March and April are usually the graduation months for schools here in the Philippines and that means newly grads will be added to thousands of people who will be competing to be part of the workforce.

It will be exciting for some or daunting to others. No more research papers, recitations, midterm and final exams, toxic professors, and late night classes. We spent almost 20 years of our lives as students but does education end when we graduate? Are we really equipped to face the challenges the real world has to offer?

Unfortunately, there are skills that was never given much attention in school, skills that are far more valuable than any formulas or elements that we were told to memorize and as we enter the real world, the essential life skills are those that we have to develop on our own.

Proper Money Management. I was raised in a simple household, I and my family seldom eat outside, we rarely go on vacations, and we don’t spend much on material things to satisfy our wants. That is why the idea of earning my own money to buy things that I want, travel to different places, and dine out every Friday night was something I looked forward to after graduation. But there is more to money than just earning and spending it because one must also know how to budget, save, and invest their hard earned money.

I’ve already heard stories of people who worked for a very long time but were not able to set aside savings because of their luxurious lifestyle. So as soon as I received my first ever salary I obliged myself that from that point on I will pay myself first which means setting aside a portion of my income to savings and that is when I started building my emergency fund.

Start saving as early as you can, live below your means, and remember that you don’t always have to keep pace with what’s trending. Mistakes are one of the best teachers, but you don’t have to commit it and learn the hard way. Others’ mistakes are enough to teach you a valuable lesson.

Dealing with Stress. Heavy traffic, toxic colleagues and bosses, mandatory overtime to meet deadlines, and insufficient salary are some of the reasons that can cause stress to an individual. But these are things or situations that we have little or no control over, it’s how we react to these circumstances that will matter.

You need to accept that things and situations cannot always go the way you want it to, you will experience stress at some point in your life. It can be difficult to remain optimistic when you’re stressed out but drowning yourself in negative thoughts won’t bring you any good which can lead to something worse. Talk to a friend, a family member or a workmate it’s good to have someone that can listen and if you cannot contain your emotions anymore cry it out, it won’t make you less of a person.

Coping with Failure. One of the problems millennials face has something to do with entitlement or the belief that a person has the right or is deserving of something, but when they realize that the real world is not as they hoped it would be and they didn’t get what they want in an instant the feeling of being a failure creeps in and the vision of success starts to fade. Here’s a fact: having a degree can get you a job but it doesn’t guarantee you success. The only guarantees you’ll have are your future expenses.

Although that’s the case do not fret because you have to keep in mind that success doesn’t come easy, you might encounter several years of dealing with failure but that’s part of the process even the most successful people in the world have gone through it. Just keep on trying even if you keep on failing until you know what works for you.

Traditional school is a very good place to learn but it doesn’t teach everything you need to know about life. It’s outside its walls where real life education lies so never stop learning, continue to improve yourself and let your experiences and failures be your teachers.

If you have comment, suggestion, or want to have an appoint with Maylyn Alejan, you can email her at maylynalejan@gmail.com

Categories: Personal Finance

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