If there’s one thing that students are excited about, it’s the graduation season.
Aside from getting your diploma, graduation marks the end of your stressful student life. You no longer need to wake up for your 7AM class, worry about your tuition fees, and deal with terror professors, and annoying group mates. Although it feels like a burden has been lifted from your shoulders, the reality is that graduation is only the beginning of another chapter. And once you realize that life is not (at all) a bed of roses, you’ll start pondering about the future and even figuring out which path to take.
Looking for a job after college can be a nerve-wracking experience. You will go through a lot of stress, doubts, and rejection. But no matter how tedious job hunting can be, the most difficult roads usually lead to beautiful destinations––like the story of Vianca Catibog, a 21-year-old Marketing Associate, who accidentally made a friend in one of the most crowded places in the metro.
Stumbling upon a meaningful connection
You will never land a decent job if you’ll not try to break out of your comfort zone. For Filipino graduates, the first step in overcoming this fear and barrier is by learning how to “navigate” the crowded streets of Manila. And commuting around the metro can be an everyday struggle–flooded streets, packed vehicles, excruciating traffic, and dreadful pollution.
Fresh out of college, Catibog found herself braving the heat and traffic just to get to an MRT/LRT station going to Quezon Avenue for a job interview. Since she was unfamiliar with the place, she struggled with finding her way around. As she was about to alight from the bus, she didn’t hesitate to ask her fellow commuter Aleah Pederoso. Speaking to INQUIRER.net, Catibog mentioned that Pedoroso seemed very nice and approachable. And despite her trouble speaking because of her cleft lip and palate condition, the latter even offered to help her with directions.
Sadness is a normal human reaction to life’s stressful situations. But for people who are struggling with mental illness, the feeling of sadness and loneliness is like a never-ending battle. Catibog, who was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder two years ago, shared her experience of living with the medical condition. She mentioned that some of the factors or events that can trigger her anxiety and depression usually include losing a job, getting over a break-up or being stuck in a crowded world.
These experiences have led her to be more cautious about the company she keeps. Even though she has had a lot of bad experiences in the past, she hasn’t lost hope that there will always be someone who will show you selfless acts of kindness––and for Catibog, the Head and Shoulder’s campaign is a reminder of that. In an interview with INQUIRER.net, she said that “This campaign teaches us a lesson on how to ‘remove’ life’s biggest barriers like hesitation, disappointment, fear, and regrets so that we can let others in and be all close together.”
Relating to Catibog’s experience, Pederoso was the friend she needed to find to reignite her belief in finding meaningful connections with other people.
Letting others in
It has almost been a year since the first time they met but she believes that her friendship with Pederoso is for keeps. Until today, they still communicate with each other–commenting on each other’s social media posts and asking what the other person is up to. And for her, meeting Pederoso was the result of destiny.
“If fate allows you to meet a person by chance, it only means that you are destined to help him/her to offload their burdens or vice versa. Maybe God sent them for a purpose that can change the way you think about life,” she explained.
Through Catibog and Pederoso’s friendship, we learn that the first step to creating wonderful connections is through breakingbarriers. However, these are not only limited to a person’s inability to communicate. Sometimes, this hesitation comes even in the smallest forms like bad breath, body odor, and scalpproblems–especially in a hot and humid country like the Philippines. In the new Head and Shoulder’s campaign Heads Together, the brand talks about how we yearn for closeness, conversation, and connections. Through Head and Shoulders, we can remove barriers that keep us apart. So the next time we chance upon a stranger in a crowded world, we can easily keep our heads together and build an even deeper relationship with them.
Watch the full campaign video here:
For more inspiring stories about people getting their heads together, follow the official page of INQUIRER.net. Share your #HeadsTogether moment using the hashtag.