10 Lessons I Wish I Was Taught In School
Adulting would have probably been less stressful
Growing up as a 90s kid, I believe my time at school did shape a part of my personality. However, as much as I would love to give credit to the subjects and lessons taught to me for my perspective on life, I can’t. Now that I’m 23, have finished college and actually have a full-fledged job, I wish I were taught more than just theoretical knowledge from textbooks that I don’t even remember. History, Geography, Science and Math were important subjects that gave us general knowledge, but what was the point of Algebra? I still wonder.
I would have liked to learn the practical skills, life lessons and facts that actually matter in today’s day and age. Here’s what I wish was a part of my syllabus and seminars in school.
1. EQ > IQ
Rather than only emphasising on Intelligent Quotient, I wish I knew more about the importance of Emotional Quotient. According to researchers, emotional intelligence isn’t something that can be inherited but can be improved with training and practice. And success isn’t only a result of how smart you are but also how you manage your temperament. Communication skills, problem-solving and decision making, maintaining good relations with your peers, dealing with stress and anger management goes a long way.
2. Failing Is Okay
Failing in your exams is NBD, and even though my parents reiterated this multiple times, I wish teachers did the same. There have been cases of students suffering from mental health issues due to too much pressure to succeed, but I wish schools gave us talks on how failing is a part of life and how it’s normal to make mistakes.
3. Preparation For A Job Interview
In school, especially in the last two years, so much stress is laid on getting good grades in your board examination. But life doesn’t end there. In fact, your life starts after that, when you get a job in hand. So why not prepare us for a job interview while in school? Michael Scott’s answer hasn’t impressed too many interviewers, you know.
4. Same-Sex Love and LGBTQIA+ Rights
Textbooks made me believe that love could exist only between a man and a woman (remember those stories that showed the mother in the kitchen and the dad getting ready for work) until I read stories online, spoke to my family abroad, and educated myself this isn’t true. I also wish I was taught more about LGBTQIA+ rights and gender pronouns.
5. Sex Education
When I was in the eighth grade, I remember my teacher separated the girls and boys and asked us to go to different rooms for a “workshop”, which was basically a lecture on sex education. But why was this wall created during this discussion? Boys and girls need to be in the same room because it teaches the importance of consent even more and makes them understand how the male and female bodies work.
6. Normalising Discussions Around Menstruation
Till today, I still hesitate to openly carry a sanitary napkin in my hand in my workplace. But it’s 2021; shouldn’t this be normal? Well, yes, obviously. So when I wonder why I feel awkward, it takes me back to the days in school when I would hide the pad in my pocket and slyly go to the washroom. Seeing a sanitary napkin in a woman’s hand is absolutely okay. I wish schools normalised it in my time and had discussions with teenagers about menstruation instead of simply calling it ‘that time of the month’.
7. Financial Planning
Why is finance given importance only after you start earning? If a subject on Finance, which explained the basics of savings, investments and taxes, were introduced, I would have known what to do with my first salary.
Confession time: I love to eat, but I have no interest in cooking. IMO, if cookery were one of the compulsory subjects in school, I would have had no option but to learn how to cook, which, I feel, is an essential life skill that everyone should have.
9. Disaster Management And Survival Skills
The only disaster management training I received in school was “walking down the staircase in a single file” when the fire alarm went off. Great, that’s totally going to save me from a fire. There’s no need for learning how to use a fire extinguisher. Why was it even invented? It’s not at all helpful. Sarcasm aside, you get my point, right? Apart from learning how to put out a fire, giving practical training in dealing with natural calamities like floods, tsunamis and earthquakes or what to do if I was stuck in a forest and attacked by a bear, should have been touched upon and prepared me to face these situations if I ever do.
10. Self Defense
Unfortunately, the world is not such a safe space, and with the number of crimes against women, it’s essential to know self-defense. I wish I was taught some form of martial arts to protect myself from bad elements. Not that I can’t learn it now, but learning it in school would have been a good place to start.