10 Things You Need for Adult Life but Don’t Learn in School

10 Things You Need for Adult Life but Don’t Learn in School
10 Things You Need for Adult Life but Don’t Learn in School

10 Things You Need for Adult Life but Don’t Learn in School

A quality education needs to involve learning various life skills that a person can take with them after their college years. These essential life-skills help people navigate careers, relationships, and ensure they are a successful and well-rounded individual.

Even though the majority of high schools and colleges are excellent at teaching numerous valuable skills, the current academic curriculum doesn’t teach very many aspects that are necessary to not only succeed but also thrive in life. Some components that aren’t taught in traditional learning institutions include financial responsibilities and investments, and how to think logically and retain information, rather than just memorizing it. Another skill that is often left out of the normal school curriculum is how to apply these abilities in real-world scenarios that are bound to take place.

Chances are you have been in a situation in the past where you don’t know what to do. For example, you can’t make your own budget to ensure you can pay all your bills, or you don’t know how to effectively remember all the offerings your business provides to customers. The fact is, common sense skills are a necessity for people; however, very rarely taught in traditional learning environments.

Are you ready to know 10 of the main adult skills you need to have that you don’t learn in school? If so, you have found an excellent source of information to help you out. Our list ensures you know what you need to study and do on your own to ensure you are a successful adult.

10Personal Finance

Personal Finance. You need it. You didn’t learn it.

Ideally, all schools (both high schools and colleges) would offer courses in personal finance. The curriculum needs to include topics such as credit ratings, credit cards, interest rates, retirement accounts, and why everyone needs to begin saving money each week so they have a nest egg when they reach retirement age. After all, compound interest basically runs the planet; however, many people don’t know anything about it until they are in their mid-twenties.

Now, you may wonder why personal finance topics are so important. There are several reasons a personal finance education is needed early in life, including:

  • $15,000 in credit card debt is what the average American family has.
  • Because more than 36 percent of Americans who are working have absolutely nothing saved for their retirement years.
  • The majority of people – even after an expensive college education – don’t know how to properly manage their money.

There is no question that financial illiteracy is a huge problem. After all, if the society is full of individuals who constantly purchase stuff they don’t need and can’t afford, retire with no savings what-so-ever, and are sick of not being able to pay for healthcare, this hurts everyone in the long run. The sad part is, this is what is going on right now. Millions of people waste their money, don’t put back, and don’t save, resulting in serious consequences for not only people on an individual level but society as a whole.


Gossiping is bad. Duh. You should already know this.

Have you ever really thought about the relationship skills most people possess? This doesn’t just mean on a personal level – it includes professional and casual relationships, as well. If this course was offered in school, it would include teaching individuals how to communicate their feelings without judging or blaming one another, how to identify manipulative behavior and stop it, the importance of personal boundaries, how not to become a pushover, how to discuss sexuality in an adult and honest manner, and how sexuality relates (or does not relate) to love.

Basically, everything that the majority of people learn when they experience their first breakup, or continue experiencing breakup after breakup.

This is important because when you are lying on your death bed, you don’t think about the history or math lessons you learned while in high school or college. You are thinking about the ones you have loved and the ones you have lost. There are many things that may make you happy in life, but there are few that have as much impact or influence as your relationships with others.

This education teaches you how to express your emotions and feelings of intimacy properly. It would also teach you how to handle conflict at work, and take responsibility for your own problems and emotions without dragging everyone along with you.

Humans are social animals; you don’t exist in a vacuum. The social bonds you form make up the very fabric of your life and learning how to develop strong and lasting relationships is a must.

8The Art of Conversation

A little small talk goes a long way.

Take some time to think – when is the last time you had a long, meaningful conversation with another person that didn’t involve some type of electronic device? For most people, this is something they can’t recall. With the world becoming more and more tech-advanced, the art of the good old-fashioned conversation is being lost.

The ability to converse with acquaintances, neighbors, spouses, friends, dates, loved ones, bosses, coworkers, etc., all require a certain level of boundaries and social norms that are fully understood and observed. This includes give and take, as well as mutual respect. This is true regardless of if the conversation is over the phone, face to face, on social media, or through email.

The younger generation has received the nickname the “silent generation.” This is because they mainly communicate via mediums that don’t require any actual speaking to another person. This results in a person’s normal communication skills being hindered. In the long run, this can result in no learning from other’s mistakes and experiences, reduced social development, and social isolation. All of these adverse effects could result in a type of barrier that minimizes the potential for the individual to achieve rewarding careers and meaningful relationships.

