In high school, we spend most of our time learning about abstract ideas. While this expands our minds and perspectives, it eats up lots of time, meaning that schools often omit teaching their students practical life skills. In fact, a recent study found that only 5% of students felt that their high school was teaching them the practical life skills they would need after high school. If you relate to the 95% of students whose knowledge of practical life skills is lacking, here are a few essential skills you may want to learn before your graduation.
1. Taxes and Money Management
Like it or not, taxes will inevitably be a part of your adult life. While most teens understand the basic principles of taxes, the specifics can be confusing. If you're looking to expand your tax knowledge, you may find this simple explanation helpful. Similarly to taxes, most schools don't give their students proper instruction on personal finance skills such as budgeting or investing. If you're interested in learning more about these topics, you may want to take a look at our article on financial literacy.
2. First Aid
Since you never know when you're going to be put into an emergency situation, having a baseline knowledge of first aid is an essential life skill. To make sure you're prepared for anything, you may want to take an online first-aid certification class where you can learn skills such as CPR or the Heimlich maneuver.
3. Self Defense
Similarly to first aid, knowing basic self-defense skills is a great way to be prepared in emergencies. While you can always find a local, in-person self-defense course, various online resources can help you learn skills from home. This could be a great way to use spare time during quarantine.
4. Home and Auto Repair
It's valuable to have some basic repair skills that can help you determine when you can solve a problem yourself and when you need to call for help. While there are tons of online tutorials for most simple home and auto repairs, hands- on opportunities such as volunteering to do construction with habitat for humanity or seeking out an apprenticeship at an auto shop are also great ways to gain skills.
5. Soft Skills
Soft skills, such as communication and collaboration, are essential to the modern workplace. However, most schools don’t make teaching them a priority. If you are interested in improving your soft skills, you may want to engage in project-based learning, where you can develop the real-world skills you will need as you embark on your career.
In life, the importance of setting and achieving goals cannot be understated. However, goal setting is a skill that must be practiced and, let's be honest, it can be challenging for many teenagers. However, we are not alone.