I know this post seems totally random and out of the box from our usual content, and it is, but this is something we, as adults, discuss often and I think it deserves a day on the blog. How often do you find yourself saying something along the lines of 'I wish they'd taught me xyz in school'? or 'if I'd only learned how to do my taxes instead of geometry in school I'd be way better off'. I've definitely said those comments and although I think schools (especially universities) are doing a better job of preparing our youth for adulthood, I just don't think we're there yet.
- How to do my taxes - guys, if it weren't for TurboTax I'd be totally lost come tax season. I don't even keep receipts, how the hell am I going to do taxes when I'm, like, a real big kid who has to go to an accountant? I still don't know!
- How to balance a checkbook - albeit rather useless now thanks to online banking, I had to balance a checkbook when I first got a debit card and hello, I had no idea how to do that!
- Debt - how you accumulate it, how it affects your bottom line and credit, how to get rid of it and along with debt...
- Credit - I knew nothing about credit when I graduated high school other than that I had gotten a credit card at 18 to start earning some credit. Do you know how much that credit card credit will help you buy a house? Oh, it won't.
Oops, these are all money related so far - guess that's where I stand. I wish I'd learned about money!
- Be proactive rather than reactive - I don't think we're taught how to handle stressful or frustrating situations very well in school. It's important to learn to work towards fixing things rather than just blowing up when things go wrong.
- Time management - I'm decent at time management, I even wrote a post about it, but I certainly wasn't taught how to manage my time while I was in school. It would have saved me a lot of wasted time on school and work assignments had I learned sooner.
- Mental health - we spent hours upon hours learning about how to take care of our physical bodies in Health and PE but we spend zero time talking about mental health, depression, other related topics that are so relevant and difficult and experienced in the real world, I wish we'd learned more about how to navigate our own mental health as well as how to deal with others
- Long-term self-care. We had PE and Health classes, but I was never taught how important it is to pay attention to your health as you get older. Not just "go to your annual physical" but the "sitting all day is really awful for you" type stuff. The "you need to exercise at least 30 minutes a day to grow into a healthy old person type stuff. I wish I'd been taught that so I could have incorporated healthy living earlier.
- How to negotiate for a new job. This is HARD people. But don't worry, I've got a whole post coming about it for you!
- Public speaking. I'm not talking a presidential address, I'm not talking about speaking in front of hundreds of people. I'm talking about running meetings, leading conference calls, having the courage and ability to take notes, make action items and achieve goals.
What are some things you wish you'd been taught in school? Don't hold back, we've all got them!