Adulting: Why didn’t school teach me THAT?

Do you remember sitting there in school, twiddling a pen between your fingers staring out of the window thinking ‘when the hell am I ever going to need this complicated algebraic formula’? When you were learning about laws of motion, or constructing pieces of (dreadful, untuneful) music in Sibelius, and just thinking this is not enriching my life what so ever? I sit in my everyday life now wondering idly, why on earth didn’t they teach me this in school?

There are so many things we learn in school that are pointless in adult life. Yes, they provided a more rounded view on the world, and have given us knowledge that we would probably never acquire at and older age, but there is much that we learnt that has never been of any use. When you thinking about how much time was spent on this, it frustrates me, because there is so much stuff that would help us in day to day adult life, that when I was in school, I never even realised was a thing:

  • Reading fuse box meters

OK, so maybe this is just me, but when I read the meter on my electricity and gas meter, I wasn’t sure which numbers to use. I think, somewhere, I knew that I had to discount one, or two, somewhere, but I had no idea from where. It would be a single, incredibly useful, half lesson to show everyone this, and would leave many people trying hard to adult feeling less rubbish about their foray into adulthood.

  • Reading wage slips

I am going to admit that sometimes reading my wage slip is still confusing. I have between 10 and 15 different things going in and out of my wage slip every month, and sometimes I have no idea which is what thing. Yes, there is a useful section that tells me how much I earn, and how much I actually take home, but I like to at least try and keep a track of individual elements of my finances. I did a whole post on wage slips which you can read here.

  • Standing orders and direct debits

I can definitely, categorically say that I am still not 100% which one is which when it comes to Direct Debits and Standing orders. I know I have both, and I know they mean that I have to think less about savings and bills, but someone explaining this clearly in school would have been, well, invaluable. I am sure it is simple enough, but it just doesn’t click in my brain, so a quick lesson on this would have been pretty good. I am sure I am not the only one who thinks this, right?

  • Pensions

I know that a pension will allow me to retire before I am completely decrepit and incapable of doing anything, but I don;t think I quite realised how important it is to save for one early. I can remember reading somewhere, or being told by someone, that the earlier you start paying in, and the more you do now, the better it will be when you’re older. I feel like this is blindingly obvious, but it still took someone to spell this out to me to realise. I signed up as soon as I started my job, and I am glad I did, as I don’t notice it leaving my wage now. I actually did a whole pensions post, which you can see here.

  • Bills

I understand that bills are a thing, I pay them monthly for everything, and so far, nothing has been cut off. I just wish someone had, at some point, sat me down in a class full of my peers and said, there are so many more than you realise there can be. And not only are there more than you are aware of, but you will forget when they go out, so order them according to your pay! Sounds easy enough once you’ve started paying them, doesn’t it?

  • Useful phrases in languages

Do you remember  sitting in MFL classes and thinking that learning all of these bizarre phrases about school subjects and classroom objects was completely useless for adult life? You were right, past Liz, very right. I wish we had focused on useful phrases, about getting lost, and healthcare, and conversation starters, or even just ”How do you speak English?” in more languages, to make it less embarrassing when I travel.

Do you know what, I wish we just learnt languages earlier, and dropped the ”yeah, well the rest of the world speaks English so who cares” attitude that we, and more so America, seems to have.

  • Basic Life Support

OK, so this is more a gripe about English schools and curriculum, but I really wish that BLS was on the school curriculum for everyone, and was a necessary part of education, because one day, if you need it, it will literally save a life. When will Pythagoras do that?


As you can probably tell, this started off as nothing more than a minor rant, and could have turned into something majorly arse-y, so I’ve stopped. I am sure there are 1001 things I have missed off, so, what do you wish they had taught you in school?

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4 thoughts on “Adulting: Why didn’t school teach me THAT?

  1. I wish we we had a better attitude at learning languages too. If I’d started at 8 I’d have been all for it. But as a teenager it was just well. Everyone speaks English so…. Now I’m mid twenties and trying to learn Spanish -.-
    In Germany you learn two languages compulsory. Wish we had that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really wish we had that as well. I have travelled all over and everyone can almost speak English, or they are fluent in multiple languages, and it’s embarrassing!! I wish I had worked harder at Spanish in school, but also just wished the country as a whole had a better attitude!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s not just the UK. Kids are babied to death over here. My own have had it differently (I adopted them when they were 7 and 8 after very hard life) but the idea that “my” money is for the unfun stuff and theirs is for what they want is a tough one to leave behind. lol. So to is a job that isn’t a “passion”–no matter how many older folks explain how they FOUND their passion while doing boring jobs to support themselves. It happens. You grow up. You pay the rent or mortgage, you deal with your own car insurance, you make your own dentist appointments, you realize you can’t stay out of the E.R. by eating only at McDonald’s and you really do have to go to bed on time. Oh, and a college education really CAN help. lol… It’s ok though–we all go thru the stage of not wanting adult responsibility. Lately it’s a stage some are trying to make into a lifestyle though. Being a real grown up isn’t fatal. You don’t have to wear Mom jeans or Dockers. You’re still you–only you have to pony up for all those movies and that steak dinner yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m really lucky that I wasn’t babied, you’ve done well to raise yours that way too!
      Adulting is still pretty damn hard, but I guess learning as you go is the way everyone else has done it, and they’re all still alive?!

      Like

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