It's been almost two years since I've graduated and left school for good. My five and a half years stay in uni were some of the best years of my life. It was ten times better than grade school and high school combined. Those years were the final oven that pressured and cooked me to who I am now.

In those years, I have learned so much that I would not trade for anything in the world. It was in college that I was immersed in different cultures, with different kinds of people, in various scenarios. It was in college that I learned how to make friends and keep them. It was in college that I learned how to maintain a relationship. It was in college that I learned that happiness can be a choice you can consciously make. It was in college that I got to know more about God. It was in college that I truly found and got to know myself.

9 important things the real world has taught me so far...

The Renee last two years ago was very eager to finish schooling. I remember I was so excited to cast my foot on the "real" world. After I passed our licensure exam, I immediately found a job. I grabbed the opportunity and set off on this new journey. I was nervous, I felt unprepared, but I was also excited and thirsty to learn more of what I'm getting into.

Life after college was not what I was hoping for. It was hard and I didn't know anything at all that was relevant. I thought finishing college was hard, but saying goodbye and ending it was harder. Life after college is when you put into use all of the choices and hard work you've made. Life after college is another struggle, another challenge to be faced.

So far, I've been living the adult life for 10 months. The real world has taught me things I hoped I knew when I was still in college. I decided to make a post about this so I can share my experiences to those who are graduating soon so that at least somehow, you will be prepared for the life that is waiting for you after school.

Hope, not expect.

There's a fine line between hoping and expecting. In finding a job, hope for the best. Expectations are what gets you hurt. Guard your heart well because the real world is tough. It slaps you in the face so it's best to be prepared for the worst.


Know how to work smart.

We were always taught that working hard is what gets us the fruits. I've learned that no matter how hard you work when you have a fixed income, you wouldn't be credited for it. I have learned that the hard way and when I read an article about being work savvy, I just did it. And now, I'm not as tired as I was before whenever I finish my day job. Work smart guys, you're young! Don't be such a workaholic, it's bad for your health. ;)

Tax is a bitch.

Ah, taxes. Back when I was still a student, I haven't had the idea what taxes are and that having to pay them can be a real pain in the behind. Now I know how it feels. That every payday, an amount of your salary will be deducted and no matter how small that amount is, it will hurt. You worked for it and the government would just be accepting those hundreds or thousands of pesos without working a sweat. Sucks. I just hope that the government would make use of that money to better our country and not just our country, but the very city/province I'm living in.

Savings account. You need it.

The bank account you have where you get your salary is not enough. If you want to save money, you better get a separate account for your savings. I've been saving up a fraction of my salary every month so that I can have an emergency fund. I hope I can achieve my goal for this year. Set yours, too. Don't neglect it, you'll be the one to suffer if you won't have extra money when time comes.

Learn about investments and start early.

Start thinking about your future. Some companies like FAMI by the Metrobank Group, Ultra Trade, Pru Life UK, Sun Life Financial, and many more offer different kinds of investment strategies you could start with. All you have to do is get acquainted with what investing really is and how to properly do it. I want to be financially secured after a number of years and there are a lot of investments you can join in to let your money work for you. Learn about it. You can teach yourself by watching YouTube videos or you can attend seminars about it. I still have a lot to learn how to do this but at least I have started. It just takes a little motivation and you can begin yours, too. :)


Get yourself valid IDs. The more, the better.

This item might be a bit laughable but it is one of the most important things you must have when you are adult-ing. At least two valid IDs are always required when you apply for bank accounts, credit cards, sometimes for work, for getting a passport, visas and so much more. So yes, get yourself valid IDs, and at least two of them.

You are allowed to congratulate yourself.

It's okay to treat yourself once in a while. After working your ass off for months, you deserve to travel to that place you've been eyeing for some time, or that expensive shoe you've been dying to have, or those Colourpop and Kylie Lip Kit liquid lipsticks you've been saving up for, or that Blueberry Cheesecake and Java Chip Frappe you've been craving for. Indulge yourself, savor the money you've earned. But don't get too crazy. Give yourself a limit. :D

Don't be afraid to say NO.

In this corporate world I live in, the bosses can be really intimidating sometimes. They ask you to do a lot of things, some doable, some difficult and some are outright impossible. But you have to do it nonetheless, right? Even though if it seems impossible, you find a way to make it possible or else you suffer the consequences. WRONG. You always have a choice and you can always say no to things you think you can't manage to do. Do not be afraid to say no, you might be scared at first, but after you do it, you'll see that it's not as hard as you think it is. We are not perfect, it's completely normal to not be able to do everything.

Make connections, as many as you can.

The real world, I've mentioned it already but I'm saying it again, is tough. Making connections are vital. You can find jobs easily with it, you can apply on things easily with it, you can have things you want easily with it. Connections may not be everything but it has its many advantages. I landed my job because I had connections in this company I am in. I make sense, don't I?


So those are the things the real world has taught me so far. I am still in the learning process and I know I have a long way to go. I hope these will be helpful to you someday, some time. Don't rush your student life. Enjoy it, savor every moment of it, because once you have finished, you will be forced to let it all go and venture on to the next level of your life. And trust me when I say that adult-ing is hard. Yes, it has its perks, but it can be stressful when you are unprepared for it. My advice? Learn as many practical things as you can. The things you learned at school aren't all the things you need to prepare yourself. Ask your parents for advice, they know a lot of things that you don't. That's what I always do today. :)