We’re all trying our best to adult here. You graduate from highschool, go out into the world, live on your own (or with a roommate who is just as clueless as you are) and have to face the fact that you can’t really use y=mx+b to change your tire, pay your taxes, or rent an apartment.
In fact, you can’t really use y=mx+b for anything to function daily. You sit there and wonder why you ever stressed in calculus class, and why you were so upset you got a C. They told you you would need this to pass and graduate, and that it was super important for you to understand these graphs and functions. They lied to you. They didn’t tell you that you would probably never have to see any of these equations ever again or that after you graduate, knowing any of these functions would not help you get a job or pay the bills.
Everyday I try to adult as best as I can, but I can’t help but think of a few things I should have learned in school instead of calculus, if you don’t know them by now, get on it fast!
Here is a list of 15 things you should have learned instead of calculus:
It’s April, you’re confused! Your dad is on the phone barking that you need to submit your taxes, and you’re not sure what that means. You know it involves receipts, that you owe the government money or maybe the government owes you money? Regardless, the only thing you can do is run over to your accountant and bring all the paperwork he asks. He starts asking for bus receipts and other things you threw away a long time ago, he also starts mentioning T4 and other numbers and letters and forms. It is super important to learn how to do your own taxes. Don’t throw your papers at the accountant’s office and space out when he talks to you about them. You can actually go online and learn how to do everything yourself!
14. How To Change A Flat Tire
You take a fun road trip with your friends, and suddenly it happens, the worst, you have a flat tire. All your friends come out of the car and look at you like “Aren’t you going to fix it?” You look away because you never learned how to do this. You’ve seen an X-shaped piece of metal on the ground when other people were doing it, and you know the saying “Lefty loosey, righty tighty,” but you’re not even sure where to start! Start with making sure you have a spare tire in your trunk please because you never know when you may need it.
13. Applying For Jobs
Seriously though, why is there not a class dedicated to helping you get a job when you graduate!! Forgive me but I thought that was the whole point of school; you know, graduate so you can get a job and pay off your student loans. Schools should take the time to help students with their interview skills so by the time they go to their first interview they’re so used to it and a lot less nervous. There are so many things you can teach, like how to build your Resume, what to include in your Cover Letter, tips and tricks to help you land your dream job but also how not to lose faith when things don’t fall into place right away!
12. Meal Prep
It’s so easy to spend most of your paycheck eating out. It is one thing when you’re out with friends on a Saturday night celebrating a friend’s birthday, but it’s another thing when you’re eating out two meals every day! Let’s face it, there are only so many healthy options out there. The art of grocery shopping and preparing your meals for the week is super important. You can easily save money, eat healthy, stay in shape, have a greater variety of food and worry less about what you have to eat for lunch by making a grocery list and preparing your meals for the week.
11. The Basic Cost Of Home
It is so easy to get fed up with living at home and decide to pack up and leave, but rarely do people stop to think “When I move out, can I actually make it on my own?” A lot of people move out and realize that it is expensive to actually live on your own. Schools fail to teach the basic expenses you need to be able to afford before actually packing up and leaving. Expenses can include rent, utilities, internet, food, property tax, insurance, and trust me, the list goes on and on. Before moving out, make a list of expenses and budget accordingly, you might need to cut down on the Saturday night drinks.
Besides the fact that it’s spelled funny, the only thing most of us know about a mortgage when we first graduate is that we’ve seen in while playing monopoly, but now you’re looking into buying a home and there are expenses associated with that! Before you go ahead and sign that contract, make sure you can afford the mortgage and all the other expenses that come with owning a home. A couple of things to note while looking at mortgages are the rate, the the monthly payment, the loan amount, and the term. If these words are gibberish to you, make sure to take the time and do your research before your sign your paychecks away.
What are premiums, what is going on here? The difference types of insurance, for my car, home, job, life insurance, and the list goes on. Insurance can be one of these things that puts us to sleep every time someone talks about it, but guess what? You should have listened to your parents at dinner when they were talking about those premiums they are paying. Pick up the phone, call your parents and apologize that you ignored them while they were talking to you about this, they will love it and you will learn about it.
