I was messaging with a dear friend of mine from high school. She is a teacher in one of those warmer southern states. She was telling me about a class she was teaching that allows kids who won’t be able to graduated because of being short credits to get their GED.
I was asking her how successful the class was in helping the students be successful in life. Since the test was recently changed and made more difficult she was unsure of how helpful it would be. We got into a discussion about how teaching teens, especially at risk teens, things like the definition of rubicund (which I learned means reddish skinned like with a rash) are not very helpful for them being successful in life. Sure they prepare that student to go on and be a nurse or a doctor, but is that necessary for someone preparing to get their GED? or even someone graduating with their traditional high school diploma? Trigonometry is great and all, but does that prepare most of our children to be successful and productive Americans? What about teaching some of the more practical skills like how to survive a panel interview, or how to effectively communicate with a boss.
This discussion has prompted me to write a list of things I wish I had learned when I was in high school. (in no particular order)
- learn how to balance a check book and make good financial decisions. Look around you. Who has the life style you want. Ask them how they do it. Ask them to show you how they budget their money.
- SAVE money now for retirement – a little money put away in your early twenties will grow faster and bigger than if you wait until later in life.
- Don’t go to collage just to say you finished it. Go only when and if you see a clear goal ahead of you, and collage is the only way to reach that goal.
- When you pick a collage, think about more than just the academics they provide. What will the financial burden be to you after you are done. Can you afford it if you get a job in a different field that you intend. Be a fully informed consumer of education.
- Girls – HOLD OUT – truly wait for the guy to chase you. You want to be with someone who truly thinks the world of you. He’s out there. Don’t settle don’t worry you’ll be alone – wait for the guy that truly respects you and puts your needs before his. Remember to respect yourself – you are worthy of respect, but respect needs to be earned and reciprocated. Divas need not apply – they don’t make ANYONE truly happy.
- Guys – putting your girl’s needs before yours isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s the strongest thing you could ever do for your self. The strongest leaders are those who listen with full attention and spend time putting others first. This will make you successful in work, home, and life and you will have more rewards that you can ever imagine.
- Learn how to cook for many on a very small budget. Find that family of 8 kids and one income. spend time with them learning how to make ends meet. You may be blessed always in life to never NEED those skills, but they are always good to have. Why blow all your money on food and toiletries when you really don’t need to. Conserving some will help a lot later on.
- Always surround yourself with people who truly care about you. People who will be with you no matter what. These are the people who you will need. Don’t forget to be one of those people yourself.
- Always say please, thank you, and be more polite that you want to be.
- there is no point in time when you truly feel like you have ‘grown up’
- Other peoples lives will always look better – remember just like you are hiding the things going on on the inside other people are too. We all have ups and downs – how you handle them is what will make you stand out, not that you have them.
- remember that EVERYONE deserves to be given respect and love – it isn’t always easy but its something to always strive to do. You will reap more rewards from that one action than most anything else you do.
- ask your grandparents about everything – someday they won’t be around and you’ll miss out on their knowledge and wisdom. They may be slower moving, but they are amazing people to have as best friends.
- take time to find the joy in life – this doesn’t mean stop and party 24/7 – it means maintain your responsibilities and find joy in doing them. Washing the dishes – feel blessed you had dinner to eat. Flat tire on a cold winter day – feel honored the tow truck driver left his warm house to come help you. Your family member dies – know the memories you had with them can’t be taken away.
- People are what matter, not things.