Remember high school? I know, some of us just want to forget those days. But just remember it for a second.
You spend 4 (or 5, orrr sometimes 6) years of your life there, with teachers so-called preparing you for post-secondary school and the real world.
Then you finally graduate, and you’re under the impression that you are fully prepared to begin the next chapter of your life. So you say goodbye to your parents and your hometown friends, and you pack up your high school memories in an honest attempt at becoming a grown up.
But then you realize that there’s a lot you just don’t know how to do, and you find yourself putting your pride to the side and calling your parents (more than once).
So thank you high school, I’m so glad I learned how to write a 5 paragraph essay when my university professors refuse to accept that kind of mockery; I’m so glad I invested copious amounts of time and money to pass a math class that focused more on imaginary numbers and limits that don’t exist, than teaching students about how to find a bank account with a good interest rate. And don’t even get me started on Careers class – I don’t trust any online quiz that tells a girl with zero musical talent, that her #1 career choice should be a musician. Those 5 years of my life would have been much better spent, had I learned the following:
(Actual) Nutrition: I can honestly say that I’ve learned 95% of what I know about cooking from Pinterest. I wish I knew how to cook a steak or more importantly, how I can work more vegetables into my life without having to actually taste them. But instead I learned how to bake chocolate chip cookies… over and over again. And then the government wonders why childhood obesity has become such a thing.
Personal Finance: I got my first job in high school, and you know what I spent that money on? ….Me either, but I sure as hell didn’t save it. If students are expected to all of a sudden make the transition into the real world, shouldn’t they know how to manage their money ahead of time? Nothing good can come out of giving an 18 year old a $6,000 student loan when they don’t know about the deadly post-grad interest rate and other hidden costs involved.
Conflict Resolution: High school group projects – I remember them all too well. If something goes wrong, someone doesn’t pull their weight, you just tell the teacher and they get docked marks, right? Well guess what, the real world doesn’t care if one of your co-workers doesn’t work as hard as you… your boss just wants the project done, and you’re held accountable regardless if someone else screwed everything up or not. So instead of just pushing teamwork and group projects at you, it would be far more helpful for high school to teach you how to actually manage projects and teams like these – how to interact with your members, delegate tasks, work together, etc.
Stress Management: It’s evident that stress really takes a toll on our every day lives – it diminishes our mental health, literally takes years off of our lifespan, and has numerous physical effects as well. I’m not sure I’ve ever met someone who has claimed to never feel stressed before, so why aren’t we learning how to deal with it better? Yoga, bubble baths, buying a planner… smoking, drinking, stress eating – everyone deals with stress differently, but learning how to manage these feelings in a positive way would lead to a more content adulthood for many of us.
Practical Writing: Everything I know about writing a cover letter, resume, academic research paper, and pretty much every other assignment I’ve had to complete in university, I learned from the internet. Your high school English class is considered to be one of the most important courses you’ll take before graduation – so why do they spend so much of the time focused on studying Shakespeare? (And don’t let your teachers kid you – you won’t need to know that information, ever) I’m all for giving students a chance to read some of the finest literary works of the century, but why can’t this be balanced out by teaching students skills they’ll actually use?
So as much as I hate to say it, although you spent at least 4 years of your life publicly suffering through acne, puberty, your awkward first relationship, and all of those awful semi-formal dresses… you could’ve learned a lot more in those years than you actually did.