We learn a lot throughout our four years of high school. I mean, it’s been seven years since I graduated high school (three since I’ve graduated college) and I STILL have not used the Pythagorean Theorem.
But there are a ton of things I, and plenty of other young adults, should have learned but didn’t such as:
1. Knitting and sewing.
Apparently this was a thing back in the day. My mom isn’t into knitting, but if you have a button that falls off or a hole that needs to be fixed, she can do it (by hand or by sewing machine). We didn’t have classes that taught us these things, but it sure would have been helpful if we did!
2. How to write a check/balance a checkbook.
Let’s be honest: As teenagers, we don’t really realize how much money we will spend as adults. I mean, those bills aren’t going to pay themselves! I’m 26 years old and I can honestly say I’ve never written a check before (unless a cashier’s check counts). Once again, an important lesson that would benefit us in the long run, but please continue telling me about PEMDAS (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, in case you needed a refresher).
3. How to purchase a house.
This one may not apply to you until after college, but coming from someone currently in the process of buying a house, the sooner you educate yourself, the better. THERE. IS. SO. MUCH. PAPERWORK. TO. SIGN. Do you know what a mortgage is? Can you even afford a house right now? Do you have enough money for appliances/bills? These are the things you’ll need to think about and a lesson on the ins and outs of buying a house would take a little bit of stress off your shoulders.
4. Basic cooking skills (and I’m not talking Ramen noodles).
Back when my parents were in school, they actually had cooking classes/clubs, basically like a home economics class that taught you these kinds of skills. As a teenager, the majority of the food I knew how to cook was breakfast food, but over the years my mom has helped me expand my menu to things like spaghetti, hamburger helper, and banana pudding, just to name a few.
5. Interview/public speaking skills.
I didn’t really learn this skill until my freshman year of college, but I’ll tell you this: I was terrified. The idea of talking in front of a room full of people or going into an interview made me so nervous. I probably wouldn’t have been as nervous had I taken a course preparing me for potential interviews or public speaking presentations. You’ll need these kind of skills in order to get a job.
6. How to buy your first car (with your own money).
Look back at Number 3 if you need to. There’s not as much paperwork, but you’ll still have to fork over some money and also find the car that is right for you. Can you afford it? New car or used? Will you be able to maintain it?
7. How to take care of a child.
Teenagers today don’t realize how expensive it is to raise a child. I don’t have children, but it’s pretty common sense that it’s not cheap. There’s diapers, wipes, clothes, daycare, hospital bills, etc. to think about. The only lesson I remember that can relate to this is when our class had to raise a 5 pound bag of sugar for a week and were graded on its condition at the end of the week, as if it were a real child.
8. How to file taxes.
I’m still not 100 percent sure how to file my own taxes, but I do set up the appointment myself and let the experts do their job. All teenagers should know how to do this because you have to do it every year once you’re a working adult.
9. Basic car maintenance.
Drivers education can only teach you so much. Do you know how to change a flat tire? Do you know where the dipstick is under the hood of your car? What about those random lights that start blinking? If you’re lucky enough to have a family member who has experience working with cars, they can also help you save tons of money by teaching you these simple things.
10. Creating and sticking with a budget.
As someone buying their first house, I’ll definitely be using a budget, since I’ll have more bills coming in. I don’t recall a class where I learned how to budget for groceries and bills, but it would have been nice!