Top 4 things I wish I learned while in high school

taxesBy Feature Editor: Hannah Snyder

The four years of high school are supposed to be considered the “best four years of your life”. However, what makes these years actually the best? You learn how to write a thesis statement, how the government become a government and why the United States fought in a bunch of wars, and most importantly – how to solve the variable “x” in thousands of unrealistic situations. But do I really need to know these things in order to be successful in the future?

These last four years have taught me endless amounts of information, but now that graduation is right around the corner I’m beginning to wonder how much of it is actually useful.

This has nothing to do with the Howell Public School’s education system. In fact, schools all around the country, the world even, aren’t teaching students these important life tips.

Here’s an honest list of the top four things I really wish I could have learned in high school:

How to purchase a house

Now this one seems impractical, but in reality, I don’t know how I am going to buy a house one day. I actually don’t even know where to begin when it comes to home buying. Yes, I have learned what a mortgage is and basic vocabulary words related to the subject, but I was never taught how the process actually works. I’m sure if I was taught about it nobody would have taken the subject seriously but now that my brain is in “adult” mode – I am bummed I don’t know anything about purchasing real estate.

Taxes

What are taxes? Why does the government take money out of my paycheck and how do I receive refund money at tax time? These are the questions I really wished someone would have explained to me before I started my first job. One of my biggest confusions with taxes is all of the detailed forms people have to fill out. If I’m entering the real world soon, I think it would be nice if I was able to understand real paperwork. And most importantly – what high school student actually knows what a 401k is?

How to get a job

Speaking of taxes and jobs, in high school I was never taught how to be successful after graduation and college. It’s basic knowledge that after college it’s going to be tricky to find my first job but why wasn’t I taught basic interviewing skills and preparation tips? In college they don’t have time to teach me, but in high school, we have all the time in the world. If I don’t know how to get a job now as a graduating senior, I feel like I’ll be wasting my time throughout college.

How the bank works

A majority of high school students, including myself, have some type of bank account to store their money. It would be nice to know how that entire banking system works. I understand the difference between credit cards and debit cards, but it’s no secret that there is much, much, more than just that. The word loan in my mind simply means borrowing money but in bank language it has a whole new meaning. There are dozens of different loans, and I couldn’t tell you a single thing about any of them. High school would have been a good time to figure these things out before I make my first, big purchase.

Although it could be easily argued that students do learn these things throughout the four years of high school, I can honestly say I haven’t. Don’t get me wrong though, I am more than grateful I was able to learn all the information I did throughout these last few years. But some practical economic life skills would have been nice. Life is a learning experience and it looks like I’ll have much, much more to learn.