This is a subject which comes up a lot between myself and friends and I have been thinking about this recently so thought it would be a good one to share with you all.
I didn’t mind secondary school so much. I had a group of friends which I had fun with at the time (although I lost touch with all of them in the end), I was happy in a relationship with my boyfriend (who I am still very happy with to this day), and I never really struggled with the work academically, even though I didn’t always pay attention as much as I should have. All of that aside, I feel that there were a few things which could have really helped with the future if we had of been supported better on certain topics.
I don’t know about you, but I have never used algebra since school and unless you want a career in science or mathematics I really cannot see the point in ever learning this thing. If they had of taught us about the below issues instead this would have been a lot more beneficial to a lot of us.
I admit it, I am not the best person with money. I have always liked to spend it rather than save it, although that has improved over the last few years and I have realised how important it is to have a savings pot behind me for emergencies. My parents have always tried to encourage me to be more sensible with my money which I am grateful for, but this would have been such a good topic to have been covered at school for a lot of people that didn’t have the same level of support and advice.
When you are young you don’t appreciate the value of things and when you start to earn money it all goes out the window on nights out, drinking and clothes. However, when you move out of the family home and have to pay your own bills, it can be a bit of a shock to the system and you realise you have to budget and plan how you spend your money.
A lot of people when they leave school go onto university, which is something I personally didn’t do, and I’m pleased about this as it meant that I avoided owing anyone a huge debt at the end of it. Debt is something that can quickly build up and when you are younger the temptation is always there to take on credit cards and store cards. This would have been such a good subject to have covered at school to get you thinking early on about managing your money the best way possible.
Mortgages and property
Similar to the money topic above, mortgages are a complex subject that take time to get your head around. I have a mortgage and they still confuse the hell out of me. Obviously there are not many people leaving school that are going to be able to afford a mortgage straight away. However, learning about the basic points of how they work and the process around buying a property would be really beneficial. Even learning about renting a property, the type of documents and deposits that would be involved and the expected bills that you would be looking to pay each month would give people the confidence to go out there when they are ready and make it feel a lot less daunting.
We supposedly had a career guidance module for us at school. They booked us all a one to one appointment with an advisor, but when I went along to my appointment the advisor didn’t turn up and it was never re-arranged. The whole thing felt like a waste of time and that no one really cared about what we wanted to do as a long term career. It was more just about them ticking a box to say they had covered this with us (or not at all in my case!)
I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school. I decided that university was not for me but I really enjoyed art and design so I wanted something potentially creative. However, I didn’t know about what kind of jobs were out there, or how much I could have expected to earn as an adult. I was literally clueless about this and wish we had been supported so much more with what options were available.
My career path
I worked in a book shop while I was studying at school, which I loved but that wasn’t something I intended to do forever. So, I ended up leaving school and enrolling in a beauty therapy course in Brighton. I realised that wasn’t really for me after all and moved into office work. I decided to move to London when I was 20 and started working in the fashion industry which was a perfect choice for me. A couple of years later I enrolled into London college of Fashion and gained a diploma which was great and taught me a lot. This helped to move me forward in my career and I have since worked for some of the biggest luxury fashion brands in the world.
It goes to show that you don’t always have to go to University as on the job experience counts for a lot. If you are at a point where you are not sure what you want to do as a career, don’t worry as it will all work out eventually.
Drugs and mental health
Unfortunately I have witnessed quite a few people from my home town that have suffered with mental health issues to the point that they have been moved into permanent institutions, where they will likely to remain for the rest of their lives. It’s sad to see and quite scary.
Brighton is an amazing place but it has it’s dark side. There is a huge homeless issue in the City which is getting worse and drugs are treated as the norm from a young age. I cannot help but wonder if we had better a education on mental health and drug related issues that it would have really helped a lot of people before it was too late. I feel that we need to do more for the next generation to protect them and teach them that mental health is important as well as how they look after themselves and others around them that might need their help.
Education and support
If there was a greater support network for young people and they knew exactly who they could talk to if they are struggling or need some kind of professional help that would make such a difference. If their problems could be shared easily, these could potentially be resolved earlier on, rather than escalating and end up changing the whole path that their lives move into. Drug education classes also need to be taught in a different way. I feel the shock factor would be a better route to go down and have actual drug users or ex-users to share their experiences with them.
Mental health seems to be a huge issue that is growing in this country which is in need of addressing somehow in a better way.
Are there any topics that I have missed from this list that you feel should have been taught better at school? I would love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks for reading xx