25 Things High School Didn't Teach Me

25 Things High School Didn't Teach Me

What are taxes and how do you do them?

It’s actually sad how many important life skills our high schools fail to teach us before shipping us off to college or into the real adult world. Here are a few things high school didn’t teach me:

1. How to study.

Here I am in my sophomore year of college still trying to figure out how to study for my exams because I was never actually taught how.

2. How to pack my stuff and move.

I had no idea how difficult this would be until I had to do it.

3. How to do my taxes.

Also, that taxes are a thing you need to do.

4. How to deal with the FAFSA and student loans.

Seriously, why do they not yet have a class on these things?

5. How to create a grocery list.

What kinds of things are supposed to go on grocery lists? How do you plan meals?

6. How to create a resume.

Turns out "I used to be in some clubs and one time I worked at that one place." isn't sufficient.

7. How to write a cover letter.

I'm not even really sure what a cover letter is, to be honest.

8. How to resolve unpleasant situations with other people.

I never really had any difficulties with this in high school (or now, for that matter), but I think they basically just sent you to the office and sat you down and yelled for a while and told you to stay away from the person you were having issues with. What if in the future I have a terrible roommate and I need to effectively communicate with her? How am I to know what to do then?

9. How to stay safe when going out.

It’s amazing how many people get to college and don’t realize that they shouldn’t let a stranger hand them a drink.

10. How to save money.

Also, how important it is to save money.

11. How to vote.

I was lucky enough to have a great government teacher who made sure we all became registered to vote, but nobody ever gave any other information beyond that. Perhaps voting is just one of those things that’s so simple now for them that they feel it requires no in-depth explanation?

12. How to pay bills.

Do I mail them? Are they online? Do they come EVERY month?!

13. How to manage stress.

Because high school stress doesn’t even begin to compare to college stress, and college stress probably doesn’t even touch real world, post-grad stress. How in the world could our high schools be okay with sending us out into this mess without first teaching us to keep our stress levels in check?

14. How to use social media without hurting future prospects.

There was not nearly enough emphasis put on the fact that employers can and will check your social media pages for inappropriate content, and that what they see could potentially prevent you from landing a job.

15. How to stay organized.

This is referring to both life in general and actual physical organization of material stuff.

16. How to be a good public speaker.

Also, how to not be utterly terrified of publicly presenting.

17. How to find the motivation to go to class every day.

In high school, there really was no option of whether or not to show up to class. That isn’t the case in college; whether or not you go depends entirely on you and the amount of motivation you’re able to muster up (which isn’t much when it’s -20 degrees outside).

18. How to make friends.

If this is a skill I did learn before I graduated high school, I must have forgotten it before getting to college.

19. How to budget.

I've bought Jimmy Johns 4 times this week.

20. How to effectively manage my time.

What am I supposed to do on weeks where I have two meetings, a test, a quiz, a paper due, and various other homework and social commitments? How am I supposed to get it all done?

21. How to buy a car or house.

I’m not to this point yet, but I will be at some point in the future and I’ll be completely lost.

22. How to identify and end poor relationships; how to create and maintain good relationships.

Friendships, family relationships, and romantic relationships are all tested, and it would be good to know how to handle them.

23. How to balance a checkbook.

I was actually shocked to learn that people still use checks…even people my age! Also, I’ve come upon situations where it would be really handy to have checks, but since I was told back in high school that they’re basically no longer relevant, I didn’t bother getting any.

24. How to change the oil in my car.

This would be a sort of useful skill to have since it’s something that needs done so often. (Not that I actually think I’d change my car’s oil, but still… a good thing to know).

25. How to actually make decisions on my own.

What would I ever do without my mother?

Cover Image Credit: U.S. News

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34 Things I Should Have Brought To College At The Start Of Freshman Year, But Didn't

To the incoming freshman from the rising senior.

Coming from a rising senior at the University of Dayton who has lived in an over-sized double dorm room, to a suite-style quad dorm room, to a house with virtually no storage space sharing an octagon-shaped single room (and single closet)... These are the random little things no one thinks to bring to college or put on these lists, but they will make your life on campus a million times better. I ended up buying these items long after I started college, and they were a big help. Don't make the same mistakes I did.

1. Shoe organizer

These are great for various items such as toiletries, snacks, and, of course, shoes.

2. Under-the-bed storage bins

During college, most of my storage has been under my bed, so this is a must.

3. Photos

To remember the happy times with your friends and family. Add to your collection over your college years.

4. String lights

Just to add a little something extra to your space. The dim light is totally relaxing.

5. Makeup wipes

For when you're too tired after going out to actually wash your face.

6. Extra sheets and towels

Trust me, you're not going to want to wash your sheets and towels right away so you can use them immediately. Bring back-ups.

7. Tide pods

These are awesome. Plus they smell heavenly.

8. Drunk dorm/microwaveable snacks

For when you come back after going out and the dining hall has already closed. Ordering Domino's or Jimmy John's night after night is NOT a cost-effective option.

