I finished year 12 about two years ago, and I recall feeling quite distressed when I was suddenly thrown into the real world – a world where mum doesn’t cook me dinner every night, I need money for everything and I don’t have a daily schedule of prepared for me.

Looking back on the many years I spent attending primary school and high school, overall I enjoyed my experience immensely, but there’s a few things that I really wish I was taught in school.

How to look after my car

Most of us end up getting our car license, but when it comes to looking after our cars, a lot of people rely on our uncles/brothers/dads/someone who knows about cars to do simple tasks like an oil change or replacing wiper blades. Not everyone has the money to go to a mechanic or a person who can help them with things like that, and I feel like basic car care, such as how to change a tyre, should be at least an option at school, if not a compulsory subject.

How financial stuff works

Every time I see the words ‘mortgage’ ‘loan’ or ‘taxes’ I get overwhelmed because I have no idea what any of them are or what they mean for me. I’ve never had a problem with saving money, but so many people my age don’t realise the value of money, and that is something that needs to me taught from a young age. It’s great that I know how to calculate the hypotenuse of a triangle or whatever, but I’d like to know how my superannuation works.

How to cook something other than eggs on toast

I realise that many people are taught by their parents how to cook, but I wasn’t. I mean, sure, I can make a good toasted ham and cheese sandwich, and if I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll make some cupcakes from a boxed cake mix, but if for some unforeseen reason the Royal Family decide to come to my house for dinner, I would have no idea how to prepare and cook an edible, let alone impressive, 5 course meal.

How to properly structure emails and letters

Writing anything to someone higher up than me is terrifying, and I’ve never been confident in writing cover letters or proposals. In primary school, they teach you basic writing skills, but as soon as you get to high school it’s all about how well you can analyse the themes of 4 different Shakespeare texts. Perhaps I wouldn’t have struggled in landing a job interview so much if my school curriculum included how to write professional-sounding emails and letters.

How to write basic computer coding

In an era where digital content, social media platforms and websites are essential in almost every industry, I only wish I could do a bit of basic coding to enhance my content and actually be able to put together bits and pieces on the web.

That good grades don’t necessarily dictate success

Particularly during the high school certificate, it is drummed into students heads that if you don’t get a good ATAR, you’re going to have a bad job and an unsuccessful life. I wasn’t very good at maths, and I even remember a maths teacher telling me once that I would “only amount to a hairdresser or something” after high school. The fact is, only a small number of students are going to get the highest of grades, and that’s perfectly okay. A lot of the time, you don’t need a perfect score to get into the business or career you want. More often than not, if you’re eager to learn and enthusiastic about a job, that says so much more to an employer than whether or not you got a high distinction in biology.

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