If you’ve actually used the quadratic formula in your daily life post-high school, I both pity and am impressed by you.
While the school system claims that everything you learn is totally valuable and will prepare you for that big bad real world lurking outside, I’d beg to differ.
Here are some things that they really should’ve been teaching us instead of drilling it in that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.
1. Real World Finance 101
Taxes, mortgages, mutual funds, loans, bills. What are these things? How do you do them?
2. Dressing For An Interview (A Tutorial)
How casual is too casual? Are heels a good idea? Teach us these things so we don’t stay up the whole night before trying to find something in the depths of our closets to wear that isn’t totally awful. Now I have bags under my eyes.
3. Intro to Standing Up For Yourself
This includes but is not limited to: having the courage and know-how to discuss pay with an employer, having democratic conversations in the workplace, communicating concerns to employers, letting an employer know when a comment they made is inappropriate/sexist/racist etc.
4. Exploring Networking and Communication
How do you do the things with the words? We spend all this time reading books and writing reports and then every so often, professors drop the buzzword “networking” in conversation. How does one do that? Teach us how to talk to people in real life so we can actually form relationships.
5. Studies in Purchasing
Seriously. Our parents made buying a house and a car look so easy and cool. If only we knew how to save money or budget our paychecks so that we could afford to do these things. Prerequisite: Real World Financing 101.
6. Self Defense 101
Might be a little more helpful to know how to properly defend yourself than make us run arbitrary laps. Just a thought.
7. ACTUAL REAL PRACTICAL SEX-ED
Pictures of infected genitalia are great and all but also not a supplement for proper methods of contraception. Also, there’s more to sex-ed than anatomy. Teach us consent, the difference between sexuality and gender, the fact that both of those come on a huge spectrum, sex-ed for all sexual orientations, the signs of an abusive relationship, etc. Really, the knowledge you could gain is endless.
8. Introduction to Mental Health
Physical health is stressed so much in school (and rightfully so), but I don’t remember hearing anything about mental health until maybe my late teenage years. We should be taught how to recognize signs of someone struggling with mental health, coping mechanisms, and how to properly speak about mental illness in an open-minded considerate way.
9. Ignorance is Not Bliss: A Lesson in Culture
Everyone in the world is totally different. Your education should celebrate that. Teach people how to converse about culture and embrace all aspects of it. Teach them history and include stories, art, and inventions from all cultural groups so that the narrative includes everyone.