What High School Doesn’t Teach

Listen Now Download

Share this story:


As a teenager, I’m required to take certain classes like precalculus, history, or chemistry. But the lesson I’m missing… is how to adjust to life after high school.

When I got my first job two years ago, my boss handed me a W-4, a basic tax form. And I didn’t know what it was. Like withholdings, what is that? I had to get help filling it out. And it was embarrassing. Like, why didn’t I learn this at school?

Sure, I’ve picked up some useful skills in high school: teamwork, organization, and being on time. But these lessons aren’t the main focus of the classes. We’re busy with “auxiliary graphs” and ”infinitive verbs” — things so theoretical I can’t see myself using them.

There are still many practical things I’d rather learn. Like how do I manage money? How do I cook steak so that it’s tender and not dry? How do I buy a house?

Soon I turn 18. I’ll be responsible for paying my car note, rent, and groceries. If you ask me, these skills are so much more important than learning how to make graphs in the shape of flowers.

Listen Now