Why Don’t They Teach A Class In High School About Adulting?

I’m half way into my 34th year of life and I can honestly tell you I have never had to use biology in real life. I have never gone on a job interview where someone asked me, “So, what is an organism?” I have yet to go to a pay a bill and the person behind the counter asked, “Excuse me sir, we need your street address, social security number and for you to tell us 10 State Capitals.” Why do they teach us all this useless knowledge but don’t teach us how to adult? Below are four classes on how to adult before you hit the real world.

Lesson One- Money and Common Cents

Could you imagine if in your senior year of high school there was a class on real life budgeting? Not calculus or trigonometry but a class entitled “Money and Common Cents.”

classroom pic 2

Food all goes down the same. Wingstop taste amazing, Pappadeaux for happy hour is everything. A good steak from Brennan’s, mouthwatering. However, lesson 1, there isn’t a worse feeling than checking your bank statement and seeing you’ve spent 120.00 on food for the week knowing your cell phone bill is 117.89. Spaghetti is your friend; sandwiches are your friend, those cheap sausages that turn the water super greasy, your friend. If you know you don’t get paid for two weeks, don’t blow your money on food.

Lesson Two- Love Is Going To Break You; But It Won’t Kill You

We as a society do a horrible job of preparing our youth for how powerful love is. There was never a class in high school or college that taught us how much love would break us down. No group project on how to deal with seeing another man’s name pop on your woman’s phone at 2am. No power point on feeling like life is great and your man walking in and telling you, “I don’t love you anymore.”

There should be a test given to every high school senior. Don’t let love make you make dumb decisions. If you aren’t married, don’t co-sign for him a car because he changed a flat for you. Those things are not equal baby girl and I know you think he has a good job working at UPS overnight but I promise you a good job at 18 isn’t a good job at 24. If that woman wants to break up with you, let her go. Beating up her new man may feel good but the record that comes with it doesn’t. In a year she’ll have moved on and you’ll still be living with the consequences.

Lesson Three- Don’t Blow Off Your Grandparents and Parents

There’s a time frame after high school and before true adulthood kicks in at like 26 that we ignore our grandparents or parents. We want to travel and go out and sleep in so we say, “I’ll see grandma tomorrow.” “I’ll call my mom back tomorrow.” Those tomorrow’s add up and the next thing you know it’ll have been two months. There will be a day when they won’t be here anymore and in that moment you’ll think back to when you blew them off for a man or woman you have blocked on FB or friends that you don’t even talk to anymore. Love those that love you.

Lesson Four- Most Of Us Won’t Die Young; Prepare Yourself

Go to the dentist. You only get one set of real teeth.
Make memories and takes lots of pictures.
Don’t not pay bills to enjoy yourself. Credit is something you’ll need.
You don’t feel good, go to the doctor. You still don’t feel good, go back. You still don’t feel good, go to another doctor.
Don’t waste years of your life being unhappy.

Stop Expecting Rewards for Doing What You’re Supposed to Do

dwhiteI was cutting the yard yesterday. I was weed eating and playing in the flower beds and I was filthy. My girlfriend saw me and said, “You’re filthy but you look cute.” Instead of saying thank you I replied, “I know. When a man is doing manly type work you’re supposed to be turned on by that.” Her response to my arrogance was “So you want me to give you credit for doing what you’re supposed to be doing?” I smiled and thought about that. Was I wanting credit for doing what I was supposed to be doing or was I just feeling good about doing something I said I would do?

A couple days ago I was getting my inspection sticker for my work truck and I was with this guy I was training. While we were there a woman walked in and she was attractive. She sat down next to me and I could tell she wanted to ask me something but she was hesitant. “They are telling me I need a new gas cap; they told me the same thing last year and I feel like gas caps don’t go bad in a year?” I told her just to tell them that she would take her car somewhere else and not to worry about it and I’m pretty sure they’ll chill. She did that and got her inspection sticker. She thanked me, I said no problem and I left.

The guy I was training said, “She seemed interested, why didn’t you get her number.” I told him I had a girlfriend and there was no need in making a new friend that was never going to be a friend anyway.

You don’t get medals for doing the right thing, there’s no “likes” or “retweets” or pats on the back. There’s simply piece of mind and knowing you can sleep at night or leave your phone unattended. There’s no gift cards or frequent flyer miles; there’s simply coming home from work and knowing your lights, water and gas will be on.

Expecting rewards for doing what you’re supposed to do is only going to break your heart and make you seek out something more. The reward for doing what you’re supposed to do is knowing you’ll never have to answer for doing something you had no business doing.

Why I Regret Stepping Foot On A College Campus

A College Campus

A College Campus

I remember my senior year before I went to college. The sort of advice I received was be sure to use condoms, don’t do drugs, don’t party and study so you can make good grades and make your family proud. What no one told me, what I wish I would have known before I stepped one foot on that beautiful country campus is that it wasn’t drugs, women or study habits that would haunt me long after those college years; it was finances.

My first week on that college campus there was a table set up. Two attractive, cool college kids asking me if I wanted a free t-shirt and twenty five dollars. “Hey man, you’re away from home; you need a credit card for expenses. Gas money, maybe a date, a book you need right away.” Eighteen years old, not even a bank account in my name I signed up for the credit card and ten minutes later I was approved. That same week when I sat across from a counselor in the financial aid office she laid out several options for me. “This is what the University is offering you, A Pell Grant, your partial scholarship, four loan options.” All I saw was green, more money in my hand than I’d ever seen, a couple thousand more than I needed. I signed that promissory note not realizing I was signing my future earnings away.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame the University I attended for my bad decisions. I don’t blame the Federal Government or the Student Loan Lenders. Without those programs a lot of kids and adults would never even have a chance at college. I blame myself for not being better informed and though I can’t go back I can learn from my mistakes. My sisters, cousins, my future children will never be able to say, “I didn’t know.” I will be there with them letting them know, apply for scholarships, work a part time job, pay your student loan interest while you’re in school, maintain academic progress. Things I wasn’t told until it was too late.

I don’t regret going to college, I regret going to college when I did because I simply wasn’t prepared mentally. It’s what you’re supposed to do right? You don’t want to be the guy still staying at home working a job while all your friends are off at college. You don’t want to go to the military just as 9/11 happened and be deployed six months later. So I went to college and though the academics weren’t as hard as I thought the maturity level just wasn’t there.

Everyone in my office is excited about W2’s because who doesn’t love an influx of money? I on the other hand will be experiencing my third straight year of the Federal Government withholding my income taxes. All because I didn’t do what I was supposed to do when I was younger. A part of me is almost grateful that I am going through this because it’s forced me to budget more. It’s made me accountable. This hasn’t been easy but it’s been necessary. Though I wish I would have learned these lessons in my youth I still have a lot of life to live if God says the same and for that I’m thankful. Talk to your children about not just the parties, drugs, women or men. Talk to them about money and respecting it or it will come back to haunt them.