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Life skills they don't teach you at school

Ever realise that since you became an adult, you were completely not prepared for this life at all? Just me?

What was the point of school? I suffered through 5 long years at a high school I despised to be prepared for absolutely no parts of my adult life. Sorry, Miss B but I believe I was right in saying that I'd never need to know about the sides of a triangle again in my life.


So obviously, I always knew bills were a thing, but I never got taught how to deal with them. Or even how expensive everything is!! Wifi costs how much?! I definitely learned the hard way. But I do often wonder why schools don't teach you about direct debits and the importance of paying bills on time. Oh, and the fact that money doesn't grow on trees. And even all the stuff that you actually have to pay for but you just assume is free. You have to pay for water to come out of your tap? What is this nonsense?


When I was in school, nobody ever told me I'd be working hard in 5 years' time to have hundreds of pounds a month taken away by this mysterious, invisible thief called PAYE tax. Oh yeah, and national insurance. What's that even for? I still don't know. 

Money management

How to set up a bank account, savings account, student account, loans, budgeting... All the stuff that I've had to completely wing as I've gone along, because I was never told how to do this stuff. I think I'm quite lucky having grown up in a society where everything has pretty quickly been thrown online, so information is relatively easy to find. I can't imagine what it was like back in the day when you couldn't just Google how to do adult stuff. Why aren't there lessons on how to budget your money every month so you can actually afford rent and bills, as well as what to do if you're struggling? Don't even get me started on mortgages...

Making decisions

Everything is pretty much instructed at school, isn't it? You're told what to do, when to do it, and how it's supposed to be done, but there's no room for your own decision making. I'm not gonna lie, this has actually affected me right up to the present day. I still can't make decisions. Decision making is a big part of adult life and I just can't do it. Unfortunately, we aren't all spoon-fed forever.

Sexual health and consent

It's scary how little sexual education is given at all, to be honest. I went to a Catholic school so they literally skimmed over the details... Oh yeah, this goes here and that goes there... Maybe wear a condom... But either way you're gonna die... Ok, maybe not the last bit but the rest is pretty much true. I remember sitting in my ONE, ONE sex education lesson and they didn't talk one bit about pleasure or consent or contraception or staying safe; nope, it was just a Powerpoint presentation full of pictures of different STI's. So I left school fearing for my life and never wanting to go near another human's genitals. Great!

Taking care of your mental health

Mental health was never mentioned to me at any point in my life really, which I think is the reason why when I started showing symptoms of depression and anxiety, I ignored them for so long. I didn't actually know what was happening to me until a college tutor pulled me to the side and told me what I should've already recognised about myself. It's one thing to 'study' mental health problems from a clinical perspective, but there needs to be more material and support in place on how to help people and help yourself, if you ever encounter those problems personally.


It's fact that almost everybody is going to be in a relationship at some point in their lives, and they're also pretty much guaranteed to experience one bad relationship/break-up/have a negative experience. We are never taught how to cope with these things, how they're not the end of the world and how to move past them. I could've done with this knowledge when I spent months as a na├»ve 16 year old crying over my ex that had cheated on me multiple times, something I never thought I'd get over. Even more terrifyingly, we're never taught how to identify an abusive relationship or how to get out of one. 


I don't know if it was just the kind of society that I was around during school, or maybe the fact that it was a religious school, but there was never a single mention of any other sexual orientation or gender identity. It feels as though it's only been a recent spike in coverage of trans* and other gender identities (at least, it has been for me. Perhaps I've also been completely unaware up til now.) but sexual orientation has been a topic discussed for a lot longer in my opinion. In school, I knew about lesbians, gays and bisexuals. But that was it. I was never taught that it's okay to be any of those things (and more); I had to come to that decision myself. I was also never taught that it's okay to explore your feelings and eventually identify yourself as anything other than heterosexual (cos the Bible says so) and because I was born a female, that means I am one. I am happy we can discuss these things more freely in society now, but it does make me sad to think that kids of school age have always struggled with self-discovery and never had any guidance along the way, when puberty is the hardest part of growing up.

What do you wish you'd have been taught at school?

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  1. I know! School's should have classes for all that. I feel like we'd use information about living alone for the first time more than we would use geometry or chemistry.

    1. I agree! There's tons of stuff I still have no idea about and I've been living on my own for 2 years!


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