Last night I was at dinner with a group of friends. I will be frank. We were all complaining.
Relationships. Jobs. Divorce. Flatmates. Money. Fulfilment. The list goes on.
So I thought to myself on the bus home that life is hard. Being an adult is hard.
Could we have been more prepared?
Here are some lessons that I wish I had in school.
Lesson 1. Relationships 101. (What to do when you actually get one)
There is so much focus on finding the one in life. Meeting that person. Not being alone. Then you eventually meet someone. Wohoo! Jackpot! Now all my worries are over! But what to do when you actually are in the relationship with the external human? How do you maintain it? Furthermore the lessons would include: what is a douchebag (some people don’t know), and what are the warning signs? Divorce these days seems to be a daily announcement. I wonder why, and I think that it is sad. Fair enough, some cases are just that of a bad match. Sometimes people change but other times I think, “really, you didn’t know that (insert name) liked to sit on the couch in a dinosaur costume before you got married?”
Lesson 2. Mental health 101 and stress reduction techniques
I absolutely had no idea about mental health (particularly my own mental health that is) in high school. I knew that my mum was going through some shit. But I had no idea about it really, what the symptoms where. And I had no idea what I could do to protect my own mental health. Tools such as meditation, mindfulness and stress relief, along with the medical interventions, were something that I learnt well into my twenties. It goes with that saying of early intervention, building people’s skills and resilience. Let’s start them young I say.
Lesson 3. How to keep a job and the realities of the modern workplace
When you finish school you go to university (another safe haven.) You are full of ideas and laser beams. You know that you are going to change the world. You will not stand for any injustice in any workplace! Then you get to your first job. Your computer doesn’t work. They have no budget for new desks so you find that you are sharing one. You sit next to someone who collects dolls and cuts their toenails at their desk (not my current situation, but may have been in the past.)
It’s not the job you have to deal with. It’s all this other shit. How do you prepare the kids these days for that?
Lesson 4. What is money? Plus budgeting 101
Test example a:
If you work at McDonald’s and you earn 4.99 an hour and work 17 hours a week, how do you pay your phone bill that is $300 and buy a new dress to wear to The Ivy? Give an itemized breakdown.
Test example b:
You are age 35. If you earn $70, 000 per annum, and you have a mortgage of $948, 000, how do you propose to meet your repayments when your partner is out of work? You also need add in your budget, an arthritic cat, whose medication costs $27.65 per month.
Lesson 5. Pregnancy and sex – the real statistics
Just some additional facts here that I think need to be added.
Fact 1. Sex will suck the first maybe 20 times you do it.
And then some multiple choice test examples.
Text example c:
If Suzie is 16, and goes to a party and has unprotected sex the likelihood of her getting pregnant is:
A. 10% B.50% C.99.5%
Correct. Suzie is 99.5% likely to get pregnant from her short encounter at the party.
Test example d:
Suzie is now 35 and trying to get pregnant. To succeed she will need to have unprotected sex with her partner:
A. Once. B. Twice. C. 879 times.
Correct. The answer is 879 times, with a round of IVF.
What did you wish you knew in high school?
Have I missed anything out?