Highschool Life More or Less Revolves Around Attending Classes and Passing Exams. But What About Learning Basic Life Skills?
Did you know that every year, over 1.2 million high school students drop out in the US? That works out to 1 student every 26-seconds. Is it because the subjects being taught are completely irrelevant? At Alux, we believe the most important subject is “life skills”- high schools should improve their curriculum to add the 15 things we’re going to discuss in this article.
Let’s find out what high school students really should be learning.
If you are a high school student, you’re definitely reading a lot of text books. Instead of reading a long article, how about a fun YouTube upload?
With that in place, let’s jump right into the article.
How to Think Independently
Perhaps it’s not a life skill you think of right away, or you might assume that it comes with age… but thinking independently is something that can be taught.
In high school, it’s often safer for students to “go with the flow”, not “rock the boat” or offer their opinion. Students are often afraid to speak their mind for fear of retribution, ridicule or being outcast.
So, what can high schools teach to empower students to think independently and have the confidence to give their opinion?
High schools can encourage pupils to read more. Books with all sorts of genres and themes that the staff can discuss with the students with no right or wrong answer. Think of it more like a school “book club” than a set textbook that the students should interpret in a specific way.
Pose problems to students and have them play devil’s advocates. The more real-life exposure they get, the more they’ll begin to think independently.
How to Work Well With Money and Budget
In our video, 15 Best Books to Teach Kids About Money, we gave you a list of 15 excellent reads for children ranging from toddler to young adult, and we highly recommend you watch this video because it’s not a subject currently taught in school. And it should be. It is one of the top life skills high school students must master.
So many young people leave high school and don’t have a clue on the basics of money. How to budget, how to save, how to spend wisely.
It’s all very well getting a part-time job and making money – but if you’re spending all that money on crap with no real thought process behind the purchase, we can agree that’s a problem.
Other important lessons to teach high school students is delaying gratification which triggers a sense of pride when they purchase the item eventually.
We have videos with invaluable lessons for all ages on our youtube channel alux.com, so be sure to subscribe to it.
How to Handle Conflict
When you hear the word conflict, how does it make you feel?
Like sticking your head in the sand and hoping the problem just fades away.
It’s going to be tough going through life with all these feelings when it comes to conflict, because it’s one of the things that we’ll encounter often. So, the sooner we can deal with it properly, the better.
First lesson to learn is to speak to the person you have conflict with. Speaking about the conflict to others just paints you in a bad light. Clarke University suggests accepting the conflict. Then handle the situation calmly, because if you get all agitated and uppity, it’s just going to affect the resolution process.
Be sure to focus on the actual event or problem and leave people’s personalities out of the drama. And even if you agree to disagree, look forward and know you did the right thing and can move forward.
Students need to practise different scenarios to get used to dealing with conflict.
How to Be Mindful and Grateful
Aluxers, if you think back at school and the petty fights and bitchiness that often cropped up, do you think that having half an hour a day to be mindful might have diffused a lot of that negativity?
We believe so. Being mindful is one of the most effective life skills high school students can use to remain focused on the greater goal.
Huffpost published an article about the benefits of teaching mindfulness in schools, written by Becca Wertheim. She introduced mindfulness to her students, and she said the following, “Rather than being quick to judge or assume, they became better listeners. They listened more attentively to me, they listened to their peers, they listened to themselves.”
How to Take Care of Mental Health
Sadly, this is an area that is severely neglected and yet, so many people struggle with their mental health. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 300-million people worldwide struggle with depression.
Bipolar disorder affects around 45-million people, and schizophrenia around 20 million.
Even if a student doesn’t ever struggle with any of these mental health problems, they will no doubt know someone who does, and they will need to know how to interact with them and handle the situation in the best way they can.
How to Look After Your Ra, Write a Will, Life Insurance, Car Insurance Etc
Aluxers, do you have a will in place? Sure, maybe you don’t own much – but getting a will in place is not something that you only need to do when you become a parent, own a house or are a multi-millionaire. You know, to stop your greedy twice removed aunty, the one that speaks while eating and spits food out at the same time… from getting her paws on your millions.
Teaching high school students, the importance of a will is something that can easily be taught in schools. Teach them about saving for their retirement, how to choose a great medical aid, how to insure their personal belongings, the difference between car insurance and household insurance and life insurance. These are all life skills high school students can later benefit from, when they begin playing in the real life, with the real rules.
The younger you take out life insurance, the greater the pay-out will be one day when you do eventually kick the bucket.
The younger we teach these life lessons the easier adulthood will be and wiser and healthier decisions can be made with good background knowledge.
An Introduction to Politics
Along with that, an understanding of why we choose the political parties we do. Politics is not that difficult to understand, but because it’s not taught, a love for politics only comes later in life.
Often high school students will go along with what their parents have voted with no real knowledge as to why, if they even vote at all when they’re of age.
People tend to shy away from talking about politics. Mark Twain once said, “Never discuss politics or religion in polite company.” And the reason people have taken that to heart, is that they try and avoid conflict. But there is nothing wrong with having a good, healthy discussion about both.
