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5 Things I Wish I Had Learned In High School: Or Learning to Be An Adult

 Written by    March 31, 2013

5 Things I Wish I Had Learned In High School (That I Have Only Recently Learned That I Didn’t Learn):

 Recently I’ve learned that there may have been a few things that my teachers could have helped me out on a little bit more.  From being professional, to health, to keeping friends, all of these things could have been useful in my high school curriculum.

1)     How to Write a Professional Email

This one has been a big problem for me lately, especially as I move towards internships and planning my curriculum to actually graduate.  I’ve been in touch with many professional people that I wish to impress.  The last time I learned how to write a professional letter (that I remember) was in the fifth grade.  Something about To Whom it May Concern and a colon.  That’s really all I remember.  I think this talent is probably more useful to me as a nineteen year old asking for a recommendation letter, than as a ten year old who only wrote notes to pass in class.



Somehow I feel like these kids could probably tell me how to write these emails.



And when is an email allowed to be less professional?  Emails to an advisor I’ve met with a handful of times no longer need to be headed so formally, right?  Can someone just give me some answers so I can get a job? Speaking of that, someone please write my resume…


2)      How to Self-Diagnose Multiple Common Maladies (And How to Treat Them)

I never realized before how much medical knowledge my parents actually have.  Their skills in diagnosis are ridiculous.  Now I’ve begun to rely on WebMD to fix my problems, but unfortunately it often just diagnoses me with some ridiculous and unheard of disease that drives this hypochondriac crazy.  Last year everyone I lived with got the same 24 hour stomach flu and we didn’t catch on that it could be something more than food poisoning until it had taken three of us.


These guys could probably help diagnose me.



I can’t even begin to count how many times I have called my mom with a list of symptoms, trying to figure out if it’s time to go to the doctor or not.  I was so proud this year when I had an ear infection, knew exactly what it was, and took myself to the doctor to get it fixed.  A brief medical education would have helped me more than a lot of things I learned in my tenth grade biology class.


3)      How to Eat Healthy on a Budget and a Meal Plan

Ahh health class.  While I was definitely told how to eat right, I feel like it was on the assumption that I would be walking into the grocery store with infinite money.  How about when all you can afford is Ramen noodles or your only choices are campus food?  What about when you’re shopping for one and bread gets moldy and fruit bruised before you’re ready to eat it? What’s a girl to do?



It’s sad that this is accurate.



4)      How to Rent a House

As I attempt to move off campus this is a problem I’ve definitely run into this year.  Who do I seek out as a roommate? What am I supposed to look for when I view a house?  A quick Google search suggests bringing something to plug into each outlet to see if they work, but somehow I feel like that’s not going to go over well with the current residents and only earn weird looks from the realtor.


A scary document.



How far from campus should I live?  What is considered a normal amount to charge for rent? How do I get my utilities turned on? And what are my rights once I do rent a house/apartment?  I’ve learned a lot by relying on myself, however I feel like this experience could have been much more constructive if I knew what I was doing from step one.  There is some help here if you’re going through similar struggles.

5)      How to Stay In Touch

When my friends and I left for college almost two years ago we were convinced we were going to Skype every weekend and visit each other all the time and maybe even be pen pals.  Then college happened and we’ve only Skyped a handful of times and really just rely on text messages until we come home for the holidays.  But what about when we all stop coming home so often?  Will we still be friends?  Would someone just teach me how you stay in touch with someone when your schedule is so all encompassing and you barely have time to take care of yourself?  I can’t even tell you the last time I called one of my parents.



An example of the super deep communication between my friends and I.




So there you go.   A list of things that the public school system has failed me on.  While learning some of these things on my own has helped me to grow as an adult, would it really have hurt to help me out a little bit?



Kids picture: http://www.accurateleads.com/families-with-children-mailing-lists/elementary-school-kids-mailing-lists/

Scrubs picture: http://conference.syncweekly.com/index.php/2010/03/24/scrubs-what-happened/

Food pyramid picture: http://knetbooksblog.com/2012/09/28/college-student-probs-balancing-college-and-the-need-for-real-food/

Lease picture: http://hobokenrealestatemonitor.blogspot.com/2011/10/signing-lease-things-to-consider.html


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