Let’s be honest here. The skills you learn in school aren’t helpful in the real world. Or, at least, not as many as you would hope.

You might have never thought about it before, but the school system is missing a lot of basic (not to mention essential) life skills that all high school graduates should know. Unfortunately, no school system is perfect, and teachers often overlook life skills.

Below is a list of what we missed out on in school and what you’ll need to succeed in the real world.

1. How to manage your finances

Managing your finances is a skill that you need to learn.

It’s not about being rich or poor — it’s about understanding how money works and how to use it to reach your goals.

The first step is to know what you want out of life. It’s not about buying stuff but about having experiences and creating memories. If you can clarify what matters most to you, it will be easier to figure out how much money you need to save and spend each month.

The second step is to build an emergency fund so you’re not forced into debt if something unexpected happens, like losing your job or getting sick.

The third step is to pay off credit card debt as quickly as possible so that there isn’t interest accumulating every month on top of the principal balance owed.

The fourth step is to invest in assets with high returns, like stocks and bonds. The best time to invest for retirement is as early as possible so that compounding can work in your favour over time.

2. How to take care of yourself

Taking care of yourself (also known as self-care) is vital for your health, happiness and success.

The way you take care of yourself is unique to you. It may be as simple as taking a few minutes daily to breathe deeply and reflect, or it may involve yoga, meditation and other wellness practices.

Here are some tips for learning how to take care of yourself.

  • Take a moment each day to focus on your breathing. For example, inhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, and repeat until you feel relaxed.
  • Turn off your phone and computers at least an hour before bedtime so they don’t interfere with your sleep.
  • Eat healthy foods that make you feel good inside and out. Eat smaller portions so you do not feel hungry or deprived.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
  • Exercise regularly to build strength, boost your mood and improve circulation.
  • Try getting enough sleep (at least seven hours) at night so your body can repair itself during restful slumber time between workouts.
  • If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, find ways to relax, such as taking a bath or reading a book instead of watching TV or surfing the Internet.

3. How to cope with life’s pressures

Coping with the pressures of life is an important skill. Coping skills help people manage stress, deal with change and adjust to new or difficult situations. In addition, they allow people to think positively and find alternatives when faced with problems.

There are many different coping mechanisms that people use in their daily lives. Some of these include:

  • Stress management — Learning to recognize signs of stress and find ways to reduce it, such as exercising or meditating.
  • Problem-solving — Finding solutions to your problems rather than avoiding them or blaming others.
  • Relaxation techniques — Techniques designed to help reduce stress, such as deep breathing, guided imagery, yoga and meditation.

4. How to manage your time wisely

Managing time is one of the most essential skills that you can learn. It’s a skill that will benefit you for the rest of your life, making it easier to get things done, avoid procrastination, and become more productive.

Learning how to manage time wisely is a vital step toward achieving your goals, whether they are personal or professional. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  • Identify what is most important
  • Prioritize your tasks and set priorities accordingly
  • Schedule blocks of time for each task
  • Break down large projects into smaller tasks with deadlines and other details outlined
  • Learn how to say no

5. How to start a business

Starting a business can be a thrilling experience. You get to choose your hours, set your own goals and make your own rules.

But if you’re not prepared, it can also be a stressful and overwhelming experience. If you don’t know where to start, find customers, manage inventory and taxes, deal with legalities and set up your office workspace, your life will be hard.

Here are some tips to help you get started on the right foot.

  • Be realistic about how much time and money it will take.
  • Determine how much money the business will make and whether it’s adequate for the effort.
  • Know the financial and emotional risks and decide if they’re worth taking on.
  • Decide whether this is something you can do from home or require an office or storefront location — or both!
  • Figure out if there are any legal issues involved (which could require paying for an attorney), such as permitting requirements, licensing fees, etc.

The Bottom Line

Life skills are essential for well-rounded individuals. However, life is complex, and our education system has a long way to go in developing programs that prepare us for life. So, these life skills are not something you can learn in school right now. Instead, you have to know them through practice and self-motivation.

Great sources exist, such as YouTube and several other online learning platforms. In addition, we can learn from our friends who have already started and find a partner who can teach many life lessons. However, as business schools have proved, solutions to day-to-day problems lie in practical skills rather than theoretical knowledge.

Let’s conclude with Richard Branson saying: “Success is often about taking the initiative and seizing opportunities as they arise.”

Top 5 Essential Life Skills Not Taught in Most Schools