Things that school doesn’t prepare you for

Hello again,

Just a little disclaimer: this is not an attack on the school system, but a list of things that I feel would be useful for schools to teach. I don’t think that schools should babysit us, it’d just be nice to be taught about life after school and not just about quotes from Shakespeare’s plays and how to use Pythagorus. I’m sure I could have written a list twice this size, but here are some things that school doesn’t prepare you for.

Being self-employed

Luckily my family have already loaded me up with information about expenses and tax and all of the wonderful things that accompany working for yourself. My mum even had to sit with me when I applied to become self-employed online. It’s a bit embarrassing that I got to being 20 years old without knowing the first thing about self-employment. It would have been so useful if schools talked about working for yourself as an option instead of banging on about uni all of the time.


I didn’t actually learn what an invoice was until I got my first job in social media and my boss told me to sent him an invoice at the end of the month. Even now my invoices are the most basic things I’ve ever written. If you’re ever thinking about taking on some freelance work or running your own business, I’d definitely give ‘invoices’ a little Google because I’d barely heard of the word before I got to uni.

Jobs of the future

I don’t really know what to call this but when I went to school, only a few years ago, the only careers that were really talked about was teaching and law and nursing and all those other jobs that schools think are the best options. There’s no disrespect in working in those industries, but it would’ve been really nice to talk about jobs that are quite new or just different from the norm I suppose. When I told my teachers I was going to study journalism at uni, the only thing they’d talk about would be newspapers. Anything about blogging or PR or social media was dismissed despite school supposedly ‘preparing you for jobs that don’t even exist now’. Yes, they actually said that…


I don’t know if this is the same for all schools, but my schools NEVER talked about politics. I always remember teachers being fearful of revealing with political party they support. Although I wouldn’t have wanted to anyone to force their views on me, I would have really appreciated some information about voting and what each party stands for. It worries me that people are leaving school without knowing a lot about their own country’s political system and government.

Social media

In school social media was always talked about as if it was some form of evil. All that was talked about was internet safety and not talking to strangers. Whilst this information is useful and 100% necessary, it would be good to teach people about the uses of social media too. Social media is actually the reason I earn money so I find the thought of it being portrayed in a negative way in schools stings me a bit. Without Twitter a lot of people wouldn’t access news and without Instagram a lot of people wouldn’t know what a Boomerang is. Think about it.


Managing money, earning money, the value of money, rent, tax, mortgages, savings… money in general needs to be talked about openly or people are going to leave school not having a clue. I appreciate that your teacher isn’t your mum but a little guidance wouldn’t hurt.  I’m really good at managing money and consider myself to be self-sufficient but I really wish that school offered me more support in that department – I don’t even have an overdraft…

As always, thank you for reading!

I didn’t have a bad time at school and in some ways I learned things that have actually really helped me. Maybe Theresa May will read this and realise that young people need to be more well informed before they leave school…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x



33 thoughts on “Things that school doesn’t prepare you for

  1. They should also teach how to do taxes, but an in-depth course on how, not just a skim over chapter. Also– how to buy a home, and handle professionals in those situations (lawyers, realtors, banks etc) I feel there is more value in teaching how to live effectively in the world than about history etc… I might be in the minority but there are too many people who don’t know how to do basic things.

    Great post I love it!

      1. It’s very frustrating, I find myself scrambling in many areas of life, because without formal education on how certain things work, you can get completely screwed over.

  2. Love your advice! Most of the things that we do learn in school doesn’t prepare you for adult life. I hate that the school system only talks about basic jobs like lawyer, nurses, teachers etc… I mean those jobs make good money and are great careers. The thing they fail to realize is not all students don’t want to go into that career path. I can keep typing but I’ll stop my rant here lol.

    1. Thank you! At school I pretty much though there was only one career path for me because I wanted to be a writer. My school pushed being a newspaper journalist and when I got to uni I actually realised there were so many other jobs I could do – an infinite amount even. They definitely don’t cater for jobs that a deemed unusual or new!

  3. Not to mention the pressure you get put under to succeed in all areas. It just doesn’t teach you how to get along well in life with everything that gets thrown at you. I see alot of my friends now who did exemplary in school making some really stupid mistakes now that we are in the outside world. It truly makes me wonder.

  4. That’s very true! There are a lot of life lessons that you will learn after school. I went to school to be a teacher and even after doing student teaching I didn’t feel like I knew anything!

  5. Yes to all of these! I think I would add in basic things too, like cooking/laundry/how to pay bills. Not that this is really school’s place to teach people these things, but I remembered being SHOCKED in college how many people didn’t know how to do these basic, life skill things.

  6. Honestly, I think school and education over all is over rated. For me you become truly successful if you are into things that’s not really streamlines or processed’

  7. So true – I’m not even sure what my school taught me now LOL! Algebra is definitely never used but learning about invoices and some entrepreneurial spirit would have been great! I also found many classes that I flunked in at school I flourished in at university, like economics. I did not understand a word at school but was getting highest marks at uni after learning about it in a sensible way!

  8. I agree that most of the time, school does not really teach practical skills for real life. Luckily, when I was in high school I took a really cool class where we had to get “jobs” pay taxes, learn budgets, and it was really super helpful after I graduated and was on my own for the first time.

  9. OMG! Yes!! School prepared me for nothing in real life. I wish they taught me things I need to know in real life. Instead of having my dad look at me funny every year when taxes are due lol

  10. I think it would be great in high school to learn more than budgeting money and savings. Also about real world life and how things work as well as well as what is needed besides just an education to make it in life.

  11. I totally agree with these points, I think school prepares you with facts and information but not always practical stuff. I wish I had been taught things about money management, mortgages, invoices and taxes when I was at school x

  12. They definitely do not prepare you for if you were to work for yourself. This would definitely be important!

  13. Gosh is this true!!!! So many of my friends don’t even know how to balance a checkbook or write a check!

  14. School surely doesn’t prepare you for real life. These are skills you definitely should learn before venturing off on your own. I’m working on covering most of these topics at home with my eight year old daughter now. She’s really mature and knows more than most kids her age but I feel like it’s our responsibility as parents to make sure our children are well prepared for the world as they get older.

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