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What They Don’t Teach You in School

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03/10/2016

What They Don't Teach You in School photo

Last weekend, a high schooler I work with asked me when I graduated from college. I told her 2012.

"Wow! That was soooo long ago," she said, without a gleam of sarcasm.

Was it? As I processed that it has been almost four years since I was last a student -- in the formal sense at least -- it seemed hard to believe for a moment. My days of late nights in the library, marathons of student org meetings, and, of course, happy hours and frat parties, however, seem exceedingly far behind me.

Still, as a young professional, I find myself reflecting on college and school in general quite often. As I wrapped up my conversation with this student, I started to think about what I learned in college, both within and beyond the classroom.

This also led me to think of all of the things that I wish I had learned, but never learned in any level of school. There are many professional and life skills more beneficial in our daily lives than physics and calculus, which I think I managed to never take nonetheless, but that is beside the point.

The skills that 20-somethings need to know go beyond what is conveyed in textbooks. Although I am fairly confident this is something every Millennial who enjoys crafting prose has touched upon at some point, I am beyond confident that it's still all too relevant, which is why I present to you my list of top 10 things I wish were taught in school.

Disclaimer: Although I am fully capable of doing some of these things (Microsoft Office is my everything -- is that weird to say? Probably.), please know that if anyone asked me to do my taxes alone or change a tire, I would be more lost than Nemo.

1. How to do your taxes

2. How to change a tire

3. How to jump a car

4. How to make an effective budget

5. How to use Microsoft Office

6. How to effectively manage stress

7. How to unplug/disconnect from technology

8. How to understand insurance policies (yes -- all kinds, people need to know more)

9. How to invest your money

10. How to hang a picture without damaging the wall

I could probably go on for pages on things that I wish I would've learned in school, but I will leave you with this. Life skills are just as important as academic knowledge, and let's hope the next generation can collectively become more functioning adults. Until then, I am off to Google picture-hanging techniques or something like that.

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