Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Growing Up

"As we grow up, we realize that we have two hands; one for helping yourself and the other for helping others." - Audrey Hepburn

When I was growing up my parents worked hard to instill  the importance of hard work and education in my family. I believe they became fearful when we would rather play video games and sit on the computer instead of studying for our exams or filling out scholarships or applications for colleges.  They knew that life would be hard as we moved on into our young adult years and they wanted to make sure that we were well prepared to cope with the challenges that were sure to come our way.

This past year has been huge learning experience for me where I encountered many challenges and became truly grateful for all of the guidance my parents have given me.  Knowing that other young adults may also be struggling as they make the transition from dependent children to independent adults, I want to share some of the great lessons I learned. 

Make sure you have a back up plan when choosing a career path- If you run into obstacles and setbacks in your plans and something doesn't sit well with you, there is no shame in going in a different direction.

Choose to work for companies that share your values- During the summer I was struggling to find a job and jumped at the chance to work for Quad Graphics. It wasn't until after I was already hired and worked for the company for a few months that I learned that they print "Playboy" magazine in another one of their plants. Had I known that before applying to work there, I wouldn't have considered applying for that job.   Now I'm blessed to work for a great Catholic company.  I'm so grateful to work for a place that not only shares my Catholic values, but strives to instill them in all of our members and clients.

Always drive the speed limit- I used to have a lead foot, and although it got me to my destinations quicker, it really cost me a lot with speeding tickets, accidents and a higher rate of insurance.

Take the time to research how to find and secure a job- I spent the majority of my summer tirelessly looking for a job, applying everywhere and anywhere. I learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses, honed my interview skills, learned how to take rejection and realized how unqualified I was for the positions I wanted. Most importantly I learned that by persevering in a job search, a quality job can be yours and that there are always good people who are willing to help you get where you want to be.

Everything costs money- As a young kid, I was not immune to want to spend all of my paychecks from my first jobs. Young people like me really learn on the fly  that just because you have money, doesn't mean you should blow it. You never know when a emergency situation will occur.  Saving for those emergencies is crucial.

There will always be girls- If your biggest worry is having a relationship, then you really need to settle down. There will always be girls, so don't make dating your top priority.  Instead, focus on those things that will help you to have a successful future.  If you are already in a relationship, don't settle for someone who is less than ideal for you. If you don't feel like they're the one for you or there is something that you can't overlook, don't stick around. God will surely lead you to the right person in His time.

Network- Everybody knows somebody else. You can really benefit from making connections with people.  I am blessed that my friends have my back and were willing and able to help me get up off my feet to where I am now. Having those friends who look out for you, love you and support you can really go a long way.  And at the same time, make sure you return the favor and give your friends a helping hand, too, if they should ever need it.

Listen to your parents- They've been there and back so respect them and thank them. You wouldn't even be where you are now without them. 

Work on your faith- When things seem to be on a downward turn, don't let go of your faith in God. It is your faith in God that will strengthen you and bring you out of the deepest holes.

There is a huge difference between book smarts and common sense. I learned that there are many things in the real world that school can't prepare you for. I also learned that just because you are smart in school, that doesn't mean that you are set for the real world. I've seen so many peers who were extremely educated in school, yet when it came to common sense, they got in the worst situations, chose the wrong friends, didn't reflecte on consequences before they acted, and now they don't have the knowledge to resolve their problems. 

This year, I was reminded that I can never stop learning, regardless of whether I'm in school or not.  I am never alone in my trials. You always have second chances to make up for your mistakes and people will never stop loving you no matter what. Never lose hope in yourself or in God. 

I hope that you have also had a year of great learning and have grown in self-knowledge as well as in knowledge and life-skills.  Have a wonderful last few weeks of the year and know of my prayers for a blessed and hope-filled Christmas and New Year.

No comments:

Post a Comment