What I wish I was taught in high school that would make me successful in life

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Life in high school is always cheering and at the same time difficult too. This is the age where we make mistakes, we laugh and we cry. As life is a dwindling ride.

“Formal learning can teach you a great deal, but many of the essential skills in life are the ones you have to develop on your own.” [1]

Schools were quite equipped with every sort of facility they should provide. Nonetheless, there are some loopholes, which I wish I was taught in high school that would make me successful in life. It makes me feel frustrated that the education system did not make me prepare well for being an adult. It did not provide me with the tools that I subsequently discovered and that may have helped me be more productive sooner in life.

JAKHAR (2017) has said that The process of assisting learning, or the development of information, skills, attitudes, attitudes, and habits, is referred to as education.

I do not believe that's what I got from school or any other institution for that matter. I am not sure about your school, but mine concentrated on three things: clothing regulations, standardized testing, and exam preparation.

Cirillo (2016) has said in her blog post that the administration forces too much on the dress code that even it makes us miss our classes. She further stated that she remembers receiving a dress code in school, as her skirt was quite tiny.

There are a variety of important life skills that I wish I would have known or taught in high school that would make me successful in life.

There is always more than one path

Life in high school is sometimes quite vague. A teenager can never know what exactly is good for him/her. It always seems easy to follow one’s path which is approachable and only taught. But now I believe and wish that I would have known that there are various choices, rather than choosing only the path shown to me.

Most high schools these days’ focus on one thing for students: gaining excellent marks and partaking in good extracurricular activities such that they may move on to good universities and acquire good careers.

Patel (2021) said that as a positive academic dropout, I'd want to point out that there are thousands of other life routes to choose from. The path that is right for you may differ from the path that your instructors and parents urged you to take, but it is up to us to make that decision.

There is more than a high salary in a GOOD career

We all have heard a lot that we should become a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer. All the other career choices are just too vague for our parents and society. It evades the sense of happiness and freedom in the choice of a good career.

Patel (2021) says that a "good" profession brings you the closest to your ideal lifestyle. Everybody's ideal living will be distinctive, but by insisting that income is the main criterion for work quality, we shut down any discussion about pursuing any kind of meaningful living.

High School does not prepare for real life

Real-life is only felt when it is experienced. High schools never get the fact. Most of the time focuses on the details with overlooking the futuristic approach. Classes in high school, from what I recall, were all about remembering information and parroting them on examinations while doing hard to not make any mistakes.

Success in actual life necessitates a whole different set of abilities than those gained in school. Learning them will take time, but you'll be better off accepting the experience than clinging blindly to old beliefs.

Life is non-fictional

As mentioned above, high schools do not prepare for real life. As real-life is non-fictional. It is far different from what is shown in Disney movies. You cannot be a mermaid-like Ariel or a prince trapped as a frog. Life is a hard reality, which when accepted, can become much more realistic.


You will realize the scope of your individual qualities, when to seek support, and when to use some other option accessible to you when challenges emerge during class.

If you have ever utilized an online tutor, you know that requesting for assistance is not a show of weakness and may frequently lead to a significantly better result.

Having a good knowledge about how to be innovative is, of course, a very desired attribute for practically everyone. When you are in a bind and have to get out of it, be it at work or home, knowing how things function and how to acquire aid through methods other from your own which you will surely need in real life. Being resourceful makes you feel more independent, powerful and self-confident. I wish that I would have taught this, I would be much more reliable to myself. As the sense of self-sufficiency and independency makes a really good change in a persons’ character, especially when one graduates from high school and enters the college.

Giving is the lifeblood of your success

We've all had the sensation of watching a fantastic film and immediately wanting to phone our friends to tell them how wonderful it was. The option to share an event with our friends is frequently the finest part of an experience, hence why social networking has expanded.

Denning (2016) says that Giving is quite similar to this simple concept. The expressions on people's faces when you offer them something they did not anticipate are priceless. Once you do something for someone else and make them happy, you will feel good than anything you have ever felt.

This giving concept was not instilled in me in school. Giving was taught to me at school to be all about charities and to only give to huge, non-profit organizations. Donations to these organizations are frequently unseen, and the people who receive aid never see you.

“The concept of giving is to create value for other people without expecting anything in return. It is about doing things for the greater good and not operating from a mindset of scarcity”.[2]

You can never be efficient n everything

Patel (2021) says that so much of today's educational system is built on boosting students' self-esteem, which leads to kids graduating from college feeling that they are as bright as the fictional version of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

Sorry, but it's unlikely that you are an expert in every field. Do not feel guilty about it; instead, see how delegating and/or outsourcing might help you get more achieved in your working life.

In professional life, people will forget your high grades

Patel (2021) has said that he has never had a customer demand a copy of his school report as a requirement of doing business with him. If you are still a learner, stop relying so much on getting a specific grade and instead focus on the enormous quantity of information and knowledge you already have.

