It’s already been five months when I decided to go back to school again. First semester has ended and I never imagined how it went by so fast. A lot of unforgettable moments in college has happened in the span of five months. Realizations, experiences, values and learnings – these are the four aspects of life that I discovered and developed as a working student and as an individual. In this article, let me share with you the things that I learned during the first semester which I think most of the working students can relate to, and what life taught me.
Learned How to Value Money
I have been struggling with money in the first two months of my schooling because I have to divide my income with family expenses (water bill, electric bill and daily budget), work (food and transportation allowance) and school (monthly tuition fee and transportation allowance). I remembered there were days when I’ve run out of money and I haven’t found any single cent in my wallet. Honestly, it was depressing and challenging but God sustained me and provided the things that I needed. I started to became aware of the things that I need versus the things that I want. I just live my daily life according to my means. Here are some of the practical things that I learned and still practicing:
- In mealtime, I always set a budget of below 100 pesos per meal.
- On weekdays, every time I go to school or even at work, I always use the student privilege of having a discount on transportation fee.
- Before, I always take the tricycle to go to work all by myself. But now, I simply wait for someone to share the tricycle with me to save money.
- On weekends, instead of going to the mall or go out with friends like I usually do, now I just stay at home, help my parents in cleaning the house, bond with my family, study my lessons and write an article.
- I installed a budget application on my laptop to keep track of my daily budget.
- Learned how to say NO when someone invites me to watch movies or concerts. I just wait for a few weeks and download a clear version on torrent. 😀
Managing Time Properly
Even before, managing time is one of my weaknesses, doing unnecessary things that are not meant to do and prioritizing things that are not meant to prioritize. But when I started to feel the difficulties of being a working student, I became aware of managing my time properly. I listed down the things that I have to let go and minimized or removed it to my schedule. Let me share with you some of the funny personal things that I removed or minimized in my schedule:
- Watching koreanovelas series (but I still love Park Shin Hye)
- Watching anime series (I really miss Black Butler II)
- Minimize the usage of social media on weekdays and no social media policy on weekends (thank God I still don’t have good internet connection at home)
- No movie marathon policy (maximum of 3 per week only)
This is my hierarchy of priorities that I’m still practicing:
Learned to take Leadership and Step-up if the Situation is Needed
There are a lot of instances wherein I have to take the lead role in some activities, not because I am knowledgeable on that particular activity but because I feel that I have to guide them in the right perspective.
We may have a lot of flaws and weaknesses but it doesn’t mean that we are not capable. We can use that weakness to become our strength to face the things that we think we cannot do.
Do the things that you want to do today
Five months is too short and yet in that five months alone I already got a few units for that first semester and for me it is a big accomplishment already. I’m just thinking what if I didn’t take that step to enroll and continue my study? Are there bigger opportunities or accomplishments that I could’ve made in that five months alone? If none, it was a mere waste of time.
Life is too short and we should live it to its fullest. Don’t invest your time on the things that are not worthy to invest with. Time is the most precious thing in this world because you cannot turn back the time that was lost. It’s either you end up with regret or looking forward for something that is ahead of you.