10 things I wish I’d been taught in School
I recently saw a lot of old friends from when I was in school and it made me realise how much I’ve learnt since I last saw them. I cannot believe how many major skills I have learnt just from being out in the real world. I’ve still got many more things to learn, but don’t think about that, just enjoy the many old pictures in this post.
- What is Council tax? I discovered this little bugger when I first left home and luckily my flatmates explained to me the bills I’d have to contribute to and I just nodded along as if I knew exactly what council tax was. I had to quickly add this to my budget for bills and I have wished ever since that we were taught about bills and budgeting far more.
- Drink less, drink better. Don’t buy that two-litre bottle of cider, your body will not thank you and you will not enjoy it. Instead, educate yourself on what you are consuming and make an informed decision. I never really enjoyed drinking and found myself feeling constantly pressured to drink more, do shots and down a drink on command. I now work for a couple of bars and my knowledge of alcohol grows every day. I have the confidence to refuse a drink, choose something I’ll enjoy and stop when I’m not enjoying it anymore.
- Understand your own value. Never undersell yourself because you think you’re being too bossy or bigheaded. I was always described as a bossy girl and was made to feel guilty for taking charge. Well, guess what? My bossiness has resulted in many of my ideas being actioned (most of which have been very successful). Also, understand that your value is not dictated by your relationships. For so long I thought how much I was loved was a reflection of how successful I was. What a stupid idea that was. I now know that my successes are my own, I am incredibly grateful for the people in my life, but I know that they do not control my value.
- Politics. Now I wouldn’t say I love politics. The EU referendum was the first time I voted because it was something I actually felt passionately about. When it came to voting for who I wanted to run our country I realised I had no idea how the voting system worked, the difference between political parties and what really mattered to me. I think it’s so important to vote, but only if you understand what you are voting for. Educate yourselves, because no one is going to teach you.
- You will need to save money at some point. Whether it’s to buy a house (or a cupboard if you’re looking in London), your wedding or that handbag you’ve been lusting over. I’ve always been very good with money, never had an overdraft or a credit card, but it has meant that I have never bought anything that costs more than my monthly paycheck after bills. Now I’m at the stage in my life where I’m looking to buy a house with my man and get married. Saving takes a long time and I wish I had started so much sooner. Any money you can put away will be so worth it when you decided you want to make that leap and can do it straight away.
- The Environment. Plastic. Global warming. Food waste. These subjects have been glossed over for so long and it is the generations still to come that will suffer. Everyone needs to be taught the facts so that they can make an informed decision. If you ever want to hear me rant for a solid hour, ask me about the environment.
- You don’t have to go to university to have a great job. Some careers, of course, call for a degree, but there are so many jobs out there that can be learnt on the job. Neither my sister nor I went to university and I would say I have a great job and my sister is on a fantastic career path. I’ve saved so much money and time. I found I ‘grew up’ a lot quicker, simply because I was thrown straight into the adult world. I had a nagging doubt when I left home that I’d made the wrong decision because no one else was doing it and all my teachers gave me that look (The one that said ‘Oh? You’ll never make it if you just move to London’), but I did it and proved that it’s possible.
- Every industry has great career opportunities. I’ll be honest, I’m fed up with people seeing hospitality as an easy/ temporary/ lesser career. Look at all the people we see on T.V who made careers in hospitality. Fred from First dates? Jamie Oliver? Just because they’re on T.V it doesn’t change the fact that they work in or started in hospitality.
- Only ever dress for yourself. If you’re wearing clothes for other people you’ll never feel good. Dress for you and feel powerful. If you like it, wear it. Don’t listen to all that crap about how “this body shape should never wear this cut” or “her skin tone doesn’t suit that colour”. Fuck that.
- Work hard at everything. You never know how it may pay off one day, even if it’s indirectly. You may complain about knowing Pythagoras’ theory and none of the things above, but you never know what other skills you learnt in that process. You never know who might see the hard work you’ve put into something, unfortunately, the world does work that way.