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?
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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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You May Have Worn The Prom Dress With Him, But I Get To Wear The Wedding Dress

You had him in high school, but I get him for the rest of my life.
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High school seems like the best time of your life when you are in it. You think that all of your friends will be with you until the end, and that you will end up with whoever you are dating your senior year. For very few, that might just be the case. For all others, that is far from true.

You thought that you would marry your boyfriend and you thought that everything would work out how you had always imagined. I don't blame you though. He's great. You wanted everything with him, but you were just not right for him.

I wish I could say that I am sorry it didn't work out for you, but I can't. I can't because he is mine now, and I get to cherish him forever. You didn't do that right, and you were not meant to be together. You will find someone too, but I am happy that you were not the one for him.

Sometimes I have issues with jealousy, and I hate that you got all of the high school stuff with him. You got to go to games and support him. It kills me that I couldn't be there for him because I know I would have actually been there wholeheartedly. I would have done it out of love, not as a popularity appearance.

I hate that you got to go to all of the school dances with him. He got to see you all dressed up and probably told you how great you looked. I'm sure you did look great. Prom dresses were always fun to pick out and so colorful. It was exciting to match colors with your date. I am sure you had fun choosing his matching tux to your dress.

I find myself getting jealous, but then I stop. I am getting to match his tux with our wedding colors. I got to go dress shopping in a sea of white, and he doesn't get to know one detail about that dress yet. He will get to see me walk down the aisle and then every day forever. I get to love him forever.

I try to not get jealous of all of the things you got with him because it is all in the past. You had your time, and now I get the wedding. You got to dress up in high school, but I get to dress up for my wedding with him. He may have put a corsage on your wrist, but he will be putting the wedding ring on my finger.

Cover Image Credit: Jessy Scott

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To Whomever It May Concern; It's Time To Forgive Yourself

Personal growth is cultivated through successes and mistakes, beating yourself up over the latter is counterproductive to progress.

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We've reached that point in time again where it seems that the general population in its entirety has recommitted to improving themselves with the start of a new year. While it's refreshing to have a renewed determination to eat better, be kinder, or achieve the goals you had attempted at last year, the beginning of a new year can also prove to be a source of anxiety. As many sit down to put their goals on paper in hopes of making them more attainable, it's all too easy to be bombarded by all of the reasons that ones' ambitions are beyond what that person is capable of.

Memories of past short-comings and words of self-deprecation uttered in moments of perceived failure are compounded by a general fear of the unknown for what the future holds. In my own experience, I've come to understand that the limits we place on our capacity for achievement, happiness, and growth are the direct results of not forgiving ourselves. So many goals are set with the intent to receive some form of external validation to indicate that the world has forgiven our flaws and deemed us worthy, but if we can't forgive ourselves and see our own worth, then how can we possibly expect anyone else to?

In the safety and comfort of your own imagination where you are free to envision your best self, living the life you have always hoped for, the only person that can condemn those ideas for being unrealistic is you. When we allow that sardonic voice from the back of our minds to inhibit our dreams, we permit that voice to embed itself in our conscious thoughts and put trust in our inadequacies rather than our capabilities.

For those who have yet to forgive themselves of their own trespasses, failures, and mistakes; the next time you have the thought to better yourself or your life and find it being attacked by memories of deficiency, do not concede to those assailants with the belief that you are incapable of becoming and achieving anything you choose. Instead of willing away those thoughts that remind us of what we are trying to grow from, face them, face your old self with forgiveness, and decide how you're going to become someone better because of who you were.

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