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10 Things they don’t teach you at school

Real life can have some harsh lessons that leave you wondering if you would have been better prepared for dealing with life if only you’d been taught how to deal with it during your school years. We asked our readers what lessons they wish the school curriculum included. Here’s what they said.

Smiling woman leaning on textbooks |


How to cook dinner

“I lived on noodles and hash browns for my entire first year at college.” — Emily, 31


Real life skills

“Like where to go and how to ask for help when life doesn’t go to plan. Dealing with disappointment, mental illness, family violence… You know, all the stuff that happens which no one wants to talk about.” — Michelle, 45



“You will not start at the top even if you get a degree.” — Rochelle, 32


Human compassion

“I think more emphasis on human compassion would’ve been a good thing. Bullying was rife at my high school, and I’m sure this was only because the teachers turned a blind eye to it and at times even encouraged it! I saw something recently which resonated with me. A teacher told her young students to each take a piece of paper and screw it up into a ball; then they had to try and flatten it back out. She asked them to apologize to the paper in order to smooth it back into its original condition. Of course this didn’t work. She told them the creases and bumps left behind are like the physical and emotional scars left behind after being bullied. Sometimes nothing will remove them. I just wish they’d taught lessons on kindness and empathy.” — Sarah, 27

What to do when your child is being bullied >>


Managing credit

“Even if the bank offers you a credit card and it seems like a good idea, say no, and only buy major purchases when you can pay in cash.” — Melanie, 29


Junk food

“It doesn’t matter how skinny you are; if you keep eating junk food, you are going to get fat, and that it’s much harder to lose the weight when you get older. Now I just have to look at a piece of cake and my thighs start growing.” — Hannah, 41


Letting go of what you can’t change

“Don’t sweat the small stuff, because worrying about stuff you can’t change is not going to change anything.” — Ali, 20


Appreciation for people

“Truly appreciate every moment you have with the people you love, because life is fleeting, and you never know when they’re going to be taken from you.” — Sharon, 26

Simple ways to show your love >>


Relationships are more important than being right

“When it comes to having a disagreement, sometimes you need to put more value on your relationship than you do about proving you were right in the first place.” — Debbie, 27


Having a child doesn’t make you a parent

“The ability to have children does not make you a parent. You need to earn the respect of being called mom; otherwise you are just the woman that gave birth to me.” — Janice, 23

More life lessons

5 Books that could change your life
Savings lessons that can be learned from today’s retirees
5 Things happy women do every day

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