It doesn’t need to be confrontational or turn into a shouting match. It can be an open, safe place to discuss different perspectives and gain a better understanding of political parties.
Basic DIY / Sewing / Cooking / Baking / Car maintenance
Aluxers, you can’t keep running to your mommy to sew on a button, cook you a chicken pie, hang a shelf or top up your car’s oil… you need to do that yourself.
School’s should definitely offer a “how to adult like an adult” subject, where students are taught how to hang a shelf, sew on a button, bake a cake, change a tyre… you get the point.
With such life skills, high school students will be equipped to solve their own basic issues, that all of us have to face frequently.
Forget what we said about the chicken pie… it’s ok for your mom to make you a chicken pie.
How to Write a Decent CV and Ace a Job Interview
In short, how to sell yourself. Leaving high school and suddenly being left on your own is quite a scary place to be for students.
It would benefit students enormously if they were able to write a decent CV. So, no hearts, stars or pictures of your dog. No scented or coloured paper, no word art, and do not use an unprofessional email address like email@example.com
When it comes to job interviews… practise makes perfect. Students would benefit enormously from doing mock job interviews where every single possible question, and some, is brought forward.
By the time your high school student goes to a real interview, they’ll feel confident in their ability to do well in the interview and they need to be reminded that job interviews are a lot like first dates. Good impressions count. It can get awkward and the outcome can be unpredictable.
How to Defend Yourself – Vocally and Physically
Aluxers, bullies will be around even during adulthood and they come in all shapes and sizes… from your next-door neighbour’s kid to your colleague at work to someone trying to physically harm you.
Taking a self-defense course and practising the skills learnt in that course are integral. Being able to defend yourself physically against attackers could potentially save your life. It’s terrible to say these things, but unfortunately that is the reality we live in. But fortunately, there are these life skills high school students can learn and equip themselves with just the defense they need to make such an issue a non-issue.
Same goes for verbal abuse. So often, people don’t even realize that they’ve been verbally abused. Gas-lighting, name-calling, condescension, manipulation and criticism are just a few ways people are verbally abused. If student’s can be aware of this kind of abuse early on, it will provide them with enough time and space to re-evaluate the situation and either seek help or leave.
If you’ve decided that it’s time to get tough, you need a suitable defense style to begin. Check out 10 Best Martial Arts That Get You Ripped.
How to Be a Decent and Contributing Member of Society
The wife of Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King once said, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”
Being a good member of the community doesn’t just mean you need to show compassion to your fellow man, although that is certainly important, it also means respecting the law. How often do you catch people running a stop sign? Speaking on their mobile phone while driving? Texting and driving? Or, what about walking past a piece of trash on the ground?
All these actions are not for the greater good of the community.
Students will learn that positive actions within a community will open up doors they never imagined.
How to Manage Inter and Intrapersonal Relationships
Aluxers, the difference between inter and intrapersonal relationships is that interpersonal is a relationship between 2 people and intrapersonal is between “me, myself and I.”
Most adults don’t even know the basics of intrapersonal relationships, so if young people can learn this from a young age, we would hopefully have well-adjusted adults making well-adjusted decisions for our future. This is one of the life skills high school students need for a higher quality of communication and networking.
When people learn the basics of inter and intrapersonal relationships, relationships flourish, people communicate better with each other, self-esteem is higher, and decisions are made for the benefit of everyone.
How to Live Sustainably
There is currently a wonderful initiative through the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry’s Farm to School program, where they are accepting applications for school garden kits on behalf of the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant.
According to a recent article published in The Daily Ardmoreite, “The primary aim of these school gardens is to not only promote healthy eating habits, but also educate students on where their food comes from and how to produce that food themselves.”
Wouldn’t it be incredible if all schools had this?
Let’s add how to save water, how to conserve energy, what about aqua or hydroponics? Solar? Recycling. Buying fair trade products and so on.
These life lessons are invaluable.
If you needed a good reason to stay in school… we’ve got it coming up!
Have a Basic Understanding of Interest, Bonds, Buying a Home
Nothing screams “I’m finally an adult” like buying your first home. Reactions range from sheer excitement to sheer terror when you realize you must pay for it for the next 20-years.
The whole process can be daunting and intimidating and there’s a sh*t ton of paperwork to sign. Having such life skills, high school students can rest assured that they will smoothly pass through the legal phases of their lives.
High school learners would be much savvier if they were taught the basics of buying a property VS renting a property. Speaking of which, we highly recommended you watch this video of ours, which explains it really well.
And finally, the hardest lesson to learn…
How to Find Happiness
Humans are funny. We think, when I graduate from high school, I’ll be happy. When I get a car, I’ll be happy. When I get a job, I’ll be happy. Only when I get married, I’ll be happy. Alright, now I have it all, the last thing is travel. When I check off travel from my list, I’ll be happy.
But what about the here and now? Can you be happy in this exact moment? Do you think that by continually pursuing happiness, you’re robbing yourself of the joy of right now?
Aluxers, if we could teach high schoolers this invaluable lesson, it would be the most important subject at school.
Aluxers, what do you think high school students should be learning? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.