All too often in school, you’ll probably find that your attention span and imagination start wilting like a very sorry looking house plant that you’ve probably forgotten to water for a couple of weeks (oopsies).
And hey, that’s not exactly your fault – at least not all of the time. For some reason, teachers have decided that it’s way more important for us to know how to find the hypotenuse of a triangle than errr… well, anything vaguely useful in life, really.
You might be clued up on the classic methods of photosynthesis and know how to spot an oxbow lake river landscape from a mile off, but here are 11 actually important and useful life lessons that they should probably teach us at school instead.
Lesson 1: What the heck is tax?
No seriously, these words are being written by a 26 year old human being who could tell you all about the powerhouse of a cell or conjugate any French verbs that you chuck at her, but still has no idea how to do her taxes properly.
What even is tax? Why does half of my money disappear into a poof of glitter whenever I get paid? If a maths lesson could have included some kinda vague info about how to make sure I don’t go to actual prison for getting my taxes wrong, that would’a been just peachy.
Lesson 2: Handling a broken heart
Your handy PSHE lessons will have taught you everything you ever need to know about striving to be a good citizen, but no one bothers to mention the small fact that heartbreak will make you want to wreak havoc on the entire neighbourhood and then wrap yourself in a duvet in a forest for six months with nothing but the wolves for company.
Rather than teaching us all how to find x when n is the square root of the prime number given below times sixteen, maybe a few lessons in handling heartbreak, knowing your worth and moving on would come in handy somewhere along the line.
Lesson 3: Sticking to a budget
Shout out to anyone who could reel off the all-important dates of the Battle of Bosworth and Queen Elizabeth’s reign, but still can’t quite find a healthy balance between the money that’s currently sitting in your bank account, and the money that you’re planning on spending in Urban Outfitters this weekend. Y’know, because pretty things.
Imagine the heavy af piggy banks that we could all be the proud, ballin’ owners of right now if only someone sat us down at school and told us that putting 30% of your monthly pay into savings is always a good idea. Sigh, forever poor.
Lesson 4: Speaking up on mental health
Alright, we might have been semi-joking about a few of these ideas making it onto the curriculum, but it’s definitely no joke to think that the importance of speaking up on all things mental health still hasn’t really made its way onto the priority list at school.
Help with being in tune with your own mental health (and recognising the signs that things might not be feeling too great), as well as spotting when a friend is struggling and boosting confidence with talking about the topic is something that needs to be a priority, asap.
Lesson 5: Cooking actual healthy meals
Hey thanks, Food Tech Teacher, for cluing us up on how to design some imaginary sandwich packaging and for the inside info on the manufacturing methods of food production, but honestly we’d just really like to learn how to make a good spag bol from scratch.
As well as that, can we also get some lessons on judging how much pasta to cook for one person, how to stop yourself eating an entire box of chocolate fingers in one sitting, and how to cook rice without ending up with a sticky white mountain and a saucepan that needs to go in the bin? Tah.
Lesson 6: Finding a job you actually want to do
Sure, there’s probably an old, slightly weird smelling, cardigan wearing careers advisor hiding somewhere in your school (their designated office usually looks a bit like a cupboard), but they’ll probably not be too hot on the advice if you tell them that you want to work in social media, PR, the arts or generally just anything that’s not a lawyer.
How about we add a few lessons into the mix for people that want jobs that don’t involve a prestigious university, a masters degree or any kind of maths and science? Justice for the arty kids who get told to consider teaching.
Lesson 7: Promoting all things self love
Imagine a world where all guys and girls left school – no matter what their shape, size, looks or ability – feeling nothing but confidence and acceptance for their whole selves. This is something that has finally started to be introduced into lessons but only recently, so it’s gonna be a while before we’re all loving our bodies from a young age.
It’d be SO awesome to see teachers helping us all question the body shape images that we see in the media, photoshopping, Instagram realities and all the other factors that can leave us feeling insignificant. Body positivity, self care and self love before lunch sounds like a great plan tbh.
Lesson 8: How to make new friends
For the shy types among us who drag themselves to a party (after an hour of eye rolling and stomach flips) and promptly sprint to the kitchen with the hope that there’s a family dog for you to hang out with all night, some lessons in the art of making new friends could be real helpful in the adult world.
A confidence-boosting curriculum could make all the difference when it comes to avoiding those painful awks silences that leave you feeling like you want to run away into the hills alone for a lifetime of zen solitude.
And also Lesson 9: How to ditch terrible friends
Equally important, we should definitely also get some advice from teachers on how to cut a friendship that’s causing you trouble, too. Recognising a toxic friendship in your life and finding the courage to end it for your own good is seriously important as you go through life, but it can be one of the scariest things that you ever have to do.
We’d definitely be on board with the idea of a session or two on How To Ditch Bad Friends Like A Grown Adult With Zero Drama Repercussions Afterwards, maybe with some practical homework involved over the weekend.
Lesson 10: Good sex education
SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK. Putting a condom on a banana just ain’t gonna cut it in this day and age. Can we get some realistic and helpful sex education lessons that teach how sex actually plays out IRL? And there’s definitely no detailed, labelled textbook diagrams of penises and vaginas when it actually comes to the big moment.
Plus, it kinda goes without saying that sex ed should involve sexuality too, rather than just the biology side of a male and female anatomy. How about some good LGBTQ+ acceptance education while we’re at it, teachers?
Lesson 11: Walking in heels
And last but not least, this. Because honestly, HOW DO PEOPLE EVER LEARN?
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Image: Hailey Hamilton