15 Things School Doesn’t Teach You (That You Should Learn)

things school doesn't teach you

Ever wondered what life skills you need to know that isn’t taught? Here are 15 things school doesn’t teach you that you should learn!

What school doesn’t teach you is that you also need to go out of your way to educate yourself on all of these topics.

It’s your responsibility to get ahead of everyone else and learn these life skills by yourself. Otherwise, you will only know what you were told in school (which relates to maybe 2% of our lives.

Let’s get to the list!

Finance

Money is something that every human on the planet should strive to understand. Here are a few topics you should learn about in finance:

  • Budgeting
  • Saving
  • Credit
  • Banking
  • Investing
  • Frugality

There are tons more topics to learn, but that’s a really great start for beginners!

Resources such as Google and Youtube have opened up a lot of options for you to get your research in quite easily.

Search these topics individually and absorb every single thing you read. Just try not to fall into the trap of any “get rich quick” videos (they’re pretty much all lies).

Related Post: How to Invest in the Stock Market as a Teenager

Relationships

One of the most important things school doesn’t teach you is how to have healthy relationships.

We aren’t told how to care for our partners, how to manage an argument properly, or even how to trust each other.

Relationship advice is never something you should run away from. In fact, relationships are more likely to be healthy when the individual partners go above and beyond to contribute to the relationship

Would you rather spend a few hours of your life researching relationship tips to have a long lasting relationship, or never do any research and risk an unhealthy, life-damaging, and broken relationship?

The choice is yours…

How to Handle Emotions

We don’t really think about it, but our emotions are extremely volatile things (especially as teenagers).

Imagine if you learned how to control your emotions, or at least learn how to deal with them. A few simple tricks and you could go your whole life with a fresh and relaxed mind.

Being self aware is the first step. Understand what you’re feeling and why. Then, accept those emotions and determine how to work with them.

One of the easiest ways to calm yourself down is by writing/typing out your thoughts.

Taxes

Everyone always talks about how you should learn about taxes, but school never did us that favor.

Taxes are essentially fees that the government enforces in order to help pay for things that everyone uses/needs collectively (roads, education, technology, health programs, etc.)

Here are a few things you should research about taxes:

  • Tax brackets
  • How to pay taxes
  • When you need to start paying taxes
  • What taxes get taken out of my check?
  • How much to set aside for taxes?

Learning these simple topics will help you grasp the concept of taxes when you start to have your own business or job.

Related Post: 10 Money Management Tips for Teenagers

Real Estate

If someone gave you $1 million right now and told you to go buy a house, would you know how to do it?

Real estate is one of the most important topics that school doesn’t teach you, whether you do it to make money or not.

You’ll eventually want to buy a house in the future and understanding how it all goes down is crucial to doing it properly. Here are a few things to research about real estate:

  • Housing prices near your area
  • Steps to buying a house
  • What’s a mortgage?
  • How to get a home loan
  • What is a down payment on a house?
  • How much interest do I have to pay on a home loan?

Real estate is also a great way to build wealth, so learning these topics now could save you a lot of time down the road!

Negotiation Skills

Negotiation is something people do their whole lives… even as children! Think about how you would negotiate with your parents to let your friend sleep over or stay a little longer.

As we get into adulthood, it seems that a lot of those negotiation skills start to fade away. Here are a few negotiation skills you should learn:

  • How to negotiate
  • What can I negotiate for? (cars, homes, salary, garage, phone bill, etc.)
  • How to talk when negotiating
  • How to ask good questions
  • Ways to persuade others

I highly recommend you watch some videos on Chris Voss, a professional FBI and business negotiator,  to learn more above the actual practice of negotiation.

How to Make a Resume

Isn’t it funny how schools tell you that you need to apply for jobs after college, but don’t tell you how to create the first thing that employers want to see?

Of course, some schools may have taught you a few basic resume tips, but do you even know how to properly format one?

Here are a few resume tips and tools to learn:

  • Resume templates
  • How to construct a resume
  • How to make your resume sound better
  • Examples of resume skills

Your resume should never be longer than one page. People want short, sweet, and to the point.

Entrepreneurship

School teaches you how to get into college, which teaches you how to get a job. Even business classes are designed to help you work within a business.

What school doesn’t teach you, is how to start a business on your own and the necessary things involved to do so!

Every business is different and requires different things, but some of the components are pretty much universal…

  • How to turn your passion into a business
  • How to manage your business expenses
  • Books to read about entrepreneurship
  • Basic components of a business
  • How to hire employees

If you know that you’re someone who will eventually run a business of their own, you should definitely get a head start, because it’s never too early to become an entrepreneur!

Computer Skills

You may have taken a computer class or two, but let’s be honest… what did it really teach you?

