Top Ten Things Public School Doesn't Prepare You For

I can't exactly speak against the U.S. public school system, being Canadian, but I can't imagine things being too different over there when it comes to the way they prioritize what kids and teens need to learn to move towards the more complicated stages of life. Children born into less-than-functional family environments can miss out on critical knowledge about how to make it on their own once they receive their independence. And since elementary, middle, and high schools don't (frequently) teach these things, they're likely going to have a very difficult time adjusting to adulthood. This list compiles the ten life skills that should be part of public school's (primarily high school's) curriculums that aren't (ever, usually, or usually mandatory).

The Top Ten

1 Money Handling / Credit

I had a sub that taught us how to handle money when we were supposed to be in social studies or history class or whatever... it lasted the whole period - NightJinx

What about banking?

My main thought is taxes. But of course budgeting, bill-paying, and whatever else-paying are all extremely important things to know. And I feel handling one's credit should be a big part of what is taught to our youth about money. - BKAllmighty

I honestly have no clue how to pay taxes, bills, or really even how a credit card works. That's crucial life skills, school, come on! - keycha1n

2 Communication / Social Skills

I wish they taught this. I wouldn't call myself antisocial, but I don't have friends at school. At home and around family I can be really confident because they were around my whole life, but I was never taught how to befriend new people! I had friends when I was in kindergarten to second grade, but by third grade we drifted apart. I was never really bullied much (but a lot of kids annoyed me about doing my work when they should be doing their own) now, in six grade, I have no friends at school! All the people who are close to me are close because I knew them my whole life, but what if they're away?

Special ed does this, but it's all too basic, like preschool manners, sort of.

If we were taught this at school we would gain a lot more confidence. - Tekiku

I wish that this was taught. Most of the time public school is good for me, but not this topic. This is an area where I still have my dumb PDD so if they taught this then maybe it would make it easier in social situations. - Anonymousxcxc

3 Thinking / Decision-Making

The youth of today need guidance. If they didn't, you wouldn't see dirty-looking 17 year old high school students smoking outside the school gymnasium during lunch hour. There are a million more other things that kids and teens need help with when it comes to making the right choices in life but I think you can fill in the blanks, yourselves. - BKAllmighty

As an aspiring scientist, being able to infer logically is what I hold dear. A number of people in my high school physics class, even in the last year, were always coming to me for answers, and it kept me from the work itself. Thus, it would be best for both worlds if this was taught from year one. - PositronWildhawk

All that school does is to brainwash us to become mindless conformists who just make decisions according to their subjective definition of what is "right". Good thing I stopped believing in the concept of "right and wrong".

"When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it's a wonder I can think at all." - PetSounds

4 Home Repair

Yes, it is available in school systems, but don't you think it should be a mandatory class? Is it not something that everyone needs to know to live on your own? - BKAllmighty

5 Government / The Law

Ask any 20-something person living in Canada how the Canadian government system works and 99.99% of the people you ask won't even know how our voting system works. I am one of them. I wish I knew more but a crash course in government functions isn't in my foreseeable future (because... life happened). I don't know how ignorant Americans are about their government but I'm sure it's not a very promising number, either. - BKAllmighty

They teach us the basics in U.S. government. Other than that, I don't know much about our current government. - Turkeyasylum

I know basic stuff, like you shouldn't steal, murder, or other stuff, but I don't know much still. How does the American voting system work, exactly?

Two U.S. history classes in high school covers it enough. - marmalade_skies

6 Time Management

Why this isn't taught concurrently with every class that ever existed in any elementary or high school I will never know. It's usually a quick thirty-second mention at the beginning of a class when it should be something teachers are focusing on for the duration of the school year. We all need to be taught this. Everybody freaks out or worries during test and exam times. Why? Because we aren't born with time management skills engraved in our heads. - BKAllmighty

A lot of our teachers could use some help in this department. - PetSounds

Won't stop you from goofing off anyway. - marmalade_skies

7 Automobile Repair

Just like home repair, auto repair is an essential thing to learn about. I understand that the cars of today are much more complex than the cars of the 70's and back, but even a minor understanding of how your car functions can be the difference between being stranded on the side of a freeway and being able to make it to the nearest garage (and not have to wait for and pay for a tow truck). - BKAllmighty

One can't just Google online and learn it? - marmalade_skies

8 Childcare / First Aid

Again, I know it is a class offered in high schools. But, since most people DO become parents or guardians in some form once they reach adulthood, it should be a required course to take. I included first aid with childcare since knowing how to give CPR or properly pressurize a wound is... well... do I really need to stress the importance of having this knowledge? - BKAllmighty

My health class only focused on this for a week! I still don't think I'll be ready to take care of someone who gets a heart attack with just a quick lesson on it, right?

9 Cooking

AGAIN, I know it IS offered in schools (Home Economics - or whatever your school calls it) but it is not nearly taken seriously enough. I know my high school never had classes with more than ten students at a time per class (or with 50% or more males in any respective class). I, for one, deeply regret not taking it in high school since I can barely pour cereal properly or make Kraft Dinner (Mac & Cheese to you Americans) without burning it or drowning it in too much milk. - BKAllmighty

I'm an awful cook. I don't know how ill fare in the future with no Home Ec class in high school. Maybe that's why America's so... Robust, relying on reddy-made and restaurants for food. Haha! - keycha1n

For cooking, I'm good at breadstuffs but bad at dairy and fruit sort of stuff.

This is one of the benefits of being homeschooled. I can cook! :P - RiverClanRocks

10 Dating / Relationships

I think that just slowly develops on its own - NightJinx

This one is a bit tricky since it's hard to imagine a structured class on how to hit on someone. Nonetheless, I think it would better society if a practical course in dating was offered in school systems. It just needs some figuring out and perhaps some trial runs. - BKAllmighty

The Contenders

11 Mortgage
12 Agriculture
13 Growing Vegetables

Some of us can't seem to grow vegetables without them dying so we need herbology classes...

14 Anger Management
15 Life
16 Pet Care
17 Travel
18 Self-defense
BAdd New Item

Related Lists

Top 10 Things Life Doesn't Prepare You For Top Ten Tips to Prepare for Tax Season Best Ways to Prepare for a Zombie Invasion Best Ways To Prepare And Eat Beef Best Ways to Prepare Chicken

List Stats

100 votes
18 listings
4 years, 138 days old

Top Remixes

1. Money Handling / Credit
2. Thinking / Decision-Making
3. Communication / Social Skills
1. Money Handling / Credit
2. Home Repair
3. Automobile Repair


Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.