserved, but emotionally mature individual. You have been a very quiet person. Your maturity has grown from your inner seed of self-awareness. Your modesty is built upon your reflection seen through the eyes of others. Your humility though has kept you a little comfortable in someone else’s shadow. Andrea, I want to see you grow as a self-sufficient independent person who conquers all inferiorities.
Christine, You’re a woman of strong convictions. You always stand firm with your beliefs and principles. You say what you mean, and you mean what you say. You’re not afraid to say ‘no’ because you hold in high regard that good fences make good neighbors. It’s admirable. If our fences aren’t strong though, everything gets in, and soon there will be no more room for the unexpected, ideal opportunity. As you make difficult life decisions, always take time and do it wisely.
Princess Mavilean, You’re an affectionate princess. You are sweet and loving. You have shown so much love and affection to your friends and all people around you. Your ways are sometimes misunderstood, but you need not worry. As actions speak louder than words, your sincerity is communicated by your silent gestures and touch. “We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection,” says Dalai Lama.
Earl Zeus, You’re a proactive person. You uphold high work ethics. You do worthwhile things without complaint and reservations. You always push yourself to the limit of your skills and abilities. You make things happen, instead of waiting for them to happen to you. In a world where most people shift blame elsewhere and say, ‘I can’t,’ ‘If only,’ and ‘I have to,’ we need more like you who behave proactively with more positive, empowering phrases, ‘I can,’ ‘I will,’ and ‘I want to.’
Therellaine, You’re a mover and shaker. You are a powerful soul who initiates actions and influences people. You are a credible voice of your team. Your intrinsic desires and art of speaking have empowered you to speak up and get heard. While you can be an ambassadress of goodwill and can be very successful in whatever career path you may take, always keep your feet on the ground. Don’t ever forget that humility is the solid foundation of all virtues.