High school is said to be the “best years of your life” but mine for sure was not anywhere close to this. High school is said to be where you form your best friendships, but barely any of the people I talked to in high school talk to me today. Life goes on and honestly, high school ends up being a time of your life that just was there. Even though my high school years were torture, I learned so much and took away a lot of positives from my negative experiences.
Here are 8 things that high school taught me…
- To focus on the important things, which were my grades. Needless to say, I underwent a ton of high school drama. I didn’t want to waste time dealing with drama when the only thing that was going to affect me in the long run were my grades. Your friends and social class in high school don’t at all play a factor when you are applying to colleges. No type of drama or bullying is worth risking your future education for.
- To get involved. In my case, I didn’t really realize how important being involved in other groups were until my senior year. All my friends were talking about the clubs they were involved in and because of their involvement, they had more to write on college applications, experiences to write about for college essays and so on. Getting involved in other groups or organizations can only benefit you in the future.
- Not to let anyone hold you back from what you want to do. After some high school drama, I was told to not be involved in the groups I was in because my “friends” were in them and it could cause more drama again. I listened, again, being involved I later realized was so so so important for my future. I decided after this that I would never agin let someone dictate to me what I can and cannot do in my life, after all, it is exactly that, mine.
- The importance of meeting new people. By new people, I mean not just being friends with your four best friends like I did for my entire (middle and) high school careers. You should go out and make other friends who aren’t exactly friends with your other friends. Having a diverse group of friends is great because every has different hobbies or opinions. While your close friends may not have all the same interests as you, people you meet in other groups might.
- How to plan ahead of time and be prepared. In high school, I was a part of a couple of different clubs in and out of school. With this I also managed working after school babysitting everyday and finding time somewhere in the middle to complete all my homework. Now being a college student, learning how to manage my time effectively in high school has helped me so much to manage my involvement, work, homework and not to mention, laundry, eating schedule and sleeping patterns in college.
- Rumors and drama are unavoidable and happen at any age throughout life. For whatever reason, people LOVE drama. They all say it ends after high school, and while these are probably the worst years for drama, it is really never ending. With that being said, it’s pretty important that you come to the realization that drama is literally unavoidable. You can not make everyone happy. And yes, it’ll be unavoidable for the rest of our lives.
- Procrastination is dangerous. I like to say that procrastination is my talent. Everyone procrastinates the things that they have to do. But eventually, you will have to learn that putting everything off until the last minute is dangerous. And by dangerous I mean stressful.
- How to be myself and how to be happy with who I am. The biggest thing that I took away from my high school years was that not everyone is going to want to be your friend. Not everyone is going to treat you nicely or get along with you. You have to kind of take this with a grain of salt. As long as YOU love yourself and who you are, then you should be happy with who you are. Don’t depend on other people’s opinions of you to be happy with the person that you are.
In the beginning of this blog I mentioned that my high school years weren’t particularly great. I hope that for the rest of you, you didn’t have any similar situations and experiences to the ones that I had. With that being said, despite having difficult high school years, I wasn’t at all stopped from learning some very valuable lessons and finding out who the person I wanted to be was probably one of the most important.
Also don’t forget to check out last week’s blog 15 things they should teach in high school (but don’t)
High school years are some of the most important years of your life. What you do in high school determines what your future will be like. If you intend on attending a prestigious college, you’re going to have to work hard and receive grades that stand out. Becoming involved in high school is important to colleges because they want a group of students who is diverse in what they do.
However, high school doesn’t just prepare you for college. It should be preparing you for becoming an adult. Once you graduate high school, you are seen as an adult in the eyes of society. Sure high school gives you the knowledge for college courses and prepares you for the work load of homework. But there are many things that high school doesn’t prepare you for before you graduate that you should really know how to do.
Here is a list of things that they should teach you in high school, but they don’t.
