Our lives cannot be greater than our vision and our works, it is what we put into life that comes out magnified at the other end and the youthful period is the time to sow, gather resources and skills that will aid meaningful living in the future.
Youth, a vital stage of growth and development, marks the period of transition from childhood to adulthood. It is characterized by so many rapid changes which are both physiological, in terms of increase in size, weight and height, and psychological in terms of emotions, cognitive development etc.
As individuals grow from childhood to adulthood, there is a corresponding growth in their mental process, they become capable of abstract and critical thinking, they develop the spirit of adventure, creativity and independent thought process. Youthful age is a period of increased potentials as well as greater vulnerability. They develop the urge to experiment everything they observed during childhood and even at their present youthful age. As such, basic skills, values, norms and attributes need to be inculcated in their lives at this period when they are vulnerable to evolving ideas and information. Youths are more prone, vulnerable and easily give in to high risk situations than any other age group. How well a youth handles life issues is determined by a lot of factors which include his/her personality trait, environment, association and the life skills acquired.
Life skills are basic requirements in any individual's life needed for survival in the society. Life skills encompasses psychosocial competencies, manipulative and interpersonal skills that help people make informed decisions, think critically and creatively, handle life problems and build healthy relationships with others. It enables individuals to manage and organize their lives in a productive manner. It serves as a catalyst for better self esteem, an aid to handle peer pressure, manage time, finance and people.
Most of these skills are acquired through experiences or learnt via teaching. Some basic life skills necessary for youth include:
• COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Effective communication entails being able to express oneself both verbally and non - verbally in a manner that is appropriate to the norms and values of the society. Communication skills help to boost healthy interpersonal relationships in our everyday lives and even at work. I can tell from my secondary school days experience, I grew up as an introvert, making friends was the most difficult part of my life not to talk of socializing with others. Of course a quiet girl shouldn't say anything in the midst of the crowd so my mates then usually made all the decisions in class and their opinions were accepted by the teacher even if they were wrong at times just because I couldn't speak up for myself. Over the years, as I got admitted into the university, I learnt the basis of communication and interaction, I read books, articles daily on how to improve my communication skills because I discovered the importance of it in an individual's life. The youths need to develop or acquired proper communication skills to enable them share their views, opinions and feelings with others. When there is effective communication, it fosters peaceful and harmonious association amongst people.
Organization involves doing things in an orderly manner. It involves planning one's activities, giving priority to things that are important and doing things at the right time. The youths mostly complain about insufficient time to do things they intended to do, they freak out when they heap things they should have done till it becomes a burden to them. How we organize our lives creates a difference in our achievements.
Organizational skills involves good time management, proper handling of properties and belongings. It can be developed by creating a schedule which one can stick to, prioritizing tasks and developing a routine such that every aspect of one's life is being put into consideration.
We all need to be trained on how to utilize our resources efficiently. There are certainly some youths who squander their money on things that may not be profitable to them. The urge to feel among, to show up or to demand unnecessary respect from others tends to becloud their sense of financial accountability. In the light of this, proper budgeting and financial skills serves as an aid for effective resource management.
Youthfulness is a period of vulnerability and confusion because it is a phase. Various changes tend to bring confusion and distraction at some points in time. Youths are faced with the challenge of making decisions and taking actions at every step of their life journey, ranging from simple things like clothes to wear, friends to keep, virtues to uphold and the career to pursue. I've been faced with the challenge of making a career choice immediately I got out of secondary school, My father opted for a medical profession but I usually freak out at the sight of blood so that alone dissuaded me from going for that. I love calculation, I love manipulative courses so I was faces with the challenge of going for my father's choice or making my own choice and standing by it. I needed enough courage to convince my father that my opinion was right, eventually I went for a course I wanted. We are all challenged with different decision making situations, the youths need to develop the skills on how to decide the fate of their lives by their decisions and bear the consequences of their choices, that way, it trains them on how to take responsibility no matter the outcome of their actions.
The population of people in the world is gradually outgrowing the job opportunities created for individuals in the society. People no longer rely on white collar jobs rather they maximize their talents, crafts and skills in order to earn a living. Entrepreneurial skills are basic skills one needs to build and maintain a good business, they are necessary skills required for livelihood. In this era of minimal paying jobs, it is needful to develop skills that can help make ends meet. I've met people who feel maybe because they are in school, that there is no need to learn a craft or develop a skill because an immediate employment awaits them after graduation. The funny thing is that such people get frustrated when they grow up to face the world of works outside the school walls, they realize that making ends meet is a sole responsibility of the individual not the government or the society. As youths, it's foolish to depend on the jobs created by the government for survival, think of what you can do with your hands to earn a living too. If you can write, develop your writing skills such that you earn from it, if you have a craft, improve upon it daily and make the best out of such potentials.
To stay in pace with the constant development and changes in the world due to various technological advancements and other aspects of life, it is therefore important to acquire basic life skills for adaptive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life thus the skills out listed above comes in to remedy the confusion and frustration of modern changes in life.