Graduation is fast approaching. For many, they felt a great relief when they saw their name in the list of graduates. At last! After years of sleepless nights and countless efforts, they will now harvest the fruit of their labor.
The graduates dedicate their milestone to their parents who really worked hard and sacrificed selflessly so they can finish college. A diploma, one precious piece of paper is enough to draw a smile in their parents’ faces. For some, a medal will be a great upgrade to their graduation milestone.
Nearly a year after my college graduation, I must say that I was able to make my dream come true. Since I was a kid, I only have this simple dream — to have a picture with my parents who are wearing the medals I worked hard for. I believe that they deserve the honor more than I am. I must say that it was a great experience making them the happiest parents during my graduation. I know they can now sleep peacefully at night because I have fulfilled their dream for me.
A year after I graduate, I started to ask myself, “How does my Magna Cum Laude title help me in the real world?”
The “Wow of the Laude”
There are three types of honor that students die for. Cum Laude (meaning ‘with honor’), Magna Cum Laude (meaning ‘with greater honor’), and Summa Cum Laude (meaning ‘with highest honor’) Whatever you have among the three, be thankful for it.
It’s an exhilarating feeling whenever your friends and relatives congratulate you for being a Laude recipient. You become an instant star in the family, some even get instant cars, gadgets, and other rewards. Whenever your parents will introduce you to their friends, expect that your Laude is always intertwined to your first name. (Ex. Hi. Meet my daughter, *your name*, Cum Laude) Just imagine the impression and the pressure it gives you. I must say that somehow it adds up to your value but most of the time, it’s an expectation you have to meet.
Does the ‘Laude’ really matter?
There will be thousands of college graduates in a year. Same degrees, different schools, different achievements. After the graduation ceremonies, there’s one thing that makes all of you common, you are all now unemployed or better yet Job Seekers.
After graduation, some may choose to rest before looking for a job. Some are very eager to get a job right away. Bottomline, you will all prepare your Curriculum Vitae and Transcript of Records.
In the job application process, you will thank your Laude for making your CV shine from the pool of applicants. It makes your profile unique and in no time someone will call you for an initial interview. You owe your initial interview to your Laude.
Assuming that you already passed the initial interview, the HR person will now schedule you for a test (some companies require such) and this is when you need to prove your Laude title. It’s a test that’s very different from what our professors used to give us, it’s not about facts but practical application of what you’ve learned. Now, this is when you’ll know if you deserve that Laude or not.
Your Laude will add class to your CV but that doesn’t necessarily define one’s excellence in the job. I’ve met a lot of people who are not Laudes yet they are successful and it’s because they think out of the box and they have inviting interpersonal and good decision-making skills.
Don’t worry if you’re not a Laude. Life is about knowing the rules of the game and how to play well with it.
I am a Laude. How should I really feel about it?
Have a thankful heart for being a Laude. Thankful because you were gifted with a special skill set that made you reach that peak. Thankful because you were able to make your parents proud and you made them feel that all their efforts were worth it. Take it slow because that euphoria is just temporary.
Once you are already in the workplace and the people knew that you are a Laude, it can give you two things. One, they will entrust to you important workloads because they expect that you can do it. Second, failure to reach their expectations might break your Laude ego. (The second is more of you feeling disappointed of yourself.)
Being a Laude is a pressure on your part. Having this title, you need to prove to yourself that you deserve it by efficiently doing your job, by going the extra-mile, by reaching your own expectations. Having that stress, you need not to be so hard on yourself. Forgive yourself in every mistake and remember that you are now an apprentice in your chosen field.
In your chosen job, you will definitely perform tasks that you didn’t learn in school. You are empty again and I think it needs humility so you can excel. A humble heart to welcome corrections and an intelligent mind to understand the wisdom of your daily work life.
At the end of the day, it won’t matter whether you are a Laude or not. What matters is how you face the challenges while keeping yourself grounded on your values and principles. What matters is how you become an inspiration to others.
To all the graduates, congratulations! You all deserve our applause. 😊