8. Saving and Budgeting
When you start to make your own money, it is very easy to lose track and spend it all meaninglessly. It would have been nice to learn how to save money, how to set a plan to reach your financial goal or even sit down and set financial goals! Some of us live from paycheck to paycheck without saving to buy a house or a car or even go on vacation. We sometimes think that when we turn 30 it will eventually all come together. Unless you win the lottery, or come from a rich family, wealth won’t fall into your lap, you have to create it.
7. Managing clothes
*Ring Ring* “Umm hi Mom, can I put my pink shirt in with my black one?” We’ve all had that call with our mom when we had to do laundry on our own for the first time. You know you’re growing up when doing laundry is part of your Sunday routine! The button on your favorite shirt falls off and instead of fixing it, you put it on “the chair”. “The chair” can hold a variety of items, from dirty laundry, to clothes you’re going to wear again throughout the week (like your favorite pair of jeans), it also holds the clothes you need to send to mom so she can fix it for you! Managing clothes includes ironing, if you can’t do that already.
6. How To Jump Start A Car
It is super easy to forget the light on in your car and have it drain all the battery, and it is also very easy to jump start your car…if you know how to do it. Please don’t wait until your battery is actually dead to do it, but chances are that is the only time you will actually take the time to do it. Trust me, it takes 10 minutes to learn. The last thing you want is to be standing in the middle of a storm hoping that someone will stop to help you.
5. How To Lease A Car
You can’t afford to buy one yet, so your friends says you can lease one and it can be cheaper. The last thing you want is to sit in front of the car salesmen looking like a lost and clueless puppy. Do your research before. Google is your best friend, speak to friends, to a couple of car dealerships and don’t worry if you don’t know everything! The internet is your best friend, make sure to avoid any stupid mistakes. Don’t worry about the color of the car for now, there are bigger problems you need to take care of before.
4. Negotiation Skills
Yes, we have all sort of mastered the art of negotiation when we had to ask our parents for something, but I’m talking real negotiation skills here, like when you have to negotiate your first salary or your company benefits and perks! Companies pay experts to come in and teach their sales professionals negotiation skills which can also make them better communicators. It’s so easy to sit at the table and demand you get your way, but chances are you’ll get nothing. It is important to learn how to phrase your sentence, what words to use and how to prioritize your points because you probably won’t get everything you want so you should start with the most important to you. In any case, it is a very important skill that you need as soon as you graduate, which is more than I can say for calculus.
3. Hammer And Drill
You buy this lovely painting but you have it on the floor for weeks because you’re not sure how to put it up and you’re too scared to try because you might end up losing your security deposit. Every adult should know the basics! Buy a simple tool box and educate yourself about the different tools, no need to go crazy and spend a fortune on your first toolbox. While you’re at it, you should learn basic plumbing skills as well, you should know how to unclog your sink and toilet, and learn what to do if you drop your favourite ring down the sink (besides cry).
2. How To Pursue A Talent
Each student is talented in their own way and probably has a hobby that they would love to pursue but are not sure where or how to start. That hobby can easily lead you to an amazing career. Schools should take time to speak to students about their talents, it could be writing, singing, speaking, anything else. Schools should definitely take the time to nurture these hobbies and help students get on the right path. A lot of people graduate feeling the pressure of finding a job and can’t answer the questions, “Well what do you like to do?” It is important to take time to help each student realize their potential and what they can do with their talents, by doing so, you get much happier employees in the work force.
1. Basic Self-Defense
Basic self-defense is essential! Besides the fact that you learn how to protect yourself, self-defense definitely helps you build confidence, can help you get fit, take control of your life, and maybe even make a few friends in the process! When you say self-defense, some people automatically think for girls, but more and more men are taking self-defense classes as well. We’re not saying walk around assuming the worst will happen, but it is always good to be prepared!
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