School plays a pivotal role in most of our lives. After all, we spend nearly fourteen years of our lives in school learning and preparing for the ‘big bad world’. Assuming an eighty-year average life span, we spend more than 17% of our life going to school. We enter as toddlers and exit as young adults. But were we actually learning? Did school really prepare us for what was to come after those blissful school years?
Here’s a list of 5 things I wish I was taught in school:
How money works
When I first started living independently, I had so many unanswered financial questions- How do I budget? How do I save? Is investing important? What is compound interest? Do I really need insurance?
The fundamental understanding of money and how it works is a must for sustenance. I am not sure how much of the economics and accounting that were taught in school are directly applicable in real life. But there are so many aspects of money that would have been useful had we been taught those in school to be more efficient with our personal finances.
Nobody ever told me that deciding and cooking three meals per day was this challenging! We are so deeply focussed on our financial sufficiency that we forget being self-sufficient from other standpoints of our existence. Cooking is one major life skill that schools take for granted. Teaching the basic skill of cooking, the importance of nutrition, and most importantly, meal prepping. Meal prepping is something that I learned in my mid-twenties. Planning meals in advance saves time, avoid wastage, allows proportion control, and maintains the nutrition value of the meals.
Learning how to learn
We were expected to learn in school- learn formulas, learn the periodic table, learn the rules. But no one really taught us how to learn- Should I mug it up? Should I write it down? Should I make a song out of it? How do I learn!
Learning how to learn is a skill in itself which schools completely neglect. Mastering this one skill alone will open up so many opportunities. Schools must teach the psychology behind learning and an effective process of learning.
How to prepare for interviews
The first challenge that we face as soon as we graduate school is an interview – an interview for a college or an interview for a job. Preparing for an interview is another life skill that schools neglect. How do you approach questions? How do you research about the job or university? How to present yourself? It is funny how schools tell us how important interviews are but never prepare us to successfully appear for one.
One thing that I have noticed people fear more than even death is public speaking. What if in the twelve to fourteen years of our life that we spend in school, we could overcome this fear? There are multiple instances in life where you need to indulge in uncomfortable conversations and if we were able to master the art of public speaking, we could present ourselves in front of a roomful of strangers, articulate our opinions and put our point across confidently.