7 Lessons That School Should Have Taught You

Going to school taught us many things – such as how many classes we can skip without failing them, how we can do our homework with the least effort possible and what exactly bullying felt like. Sure, biology, physics, maths and language classes did matter. They taught us the basics and then we were sent off, apparently ready to take on ‘real’ life.

However, weren’t ready – we hadn’t been prepared at all. It took several face plants to finally comprehend what life is all about and then some more bloody noses in order to function properly. Seriously, education system, you could have done a bit more for us – you could have told us about the lessons in life that actually matter. Here are a few additional topics that should get covered in school.


1. Speed reading.

Obviously, you cannot expect any miracles here. There are many speed reading apps promising that you can double your reading speed by using their methods. However, our teachers would have done some good if they had taught us how to read properly. It is not only the content that matters, but also the purpose of reading this particular book. This way, you know whether you need to read everything or can only scan for certain keywords.

The average person will read 200-400 words per minute. While certain websites claim that it is possible to read up to 1,000 words per minute, it is more likely that the human eye and mind can process up to 500-600 words per minute. That’d have helped at college. A lot, actually – but never mind.


2. Relationships.

Yes, we could have used some advice – like how to communicate efficiently, for example. It would have been nice to learn about ‘I-statements’ before we had to find out the hard way ourselves. Social bonds are an essential part of human existence, so it’s kind of hard to understand why awkward teenagers have to learn from other equally clueless teenagers.

Social studies courses sure are a great curriculum improvement, but what we really need are courses on communication which also touch upon the topic of how to communicate in any form of human relationship.


3. Finances.

It’s the end of the month and you’ve been living on toast with butter for the past two and a half weeks? You’re not the only one – many students finish school without knowing how to budget responsibly.

A good old financing lesson (including taxes, duh!) would have helped. Also, when did school expect us to find out about retirement plans, interest rates and the fact that we should start saving right at the age of 18 if we wanted to afford healthcare one day?

4. Networking.

School taught us that we will reach our goals if we’re driven, motivated and hard-working. In real life, we had to learn that we can work our freaking asses off without the boss even knowing our names.

You can be diligent AF, if you don’t hang out with the right people, you’re not going to get your promotion. You need to shake the right hands, learn how to own that small talk and be present at all times. How come we’ve not been taught how to network at all?


5. Self-awareness.

Inherently, self-awareness is “having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions.” This way, you are not only aware of what’s going on with you, but it is also more likely that you can empathize with others.

Even though it appears as if this would be a hard thing to teach, it could at least be included in social studies classes. If you’re taught to be aware of your own thoughts, you would automatically focus more precisely on what’s actually going on in your head. Self-awareness is of great significance for the course of human life, as it enables us to change our feelings, thoughts and directions in life. To put it simply, it allows us to finally be in charge of what we’re doing.


6. Healthy skepticism.

No, Kim Kardashian’s butt isn’t fake… or is it? A certain level of skepticism does go a long way in life. It matters because you don’t just want to be one of the sheep following the herd. We had to learn the hard way that not everything we want to believe is real and that our very own memories can be highly unreliable.

In fact, it is uncertainty that makes the human mind thrive, wanting to acquire more knowledge. That’s why it’s important to sometimes break away from the rigid curriculum and simply teach students how to ask the important questions in life.

7. Mental health.

Most importantly, it is not only physical health that matters. If people are physically healthy, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re happily enjoying life. The education system has to consider including mental health into their curriculum. This way, students can learn early enough how to deal with their problems without feeling ashamed.

By approaching the topic more openly, mental health could become a less stigmatized problem. In 2014, 43.6 million Americans suffered from some form of mental illness, making it obvious that this problem cannot be called marginal at all.