When I was a kid, there were tons of things I thought I was learning just so I could promptly forget them again. And while that was probably true, there are a ton of weird things that are so much more useful in my life now than I ever imagined they would be. Now, I thank the teachers, friends, and family (hi Mom, Dad, and Kat!) that taught me these lessons because I’d seriously be lost without them:
- Checking all your eggs at the store – My parents trained me in this when I went to the grocery store with them as a kid, and I wished that I’d done it more thoroughly today because I came home with one broken egg. Boo!
- Writing a check – Do they still teach kids this? They ought to, or no one will be able to pay their rent in another decade.
- Sending thank you notes – Not just for gifts, but for job interviews and other gestures as well. It’s amazing how far a thank you note can go toward building good will.
- Going to the post office – Sounds simple, but being my family’s post office task rabbit for a while taught me to have no fear of changing stamp prices and long lines. I am now one of the only young people I know who has stamps (and return address labels!).
- Basic math – My job requires so much random basic math (counting backwards to due dates, comparing open rates and scaling them to the appropriate audience, quickly filling in the amount you have left to raise, etc.) – much more than I expected when I chose a career in English and Politics.
- Cursive – As I re-learned when I got my new license with a sloppy signature, you’ve got to nail this when you’re a kid because you’re sure to forget it all later.
What skills are you surprised that you need in our modern world? Do we have any of the same ones?