The ability to connect with other people, feel empathy, when to listen and when to talk, and other similar factors are crucial in interpersonal relationships, as well as in the workplace. Conversation is a skill that is dying, which is why schools need to highlight its importance.

7How to Make it Without Certain Types of Technology

Secret ancient technology. Words on paper!

With the increasing popularity of e-readers and smart phones, books and mechanical watches are becoming much scarcer. Many people don’t even understand how to read a single-hand watch. These watches work in a unique manner, that most members of the older generation understand, but this is not something that is passed on to the younger generation. After all, it was only the very first pocket watches that were designed this way.

Even though these watches are now considered “antique,” it is extremely beneficial to know how to read them. After all, if they are properly cared for they can last for hundreds of years and never require a battery.

One of the benefits related to reading paper books is that older books are available. These are typically not offered on the modern e-reader. You can trade these books, borrow them from others (or the library), and even give them as gifts. They don’t ever need a charge and you can annotate and sign them. There is no type of update ever needed and you don’t have to worry about file-type incompatibilities. Many people are even worried that the increased popularity of e-readers is going to mean the demise of traditional books, which means you may eventually find you are completely cut off from your ancestors. This is not a future that most people want or need. This is why it is so important for high schools and colleges teach students how to use older versions of items, rather than relying on technology.

6Basic Home Repair Skills

You should know how to fix a leaky pipe.

At some point, a person in high school, or college, is going to “break out” and live on their own. Knowing what to do when something breaks is essential to keep a home in good, working order. The fact is, calling a repair person for every small break that occurs can get pretty expensive. This is why it is so important for a person to know how to repair basic systems and components around the house.

However, this is yet another skill that is needed, but not taught, to kids in school. Skills such as electrical work, carpentry, plumbing, and painting (as well as many other skills) are all necessary to maintain and repair any home, regardless of if a person owns or rents it.

The fact is, this is where the person is going to store most of their valuables and where they are going to send most of their lives. Knowing how to make certain repairs and various improvements is always a valuable skill to have. In addition to knowing how to make the right repairs, it is also necessary to know what tools are needed to ensure the repair and improvement jobs go smoothly. Skills such as knowing how to read a measuring tape and ruler go a long way when making home improvements; however, this is a skill that many people simply don’t have.

In addition to making home repairs and improvements, it is also wise to understand how to maintain the flower beds and yard to improve curb appeal. This can help to increase the value of the home, intrinsically and monetarily.

5Handling Basic Auto Repairs

Checking your oil is fundamental.

Basically, the same things about maintaining and repairing a home apply to the maintenance and repair of an automobile. Regular maintenance to a vehicle can save a person quite a bit on repair bills. However, this is another skill that is not taught to very many kids while in school. While the ones who opt to take shop in school may receive a few skills, this is not offered at every institution, which means that many kids simply don’t know what to do when something goes wrong with their vehicle.

Because these individuals don’t know why their vehicle needs maintenance, or what to do when something breaks, they seek the services of a professional mechanic. As a result, the repair bills begin to stack up. The fact is, there are a number of preventative maintenance tasks that can prevent serious issues and help ensure a vehicle continues operating properly.

Some of the skills that kids need to learn in high school or in college (that are not taught) include how to change the oil in a vehicle, checking the air pressure in the tires, and knowing what different fluids look like in case there is a leak in the vehicle. All of these skills ensure that a person can keep their vehicle working efficiently.


If you don’t have basic manners, get out of the human race.

“Yes ma’am,” “no thank you,” simply holding the door open for someone – these are all lost manners that the younger generation either doesn’t know or just simply chooses not to use. The fact is, manners are an indispensable component of civilized society. Using manners properly helps to make great impressions with new acquaintances, bosses, teachers, friends, the in-laws, significant others, and family members.

In the past, children were sent to etiquette classes, either in school or ones offered by churches or other, third party organizations. However, these are a thing of the past and just like these classes that teach great etiquette, manners are quickly declining.

The fact is, however, an etiquette class is not something that is needed for a person to know how to say “thank you,” “please,” “sir,” or “ma’am.” In addition to good manners, a person needs to understand the importance of extending respect and kindness to any and everyone they meet in normal society.

When someone travels outside their home country, it is also essential to learn the customs and manners of the country they are visiting to ensure they don’t offend anyone and to ensure they can easily get along with the locals.

