Personally, I enjoyed my time at school. I was lucky enough to secure a scholarship to a grammar school, which led to many opportunities I wouldn’t otherwise have had. I’ll forever be grateful for the schooling I received. However, as I move through life and have to do more ‘adulting’, I realise that whilst school taught me a lot of things, it also didn’t teach me a lot of tremendously important things. After putting out tweets on the matter I was happy to find out I wasn’t alone in this feeling!
Let’s start with the hot topic of the moment – we are of course only weeks away from a general election. With Brexit and the election of businessman-turned-celebrity-turned-president Donald Trump, the last year in the world of politics can be described as momentous. At school, we were taught nothing about politics. Not even in the run up to the 2010 election when I was in sixth-form and many of my peers were able to vote for the first time. We were never taken through the basics of how the government works, the parties basic policies or how they might impact our lives.
Even before everything unfolded in the last year, I felt underprepared in the run up to political votes. I’ve undertaken my own research to help counteract that, but in an age where fake news is so rife, I can never fully trust what I find on the internet. I can’t help but feel that I would have benefitted from proper politics lessons at school, even if only basic.
As Beth so eloquently put it – ‘anything to do with finding somewhere to live – rent, mortgages, household bills etc.’
Whether you’re looking to buy or rent a property, there is so much to consider when finding somewhere to live. If you’re renting, you need to understand admin fees, deposits and what your rights are as a tenant. If you’re buying you need to be able to navigate the confusing field of mortgages and solicitors fees. And that’s all after you’ve decided on where you want to live and in what kind of property…
At the moment, Ali and I are looking at our options moving out of his parents. We’re currently in a good place whether we decide to buy straight away, or if we decide to rent somewhere first. But there’s still a lot of stuff that’s beyond my understanding, and I feel it could have been covered at school in basic terms at the very least.
Money. It’s a big issue for many of us. Going to university I wish I’d known how to budget properly. Like many students when loan day came around I went on a big night out, replenished my wardrobe and ordered too many takeaways. Then at the end of the semester, I was struggling for the pennies. In hindsight, a bit silly, but having said this I thoroughly enjoyed a majority of my time at university. Knowing that this is an all-too-common trend amongst students it would have been very beneficial to be given budget tips before I got myself in that situation.
And don’t get me started on taxes! I’ve spent a lot of my life on hold to HMRC to fix problems with my tax. You bloggers out there will also know the pain of registering as self-employed and declaring those earnings…
My starting wage mostly went to paying off overdrafts and debts, and I’m happy to say that I’m now overdraft free! These days I am managing to save more money per month my younger self would have thought possible on my wage. One thing I’m still currently struggling with at the moment is savings. My savings are currently sat in an account that accrues 0.05% interest. That means that this year my yearly interest reward was 32p. Interest on savings accounts right now are really low, but I’m still trying to work out the best way to save my money. I’d love any tips so if you have any then definitely let me know in the comments!
It’s only since I started working full-time last year that I became able to fully appreciate the upbringing I had. I have such respect for my parents being able to bring us up on what they did.
My school was one of those that didn’t present any other option than going to university. As I’ve already said I loved university and definitely still would have gone. However, it would have been nice to have had all the options presented. Help on not just university personal statements, but CVs and applications, as well as interview prep would have been useful for us all.
You may know that after moving away from Leeds 2015, I worked unpaid internships for 8 months to crack into the PR industry before my first paid role came along. Throughout that time I was constantly job hunting. I found myself on the endless job hunt again after being made redundant just before Christmas. It’s really hard to keep going, and I wish I’d known more about redundancy rights before it actually happened to me. All I can say is if you’re job hunting right now – something will come along, I promise.
A lot of people told me they wished they’d been taught to cook properly when they were younger. General life skills were also a big trend. Suggestions from basic DIY and handiwork to first aid flooded my mentions, and I definitely agree.
When looking at properties, I wouldn’t be half as fussy as I am if I was confident in my skills. I definitely agree that DIY would be very handy, but again I don’t even know how to unblock a drain. My tact for any task like this is ‘ring Dad and ask for help!‘
My school put so much focus on grades, and not enough on the individual. We got the bare minimum when it came to sex ed. It definitely missed out a lot of stuff – but that’s a whole other post of its own! As I’ve grown up I’ve realised that many people have health issues and that it’s healthy to discuss them.
Mental health issues are more common than I ever knew, and it is reassuring to know that you aren’t alone, or weak. This is something I think is incredibly important to teach at schools and I hope is done better these days.
Thank you to everyone who discussed this with me on Twitter! The response was overwhelming! Are there any other things you wish you were taught at school?