With the ever-growing tech and information era that we live in, it’s almost essential to know your way around a computer. Here are a few things to learn about computers:

  • Components of a computer (and what they do)
  • How to use computer software (powerpoint, photoshop, excel, docs, etc)
  • How to build a computer
  • Computer hacks to work faster
  • How to manage your files online

With the necessary computer skills, you could be setting yourself up for better job opportunities and faster productivity!

Related Post: 8 Microsoft Word Hacks for Students

Car Maintenance

One of the things school doesn’t teach you is how to take care of your car! After all, it’s something you’re going to be using for the rest of your life.

I highly recommend that you get yourself familiar with a local mechanic for the purpose of getting better deals and learning more about your specific vehicle.

Here are a few things to learn about car maintenance:

  • How to change your oil
  • How to fix a flat tire
  • What the maintenance lights mean on my car
  • How to change your wipers, battery, spark plugs, air filters, etc.
  • How a car engine actually works

It’s also great to learn about all the different parts of a car. That way, if you ever hear anything weird, you might know where it’s coming from!

Socialization Skills

As a teen, you may notice that people your age communicate with each other less and less every day.

I mean it makes sense, right? It’s a lot easier to talk over text or with friends we’re close with compared to random people who barely know our first name.

However, having proper socialization skills is crucial to making connections, being a better person, and even landing more jobs!

Here are a few socialization skills to learn about:

  • How to speak respectfully to others
  • How to be heard within a group
  • Body language (eye contact, where to put your arms, etc)
  • Strike up conversations with random people

It costs $0.00 to be a good person, and learning some social skills are a great way to get you there.

Even as a quiet introvert,  you can still be nice when you talk to others (in the moments that you do speak). You guys are already good at not interrupting others which is surprisingly hard for most.

Networking

Another thing social skills are good for is networking.

With networking, you open up an exponential amount of doors, just for knowing somebody. As a teenager or young adult, it might sound weird.

However, the saying “I know a guy” is the exact reason those people can always get you what you need. They’re networkers at heart and it’s a hard skill to get good at.

Here’s a few things you can do to help you network:

  • Stay in touch with friends as much as you can (call them, send b-day messages, etc.)
  • Form relationships with every new person you meet
  • Offer to help people that you look up to
  • Be friendly to everyone (word of mouth is a powerful thing)
  • Use social media to your advantage

Networking isn’t always necessarily about talking to people in person. A lot of it can be done from the comfort of your own home with a phone.

Related Post: How to Make More Friends

Time Management

One of the most important things school doesn’t teach you is time management. School is a huge reason we have poor time management in the first place!

Knowing how to better organize your life will save you hours of extra work, procrastination, and overall stress for your whole life!

Here are a few time management tips for students to learn:

  • Have long term and short term goals
  • Prepare a daily schedule
  • Use reminders often
  • Get a planner
  • Minimize deadlines

Students with better time management skills have resulted in better grades, higher productivity, and even better moods!

How to Cook

Cooking is something that is easily learned with a little bit of patience and enough research.

The easiest way to learn how to cook is by watching videos. I’ve learned everything I know from Youtube and it’s something that sticks with you forever.

Here are a few cooking channels I recommend checking out on Youtube:

  • Sam the Cooking Guy
  • Kenji Lopez-Alt
  • Joshua Weissman
  • Tasty
  • Not Another Cooking Show

Give all those guys a try and you’ll see how fast you start to pick up some really easy recipes that you can whip up at any time!

To Pursue Your Passions

It’s easy to get caught up in this game of trying to get good grades, impress your parents, go to college, and get a 9-5 job.

While this may be admirable to some, a lot of people just want to do what they love and live a happy life, whether they become doctors or not.

The point is, you might not know what you love just yet, but never stop searching and pursuing those passions until you have no other choice.

A 9-5 job is nice and cozy, but every person is different. Some want to start their own business, while others have a huge passion for stocks and they become a stock broker.

Actively search for hobbies, give them a try, and figure out what you love. There’s one thing that’s for sure… school won’t help you do that.

Related Post: 15 Life Lessons Every Teenager Should Know

 

Hopefully these 15 things that school doesn’t teach you helped you understand what you should try learning on your own. Even if you have to go out of your way for it.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions leave them down below. Thanks for reading!

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3 comments
  1. Hi, Daniel!
    I feel like this blog should absolutely be a go-to place for any teenagers whenever they need motivation, inspiration, priceless advice, and many more.
    I adore how you provide actionable steps to take and resources to learn from under each broad thing.
    I’d like to add one thing to your spectacular list of things that school doesn’t teach us: life-long education. I believe that anyone wanting to be successful in their lives should be seeking education devotionally till their last breath. Yet, school makes us be under the impression that we’ll get out of the vicious cycle of learning and studying once we finish university.
    Thanks a bunch for this insightful content.

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