Things I Wish I Had Learned in School

imageA while ago, I created a list all the useless things that I learned during my school years. This prompted a number of conversations with friends about what we felt we should actually have learned all those years ago that would be relevant to our present lives. Of course, financial insights into mortgages, loans and interest rates were at the top of our lists, but after a while the inevitable silliness took over. Here are some of the best:

1. How to work my bedroom blinds. I made the wrong decision at university – instead of a music degree my time would have been better spent learning how to pull my blinds up without them being uneven or falling back down again. They’re the bane of my life.

2. How to stop spending my money on useless crap. Even now, despite attempting to be much more frugal with my earnings, I can still leave the house with £30 in my purse and return with no money, nothing to show for it and no knowledge of how I have spent it.

3. How to fix a photocopier. The photocopier at work is the most complicated piece of machinery I have ever used. It contains so many components and parts I suspect that it was secretly designed by NASA, and it clearly has a grudge against me. I could be watching it for several minutes while the person before me does 50 copies, but the minute I put my paper in it shuts down and has a tantrum. I follow the instructions carefully to locate where the paper jam is, only to discover that there is no paper anywhere to be seen. I’ve heard of dog and horse whisperers, does this mean there are photocopier whisperers?

4. How to spot a douchebag. Whether it be during a relationship or a friendship, I have always been unable to see the douchebag in someone until it’s too late and have been subjected to the ‘yeah, I though he was a bit of a pr*ck to be fair‘ statement from others when I have been upset.

5. How to lighten up and relax. I am my own worst enemy – I frequently let my anxieties and self-doubts take over whatever I’m doing and it often takes twice as long to get anything completed.

6. Once you hit 30 years old, even looking at a chocolate bar will make your bottom expand. After gaining 60lbs over the last few years I decided to lose weight and assumed it would be easy, something that I haven’t had any trouble doing before. How wrong I was. Exercise makes a difference, but nowhere near as effectively as it used to and I have to work twice as hard to get the same result.

7. How to fairly divide a bill six ways when two have had appetisers, three have had four bottles of wine between them, five have had dessert and one has just had a salad and a lemonade without appearing to be rude or hurting anyone’s feelings. It’s a complicated process, but one of the few instances where I have to admit that maths is useful…

8. How to cook for just two people. As a teenager I often cooked for my family (there were five of us) when my parents were at work and it has meant that I have no concept of portion control – even measuring things out always results in the equivalent of a banquet every time I prepare a meal for The Bloke and I.

9. Sambuca and tequila are evil substances, even in very small quantities. It may seem like common sense, but it took a few occasions to realise this. Never again.

10. How to dance without looking like a frog in a blender. I enjoy dancing and frequently do so when I go out with friends, but photographs and videos the day afterwards always demonstrates the fact that I have no coordination whatsoever – it’s all arms and legs everywhere.

11. Having expectations of others often leads to disappointment. I have made the mistake on many occasions of making assumptions and having expectations of people, only to be left with a feeling of disappointment when they have let me down. The most important thing is to have expectations of you, and you alone.

12. Nobody actually knows what is going on. I used to think that some people had their lives figured out – I was envious of their beautiful homes, endless supply of cash and seemingly perfect existence. However, the more I get to know others, the more I realise that nobody really knows exactly what they’re doing and are bumbling their way through life in the same way I do. The only difference between them and I is that they have mastered the art of appearing like they have a clue.

What about you guys? Are there any particular things that you wish you’d have learned in school?

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61 thoughts on “Things I Wish I Had Learned in School

      • Wow, how do you teach politics without being biased. I know that would have been wasted on me at school, I got interested when I did a GCSE in Sociology when I was around 30. I’m 54 now but when I was in what would now be year 7 at secondary school we had a Current Affairs lesson. I remember the Watergate affair was topical at the time, I still have no idea what that was all about to this day.

      • We teach how parliament is structured, the different parties and have open discussion on relevant things in the news. It’s lost on most of them, but at least we try

  1. I wish I had learned that your eyeballs are the same size today as the day you were born. That way I would have won the pub quiz on holiday 5 years ago but I said tongue instead. Grrrr

  2. 7 and 9 especially hit home. I had my first hangover at 29 after one sip of tequila!! Unpleasant wasn’t the word, but I ate all the Christmas chocolate…see above point on weight loss…
    I wish I’d learnt that no one necessarily knows what they want to do, and the more you grow to like yourself, the happier you will be.
    Also – you can choose to be content. It’s hard, but it’s possible, whatever the circumstances.

  3. I wish I’d learned how make a poker face. Even if I don’t open my mouth and say something ridiculous, like, “Oh, wow, your nose hairs are also turning gray,” my face exposes all my vapid inner thoughts and people are insulted anyway. Sometimes I even put my hand over my lips to be sure I haven’t opened it and said what was on my mind.
    Great post, Suzie. Made me laugh and think.

  4. I’m flabbergasted. Why aren’t modal verbs on the list? The Meddler-in-Chief for Schools has convinced me my education was a complete disaster because not only didn’t I learn how they worked, I was never even warned that they exist.

  5. Well, you know that wonderful quote, “Dance as if no one is watching………..”. I’d say a frog in a blender is definitely not worrying about anyone watching, and that is also exactly what I would look like, too, but I’d still be having fun! As for #6………..that situation gets even more difficult after having kids. Ugh! I swear all I have to do now is breathe air and I gain weight! As for the comment someone made on politics……….we had what was called Civics class in ninth grade. That taught us all about government and how it works, etc. We had a Presidential election that year. Our teacher told us to watch the debates for extra credit. At the age of fourteen I learned real fast about politics and politicians as I said to my Mom, “They aren’t answering the questions the host is asking them!” My Mom laughed and said, “Welcome to politics”. haha Eh, but let’s be honest. They could have taught us how to be millionaires in school and we would have still rolled our eyes with boredom. Comes with the territory of being teenagers. 🙂

    • How insightful for someone so young haha! That’s why I detest politics – nobody actually answers a question, and I’ve yet to see a politician that I truly trust and believe what they are saying, apart from my local MP who does an awful lot for the community where I live. Please forgive the late response – I’m still catching up!

  6. Good post with good humor lol. I do wish I been taught more about the value of money and how economic systems work . We had one class in my high school years and that was it. Could have used it more early in life and I could have been in better place financially earlier and not have to struggle as hard.

  7. I know what you mean about number 12. When I was young, I always thought I’d feel mature, confident and competent when I was older. I’m now 49 and I’m still waiting.

    On the plus side, it doesn’t matter that I didn’t learn number 3. Our photocopier breaks down so often. I’ve become an expert anyway. I probably now know the model better than the engineer who comes to fix it.

  8. This was a wicked post that made me seriously laugh out loud! I was going to pick out a couple of numbers and the more I read the more numbers I would have had to quote!

  9. Oh yes – especially the last one! That alone would have been SO good to know. I wish I had learned that all the rebellion and rule breaking had no effect on anyone except me which is why I ended up doing uni at 45!!!!

    • Congrats on the degree! With age comes wisdom – my youngest sister has turned her life around and done a law degree in her late 20’s, and she has had to work so hard for it!

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