Tuesday, June 09, 2015

An Open Letter to my Daughter as She Goes Off to College

Dear Stef,

I know you’re excited to go to college, meet new friends, and embrace a more fast-paced life in Manila. I’m also excited for you! I know that the physical distance between us will only make you become stronger and more prepared to face the real world once you’ve finished college. I want you to be fully equipped and well-prepared when that time comes.

I’m confident you won’t have problems being on your own. As you know, I’ve been there – was then studying in Manila, away from my parent, since I was in high school, kaya pagdating ng college sa Baguio, halos end of semester na lang ako umuuwi. At least ngayon, meron nang FB, Twitter, Skype and ‘unli text and call’, so keeping in touch is no longer an issue. Pero siyempre, iba pa rin kapag we don’t see you every day para kumustahin ang araw mo. . .

Well, malapit lang naman ang Manila from Angeles, and madali ka lang puntahan, or madali ka lang makauwi, but it’s still very different from what I’ve been used to. Ngayon, without you in the house, wala nang manonood ng horror movies with all lights off sa madaling-araw.

Seriously, as you spend your days without us physically by your side, and as you embrace college life, always remember my usual advice:

1. Nothing is coincidence. Every person you will meet, every challenge you’ll encounter, every victory, every defeat, everything that comes your way ---- all of those have a purpose. Those are not random events or people. They come because you attract them. So be very careful with how you think and learn from every person you meet.

2. Don’t let other people dictate your happiness. Only you have the power to decide whether you should be happy. The simplest way to be happy: Always look at the glass as half-full, rather than half-empty.

3. Always be grateful. Every little thing matters.

4. Follow your passion. At your age, I am so proud that you already know what you want in life and what makes you happy. Follow your passion and everything else will fall into place.

5. Learn from each of your professors. In college, you could encounter the best and the worst professor. Well, the best or the worst---- it doesn’t matter. All of them have experiences that students could learn from.
6. Believe in yourself, even if some people don’t. Remember what Winston Churchill said, “You won’t be able to reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”

7. Read, read, read. No explanation needed.

8. Use social media to grow and to learn more. It’s great that you seem to have outgrown Facebook. Keep it that way. And now that your LinkedIn profile is up and running, keep the connections coming! Read insights from the industry icons and from people with so much to share like Jack Welch, Richard Branson, Deepak Chopra, etc. You’ll find more Influencers that are worth following on LinkedIn. Their insights will teach you about the reality of life and career.

9. Don’t procrastinate, manage your time, and focus on the things that matter.

10. On other important stuff: Eat on time. Ask when you’re in doubt. Boyfriend? Hmmm.. maybe not yet. Aral muna. No reason to be in a hurry, anyway. College takes only 4 years. Serious relationships, well, could be forever. :-)

By the way, maraming naghihintay sa yo sa Manila—baha (minsan lampas-tao ang lalim), heavy traffic, napakahabang pila sa MRT/LRT (though sabi mo wala nang tatalo pa sa pila sa PUP), atbp. Good luck! But then, mura ang pamasahe dyan sa trayk, unlike dito sa Angeles, ang OA mag-charge ng drivers.

I still have more on my list, but these should be enough for now. :-) Pwede ka umuwi any time ma-miss mo kami, especially your siblings. :-)  :-)  And of course, don’t forget our dinner date, hopefully once a month. Let’s meet after I attend our face-to-face meetings in Ortigas. 

Always think that  you're there to invest in yourself, so always do the best you can in every little endeavor.  It's for your future.

I can’t wait to hear about your first day in college. 

Ingat lagi. Love you! 

Love you always,

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