In high school, students are taught many important things that deal with education but there are other important things students are not taught that deal with real life. When a student leaves high school, they’re 18 years old and technically an adult but they lack the knowledge of a few things that play a major role in being an adult. So here is a list of things students are not taught in high school that you need to make sure you or your child knows.
1. What Are Taxes?
Taxes are one of those mandatory things; everyone who has a job has to pay the government taxes. In high school, you learned about the American Revolutionary War, and the high taxes the colonists were forced to pay the King, but you were never really taught what taxes are, or why you have to pay them. You are just expected to start paying them as soon as you get a job, and to know how to fill out your tax forms. I still have problems with filling out my tax forms today! Not knowing what taxes are is one of the most important things students are not taught in high school.
2. How to do Taxes
Along with not knowing what taxes are, you also do not learn how to do your taxes. How do you expect to do taxes if you’re never taught what they are? This is one of the greatest mysteries. I have never done my taxes before. This may sound bad, but my father does them for me. Granted he does them on Turbo Tax, so it is easy to just plug in the information and file them. The real question is ,how do you know when to file them? Some high school students get part-time jobs and make enough money that they should file their taxes but don’t know how or where to start. So in the end, they don’t file them at all when they should.
3. How to Vote
The year after I graduated high school was the 2008 Presidential Election. I knew that I was old enough to vote but I didn’t know how. I didn’t know that you had to register or where my proper voting location was. It wasn’t until I was stopped by some volunteers on one of the Presidential campaigns at my local college that I learned what I needed to do. Marketing to younger voters has skyrocketed since the 2008 Presidential campaign, but it would still be a good idea to make sure you know how to vote. Voting is a huge privilege in shaping the world you live in today. So don't waste it!
4. How to Write a Resume/Cover Letter
I remember when I applied for my first job that required me to have a resume and a cover letter. I didn’t know what they were or what remotely went on one. All my previous jobs just had me fill out an application, and they either called me or they didn’t. Resumes and cover letters are vitally important when looking for a good job, but you need to know what to put on them and how to make yours stand out to catch the attention of the employer. Resume and cover letter templates are easy enough to find with a Google search, so take some time to make your own!
5. Anything to do with Banking
My youngest sister actually just informed me that her high school offers a banking class. I am happy that they offer it now at my old high school, but it is still only an elective. It isn’t something the school requires the students to take. I personally think the school board should make it a requirement. Students need to know about banking: how to open an account, balance a checkbook and put money into savings. These are important skills to know, especially after getting a part-time job and a car. Who knows, you could actually start saving some money for college!
6. How to Apply for Loans for College
Student loans, the bane of my existence after high school. I was a great student. I took my ACT, applied to different colleges and got accepted. But of course, when it came around to talking about how I was going to pay for college, I was lost. I was lucky enough to have my first two years of college paid for with a softball scholarship, but the scholarship didn’t cover my housing. My parents really couldn’t afford to pay it and I had to live on campus. Figuring out how to apply for student loans and get all the necessary paperwork done gave me more stress lines than anything I have ever encountered in my life. It is extremely stressful when you have no idea what you’re doing, with no one to help you. So make sure you do lots of research for your FAFSA, so you know what you’re doing.
7. How to Buy a Car or a House
I honestly still don’t know how to do either of these two things and I am twenty four years old! I am not financially stable enough to buy a car or a house, but I know one day I will be. When that day comes, I know I need to be prepared since I wasn’t prepared in high school or college! I know that my parents and relatives will help me with any advice I might need when buying a car or a house, but it is always better to do your own research and learn, so you're fully prepared when walking into a dealership or a house you're looking to buy.
All of these skills are so important to learn before leaving high school, so they can help students with real life problems after school. The problem is these are the things students are not taught in high school, rarely if ever. Do you think these skills need to be taught in high school? Were you ever taught any of these skills while in school?