A HEAVY smell of panic mixes with the air as seniors become intoxicated with anticipation. A heady sensation rushes through their veins as they realize that the four years of continuous pressure and studying is coming to an end.

As the heat of the summer seeps through the skin, seniors rush about with final projects and papers, and wory about their thesis defense. There’s a lot of catching up to do and no moment to squander as everyone mutters how time flies so fast.

Graduate hopefuls cannot help but feel that the thrill of student life would finally be over. They cannot help but fear the coming adult life.

The season of goodbyes and memories has finally begun and would-be graduates can only make tearful farewells to old friends along corridors. Farewell parties will be held, old grudges resolved, and new friends found.

Undeniably, graduation is an important aspect of any student’s life. For four or five years, every student is motivated to work hard in order to one day step up on the stage and claim his diploma. Students are compelled to make their last few weeks in the University more meaningful. These, so they can say they had a wonderful college life.

The last thought, though, may be quite disturbing. Graduation makes one feel that not all are genuine with their actions. The fact that old enemies are exchanging kisses on the cheek, people you never thought knew you existed are suddenly all-smiles, and everybody’s acting like the world is perfect. But then again that’s just a cynic’s point of view. Maybe everybody does miraculously become pure of heart when graduation nears.

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The hype of graduation does convey a mixture of emotions. There is anticipation with dread, happiness along with sorrow, hope with disappointment. Looking at it carefully, graduation brings about only one concrete sentiment––confusion.

After the rolled-up parchment touches the hand, as hands are shaken, pictures taken, and the final bow given, the moment is done. Graduation is just another phase of our lives, and after the ceremony, the pride is replaced by the anxiety of the future: what to do, what job to take, will there be any to take?

Gone are the days of hard studying. Now it’s purely a question of surviving. But then these thoughts shouldn’t dampen the moment. The feeling of achievement and victory should always remain. Every graduate should feel like a winner, with honors or not.

Graduation does end school days, but it also signifies the triumph over irritable professors, late nights and early mornings cramming for exams and finishing projects. Successfully handling all these, students have left their mark for the next batch to remember. And that thought is enough for then to say all that hard work paid off.

But students should remember that it shouldn’t take an end to realize what they will lose, what they have lacked, and what they have taken for granted. Before graduation comes, everybody, not only the seniors, will have a chance to make a difference. One only hopes that it will be done with pure sincerity. Ma. Nicole Pauline C. Cruz

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