7 Things You Didn’t Learn in School That Could Help You Now…

Being an adult sucks four ways to heaven and two ways to hell! I often wonder how in the blue cheese did our parents make things happen back then? The 80s? The 90s? I swear everything seems so much more difficult nowadays. I’m trying to understand how single mothers who raised 4+ kids, owned a home, and had a whole Lincoln Navigator on a $30k salary in the 90s compared to now, where $30k won’t eem get gas in your car (especially in LA).

They say nostalgia is dangerous and folks have a tendency to romanticize the past, but dammit, shit seemed much easier back then. Yea, we have technology, but we lost a lot more as a result. Fools don’t ‘eem know how to carry a five minute conversation anymore, but everybody out here “adulting”. As I’ve gotten older, I realized that there’s so much that I don’t know and I’m still learning about on a daily basis. We can chalk it up to a number of obstacles, but here are a few lessons that I wished was taught in the classroom:

  1. Therapy is one of the keys to happiness. I’m going to keep promoting and talking about mental health because it’s important. In a world that is afraid and threatened by the skin I’m in, its taxing. Add  on the many obligations that so many of us have on the daily and there is a cause for concern. For my sisters, check out this amazing podcast that I’ve been listening to called Therapy for Black Girls. For my fellas, I wrote this article to help you in your therapy journey.
  2. GAP Insurance Refund– Do you recall getting GAP insurance when you purchased your car? Don’t eem know what GAP insurance is (hit this to learn more)? Did you know that you’re entitled to the remainder of your premium when you pay it off earlier than anticipated? It’ won’t be much, but I think any money is good money. Learn more here.
  3. Choosing a life insurance policy is important: You have a car and you have car insurance? Maybe you’re renting and have renters insurance? Hell, you probably eem have insurance on your laptop. Why wouldn’t you get life insurance? This is critical if you have someone else in your life (spouse, dependent, etc.). It pains me to see families on the side of the street asking for money to pay for a funeral because I feel that it doesn’t need to be like that. I won’t say which type of life insurance policy to obtain (we all gotta make our own choices), but I will say get what fits you best. Check this link for more information.
  4. F*** quadratic equations, compound interest is where it’s at– I remember in high school I asked my algebra teacher about the importance of learning quadratic equations and I didn’t get a suitable answer at all. It was something along the lines “it helps with critical thinking” or something. Now, if I could go back, I’d love to learn more about compound interest and how to make it work for you.
  5. How to handle broken or lost relationships: When you’re younger, you believe that you will be friends when the ones you came up with or met in college for the rest of your life…until life happens. I’ve lost countless friends over the years for a variety of reasons and some hurt while others didn’t. As an adult, that’s tough to get through especially if you’ve been friends for 10+ years. I feel that it’s important to learn how to come to peace with those losses. This includes family, friends, colleagues, and even in romantic relationships. Sometimes you have to just close the door.
  6. How to create wealth: I remember this older Black couple came into my place of work a few months ago and the man (older, peppered beard, glasses wearing chap) struck up a conversation. I love soaking in the wisdom of my elders so I happily listened. The conversation started off well and then quickly took a turn, when he started telling me that he can help me make more than $1M dollars a year after doing tasks for a couple of years. He told me about all the cars he owns, the trips that he takes, and the lifestyle that he created for himself. Once he started telling me to start meeting him whenever he called, I politely ended the conversation. One look at Youtube will garner a number of videos about “how to be a millionaire in X years”, “turn $1,000 to $1M in a day”, and more videos focused on getting rich. Mind you, most of these videos have millions of views which indicates to me that a lot of people want to get rich for a number of reasons. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want more money, however, I want wealth that can be passed down to generations after me. I’m learning ways to manage money better now, but I wish I learned sooner.
  7. Study Abroad: As long as I can remember, my mother encouraged my siblings and I to go see the world. This was a tad difficult for a single mother of four, but she tried her best to get us out of our comfort zones more than once. As a grown ass man, I’ve made it a point to travel and see the world which is what I plan to do with my children when the time comes. I wish there were more study abroad opportunities in the k-12 pipeline for Black students that is in alignment with their curriculum. There’s so much to learn in the world and its important that Black children have the opportunity to see/hear the different narratives of people not always highlighted in their books.

Of course, this list isn’t limited to these seven items and there are way more lessons I wished I could’ve learned, but I’ll end this list for now. What would you add to your “adulting curriculum”?

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