The One Thing We Never Learned in School, But Should Have

I wouldn’t be a diehard millennial if I didn’t whine a little bit, right?

We spend a great chunk of our youth in classrooms. I mean, the amount of “sit up straight” and “participate or fail” remarks I heard over my 12 years of elementary, junior, and high school is pretty significant. If I had a dollar for every single time a teacher gave me and my friends the “Did you work on this homework assignment together? Because I see a lot of similarities” speech, well let’s just say I wouldn’t have this blog.

We learned a lot of stuff in those 12 years, like history, grammar, long division, even how to pour chemical solutions into a beaker. And hey, some of it I even remember. But if there is one thing that was missing from my childhood education, it’s this:

MONEY.

We all know this though. And we dance around it. We say that we gained most of our experience from parents, relatives, or real-life experiences. But, shouldn’t it be coming from somewhere else? I mean, after all, if someone is going to make me sit in a desk for 8 hours a day with no pay, and no phone, I better be learning something pretty invaluable.

Like:

  • If I want to buy a home by the age of 25, what do I have to do?

  • If I want a career that is going to make me a good amount of money and there is currently a need for it, which university program would I choose?

  • I want to be able to travel the world for a couple years after high school, how will I pay for that?

Because about one day after leaving my high school graduation, these decisions were all mine. And so was that credit card with a $5000 limit, student loan debt I didn’t necessarily need, and the “what are your salary expectations?” box on my online resume.

It was terrifying, and my first thought wasn’t: Oh man, I’m so thankful they taught me this in class last month.”

It was more like: WHAT IS A SALARY EXPECTATION?”

No one was asking me to “quicklysolve this unsolvable math problem”, and no one was expecting me to know hundreds of facts about World War II on the drop of a whim. All they wanted to know was where I’d be living, what I’d be driving, and where I saw myself in 5 years. And none of that was in my text book.

Okay, you’re right. Me ranting about this problem isn’t going to solve anything. But I wouldn’t be a diehard millennial if I didn’t whine a little bit, right?

Now I know there are free programs out there that come into schools to provide presentations, and I know they even have units on personal finance in grade 12 math classes. But is that really enough? Because for me, when I arrived to a math class or a guest presentation about numbers I had this tendency to turn off the part of my brain that listens (which is probably my most useful high school skill to date).

What if. Now, hear me out you guys…

What if there were an entire class dedicated to personal finance?

What if there were a way to make talking about money interesting, relevant, and easy? I mean, what if we didn’t have to use terminology that was automatically disregarded? I think we’d be onto something, Sherlock.

There are so many things I wish that I had learned in high school, but these things I mention above were never on my mind. Why? Because of the stigma around money. It’s terrifying. And we need to stop making it seem that way.

If I were to put my blog into one of the boxes most personal finance bloggers fit into, I couldn’t. Sure, I talk about debt, saving, retirement, and basically every other topic there is. But that’s just it. I talk about it all.

Because that’s why I feel Mixed Up Money is in existence.

Just to talk about money.

To make money more casual. Easy. Fun. Practical.

Instead of scary. Lonely. Emotional. Overwhelming.

So let’s try it. Let’s try talking about money, debt, and saving like it’s normal. And as a result, maybe there will be a change. Maybe. But that’s always the first step isn’t it? Awareness.

While you’re at it, check out this week’s video: Things I Wish I Learned in High School

What do you wish you learned in high school? Let me know in the comments!