Useless Things We Learned In School, And Useful Things We Didn't
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Useless Things We Learned In School, And Useful Things We Didn't

The things I learned that I'll probably never use, and the ones I never learned that I will always need

Useless Things We Learned In School, And Useful Things We Didn't

From kindergarten to senior year of high school, we spend somewhere around 2,340 days learning all sorts of information – some of which is more useful than others. But, as we get older, we realize there are also some gaping holes in our educational system.

Things I learned that are mostly useless:

Scarf juggling

A unit in P.E. that wasn’t exactly physical, wasn’t exactly educational, and wasn’t exactly fun. It happened almost every year all the way through seventh grade, and still, the only interest I have in silk scarves is wearing them around my neck.

Specific dates in history

There are a few that are important, but most of them are holidays or appear on the Google logo. Others we can google.­

The recorder

Although I did turn into a band nerd, I cannot think of any good reason for the entirety of the fourth grade to have access to one of the most annoying instruments known to man.

Long division

And most other longhand difficult math. Teachers were always talking about something like needing it for grocery shopping. I always said I’d bring a calculator if I needed it, and apparently Steve Jobs agreed longhand math was stupid because my iPhone has a handy little calculator.


Writing it, and analyzing it. What I’ve learned is that learning to write poetry is near impossible – at least not good poetry. And, analyzing it is a waste of time.


The last time I used this skill (aside from my signature) was to write the certifying statement on the SAT. The time before that was probably elementary school/early middle school. I distinctly remember being told while learning cursive that I would need it to write all my essays in high school. Obviously, my teacher was a big fat liar.

Almost anything involving the periodic table

Even for people who want to be chemists. You can’t tell me that once you’re a professional, you’re suddenly no longer allowed to look at the table.

The life cycle of random things like flies and salmon

Again, I can google this. If I ever really wanted to know - which I don’t.

How to make a piñata

In Spanish 1, I was forced to hand-make a piñata from start to finish. It took hours upon hours, and had zero value to my education, whatsoever. It also cost more money than buying one would.

The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell

Nobody cares. Maybe biologists. Moving on.

How to diagram sentences

This was a two-week unit in my English class, and I haven’t used it since.

The primary colors

“The primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. All other colors are made from these three colors.” This is a LIE. There’s a reason printer ink comes in cyan, magenta and yellow – it’s because these are actually the primary colors.

Most things about Christopher Columbus

Yes, he did sail the ocean blue in 1492. But, he didn’t discover America. He wasn’t a nice man. But, he did bring slavery, disease, and genocide. I didn’t learn about this in elementary school, however.

Geometric proofs

Whilst learning geometric proofs, I said to myself and anyone else listening, “These are stupid, I don’t understand them, and I will never use them after this class.” I wasn’t wrong.

What I never learned that I probably should have:

How to do taxes

And anything else tax-related. What even are taxes? How do I pay them? What are they for? What happens if I don’t pay them? The questions go on and on.

How to bake a pie

I don’t even like pie that much, but I don’t know how to bake one, and it seems like I should.

How to do laundry

While it’s a simple and straightforward task, coming to college made me realize how many people don’t know how to do laundry – or at least, not how to do it right.

How to de-bone a chicken

Or turkey, or duck, or anything. But, it looks gross and difficult, and someday, I’m going to have to do it, and I won’t know how, and it’s terrifying.

What your social security number does

Aside from eventually collecting social security … right?

Most of the presidents

I know the ones at the beginning, and the ones from the time I’ve been alive and slightly prior to that, as well as those who had major roles during times of war and hardship … But, who was Benjamin Harrison? Millard Fillmore? John Tyler?

The alcoholic content of beverages and what they mean

As well as which drinks will make you the most hungover and why, am I right?

How to use an encyclopedia

It wasn’t useless at the time, but the Internet has pretty much made encyclopedias insignificant.

How to fold a fitted sheet

I was lucky enough to grow up with a magical mom who knew how, but is there any way for me to do this by myself when I’m doing laundry at 1:37 a.m.?

How to tie a tie

Both men and women should know how to do this – neckties and bow ties both.

Basic car maintenance

How to change a tire. How to change the oil. How to manually check tire pressure. How to refill wiper fluid.

All about stocks

What are stocks? Who can buy them? How do I buy them? Which ones should I buy? How do I know it’s a good deal? What are points? Someone please help me.

How to get the best deals at the grocery store

Another area in which I am lucky to have a magical mom who was kind enough to teach me about unit prices – price per 100, per ounce, etc. But, it seems a lot of people don’t know the importance and magic of these little prices that tell you what the best deals are.

How to bring up the subject of paying you back to someone who owes you money

Especially the art of doing it without sounding like a total you-know-what.

How to apply for a loan

You do this at a bank when you need money for something. This is the extent of my knowledge about loans.

How to spot a douchebag

Is this guy just being nice because he wants in my pants? Is this girl just trying to get a free meal out of me? Is he genuinely nice or incredibly charming? Does he/she have a lot of friends of the opposite sex, or a lot of friends of the opposite sex?

What a credit score is and how to get a good one

This is a big one since you sort of need credit/a credit score in order to buy a house or car or get a loan, etc., as previously mentioned.

Practical self-defense

I know we all had those assemblies about stranger danger, but can someone please teach me some maneuvers to do if someone attacks me from behind?

How to stop an overflowing toilet

Using a plunger is pretty straightforward, but what happens when the toilet won’t stop running? There’s usually a handy little knob that you turn at the base of the toilet, but most people I’ve encountered don’t know this.

Things that are not OK to post on social media

I feel like there isn’t enough emphasis on the fact that anything you post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other platform is public. Even if the account is private, anyone can see it. Future employers can see it. The police can use it as evidence. There are some things you shouldn’t post.

All about media bias

The news brings us fair and unbiased information with zero twist, right? Wrong. All platforms have bias, and information you receive is skewed in some fashion. Don’t assume that everything you hear is 100 percent true, or isn’t being delivered in a way that conveys a message.

World history as it relates to modern day

I know all about the allies and the axis powers – we all do. But, most people can’t explain how this relates to current international relations and treaties.

The definition of a date

It seems like nowadays, it’s near impossible to figure out what is a date, and what isn’t. What even is a date? Are you just “hanging out?” Is it a date? Does he/she even like you?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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