Seven Important Life Skills School Won’t always Teach You!
When we hear or think of Life Skills, we generally tend to focus only on emotional development, or personality development of an individual, ignoring other important aspects that do exist under the umbrella of “Life Skills’.
There are a lot of things that your school would have taught you in those ten-twelve years of mandatory attendance, and there would have been even more that your university or college would have taught you, or is, at the moment, teaching you.
But these institutions have a fixed curriculum, and there is only so much that they could assist you with.
There are certain things our schools and colleges do not teach us, but that does not mean that these things are negligible. Sometimes it’s entirely our responsibility to learn some skills- emotional, mental, intellectual or other, with the aim of making ourselves well-equipped to handle whatever life throws at us.
As part of this article, my attempt is to make people aware of the various important skills we need to be well acquainted with, either through self-learning, or through the assistance of others.
With the changing trends it is now very common even for a 10-year old to receive monthly pocket money from her/his parents, and the pocket money eventually increases annually or maybe every six months.
By the time we reach our late teens, we start getting a proper amount every month for our personal expenses.
Personal experience has made me realise that even though we learn counting, money denominations, addition subtraction and profit loss, we still fail to learn the art of handling money. I can say with complete factuality that almost all of us have been in situations (more than once) when we’ve run out of money just halfway into the month.
Hence, it is always good to know some technique of handling your money.
You could take your pocket money in bits and pieces, some amount every week maybe, so that you don’t face any shortage during the month.
Or one could separate some amount as “savings”, which, eventually, develops into a very profitable habit (trust me, I know!).
Some people also make daily accounts of any considerable transactions they made during the day because it gives them an idea of how much they’ve spent, and how much they can still spend.
There is not one sole technique of handling money. Different people have different ways. You could try someone else’s or invent your own!
THE GOVERNMENT AND THE ELECTION
The right to vote is not just an ordinary right that the legislators thought of and put in the constitution. It was highly debated upon, and was extremely hard to achieve during the initial years.
We all attain our voting rights at the age of 18 because by that age we know how the government works, how elections work, what we’re supposed to do at the EVM and things like that.
However, is that enough?
My school taught me what a government is supposed to do. But it didn’t teach me what the government was actually doing. My school taught me that the opposition had a role to play. But it didn’t teach me how accurately the opposition did actually play its role.
We take this privilege very lightly, more like an obligation than a duty. What happens in most of the cases is that we end up voting for the party our family is supporting. Does this happen in your household, too? If yes, imagine this happening in 100 other households across the country, and imagine the number of votes cast just out of influence.
With the kind of transparency available to us these days, it is very easy to monitor the doings of the ruling party as well as the opposition.
We are capacitated enough to find out, observe, and then decide whom to vote and why.
SURVIVING WITHOUT TECHNOLOGY
While technology is a boon to mankind, we cannot ignore the fact that technology has basically made us it’s slaves. We do nothing without it, isn’t it?
A few weeks back an academician was telling me the ongoing proposition about discarding notebooks in schools altogether, and the use of tablets. This is a big step towards advancement, but is this without any negative effects?
It makes me embarrassed to admit that if I had to make a project relying solely on text books or paper notes, I would literally decide to give up a few times before the submission.
Or if I decided to make a hand-made birthday card for a close friend, I would pull out my hair in disappointment and frustration.
We have often faced the question: What three things would you take with you if you knew you were going to be stranded on an island.
Well, what three things?
I am sure they’d be very technologically advanced things.
How many of us would still be able to make fire out of stones, or survive in an island on leaves, stones, raw fruits, wood and some sand?
It’s not just about a stranded island, but about your daily life. You never know what you have to face in life when. There might come a point where technology won’t be available for assistance. What then?
Think about all the moments during childhood when there used to be power cuts (WITHOUT generators and invertors!) and let me know in your comments how useful you think the skill of surviving without technology really is!
I think we are probably the only country who has handymen available for everything, be it a broken nail or a leaking pipeline! This actually makes us too reliant on people around us.
Some say this happened because we needed to increase the employment so we have people working in almost any field. For instance, when we go to the parking in the malls today, we have people who press the button for us and hand us our parking slips, when we can very well do that by just lowering the window and stretching the hand!
The point is not the kind of labour available to us, but that we must be in practice of some labour ourselves!
Basic knowledge of home repair is a must for every person, especially girls living alone who don’t always feel safe calling a repairman.
Painting a wall, fixing a broken tap or lash, changing a bulb, replacing a wire are some very small but very essential things we must all know of.
This is one of the many things we are obligated to do as citizens of the country we belong to. Pay taxes- monthly, annually, and basically on any and every purchase.
But what makes a person a completely aware citizen is a complete knowledge of what tax has to be paid when and how.
Our schools need to teach us how to pay taxes, how to calculate the amount due, how to save for taxes and more information related to this.
However, since our schools don’t teach us all of this, it is up to us to learn these things- either from our parents or other sources.
I think most of you will agree that this skill is very basic, but very essential in nature. Changing tyres, changing the cool-ent of the AC, fixing minor problems relating to the engine and other minor stuff HAS to be known to everybody driving a vehicle- be it a boy or a girl.
We all would like limitless credit cards, already paid for debit cards and a bank balance as long as our phone number.
How hard is it to manage the bank account, the credit and the debit?
We learn basics about the bank, the credit card and the debit card but when the time comes for us to manage it all together; we often end up messing it up. It is vital for us to learn the advantages AND disadvantages of using a credit card (frequently or occasionally) before we start using one. Credit cards often come with the added curse of indebtedness, which I am sure no one would like to be friends with!
Banking systems, loans, fixed deposits, bonds, shares and other things are things we all indulge in, without any exceptions. However, it is important to have complete knowledge of these things
BODY LANGUAGE AND WAY OF TALKING
This is the last thing on my list, but this is definitely not the last of the skills we should all be good at.
Our institutions may or may not teach us how to talk or how to present ourselves. That is not our concern.
Our concerns are to watch more, observe more and learn more about how people present themselves. Taking fictional TV/movie characters as examples, random commuters as examples, or our friends and relatives as examples, we can always learn the do’s and don’ts’s of an appropriate body language and an appropriate way of presenting oneself.
Nowadays so many personality development classes are conducted at almost every nook and corner along with endless tutorial videos that are available to us.
These skills not only help us in our everyday life, but especially help us during job interviews. We learn what to answer and how to answer. The way we stand and conduct ourselves says a lot more about us than the attached degrees in our resume!
So, the next time you think you have nothing to do, just remember, you have a plethora of skills to work on!
As I end the list, I welcome endless suggestions on any other skill you might think of and would want me to include in this list.