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.
4. The difference between a debit and credit card.
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.
7. How to cook.
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.
10. What insurance is.
11. What a credit score is.
12. How to have safe sex.
13. How to apply for money for 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!