I’m grateful today because I was still able to complete my school despite the lack of resources back then. I completed my grade school and high school in government-run academia in Mabalacat City while completed my degree in a private-catholic university in Angeles City, both in the Philippines.
The schools I attended provide outstanding quality academics and extracurricular activities that will enhance, prepare, and boost the skills, competence, and agility to compete with their students. I have many schoolmates and colleagues who achieved high professional status and serve their respective communities and business industries well who attended the same schools I had.
But, despite my schools’ outstanding reputation, there are still things that I have struggled with and learned on my own. Real-life experiences are yet to be the best school and teacher!
5 Things I Struggled with After School
1. Proper Resume Formatting
Sound ridiculous to you, but yes! I didn’t recall in any of my high school or even university days us discussing how we must properly format our resume or CV (Curriculum Vitae). Of course, we had a class discussion about creating it and what information to put in there, but all were just basics.
I didn’t have any problem with my resume during my first job. It was smooth, perhaps because I was referred, which I have no idea who referred me! My only guess was, I attended some job-fair activities and company seminars from my university before and after our graduation.
But, I struggled so much when I applied for a promotion and applied to work overseas! It seems that my resume doesn’t reflect my objective and vision as a professional. It doesn’t have any substance.
So, I started to research! I began to watch videos that talk about properly and smartly formatting resumes. Tada! I learned so much that wasn’t taught nor discussed in school!
A resume is your professional branding in a paper. Therefore, your resume presentation is critical to impress decision-makers. It should clearly show the strengths and experiences that most relevant to the position you are applying for. In addition, it should demonstrate your potential as an employee who contributes and inspire even if you are starting.
Helpful Read: The Ultimate Guide for CV
2. How to Deal with Differences at Workplaces
I’m sharing my experience, especially with the younger people and young adults starting their careers. In my home country – the Philippines, there’s a saying that “all people eat rice; so we are all the same.” The logic is, we are all human, so it’s practical that we are all the same.
I agree. But! A simple proof of having different fingerprints makes us unique and different from one another. Adding other factors like how we were mold when we were kids, our past experiences, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc., make us different!
We have different preferences, desires, plans, perspectives, motives, opinions, and so on. And these can lead to or spark disagreements and arguments, especially at workplaces.
I remember we had subjects like GMRC (Good Manners and Right Conduct), Values Education, Religion (which is only about Roman Catholic), and PDPR (Personal Development and Public Relations).
We were taught about how an individual must present themselves professionally and personally. And, most of the subjects taught the basic do’s and don’ts, missing a critical aspect of the ‘hows’ in dealing with differences!
To address this, I started to open up little by little and open up my mind. Education is a continuing process. It doesn’t mean you already graduated; that’s it. So I started to join conversations that give value and highlight differences. I associate myself with various people regardless of their religion, civil and social status, sexual orientation, etc.
I opened myself to understand other’s perspectives.
So, don’t be afraid to put yourself entirely in someone’s shoes to understand and empathize with them because that’s a great start to positively deal with differences!
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3. Sex Education
For some countries and places, sex education is still taboo. Others, though, are starting to open up conversations in school about sex education. Now, when we say sex education, it’s not only about the anatomy of the penis and vagina but what are the impacts and implications of having sex in our lives. And yes! These things aren’t openly discussed in classes for the most until now.
An article mentioned that in the United States alone, there are 194k+ babies born to women aged 15-19 in the year 2017. WHO also noted that an estimated 21M girls aged 15–19 years in developing regions become pregnant, and approximately 12M of them give birth every year. These numbers are overwhelming!
I hope that more constructive conversations will open up in homes and schools about sex in providing awareness about health problems, civil and community problems that causes by unprotected and or early engagement of sex.
4. Mental Health Awareness
In my entire school career, I never encountered anything about mental health! The importance of paying attention to people who are having problems with mental health. Ourselves dealing with mental health issues.
I realized that this is one of my late mother’s problems. I was about 6-7 years old when I usually see my mom watering our outdoor fortune plant from top to bottom. The plant was so tall, about 15 feet! After she watered it, she started counting and talking to that plant, saying, “please, tell my husband to come home.” I was so confused! My father works in a different town as a bus driver for the US marines and comes home during the weekends.
When I learned and started to pay attention to mental health, I can only imagine how hard and painful this for my late mom. Every time I bring it up, it breaks my heart.
When there’s no access to the internet and social media platforms, the only access we can quickly get information is from school, newspapers, and magazines. But, mental health is an unpopular topic.
5. Practice of Tolerance
The practice of tolerance is somewhat related to how to deal with differences. And, unfortunately, given that most schools have subjects about values and morals, most don’t open up conversations on dealing with differences. So, there’s no way to mold students in practicing tolerance.
Non-education about tolerance is one good reason why young groups’ riots are sprawling in communities, fraternity and sorority clashes, and other violence against religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation at a very young age.
Tolerance is defined as the ability or readiness to put up with something, such as the presence of beliefs or behaviors with which one does not fundamentally agree. Some people believe that tolerance is a bad attitude since it entails enduring something uncomfortable or cruel. It lowers one’s self-esteem and dignity. It’s because you’re allowing others to say and do anything they want, even if you disagree. It is valid only if you look at it from that perspective.
I believe there is more to this seemingly regular table than meets the eye when it comes to tolerance. Tolerance is a crucial notion that allows people to coexist peacefully. It also implies that, even if you are confidently correct, you do not prioritize your feelings and opinions over those of others.
Tolerance is a form of respect. Being mature entails being tolerant. Tolerance entails displaying courage and strength in the face of others’ differences. Tolerance entails humility as well as peaceful cooperation. Tolerance entails respecting the values of others, regardless of their nationality, religion, ethnicity, color, sex, culture, or tradition.
I hope that more educator in school opens up conversations like this.
Education is non-stop. Yes! There are more things that we don’t get the chance to know or learn from school but with today’s technology and global culture, let’s continue to educate ourselves. Let’s not confine ourselves in a safe bubble that limits our engagements and learnings. Let’s challenge our minds to think out of the box and start asking questions that bother us. We’re all here to learn, help, and inspire one another.
What’s your struggle after school, and how did you overcome it professionally or personally? I’d love to hear from you!
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