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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Humanities Are Just As Important As STEM

Humanities matter.

Growing up in the Bay Area in addition to being the daughter of Indian immigrants, I understand the effect that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) has on us. I’m born and raised in the Silicon Valley, home of so many tech companies and where girls are heavily encouraged to get involved with STEM.

"It’s supposed to make a lot of money," they say. I understand that while money is a very crucial factor in being successful, we often forget that there are so many majors and jobs for non-STEM majors out there. In the Indian community, we’re often asked, “So what type of engineering are you majoring in?” as if we’re not allowed to do anything else.

God forbid we choose to even major in business. I’ve heard comments such as, “What kind of business can you even learn in undergrad? It’s useless!”

I’ll admit, I’ve heard comments like that from my parents as well. They always question why I take humanities classes or put in so much effort and work into them. They expect that these classes are an easy A and don’t require as much work as my technical classes for my major, computer science.

This is the complete opposite. Every class is difficult in its own way and by being a STEM major, it can even make humanities classes harder for me as they are not my forte.

Humanities matter.

They help us build skills such as critical reading, writing, and communication, which are important in ANY field we choose to enter. They teach us critical thinking and reasoning and help us become informed citizens. They encourage us to think creatively and develop genuine connections with those around us.

While STEM classes definitely teach us how to think critically, they definitely do not teach us how to develop connections and communication skills with those around us, or at least not to the extent that humanities classes do. It is vital that we have both in our lives and we cannot dismiss humanities as less trivial than STEM, no matter what the salary might be when exiting college.

I am a political science minor, and even though it has the word “science” in it, it is definitely not considered a STEM class. Political science has taught me so much and while people always seem to be confused why I’m studying two completely different fields, political science and computer science together have given me the ability to advance my education.

Political science has informed me so much about what is happening around us. It is imperative that we know what is going on in our lives.

We can’t be sitting on our computers, just coding all day. We need a balance of both. Analyzing court cases and briefs, as well as hypothetical cases, is sort of like debugging. You think you got your code right, but in fact, there probably is a mistake and an alternate solution to it. You have to look at it over and over again, stare at it until you fix it. I love how political science and computer science are interconnected even though they seem like they are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Humanities matter. Just as much as STEM. I cannot stress that enough.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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The Series Of Emotions You Feel During Finals Week, Explained In Detail By 'Jersey Shore'

An accurate representation of typical college students feelings during finals week.

In honor of the legendary return of "Jersey Shore" and the fast approach of death week (AKA finals week), here is an accurate representation of the 9 of emotions every college student feels while prepping for exams. And for all of those who are still in the depression of missing DJ Pauly D being on campus… this one’s for you.

Emotion # 1: Procrastination

“Let’s get wastey-pants” - Snooki

Emotion # 2: Acceptance to start studying

“Hell has to be just like this.” - Vinny

Emotion #3: Struggling to understand the material

“I mean I know I’m not the brightest crayon in the box, but this isn’t rocket science." - Deena

Emotion # 4: Getting distracted and staring off into space thinking deeply about something totally unrelated to the subject your studying for

“I’m like, a pretty deep dude.” - The Situation

Emotion #5: Debating dropping out of college

“People should go to school at a bar.” - Deena

Emotion #6: Finally understanding the material

“Yeahhhh buddy” - Pauly D

Emotion #7: Realizing you were lying to yourself & don't understand it at all

"One step forward, two steps back." - Ronnie

Emotion #8: Nervousness to take the test

“I’m gonna turd in my pants” - Snooki

Emotion #9: Acceptance of potential failure

“Let’s do it!” - The Situation

The aftermath…

“I’m sorry I punched you in the face” - Sammi

... Also your exam

Cover Image Credit: toofab / YouTube

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