9. Gatorade

For when you're too dead in the morning to walk down and get one from the dining hall.

10. Keurig and coffee

Just in case the dining hall runs out of coffee during finals week. Believe me, it can happen.

11. Chip clips

You will accumulate many of these from free vendors and events on campus, but somehow, they are no where to be found when you need one.

12. Paper towels / Clorox wipes

You can never have enough.

13. Rain boots

So you'll be able to make it to class on those rainy days without having to sit in soaking wet socks and shoes for 50 minutes (yikes). And you can jump in all the puddles you wish.

14. Alarm clock

If you're like me and could sleep the whole day if you didn't have an alarm, your phone alarm just doesn't cut it sometimes.

15. Back study pillow

Even if you don't think you will use it, you will end up wanting it.

16. Command strips

These are the only things that will stick to most dorm room walls.

17. Rug

Especially if your room has a cold tile floor instead of carpet.

18. Air mattress or sleeping bag

For your friends visiting you on campus, or if you ever go on a trip.

19. Disposable dishes

At least while you live in a dorm with a community sink.

20. Red solo cups

Because you don't want your morning-after milk or apple juice to taste like last night's $8 vodka.

21. Costumes/holiday wear

This is something I totally didn't even think about when I first came to school. Now I have an entire bin JUST for costumes and holiday decor.

22. Crazy daydrink clothes

If you have a few jerseys, you're set. If not, take a trip to the local goodwill with your squad and pick up a few things. The crazier, the better.

23. Towel wrap

If you're like me and just like to chill in your towel after you shower ( and a robe is too hot for you), these are a must. And they're super cute.

24. Wristlet/clutch/small purse

You won't want to lug around a large tote while you're out with friends or doing daily activities.

25. Comfortable heels

Don't let this be you!!!! I've been there, and nothing will ruin your night of dancing at the club like shoes that give you blisters and disable your walking by the end of the night.

26. Business casual and business professional clothes

And make sure you know the difference and when each is appropriate.

27. Water bottle

In college, your water bottle is your best friend. You never go anywhere without it, and it actually helps you to drink the amount of water you're supposed to drink each day (maybe).

28. Blender

If you're a fan of smoothies (or frozen margaritas) and want to make them at home for less.

29. Flashcards

Flashcards are a great way to study. If they're not for you, buy them anyway just in case you want to try them out. Or if anyone on your floor is desperate for them, they will be eternally grateful.

30. Mini fridge

When you're sharing a fridge with 3+ other people, things can get pretty tight. I recommend buying this with your roommates so you can share the extra space.

31. Calculator

Just in case you change your major and have to take math again (like me).

32. Thermometer

So you can know for sure whether or not you have a fever.

33. Drying rack

Because you're actually not supposed to put everything in the dryer, who knew?

34. Rubbing alcohol

Works wonders for getting those impossible Thursday night Xs off before your Friday 9 a.m.

These things have helped me make it through three years of college, especially freshman year. Hopefully, I have helped you prepare for your college years somehow. Good luck and have fun!!!

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Cover Image Credit: oregonstateuniversity / Flickr

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Remember To Live In The Present, There's No Reason To Be Concerned About The Past

Constantly thinking about the future will cause you to neglect the present.


Everyone pretty much does this. During a moment when you're bored and you suddenly start daydreaming about the glamorous life you'll have in maybe five to ten years is not a problem in my eyes. It's normal to think about the type of life you want in the future. However, if thinking about the future causes you to ignore and miss out on what is happening at the moment then that kind of is a problem. Even though I know that constantly thinking about or worrying about the future is not good, I still seem to do it. It's a habit that is hard for me to break.

I have read many blog posts and watched many videos about how living in the present will make you happier. I've always been the type of person to constantly think about the future; whether it's about something as important as my career or something not as important like which set of pajamas I'm going to wear to bed. I've caught myself multiple times missing out on something due to zoning out and most of the time thinking about something that doesn't matter until later to come. I'll never forget the time I went to see pop and r&b; singer, Yuna, perform during my sophomore year of college. I remember I couldn't wait for her to perform my favorite song of hers. When she finally did I unintentionally started thinking about which classes I was going to take in the spring semester! As if that even mattered at the moment! I realized that I was missing the song and brought myself back to earth before it was over.

There have also been many times where I would lose some sleep because I would think about the future, and at times the past as well.

It has never been to the point of me not being able to sleep for so many nights in a row, but I know constantly thinking about the future or past, especially if there is stress added to it, could cause sleepless nights to occur. To me living in the moment is the way to live. Thinking about the future and preparing for it is not at all a bad thing. Even bringing up the past, as long as it is positive or it will be used for teaching is okay too! I believe that it's bad when thinking about the future and past stops you from enjoying what is happening at the moment. I am definitely going to try harder to be more in the present and to enjoy the moment myself.

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