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Things they don't teach you at school

Written by Vega Sims Posted in General Advice

Things they don't teach you at school

In the past few months there has been a post circulating the internet talking about the rules they never teach you in school. I came across it, and even though it’s very directly put, I wanted to post it here.

As a young person you might think that it’s all rubbish, but these are life lessons I had to learn on my own, and I’m sure this is true for many people. I think if someone said these words to me at the age of 17 it would’ve made a big difference not just in my career, but also in my personal life. It would’ve saved me a lot of heartache and trouble along the way.  

So here they are: the 11 things (and a few of my own additions) you won’t learn in school. These are also the things I would like to tell my 17 year old self.

  1. Life is not fair – get used to it. The world does not owe you anything. If you want to get somewhere, you are the only one who can make it happen. Nobody will sit up and take notice if you don’t do something extraordinary first.
  2. The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself. You’ll most likely be rejected repeatedly, but don’t give up. Take the critique onboard, change where it’s needed and for the rest, grow a thick skin.
  3. You will NOT make £50,000 a year and drive an expensive car right out of school. You won’t be a vice-president with an expense account until you earn both. You’ll have to work very hard to earn these things, except if maybe your parents are rich and have a lot of contacts, but if that’s not the case you’ll have to earn your way just like the rest of us.
  4. If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss!
  5. Flipping burgers, stacking shelves or waitering is not beneath your dignity. Most people started out doing basic jobs, and it’s up to you to make a success out of it.
  6. If you mess up, it’s not your parents' fault, so don’t complain about their mistakes: learn from them. You might not be able to choose where you come from, but you can choose where you’re going from here.
  7. Before you were born, your parents probably had big dreams for their lives and they weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes, and earning a living.
  8. Schools may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
  9. Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself or in your philosophical belief system. Do that in your own time!
  10. Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop to go to jobs! Also, don’t base your romantic relationships on things you see on TV, you’ll be very disappointed, because expecting the other person to live up to these standards is ridiculous – they’re a person just like you, not some sort of mythological god responsible for saving you.
  11. Be nice to others including nerds, you never know what tomorrow brings and whose help you might need.
  12. Your attitude towards something, will often determine the outcome. Change your attitude to change your life!
  13. Perfect your craft. The only way to be successful is to perfect whatever craft you choose, whether it is being a musician, doctor, chef, electrician etc. Be exceptionally good at what you do as it will increase your chances of success.
  14. If you want to do something, go for it. Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do it. If you have a dream, you have to protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they’re going to tell you that you can’t do it. Don’t believe them! Go for it, not just 80% or 85% but 120% or more.

About the Author

Vega Sims

Vega Sims

Vega is TCHC and this programme's  Marketing Manager. She looks after the website, creates all the graphics and writes for the advice blog.

She's got a Marketing and Communications post graduate degree from the University of Pretoria with extensive amount of marketing experience, she owned a business and sings in a rock band.

Favourite quote: "...even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from here." ― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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