23 Things High School Doesn't Teach But Needs To

23 Things High School Doesn't Teach But Needs To

Society is failing to prepare its students for adulthood.

My high school teachers constantly said that their job was to prepare us for the "real world." One teacher, in particular, balked at the cliche: "what is this now, then, some sort of pre-, fake world?"

But in a way he was right. You don't realize how easy you have it in high school until you're out on your own. As I enter the "real world" for the first time, I'm frequently reminded of all the real-life skills I was never taught in high school. I'm in no way prepared for the real world.

1. How to do taxes.

If you don't do your taxes, you will be arrested and serve jail time. But taxes were not even TOUCHED upon in my high school curriculum.

2. What taxes are.

I know that taxes are what pay for our roads and bridges and welfare and all that, but do I actually know the types of taxes we pay and where that money goes? Not a clue.

3. Pay bills.

Do I go online? Do I put cash in an envelope and mail it? Do I charge it to a credit card? Help!?

4. The difference between a debit and credit card.

I only know the difference because I asked my mother and she explained it to me.

5. How to get an apartment.

How much should I be paying in rent? How do I pay utility bills? How do security deposits work?

6. How to clean my apartment.

How often am I supposed to clean? What cleaning products should I use?

7. How to cook.

If left alone to fend for myself, I would eat mac and cheese until I starved to death. Like a lot of kids, I wasn't taught at home how to cook. I shouldn't have had to go to technical, culinary school like my boyfriend did to learn basic cooking skills.

8. How to grocery shop.

What do I buy? How to know what's too expensive? I'm a broke college student, and I don't know how to grocery shop on a budget!

9. How to get insurance.

Do I have to apply? What kind of insurance do I need, and how do I get it? It's illegal in some states, including my own, to drive a car without car insurance. Yet I was never taught how to secure it.

10. What insurance is.

I get that it covers if you get into a car accident or something. But which types are really necessary?

11. What a credit score is.

And how do I get one? Do I need one? How do I know what it is? HOW DOES IT WORK!?

12. How to have safe sex.

13. How to apply for money for college.

High schools like to assume that most of us will go straight to college after graduation. Yet how to apply for scholarships, and where to find them, were never covered in high school, nor was how to fill out the FAFSA, which is required for virtually every college.

14. How to party safely in college.

Let's face it, nearly everyone goes to at least one college party their first semester. So why not teach girls to always open their own drinks, not to drink from punch bowls, and never to leave their drink unattended?

15. General safety tips.

We live in a world of kidnapping, murder, and rape. Young women especially need to be taught how to protect themselves out there in the great, big world. For example, to avoid walking to her car alone, especially at night, to carry her key in her hand in case she is attacked, and to lock the car and drive away as soon as she gets in her car.

16. How to prepare for parenthood.

I'm not saying high school students are preparing to become parents anytime soon, although some are. Not everyone has caring parents who will help them when and if they choose to have children. High school kids should at least be taught the expenses and sacrifices involved with having children, so that they are at least somewhat prepared.

17. How to plan for retirement.

Will this generation ever retire? Probably not. But we should still know when we are supposed to start saving, and how much to save each year.

18. How to pay off student loans.

Where do I get this money, and where do I send it? How much is my interest rate?

19. How to buy a car.

What is a lease? What is a car payment?

20. How to register a car.

Where do I get license plates?

21. How to care for a car.

How do I change the oil? How often should I be changing the oil? How do I change a tire? What should I do if I get a flat tire? What are emissions, and how do I do them?

22. How to get a mortgage.

23. What a mortgage is.

So good luck with the rest of your life!
Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything

I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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11 Dorm Essentials You'll Also NEED For Your Apartment Checklist

10. Whiteboard


The time has come for many college students to make their grand transition to a first apartment/house. However, thanks to a very tight budget, getting all those cool and new Pinterest-worthy decor is probably nearly impossible without breaking the bank. Who has the money for that when college loans are looming over every student's head? Here are 11 things you can totally take with you from your old dorm that will cross out some items on your apartment checklist:

1. Tapestry


If you had a tapestry anywhere in your dorm, take it with you! Hang it above a bed, couch, or use it as a rug! Cut it up, braid it, Pinterest it, and you're good to go.

2. Broom


Brooms aren't too expensive but why not save money where you can? Get some cute printed tape at a craft store and wrap it around the handle to make something that makes cleaning a little more fun.

3. Rubbermaid Containers


What once held school supplies can now hold wrapping paper, extra clothes, cleaning supplies... The options are endless.

4. Wall Art


If you have some you like, why not continue their legacy in your new space? Keep the color scheme going so you don't have to buy completely new stuff.

5. Shower Curtains


Your shower is bound to be bigger than the one you had in your dorm (thank God). To make your new bathroom look a little fancier, get a second shower curtain of the same pattern and have them open in the middle.

6. Shelves


Instead of using these for printers, books, etc, you can now put them up in your closet or bathroom and use them for shoes, towels, or whatever else.

7. Plants/Succulents


Instead of getting rid of them, keep your green thumb, get some new pots, and use them as coffee table/end table decor! Not only are they cute, but bring in a little color and overall make things a little brighter.

8. Books and Bookends


If you can't return or sell some of your old school books, consider keeping them and putting them in a bookshelf. They will make it look fuller, not to mention make you look more cultured. Then, keep your eyes peeled for some adorable bookends - cultured AND cute.

9. School Spirit Shirts


If you never plan on wearing your college spirit shirts ever again but DON'T want to get rid of them (sentimental value - I get it), send them into Project Repat that turns them into a quilt. Now you'll have something to remember your old college days without them taking up a ton of space with clutter.

10. Whiteboard


Don't ditch your whiteboard just yet! Instead of deadlines and assignments, use it to write down a shopping list, important phone numbers, or a new and inspiring quote every week.

11. Command Hooks


The sacred item that every college student NEEDS to have. There are awesome ways to reuse your command hooks: holding keys, dishtowels, jewelry, and so much more! You can even paint them to make them pop.

As you can see, there are so many amazing ways to transform your college dorm essentials into adorable must-haves that will transfer over to your next big move. Consider your apartment checklist completed!

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