25 Life Lessons I Never Learnt At School

Sometimes I wish that life came with a manual

But then I think that would be pretty boring and people would probably rebel even more. The problem is that what’s taught in schools and what’s actually important to know in real life situations are seldom the same. This then begs the question: who’s job is it to teach us life lessons? Most of us learn these the hard way.

I received a good education in terms of what I was taught at school in general; and in my Matric year I actually didn’t do too badly. My subjects were: English, Afrikaans, Geography, Biology, Maths (Standard Grade) and Art. Including the 2 distinctions, 3x half colours and some awards (for school and after school activities) – what was the highlight? The fact that my artwork was printed as our final year book cover (yip, THAT’S my highlight). The rest however doesn’t mean very much, considering that it was only after school that I discovered the skills we need for real world survival and success.

These are 25 things I wish I had been taught when I was much younger:

  1. Take care of your health. Being sick as a child meant missing a day of school and watching TV all day, which was fun. Being sick as an adult means feeling exhausted and wanting to sleep all day – missing a day of work means thinking about work that’s waiting for you.
  2. Avo is amazing and really healthy for you. You should eat it. (For more healthy snack advice read my post about 30 Simple Snacks of 100 Calories or Less)
  3. You need to know how to wash clothes and cook food – and don’t put the knife in the toaster.
  4. How to do a cartwheel. Because I still can’t, ok.
  5. You won’t always fit in, and that’s ok because you’ll be more interesting for it – you’ll have personality.
  6. People you love will leave you. People pass on, people break up and friendships will fade. It’s really sad and you’re allowed to cry.
  7. Banking and budgeting. Because, where does my money go?? Learn to save, invest and build your wealth. Try to avoid debt and don’t live beyond your means.
  8. How to do taxes. Because taxes suck and I don’t really understand it – you should know what your money is going towards.
  9. You won’t always love your job. Stick it out, not everything that’s easy is worth it.
  10. Chase what you want in life: health, wealth and relationships. Set goals for yourself and make your dreams your reality. Time management and productivity is a step to a happier you.
  11. People are often victims of circumstance. Be slow to judge, criticise, or reject them because of it. Be supportive, as this could one day be you or someone you love.
  12. People can be mean. You will also be mean at some point, and you will regret it. Don’t seek revenge, you are the only person who will be left hurt because of it.
  13. Every person appreciates it when you remember their name, even if you only meet them once.
  14. Focus on being happy. Smile, hug people and hold hands more often. Think Oprah. (If you need tips, read my 25 Tips for a Happy Life)
  15. Don’t go back to an ex. Just don’t.
  16. Don’t be afraid of the Dentist. Their job is difficult, they have to deal with the grossness of what could be inside your mouth. So brush and floss!
  17. Forget about Rain spiders and Daddy Long legs, they may be scary – but it’s the little spiders that are the most poisonous.
  18. All religions follow the same principles and strive for the same 2 basic things in life: peace and love.
  19. Nothing makes one human being’s life more valuable than another’s. No qualification, status, career choice, age, race or religion.
  20. You don’t always have to finish all the food on your plate. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. If there is food left over, you can put it away for later.
  21. If you ask for patience, you will not be given patience. You will be given the opportunity to learn patience. The same goes for love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
  22. Always go to places with people you know will take care of you. Be more aware when people pour you drinks, even if it’s water. Your drink can be spiked in 3 ways: a drug can be dropped into your drink, the cup/glass you use could be laced with a drug, or it could be frozen in the ice that gets put into your drink.
  23. Learn self-defense. Otherwise, if you ever find yourself in a life-threatening situation that gives you the opportunity to run – RUN – to a place with lots of people. Don’t run up the stairs ok, your life is not a movie.
  24. Being social does not mean how much time you spend on social networking sites. Networking is very important in real life as it extends to family, friends, work and dating. Be confident and put effort into socialising. The effort you put in is equal to the results you get.
  25. Learn how to negotiate, read contracts properly and be careful not to get taken advantage of.

In conclusion

Each one of the above points I have truly learnt through personal experience, trial and error. You can disregard all of it if you wish – but remember that whatever happens, you’ll get through it!

Content by Peaches

(Edited and republished. Originally posted on my old blog: Peaches and Pie)

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