At some point in our lives we all wonder about some “Things I Wish I Learned in School.” After high school, it quickly becomes obvious that there are many things the education system simply did not prepare us for in life.
Sure, it’s important to know the basics of math, science and reading, but there are so many real life situations that we need to know how to handle. Things like how to buy a car, manage your finances, and navigate social situations are all just as important as knowing how to solve a complex math problem.
While I’m certain some of these topics were slightly covered in school, the truth is that I paid little attention at the time. Some people may also argue that it’s not the school’s job to teach things that should be taught at home, but still, I’ve determined that these lessons are among the most important ones that would have made life easier if they had been taught in school.
Whether you are in high school now or a post-college grad, these lessons will take you further in life than the basic core academic skills ever will.
9 Things I Wish I Learned in School:
Waiting around for something to happen is far less effective than taking matters into your own hands. When dealing with a situation, try to look at every possible scenario so you can cover your bases.
In life, be the first to take action so that you do not have to waste time dealing with the aftermath of procrastination or an unresolved issue.
2. Learn to Accept Mistakes
If you haven’t made a mistake lately, then you are not taking risks. While you may have spent your early years coddled, safe risk-taking is the only way to grow as a person. Think back to those years when you were learning to ride a bike. Naturally, you fell and had to get back up numerous times.
Apply this same strategy to your life and forgive yourself those little mistakes you make along the way. As long as you learn from them and move forward, you are on the right track.
3. Know How (and When) to Say No
In school, time management was probably covered. Yet, academic life requires you to accept assignments without question as they come, and get them done. Real life, however, will leave you swamped and stressed out if you accept every request for help that comes your way.
Learn how to respectfully decline a request when your workload is already overflowing, or at least ask for an extended deadline. Include this in your list of “Things I Wish I Learned in School” and work on it.
4. Perform Basic Auto Maintenance
Unless you took auto shop, changing a tire, checking your oil and topping off your coolant are all foreign concepts. Yet, knowing these basic skills can save you money and keep you from being stranded. Ask a mechanical friend to cover basic auto maintenance with your current vehicle. While you may still take your car to the shop for repairs, knowing you could handle a situation on the road will give you confidence.
5. The Pareto Principle
This basic rule sounds fancy, but it really comes down to the idea that 80 percent of the results you get in life comes from 20 percent of your efforts. This means that you need to look at your daily routine through a critical lens, and cut out any activities that hold zero value.
6. Eat Healthy on a Budget
In college you may have subsisted on fast food dollar menu items and frozen pizza, but this type of diet will quickly catch up to you in your 30s. Living on a budget does not mean that you have to sacrifice your health. Grow a garden, visit a Farmer’s Market, and shop the seasonal produce sales to fill your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables instead of processed dinners. This is one of the most important points in our “Things I Wish I Learned in School” which we often overlook.
7. How to Intervene the Right Way
Sadly, bullies still exist even outside of the high school doors. Whether you notice a rude customer berating a server or a case of cyber bullying, it is important to know how to speak up. When you do so, keep the peace by avoiding further insults, and instead just speak the truth. That’s usually all it takes to stop a bully in their tracks.
8. Change Your Attitude to Alter Your Reality
Setting goals was a lesson that you probably learned in school, but your teachers should have taken it one step further. In addition to setting goals, believing that what you want is yours makes a huge difference in the outcome. Focusing on a positive attitude actually changes your reality by redirecting your thoughts toward achieving your goals.
9. How to Practice Self-Care
Your high school coach may have told you to “shake it off” after a loss, yet this approach does not always work in life. Stressful events, such as losing a job or loved one, can add up if you do not know how to take care of yourself. Work out, eat right, and make sure you get adequate sleep during times of hardship. If necessary, seek help to get through a challenging time so that you will be better able to get back on your feet again.
What’s on your list of “Things I Wish I Learned in School” that you want to learn now?