In today’s school curriculum; however, manners are not viewed as important as science, math, and other studies such as these. As a result, many of the younger generation don’t have the basic good manners they need to thrive in society.

3The Law

You don’t want to learn the law the hard way.

A fact that many young people don’t understand is the fact that ignorance of the law cannot keep a lawbreaker out of jail or keep them from having to face the criminal justice system. If a person breaks the law, they are going to have to face the consequences. However, a high school and a college education do not teach this basic fact of life.

The majority of people have a general, basic understand of the laws and what they can and cannot do. However, it is still important for students to receive an education that covers the bare minimum regarding the impact of society’s laws on their lives.

For example, how many people understand if trespassing is a felony or misdemeanor? Is decorating a person’s car or toilet papering a person’s yard a chargeable offense? Can a person face criminal charges for not paying a credit card or other debt? What rights does a person have after they are arrested? With the potentially grave, real-life consequences of breaking the law, it is an important factor that all students need to learn. When they are taught this information, they can act accordingly and ensure they don’t participate in actions that are considered illegal or that may result in legal consequences.

This is another skill that is not taught in high school curriculum or in college unless a person is a law student. As a result, as a student reaches adulthood, they don’t have a firm grasp on what may happen to them if they were to break the law.

2Time Management Skills

You gotta learn how to handle your time.

Even though exams, papers, tests, and assignments are required at certain times, many educators don’t take the time to teach students how to ensure they can meet these deadlines. Effective time management skills are needed throughout life. This is true for future jobs and even future relationships. After all, no one likes to deal with someone who is consistently late.

While there is no question that time efficiency is helpful in school, it is also more important as a person gets older. After all, the older a person gets, the less and less time they have until retirement. It is also extremely important as a person attempts to navigate retirement plans, family, and raising children. Scheduling effectively gets more and more important in these situations. Also, sleep is typically less important as a person gets older and the use of calendars and alerts on a smartphone are extremely helpful in keeping up with everything that has to get done.

Schools need to offer basic time management skills for kids at all ages, which can help them increase productivity as time passes. However, there are many kids entering college, and even their first jobs, that don’t have the basic time management skills needed to keep up with tasks at work, in college, with their family, or anywhere else where this type of skill is needed.

1A Healthy Sense of Skepticism

Be more skeptical.

This type of school curriculum would include ideas such as why everything most people believe is likely wrong to some extent; why memories are unreliable; how fields that seem sturdy, such as physics and mathematics, are full of uncertainty; how everyone is a terrible judge of things that made them happy or unhappy in the past and what is going to make them happy or unhappy in the future; and so on.

Skepticism is important because almost anything that is good in life comes from a sense of uncertainty or a state of not knowing. In fact, uncertainty is what drives a person to become curious, to want to learn, to test new theories and ideas, and to communicate their intentions to other people. This is also what helps to keep a person humble and accept what comes along in life. It can also allow you to see other people without biases and unfair judgments.

Virtually anything in life that is bad comes from certainty: unfair prejudice, bigotry, arrogance, and complacency. Schools need to teach children a healthy level of skepticism early in life, or they may become the next generation to fall in and drink the cyanide-laced Kool-Aid like people in the past who blindly followed someone did.

Skepticism helps to cultivate the ability to open oneself up to alternatives, to challenge yourself, to question things, withhold judgment, and make yourself an overall better person in the long run.


School – both high school and college – teaches students quite a bit. In fact, it offers some important skills. However, as a person approaches adulthood, there are certain skills they need that are not on the traditional curriculum. Understanding what skills are necessary and how these are beneficial in life can help a student, as well as their parents, understand why additional education is necessary.

In most cases, the skills listed here are ones that parents can instill in their children. However, if this is not possible, a student needs to take the time to learn them on their own. Failure to do this may leave them lost later on in life, without basic life skills that can help them become a more successful person.

There are some, more enlightened colleges, which have caught on to the trend of teaching basic life skills; however, these institutions are few and far between. As a result, it is often up to the student to learn these skills on their own. Doing so can help them become a more well-rounded individual, who is not only able to take care of themselves, but also achieve more in their future jobs or careers.

Take the 10 skills highlighted here, read them, absorb them, and then take some time to learn what they are all about. Being a well-rounded person requires that a student understands more than just geometry, physics, and life science. The basic skills of life encompass much more than just what is taught in the traditional classroom. Understanding this and taking the time to learn skills that are not offered in the classroom is the best way to ensure a person is well-rounded and prepared for whatever life throws their way.