Self reflection: Strive for self-proficiency before graduating

By Hamka Rosli

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend and get involved in a youth conference called Parlimen Mahasiswa. It was just like the real parliamentary session where we all sat together and discussed issues related to Malaysian youth.

Despite having a lot of issues being presented, one issue caught my attention. The issue was related to students’ ability to manage themselves after graduation. Upon hearing the issue, there are questions that struck my mind about this issue. After three or four years of spending their time in college and university, why some youth still hardly manage themselves?

Some still have problem with financial management which led them to be declared bankrupt, some still hardly get any job due to insufficient communication skills to convince potential employers, and some still have no idea what to do with their life.

Why are there still youths who cannot manage themselves efficiently? Are universities and colleges to blame for not teaching these students the lesson to survive upon graduation or is it just a problem of certain individuals? Perhaps an hour session will not be enough to talk about youth’s self-management.

It is very challenging for youth nowadays to survive after their college and university life ended. It is a real struggle to be able to get into any place. The common perception would be that the bright students will get it easy as most employers want high CGPA candidates. But as the economy grows and technology changes fast, having high CGPA is not an express ticket anymore, which means no guarantee for such students.

This is the reality today because employers seek candidate who know how to do work and this requires a lot of soft skills. Having high CGPA is good but at the same time to possess good soft skills is an added value.

So, when is the right time to sharpen our soft skills? Of course during student’s life. The best time to learn and practise the soft skills is when we are still studying, and start as early as first year. An excellent student will not only focus their life at university entirely on books. They do other stuffs and activities too just to gain exposure on new things or for fun.

At the same time, these students develop new skills and expand their networking with other people. So, it is really important to balance our life as a student because the learning process does not always take pace in classrooms, but outside too.

Besides having to strengthen our soft skills, youth of today also need to know how to manage their financial situation well. This is the crucial part as we need money to survive. We cannot depend forever on our parents to take care of our living expenses.

After graduation, it is time to be adults and take care of ourselves. According to the Department of Insolvency Malaysia (MDI), statistics from 2010 until early 2015 show that a total of 1,469 youth under the age of 25 have been declared bankrupt. This could be the illustration of reality today where youth had faced the problem of managing their finance.

Lack of financial management knowledge, unable to control use of credit cards, and failure to pay multiple loans are some prime causes of bankruptcy among youth.

So, what could be the best solution to prevent this sort of epidemic from happening? The government for sure has its own initiative to thwart this issue but the most important thing is that we must first educate ourselves about financial management. We do not have to be an economic student to learn about financial management. Seek knowledge so that we will not be trapped in financial difficulty in future.

I believe that youth today are luckier than their predecessors due to the technological advancement that helps them engaged in new things easier and quicker. After all, it is an era of information at our finger tip. College or university life is a very precious phase of life to develop and explore for ourselves.

Most of the students tend to waste their time by not exploring themselves enough. That is why some of us are still not sure what to do after graduation. Exploring into new things can help us search for our true ability and strength. That is one of the things students must do to prepare themselves for the life after graduating.

Nevertheless, these are just some of essence of self-proficiency problem among youth. There are lots of main causes for this issue but as I mentioned above, youth must first be self-aware that the outside world is not about getting a job and paying bills, but it is more than that. By now we can see the importance of adequate self-proficiency before being called as successful graduates.***

photo taken from game-learn
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