You don't know what you don't know; things I wish they taught me in high school
Of all the classes taken and things learned in high school, I have yet to use any of it to reach my full potential (whatever it may be) in life. This may or may not be the case for you, but what I was taught in high school, was to go to college, get a degree, get a good job with benefits, work hard for the company and they would take care of me. What a load of crap.
First off, I never went to college. I went into the Army. Don't get me wrong, i'm a strong advocate of higher education, I just wish it lead to true success (by any definition) in life. Most of the people I know who are in college or went to college are either taking classes they hate, to get a degree for a job they have no passion for, or they're racking up huge amounts of debt that will be waiting for them come graduation whether they get a job in their field or not.
Secondly, getting the degree doesn't guarantee that you get the good job. Their are other variables, like experience, personality, character, and overall attitude that come into play. Too bad getting a degree doesn't include teaching you the people skills you may or may not need for that career path. And no, taking sociology or psychology does not make you a "people person."
And finally, working hard for the company will not obligate them to take care of you for the rest of your years. I don't think anyone in my generation will see a pension. More than likely, it'll be a buy out, so that they can hire a fresh young sucker for half of what you make, doing twice the work, and getting screwed all the while under a new contract.
But come they will, by the thousands, every semester. New recruits, eager to work. The ink not yet dry on their newly received diplomas and degrees, the credit card companies salivating over yet another long term income source. Most of these new graduates are oblivious, either following in the footsteps or the advice of, their parents. Their parents told them to get a good job. Their teachers taught them to be good employees. And then their professors taught them to be even better, more professional, life long... workers. We end up on this path by default.
Basically, we spend the earliest, healthiest years of our life learning how to be an employee. Then we spend the rest of our years working, for someone else's dream mind you, hoping beyond hope we can build a nest egg for retirement. And somewhere along the way we meet our life partners, have kids and raise a family, right? Oh wait, we still have to pay bills. No time for raising the kids. Must go to work so we can save up and put them through college!
Set up for failure
Maybe it's just me. Maybe it was only my high school. But I don't remember anyone teaching me a lick about finances in school. Economics was a half semester shared with government, where we learned what a CD is, and what GNP stood for. No one sat with us and said, "here, let me show you how to open a checking account, write a check, and balance your check book." No one told us how credit works, and how it would effect our future buying power. I mean, I met a 20 year old guy who stopped paying his car payment for 4 months, and his only reason was that he "didn't want the car anymore anyway." He had no idea how it would tank his credit score and probably take him 10 years to recover! He probably has no idea what a credit score even is!
Why is the system failing us? Why don't I see kids playing in the streets anymore, and instead they're all inside playing PS3 and X-Box 360? Why aren't we teaching our kids to dream big, to create a legacy, to make a difference?
My sister, who is 19, was over the other day. She had just had a huge fight with her boyfriend, who turned all "violent victim" on her, to the point that she had to move out so he could not find her. I asked her, "Liz, what do you want to do in life? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" Her response was, "I don't know, right now I just need to get my hair colored." I wanted to reach for her throat.
Now ofcourse, my parents are somewhat to blame here. They could have taught us some of these things. Oh wait, that's right. They weren't taught either! Will someone end this vicious cycle! I swear, I feel like we're headed towards a new Dark Ages! The middle class is all but disappeared, and our nation is raising a generation of dummies.
We're running out of oil, but maybe someone will invent a car that runs on books! It's not like we need them!
When I was about 25, I used to always say, "Man, I wish I could go back to high school knowing what I know now. I'd definitely get better grades, and the girls wouldn't know what hit 'em." I really thought i'd arrived at age 25! What a concept!
But the fact is, I was too busy worrying about fitting in and being "cool" in high school. I put my grades and homework on the backburner. The fact that I was a self proclaimed "professional procrastinator" didn't help either. But I wish someone would have told me that popularity means absolutely nothing once you graduate. My class president was a major pot head (still is). And our class valedictorian lied to her parents, telling them she was going to UNLV, but really she wanted to be a Vegas stripper! And she was. I wish someone could have passed on the wisdom that it doesn't matter what people think of you, and to build strong relationships with true friends.
Most of all, I wish I could have learned to follow my dreams, my passion. I wish someone would of taught me to think long term, and to put priority on things with long term value. I wish someone could've shown me the difference between an asset and a liability, and that, in most cases, a new car or house is not an asset. Now, all i'm saying is, I wish I could have learned this in high school. It would have saved me a lot of time and heartache. Obviously I still managed to learn it, if not way later. I learned most of it through reading books. And so, as in most of my hubs, I would like to encourage all of you to read like there's no tomorrow. (If you don't, there might not be.)
But it's never too late to change your direction in life. You just have to change the way you think. You will never rise above your own thinking!
Now, I am not trying to play victim, nor do I condone anyone else doing so. This isn't the blame game. I understand you can't control the cards life deals you, but you can control how you play your hand. But that's not why I wrote this hub. I'm just saying I wish high school was more of a stepping stone in life, rather than a cliff. Cause too many of us are falling off of it. It's time for change.