Failure can teach you

Failing grades and making mistakes on homework are punished in school, teaching pupils to regard failure as a completely negative experience.

However, as any businessman will assure you, failure is necessary for growth! Instead of berating yourself for your errors, train yourself to see them as chances to grow and enhance your future attempts.

Denning (2016) states that real education comes from failures. Failure teaches you to be mentally tough. Nothing is simple, but nothing can equip you for the difficulties ahead. He further says that he was instructed in school to strive for perfection and straight A's. Perfection was his undoing since it is an unattainable standard to achieve.

Hard work is the key to success

It is a common phenomenon that if one is intelligent, he/she can succeed in anything. Nevertheless, if intelligence is everything then people would never work hard to live life. Only hard work is the thing that can beat intelligence.

Patel (2021) further states that I'm not sure regarding other school experiences, but most of the mine involved discovering shortcuts around seemingly worthless homework — and I had few instructors who actively sought to prohibit these "hacks." Unfortunately, this creates the assumption that anything can be accomplished without effort, which is not the case in real life. The sooner you understand that there is no replacement for hard effort, then soon you will be able to achieve significant progress toward your objectives.

Practice of Self-care

 I believe students are so recklessly taught for the study grind, that they forget to properly take care of themselves. Typically, in high school, students work themselves to exhaustion until they burn out. Then they have an emotional outburst, take a few days off, and then repeat the cycle. Starting to teach pupils about self-care in school is a terrific idea. Teachers and parents may urge kids to listen to the body to avoid burnout, relax regularly, and learn good stress management techniques. Many adults may benefit from learning that lesson as well (“30 Things I Wish I Learned in High School,” 2020).

Valuing other matters

Life is so short to be wasted. I think being a high school student one should learn to value other things as well, rather than always wasting time. Being with friends is an exotic part of life. Nonetheless, it should be taught that other than studies, getting good grades, more things must be valued to become a gentleman in society.

Financial assurance is important that showing off

Similarly, it is a tough lesson, but you do not have enough cash for the phone if you do not have enough cash in the bank to pay the both latest iPhone and your rent! Living life within one's means is an extremely essential skill to learn, one which I wish we focused more on in school.

Behavioural Etiquettes and social and moral ethics

When we have to live in society, we must know and learn the way as well. There are certain basic behavioural etiquettes, which should be followed. The same is the case with social and moral ethics. Sometimes these things come from one’s house (upbringing), while other times it is taught by the teachers. So how to behave in front of people, how to greet them, how to talk to them: I wish I knew before stepping into the real world.

About our culture from our lens

Bethany (2018) states that people, places, and cultures: most of what we learnt was filtered through the prism of the West. As a result, we lost a great deal of the world's information. I wish I had known about other civilizations for their sakes, rather than how they connected with ours. I wish I had begun learning intercultural communication skills sooner, so that differences may have been seen as assets rather than flaws. I believe that if people had a greater understanding of my tradition, I would have spared a great deal of pain, and I am confident that if I had a better understanding of other cultures, I would have inflicted less harm, even if it was unintentionally. Also, to learn more about the challenges that others have had, even when they were young.

Public Speaking

Communication skills are an extremely important part of life when you graduate from high school. It is of no use to go to college after high school, if you cannot speak a single word with confidence. I wish that I had been taught about speaking in public even it is impromptu. If those skills were developed in me, I would have sparked different. As of now, I feel like a person who has no confidence to even speak in front of a group of people.

Denning (2016) says that school taught me that speech was for politicians. You must be able to talk in front of others if you become an entrepreneur, intellectual leader, salesperson, or just about anybody who matters. It will become easier as you improve your skills.

Denning further added that I wish I had known about Toastmasters when I was in high school. I wish I had been compelled to do it. I have learnt why speech is so tough and how to conquer my fear of audiences since joining Toastmasters. It is very possible to become proficient at it with a little practice.

Do not worry about yourself; instead, focus on providing good quality content, rather than on everyone's opinion. That is very much the definition of public speaking.

Learn advancements to standout

Adulthood ushers in a much noisier environment in which it is much more difficult to be heard. It is vital to be able to build websites, develop content, and communicate your post on social media. You will become even farther ahead of the ordinary individual if you can master basic coding.

Denning (2016) says that I was fortunate to have discovered the Internet like a child in 1996. I had previously worked with MS-Dos and Window 95 machines. This offered me an advantage over my peers, as many of my peers did not have this luxury. I was able to address current difficulties faster and improve my computer abilities thanks to the use of a computer. I had the good fortune of being an early supporter of eBay, Google, and Amazon. These sites informed me where the world's going, and they are a big part of why I'm able to work in IT every day. It was the kind encouragement I needed at a point in my life when we do not know what our future holds.

While conventional schooling includes certain IT courses, I still believe that a larger emphasis should be placed on the more powerful computer skills required in an ever-changing world economy. These abilities would have been extremely useful to me throughout my schooling.