- How to cook-
- Going into college I had the thought that I would try to make my own meals as much as I could. But I quickly realized that the only foods on the menu were ramen noodles, pasta and sauce, toast, cookies and microwave meals. My middle and high school offered cooking classes that were mandatory for each grade level, however they stopped offering these courses after my first year in middle school. I always thought those classes would be fun but I never realized how important they could be and are when you are on your own.
- How to balance a check book
- Now this is something that for sure should be taught in high school. Instead of learning this in a class, my mother had to teach me how to balance a check book. Sure it’s only an hour or so lesson but a class should be offered to high schoolers that teaches them responsibility when it comes to managing money.
- How to apply for loans
- After you graduate high school, applying for loans for college is one of he first thing you’ll be doing. It will probably be the first adult like thing you’ve ever done in your life. Of course, our generation is also one that is filled with first generation college students which isn’t helpful because no one knows exactly how to apply for loans, what the differences are, or which loans are the best.
- How and when to start a retirement fund
- Not that this is super important at a younger age, but as you get older you are going to want to start planning a retirement fund. My mom told me that at the age of 21 you should start putting away $100 a month towards retirement and by the time you are there you’ll have a million dollars saved.
- How and when to pay off college loans
- Loans have interest. Interest is a killer when you are trying to pay off your loans. I wish that not only did high school teach me about applying for loans, but also how to pay them off in a shorter amount of time. Or at least some tricks or tips on not gaining so much interest over the years.
- How to handle money and taxes
- This kind of goes with everything I’ve been saying with loans and retirement funds but, high school should teach you how to budget your money. How much you should spend and how much you should save. Also, they should teach you about taxes and what exactly you get back in them at the end of the year. I just started working my first real job and have no clue what the taxes being taken out of my pay check are for.
- In high school, I took a variety of history classes. But now that I am in college, I am required to take a politic class. This class was completely overwhelming for me. The professor would use examples that I have no clue the meaning of. We never really spent too much time on politics which really stressed me out when taking this class, so much so that I withdrew from it.
- How to change a tire
- Sure it comes with some type of instruction in the car manual, however, changing a tire is just one of those things that you should know hoe to do before it happens. Learning how to change a tire on the side of the highway isn’t the best time to figure it out for yourself.
- Simple home repairs
- How to unclog a toilet, how to fix a leaky faucet, something simple like this could be really useful when you own your first home. Homes come with some issues no matter what, painting, sanding, installing a shelf, and so on. And sure these are simple instructions for the most part, but it surely isn’t always common sense.
- How to establish good credit
- Honestly, I still don’t understand what credit is. I don’t know how to establish credit. I don’t, I just don’t know a single thing about credit.
- Finding a job
- I recently got my first real job, after taking on about ten interviews and finally getting hired, finding a job was more difficult than I had thought it would be. I always felt good after the interview, only to hear I didn’t get the job.
- How to be interviewed for a job
- Interviews always made me really nervous. You aren’t sure what questions they are going to ask you. You can’t prepare your answers in advanced. Interviewing isn’t for everyone that’s for sure. Learning how to handle an interview in high school would have helped me so much with my interviews instead of learning after a series of failures.
- Self defense
- Here is something that my high school actually offered me. Before graduation, we took a class for self defense, it was just the ladies who were offered this course since ladies are more likely to run into a situation where they have to defend themselves. However, it was just a two hour quick lesson that I think would have helped so much more had they done the class over a period of time to learn more defense mechanisms.
- CPR certification or basic first aid
- Many jobs look for people who are CPR certified and know some type of first aid. Usually a job will train you in this, but not all jobs require it. It gives you something to put on your resume that employers are looking for. I am not CPR certified or know any type of basic first aid for my job. I recently had someone pass out unconscious and had absolutely no clue what to do other than inform my supervisor to get help. It was terrifying not knowing how to help.
- Time management
- For the most part, this is something I probably learned the most of on this list in high school. You do have to manage your time well and get assignments in on time as they are due. However, its different when you are on your own in college and you have to manage work, school, campus involvement, class, eating, laundry, etc etc all by yourself.