Whether or not school was your “thing” growing up, the education we received from childhood onwards shapes who we thought we could be, who we became, and who we strive to become.
The academic discourse we experienced in school trains us to ask questions, consider multiple perspectives, and deliberate to make decisions. We learned something new every day when we were in school, and if you’re in graduate or professional school now, hopefully you still do. If you’re thinking about going back to school, seriously consider your options.
Don’t let naysayers discourage you. Additional training or a graduate degree can improve your employability. Training in a new discipline that you’re passionate about can bring joy to your job.
Being self-dependant (also called self-reliant or independent) is an important skill to nurture throughout our lives. Easier to develop when times are good, the value of self-dependence shines when times are tough.
Your education gave you the skills to think critically and to think for yourself. Navigating your life after graduation with problem-solving – deciding to rent an apartment or buy a house, weighing the costs and convenience of buying a car – are all based on skills developed during your formative years in school.
This critical thinking also lets you make personal decisions for yourself, decisions on who you want to be as you continue to grow.
There are strong personalities in our lives and we may find ourselves adopting their opinions and views. Recognize when this happens, take a step back, and think about what your own opinions are.
Other ways to improve your self-reliance are recognizing and accepting your feelings, instead of shutting down when a discussion gets hard, and to channel your negative emotions into hobbies, whether exercise, art, writing, or another activity that allows you to redirect your emotions instead of allowing them to boil over.
chase your dreams
If you’ve been thinking of making a big move for awhile – going back to school, looking for a new job – think about what’s keeping you from it.
By making SMART goals – specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-bound – you can turn your dreams into reality.
Want to learn something new at your job? Ask your boss to put you on new projects where you can learn on the job. Or take a free online training course to get the technical skills.
Want to learn a new language? Use free resources like Duolingo to practice on your lunch break, on the weekend, or on the bus.
Be grateful for the education you’ve received so far, and encourage those around you to pursue their own dreams. Invest time in educating yourself on things you care about, both to improve your skills at work and your independence.
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