Negotiation skills

Negotiation skills are vital whether you are purchasing a car, debating a new job's wage, or making a major business choice. Making a demand and demanding that everyone accept it is not the same as negotiating. It entails considering both viewpoints and arriving at a sensible solution. Allowing some negotiation in the classroom may help students acquire negotiation skills, whether it is selecting the repercussions of noncompliance or setting a closing date for a huge assignment. (“30 Things I Wish I Learned in High School,” 2020)

Earn a livelihood

I believe today most of the children are so much blessed to have their parents doing everything for them. Students do not have to worry about food, shelter, home or money. The same had happened to me. Nonetheless, it makes teenagers fully dependent. I wish that high schools would have taught that how to start earning from initiation. Some business ideas can be invoked, freelancing can be introduced, or any other skill that can help a person to earn a living must be taught in the schools.

Sustainable lifestyle

Norinda (2018) says well how to live a healthy lifestyle was taught. I was fortunate in that I was able to study some at family, but others at school were not so fortunate. There are several locations, to begin with, little children, and they may have a significant impact on our future world. From cultivating your food garden to cooking from home and up-cycling, there is something for everyone.

Case study 1

Let us discuss a case of a high school graduate enunciating the issues and gaps she had faced while in high school.

What you are in your life today, is the reflection of your memories. So does her personality today is also a reflection of what she has had in my childhood and teens. She has a fusion of Punjabi and Pakhtoon culture. She has seen some paternal relatives making fun of Pakhtoon (maternal side). Being born and brought up in a land away from the prejudiced responses of people, she had no interest in either of her cultures. In her childhood, she had no such quality of making friends. Perhaps that was due to having a nuclear family and not meeting many relatives. She was a person who did not socialize a lot, had limited friends and who were not her good friends.

There is always one thing that runs in a family either a tradition or a customary habit; were a huge communication gap and void decision making power. She has never seen such things happening in a good way in her family, though her family has always been contented and prosperous. She was never blessed with true friends nor did she ever search for who was good or not. She was humiliated by her so-called friends on such things which they actually could not possess. She started to feel more alienated towards others, so just she could stay entangled with her friends. She controlled her inner self to a level where no one can guess what she thought or what she has in her heart. She still lacks the expressiveness of real thoughts and emotions. Then at the age of 14, She met some people who changed her. She started to discover the happiness that lies in a friendship. She got to know what the word friends means other than people who feel jealous by everything good she could have.

In her 19 years, she has seen some good and bad things happening. The influence she had was not only getting rid of sugar-coated so-called friends till acquiring the sense of whom should she make friends with or not or who are even friends worthy or not. She was blessed with some really good teachers, who turned out to be mentor figures in my life. She still remembers once her teacher said Do not underestimate the time and power, you never know what will happen: can be otherwise too. She still believes that time has shown her its quality that it always passes by.

She believes that for her, she has learnt things from her surroundings. She said, “I learnt about friendship by failing in it, I learnt about understanding and communication by failing in it and I learnt about decision making by seeing my people suffering the consequences”. She further added, “for me, maturity does not come with ageing, it comes with experience. I still remember the year 2019, when I saw how my own family shattered due to some people, who were family too. I saw how a single false emotional decision led to revolutionizing many lives. I believe now not everyone is worth trusting and giving life for. It’s been a few years, but I think it's the time to let bygones be bygone”. 

This case shows the failure of our high school education system. A system where the main motive of the school administration is to make discipline without teaching the guiding principles to live life. Parents and teachers failed to teach their child to pick who is the right companion for her friendship. They failed to accompany her when she needed someone to guide her about rightful mentoring. This also heralds that she learnt everything outside the steady school environment, which she would have been taught from teachers or parents at that age. 

Case study 2

Well, considering Human beings, none is perfect. There is always something too much or too little. If someone is too emotional, he/she will be very irrational and indecisive about whom he/she should tell about emotions and whom should not. Zara considers herself as a person who also lacks in a lot of matters. Although she is confident enough to deal with a lot of matters she believes that she become a little less assertive. The reasons for this are that she feels that sometimes it is not the right time to say the thing. Sometimes she feels that I might be wrong. Sometimes she thinks that it is of no use to share her opinion. Although she can work well with people, even unlike-minded people as well. Nonetheless, giving her opinion to a great number of people is a difficult task for her. Also, she has faced this in past. So, whenever she tried to talk about my viewpoint, others overpower that with their ideas, even some silly ones as well. This has made her think that she must not offend someone. Still, with those people she is much familiar and comfortable, she can talk and give the idea, of being assertive, but to others every time.

She has this issue because of high school. Their people tried to make her lose confidence. This has made her not stand out where she needs to be because she has over compromised for friends. I believe in high schools; teachers must be given training sessions to identify which student needs extra care. Sometimes a student with excellent grades and manners, need a little extra effort to become a shining star. They need a little push to become confident in high school.




[1] By Lee Iacocca

[2] By Tim Denning

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