21 Things: Post-Graduation Firsts

May 16, 2012

IN AN entry on my past blog, I said I wanted to start a series called 18 Things, which will feature lists on different topics with 18 items each. Embarrassingly, I wrote that three years ago, a month before turning nineteen. Instead of staying true to what I wrote, I let it slip away in the back of my mind as a whirlwind of events (such as schoolwork, among other events) begin to collide into this easily overwhelmed girl.

Today, that idea suddenly popped again as I continue to think how I ought to structure my next few blog entries. Now, I shall make another attempt at this 3-year-old idea called 18 Things. I am renaming it 21 Things, for a couple of weird reasons: one, I am 21 this year, and two, I like challenging myself in all kinds of weird ways.

List #1: A Series of Firsts

First times are often unanticipated. They are sometimes frightening, and often the most memorable than the succeeding ones. Graduating from college a couple of months ago (and that was the third time I said that on this blog. But that is the first and last time I will ever get to graduate from the university I have fallen in love with, so forgive me) gave me the unfamiliar feeling of having infinite amounts of unstructured free time. Entering this proverbial new chapter of life unexpectely gave me pages filled with plenty of significant and trivial firsts. Yet because writing can only go so far, the list below isn’t comprehensive and I may have missed a few things. Here’s the list, in a somewhat chronological order:


1. Attending a friend’s wedding. More specifically, I attended the wedding of my discipleship group leader and one of the people who have inspired and influenced me the most. It was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever been to. And it was pink-and-white-themed! It complemented her personality yet remained very elegant. More importantly, the now newlywed couple made their wedding a chance to honor God and shared their story of how God’s love has worked in their lives, and it showed in every aspect. I could not think of any other event that could be more profound, beautiful, and touching.

2. Went to a spa. For a first-timer, I was a bit flustered as I went through the whole spa treatment and only managed to completely calm down when a young manicurist began to paint my nails with a soft shade of lavender. I often feel that I do not deserve indulging myself like this, and to me, watching a movie in a good theater with an iced latte is my idea of luxury. But then, it was also one of the most novel and refreshing experiences I have had, and I’m simply thankful for that.

3. Drank a (nonalcoholic) cocktail on a cruise ship. It was a strawberry daiquiri poured on a dainty triangular-shaped glass. I liked my drink, but after taking a sip of my mom’s red cosmopolitan drink that has vodka, I felt like a little girl drinking strawberry shake.

4. Seen a last full show movie with friends on a weekday. The movie was Battleship, and it was the most carefree nights I have had with my high school girl friends in a long time.

5. Gone drinking (a little, er, just enough) with friends. Fortunately, I did not get tipsy. After learning about the effects of alcohol on the body and brain back in physiological psychology class, I am not that enthused to get myself drunk. Although I am still curious how being intoxicated feels like. Just curious

6. Went to the beach with friends. The beach in Canyon Cove in Batangas is not as beautiful as Boracay‘s or Palawan’s, but it was a good-enough beach and it a lovely day for a swim.

7. Played XBox Kinect with my sister. In our hotel in Athens, we saw a group of European boys and a girl dressed up so stylishly, and their movements and gestures are not of the typical eight-year-olds I normally see. And they were so good at playing Kinect. We were thoroughly amazed.

8. Bought a tube of lipstick. Makeup has always been an afterthought for me. On mornings, I quickly apply face powder then I’m good to go. At times though, images of my favorite fashion bloggers compel me to pick up more complicated cosmetics apart from my trusty powder compact. But that has been slowly changing.

9. Undergone a wisdom tooth surgery. There are two good things that resulted from having two of my teeth pulled out without me feeling it (anesthesia and painkillers are such amazing inventions): one, my dad bought me Haägen Dazs belgian chocolate ice cream for two nights in a row, and two, I – (see next item)

10. Went on a soup diet. Being the calorie-conscious person that I am, going on a soup diet gave me a chance to shed some weight without having to exert a lot of self-control because I really cannot eat solid foods for a few days. The soup diet worked a bit, I think. And I’ve grown a fondness for soup after that.

11. Flew on a day trip to Cebu. It was the most exhilarating and remarkable day I’ve had so far this year.

12. Did water sports! A couple of weeks ago, we went parasailing, drove a jetski, and wore a SeaTrek underwater helmet and walked on a seabed to see corals and fish, about 6-8 meters below the sea.

13. Went snorkeling without a lifevest. We rented the whole snorkeling set: goggles, lifevest, flippers. But we only used the flippers and used our own goggles. We swam a relatively long way from the shore, and underwater, the marine life is spectacular. I’d love to learn scuba diving next time.

14. Bought a web domain for my blog. I firmly believe that buying for a few dollars a year would compel me to write more often.

15. Launched an online portfolio. I do not claim to be a photographer or a graphic designer, and I’m not also certain if I deserve to be called a writer, but I still want to put up a portfolio with all my works, but I know that I have a really, really long way to go in terms of improving my craft.

16. Enrolled in a blogging workshop. The workshop is called Blogworthy by Arriane Serafico, a blogger and a changemaker who has already inspired so many people with her works and her passion for change. My next post will be about Blogworthy so do watch out for that!

17. Traveled out of the country without parents or friends. I have recently went on a tour to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) with my aunt and uncle, and I have been provided a hotel room all to myself. It was a taste of real independence in a faraway country. I hope that I’ve proven to my parents that I am capable of surviving by myself.

18. Went hotel hopping. My aunt has recently put up her own travel and events agency, and for this she’s arranging a new tour in Vietnam and therefore needs to go do an ocular of different hotels in Saigon. I tagged along and got the chance to go inside different hotel rooms.

19. Rode a go-kart. Maybe successfully driving a go-kart around a racetrack for about ten minutes in a theme park in Vietnam is a sign that I’m ready to drive a real car.

20. Cut more than 4 inches off my own hair. Well technically, I cut a only strand of hair for my bangs to look fuller, and I’m really glad it turned out okay.

21. Applied to more than 20 companies, including Facebook and Disney. Facebook Recruiting replied this morning and said,  “We won’t be accepting your application at this time…” I am also not expecting Disney to accept me anytime soon. I just thought it wouldn’t hurt to try. By browsing through the descriptions and qualifications of different openings, I realize more and more that I still have much to learn and to improve at a time when a college degree is sometimes not the only requirement in a competitive world. Job-hunting in the 21st century is becoming pretty tricky. Yet maybe the number of available jobs out there is not the issue, but rather more of a matter of knowing where one fits, figuring out what is truly important, and finding out how one can be useful to the world. And I am still figuring these out. Maybe I’m better off applying to universities again at the moment. We shall see.

Going through the list, it seems that some of these items are like small signs of maturity, little events that may provide hints of what I can possibly do next. Again, this list does not explain everything that has recently happened to me, and elaborating too much would make this entry way longer than it should be, and I might result in unintentionally oversharing.

Also, contrary to what it seems, I still feel like a newcomer to this whole writing-with-an-audience business, and I hope I’m doing this right so far.

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