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

Popular Right Now

To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Most Important Things I've Learned From Taking Philosophy

The biggest takeaways that I have collected from my time in my Philosophy class.


When registering for classes for Fall 2018, I found myself drawn to Philosophy 126: Mind, Brain, Self & Evolution. I figured the class would give me the opportunity to perform a lot of introspection during my first semester at college while also helping me fulfill some General Education requirements, and I couldn't have been more right. I've never had the pleasure of taking a class with such a loose agenda and the freedom to discuss every aspect of the information we are learning. That said, there have been a few major takeaways from this class.

First is the idea that you are not the sum of your parts, but the sum of your parts and the parts of everyone around you. Most people have heard the overused quote "It takes a village to raise a child," but this idea couldn't be more than true. We subconsciously pull so many of our habits, preferences, etc. from the people around us that we ultimately grow to become a community within ourselves, and there is something truly beautiful about that. It takes a village to raise a child to become a village.

Second, I've learned how important it is to understand that if some big philosophical or psychological or physical problem has not been solved yet, there is rarely going to be one solution to it. Millions of years of group thought have placed us in the intellectual shoes we are in, and yet we still question every day what our "purpose" is. There are thousands of theories and possible answers to this question, but who's to say that they aren't all correct? Some aspects of life are just too subjective to be answered objectively.

Lastly is the separation between gaining knowledge and experiential learning. Both are arguably equal in their significance, but we don't truly think about how immensely different the two concepts are until we are forced to. In philosophy, there is a theory centered around this experimental design called "Mary's Room." The story is that a woman named Mary has lived in a black and white room her whole life but has grown up learning everything about color and the human reaction to it (biologically, psychologically, etc.).

Once the door to her room is opened and she sees the color red for the first time, she has just learned something new despite already knowing everything there is to know about the concept of color. Experience is the most important part of the human condition and should not be disregarded when it comes to learning.

There are so many aspects of our existence that we never consider on a daily basis simply because we don't have to. There is something unique about people who are in touch with themselves spiritually: they have a greater understanding not just of who they are, but of who they are in relation to the rest of the world. In a fast-paced, Type A world it is especially easy to lose sight of the importance of experiencing humanity, and we often take this beautiful gift for granted.

Related Content

Facebook Comments