We know that schools are failing to prepare students for life outside of the classroom. This is dramatically noticeable if one listens to the number of young people who report not knowing how to file taxes, or change a tire, or make a home. While we often put this blame solely on the parents for not teaching their child, we also have to recognize that some students come from homes where they simply cannot be taught these skills. For these students, the schools are expected to pick up the slack.
But schools aren’t. In fact, there are numerous extremely important lessons that every young adult needs to learn before they graduate high school. Of those lessons, there are three that stand out most:
1. Dealing with Debt
If at all possible, debt should be avoided. Going into debt to have a newer car is generally a bad idea. Making payments on a new model of a smartphone is almost always a bad idea. Taking out tens of thousands of dollars in loans to attend a 4-year university is often a bad idea. Unfortunately, students aren’t told this. If you can’t avoid debt, you need to know how to minimize it effectively Never make the minimum payments necessary; always pay off as much of your debt as quickly as you can. By paying your debt off rapidly, you’ll avoid high interest rates that cost you more than the value of the initial loan.
2. Healthy Habits
You could spend the rest of your life reading blogs, books, and articles about what is best for your body, and you’d probably still be confused by the end of it. However, most of the advice for healthy living can really be condensed down to a few short lessons:
- Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
- Don’t smoke. Ever.
- Minimize the saturated fats you eat.
- Minimize the amount of sugar you consumer.
- Eat more protein.
- Keep your bodyfat percentage in a healthy range, never too high or too low.
- Sleep 7-9 hours each night.
- Take vitamins regularly, including CoQ10, B-complex, Omega-3s, Vitamin D, and other necessary minerals.
- Exercise regularly, and do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
If you’re young, you need to be investing. The more years your money has to grow, the more it will be worth. Also, if you make a poor investment and lose everything, you have plenty of time to recover and still make a profit. If you’re in your 20’s, you should be investing in the following:
- An emergency fund to cover your living expenses.
- Traditional Stocks
- Real Estate
Beyond your emergency fund, money held in a bank account is usually wasted money. Put your wealth to work by growing it, don’t let it sit stagnant.
If you think school has let you down, that’s okay. What happens to you is entirely up to you. Choose to become educated beyond the classroom curriculum, and be sure to help others in the same way.