Things You Wish They Taught You In High School

Posted by , Updated on December 4, 2023

Ever sat in frustration at all the things you wish they taught you in high school? Join the club. Those adolescent years between the ages of 14 and 18 are a critical time in your life. High school is wholly transformative. You start figuring out who you are, what kind of person you’ll be when you grow up, and what the heck a pythagorean theorem is. Sure, we all need to learn core subjects, like Algebra, Chemistry, and how to take a nap in Criminal Justice. However, the things you learn in school should also help you evolve as a person in your everyday life, relationships, and career. The last I checked, Algebra didn’t help me figure out how to change a tire. Besides Home Economics and Driver’s Education, few classes in high school get you ready for the real world. So, get ready to learn some streets smarts, here are the things you wish they taught you in high school.




How to ask for a raise

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Almost two thirds of employees have never asked for a raise according to PayScale. Asking for a raise shows you have a vision for the future and knowing your self-worth proves to your manager that you are ready to take on more work. It also shows you are willing to go above and beyond for your company. As scary as it sounds, communicating with your manager is key and showing why you deserve the salary adjustment will help you get what you want.


How to handle stress


Poor mental heath is a huge problem in today’s society. The pressure to preform well in high school can lead to high stress in young adults. Learning how to deal with stress in a healthy way can lower the chances of depression and anxiety.




Understanding how claims and deductibles work for different kinds of insurances can be confusing. Teenagers transitioning into their young adult lives should be taught how car, health, dental and life insurance works. Knowing what questions to ask and how to shop for policies could help make students better protected.


How to apply for a passport


It might sound simple, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t get passports because they don’t know how. First you have to fill out a DS-11 form, then you must provide evidence of U.S. citizenship. You also must provide a current ID and photo of yourself. The hassle and the lack of education usually prevents people from seeing the world.


How to make a resume


A resume is an employer’s first impression of you. Knowing how to create a summary of your past job history could score you your dream job. A resume is also a great way to market yourself. It helps show what skills and experiences you can contribute to the company.



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It’s always a good idea to prepare for the unexpected. Knowing how to defend yourself in dangerous situations could scare off your attacker. So, naturally, self-defense helps you become more aware of your surroundings and how to respond in high stress situations. It will also help strengthen your muscles and improve balance and coordination.


How to fly a plane


If you are lucky, you went to a school that offered Driver’s Education. But learning how to fly a plane takes that experience to another level. It’s more than just knowing how an aircraft operates; it helps you understand weather patterns and natural landscape and geography. Above all, operating an aircraft builds character and confidence. Plus, how awesome would it be to know how to fly?




CPR saves lives and it’s relatively easy to teach. Studies show that giving CPR within the first two minutes of cardiac arrest doubles the chances of survival. Less than 3% of the U.S. population, however, receives CPR training. Offering a training course in high school could help save more lives.


How to do laundry


Some people think it may be self-explanatory but there are rules to laundry. For example, not mixing your whites with your colors, choosing the appropriate temperature and spin cycle, and knowing the difference between laundry detergent and bleach could save you from ruining clothes in the future.


How to dance


Most kids in middle school and high school are petrified to dance because they’ve never done it before. Imagine, however, if a school taught everyone how to do classic and unique dance techniques? Students would have greater confidence and self-esteem. On top of that, it enhances a student’s focus, works key parts of their brain, and they learn essential hand-eye coordination skills.


Email etiquette


In the business world, email is an essential communication tool used all the time by professionals. So, if you don’t know email etiquette, especially if you’re sending an email to a superior, it’ll show a lack of  respect and professionalism. Learning how to begin with a greeting, knowing what you can and cannot abbreviate, and how to end with a closing statement are vital skills to know.


Applying for FASFA


Registering for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (also known as FASFA) is difficult for first time students. Correctly filling all the information and finding the right documentation is tedious, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Having a class in high school that explains the importance of FASFA could encourage more students to go to college.


Home repairs

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You will be a better homeowner if you know basic home improvement skills. Plus, you’ll save tons of money. Whether repairing a leaky pipe or replacing window seals as needed, you put more value in your property by maintaining, repair, and improving your home.


Time management


More schools are teaching students this skill, but many still don’t. If you don’t know how to manage your time, you’re in big trouble. You can easily prioritize important tasks by organizing your schedule. Learning how to accomplish more things in a shorter amount of time lowers stress and supports a more focused mind. In the long run, your success hinges on managing your time, allowing you to take on additional opportunities.




Schools rarely emphasize civics and politics anymore. Everyone would benefit from having a class in high school that taught the importance of politics, voting, and the U.S. government. After all, once students turn 18, they get to vote. It would make sense to teach critical thinking skills and how to research topics especially in this age of soundbites and fake news.


Survival skills


Learning how to identify what plants are safe to eat, reading a compass, and starting a fire are some of the survival skills I wish they taught me in high school. You never know when these techniques could come in handy.



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Being polite and having good manners goes a long way. The way you hold yourself can determine a person’s first impression of you. If high school simply taught the basics of manners and etiquette, I believe that the younger generation would be more encouraged to exercise proper conduct. And, who knows, maybe our society would be a little less insane?




High school doesn’t prepare you for an awful breakup, dealing with a toxic friendship, or mourning a loved one’s death. Everyone will eventually go through at least one (if not all) of these heartaches. Learning how to deal with these pains in a healthy way could save you from dangerous coping mechanisms in the future.

High schools definitely don’t teach you how to snag a date. You should check out The Best Pick Up Lines That Actually Work


Managing money


The world revolves around money. Not knowing how to budget, save, and manage your money could leave you living paycheck to paycheck, in chronic poverty, or homeless. Young adults taking finance classes in high school could help them make better financial decisions.


How to change a flat tire

Flat tires happen all the time and the easily could happen to you. Sure, you could call a tow truck but that costs money (see point #3). If you change your own tire, it’ll save you time and money. Plus, you don’t want to solely rely on technology or a stranger to bail you out of a bad situation.


How to file your taxes


Filing your taxes is an annual mandatory duty. It’s the basis for the government to determine how much money you made in the past year. Yet, shockingly, studies show nearly 57% of tax payers don’t know what a W-4 is or what tax bracket they fall into. You’d think the IRS would require the Department of Education to teach a class on taxes?

Struggle with adulting and need some help? We’ve got you covered with these 10 Hacks For Adulting That Might Make Life a Little Less Intimidating

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