As you step into the real world after finishing school, you may start to wonder if the things you’ve learnt will actually help you prepare for your new independent life.
While school does equip you with important knowledge, it doesn’t teach you certain practical things you need to know in life. But don’t worry, we’re revealing the essential life skills and topics you should learn more about if you want to be successful after graduating from school!
If you think investments are only for adults in fancy suits and ties who close deals upon a handshake — you’re wrong!
According to Stock Trader, investing early at a young age will allow you to get better returns as time is on your side. But, before you dive straight into it, it’s important to know what exactly an investment is and the best ways to invest.
Investment refers to the action or process of purchasing something or putting in money with the intention of gaining profit. This can be done in many ways (e.g. buying stocks, putting money into a business and buying properties and selling them years later when the price is higher). Although there will be risks such as the value of your stocks going down, these risks will be reduced if you know the best ways to invest.
#2. Money management
Knowing how to save and manage your money is an important life skill that, unfortunately, isn’t taught in school. This is why many students go broke during their college days.
Truth is, life after school is a whole new world and when you enter it, you’ll soon realise how crucial it is to be able to manage your money, especially when you’re studying away from home. Once you master this skill, you’ll have enough money to pay all your bills and save for the future at the same.
Luckily, there are many money management tips available online that will show you how to save your cash. This includes creating a budget, asking about student discounts, reducing impulse purchases, making the most of special offers and getting things for free. Yes, you heard right! You can even get things for free if you know how.
#3. Handling credit cards
Ah credit cards, we’re sure you’ve heard many warnings about these seemingly harmless pieces of plastic. While they can offer many benefits and rewards, they can also be deadly to your bank account if not used wisely.
When it comes to using a credit card without getting into debt, many fresh graduates have had to learn the hard way. This is because they weren’t aware of the important tips to avoid credit card debt, which includes having an emergency fund to pay for hefty bills such as car repairs, charge only what you can afford, pay your credit card bill on time and limit the number of cards you have.
Once you’re earning enough and you’re confident you can use a credit card without going into debt, you can go ahead and choose the best credit card for you!
#4. Applying to jobs
Once you’ve graduated from college or university (or even school if you want to work immediately), you’ll need to know how to apply for a job.
The first step to applying for a job is to prepare a curriculum vitae (CV) or resume, which reveals your skills, strengths and previous work history to your future employer. Check out tips for writing one here.
Once you’re happy with your resume, visit job search sites such as Jobstreet, Glassdoor or Jobstore and upload your resume and look for the jobs you’re interested in. Be sure to carefully read the description of the jobs you’re interested in to ensure you meet all the requirements.
#5. Addressing mental illness
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, yet schools have yet to promote the awareness of mental health as much as they do for physical education or Pendidikan Jasmani & Kesihatan.
According to the patron of the Malaysian Psychiatric Association (MPA), Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, mental health issues such as depression are expected to be a major problem by the year 2020. This was based on data from the 2017 National Health and Morbidity Survey, revealing that 29% of Malaysians suffered from depression and anxiety disorders compared to 12% in 2011.
One of the main reasons for this is because Malaysians aren’t able to deal with stress well while many also have issues with family members who do not offer emotional support. So, it’s important to learn how to manage stress — especially when you’re experiencing exam season or certain personal issues. Mental illnesses can be lethal, so if you’re unsure whether you’re experiencing one or if you’re just sad, it’s worth your time to read more about it.
We hope that this article has shed some light on the essential things in life you should know more about. Have we missed anything from our list? Let us know what other important life skills were not taught in school, in the comment section below!