The Things We Wished We Had Learned In School

What are some things that you wish you had learned in school?

January 18, 2019

Photo by Hongqi Zhang (aka Michael Zhang)/


How much of what you learned in school do you actually use in the real world?  A new survey asked 2,000 people, and the average answer was 37%.

That means we think about two-thirds of the stuff we learned was basically useless knowledge.  Here are the ten real-world skills we WISH we'd been taught instead...

1.  Money management and budgeting.

2.  How to do your taxes.

3.  How to manage your emotional wellbeing and mental health.

4.  Understanding credit cards and student loans.

5.  How to negotiate.

6.  Time management.

7.  How to fix stuff around the house.

8.  Relationship and conversational skills.

9.  Car repair and car maintenance.

10.  How to find a job.


The survey also asked people to name the most USELESS things they were forced to learn in schoo...

1.  The Pythagorean theorem to figure out the dimensions of a triangle.  (The equation is A-squared, plus B-squared, equals C-squared.)

2.  Knowing that Pi is 3.14.

3.  Memorizing the periodic table of elements in chemistry.

4.  Learning the different types of rocks . . . sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous.

5.  Learning the parts on an atom.

6.  Learning what mitochondria is . . . a.k.a., the "powerhouse of a cell."

7.  Naming all of the U.S. Presidents in order.

8.  Learning about osmosis.  (It's the process by which molecules of a solvent tend to pass through a semipermeable membrane from a less concentrated solution into a more concentrated one.)

9.  Learning how to make paper snowflakes in elementary school.

10.  Learning about photosynthesis in plants. 

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