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What schools SHOULD be teaching you

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Aberdeen chapter.

Let’s take a flashback to your days in High School, yes – long and boring days comes to mind. Between all the trigonometry, photosynthesis and cricket lessons, it all seemed a bit pointless considering I am now studying Law and can’t remember the last time I used Algebra?! 


While these topics may be important for different careers, I believe that schools could do more about real life lessons to prepare students for starting university or jobs!


How to open a bank account


It might sound relatively straight-forward but usually a bank will bamboozle you with LOADS of questions about interest rates, overdrafts, debit cards, credit cards and frankly some of us just won’t have a scoobie what half of them are – never mind what they mean! Teaching of these simple, yet important, concepts would have certainly made it a lot easier for us trying to open up an account!


And on that note… Personal finance!


You come to university and you suddenly have a lot of freedom – you don’t need to go to class, you can eat what you want and YES, you can spend your money as you please. If it was highlighted at a younger age that saving and budgeting is an important part of growing up, you might have fewer students withdrawn right up to their limit of the £2000 overdraft! 


Healthy eating


Although this is moving in the right direction with government funding, it can still be different for those moving from school to a new stage in their life to maintain a healthy diet. Despite the uses of home economics, I believe this could be used further to show that it does not need to be expensive! My dad taught me that buying a whole chicken can give you several meals! (Top Dad tip there)


Realistic Sex Education


Yes, yes – we all can painfully remember being made to watch some horrible video and given a booklet to take away and most likely never look at again. Everyone could benefit from having REAL guidance in this area. Being aware of what is going to happen when you decide to do it, things that we SHOULD NOT be embarrassed about if they do happen etc. etc. It can be an awkward topic but it is an important part of education!




Although this is something that parents will try to encourage their children to engage with, I believe that if schools tried to continue this teaching regarding simple things, we would have loads of little angels leaving schools! 


Relationship advice


In school, the guidance teacher was there if you wanted to approach her, however, rarely would anybody do that. Giving real relationship advice about how you may be treated – cheating, abuse etc. – could really help some of us in the long run. Abuse in relationships is often not really recognised by the individual as abuse until long after it is over and I believe that teaching this would not only raise awareness, but also hopefully stop any pupils engaging in that behaviour. 


Better female cycle advice…

Although it is covered, it mainly about what it is and why it’s happening. It is not often covered about the details of what might happen around the time of the month (queue the mood swings and eating everything in sight). 


First Aid


Although this is given more regularly through-out schools, I believe it should be a mandatory course that pupils should take!  It wouldn’t take long and CPR could save somebody’s life. 


More local politics


Unfortunately, the syllabus rarely details on current and local politics. We often learnt about world issues that dated back long ago. I believe it is important for teaching to include LOCAL and RELEVANT politics stories so that pupils understand the important of voting and exactly who and what we are voting for!


How to apply for a mortgage


For those graduating (eeeeeeek), applying for a mortgage could… unfortunately… be closer than we all think. It’s an important thing to get us on the property ladder. However, how are we ever meant to get there if we don’t truly understand how to do it, what it is and what a good deal is?!




And no, not just for women! The little things – how to hang a painting, how to WD40 your windows or screw on a toilet seat. All too often in my house we struggle to be able to do the wee handy jobs that could easily be taught.


Car safety/tips


My mum has always been very cautious of me and my siblings driving. She told us some top tips which have stayed with me – if your car is icy or snowy, always wipe your headlights so your lights can definitely be seen! 




Each and every one of you are brilliantly talented at something and children should be taught to know that exact thing! The shy kid in the class could have so many amazing ideas yet not have the confidence to tell someone or do anything about it! We need to be there to assist those who may not know what skill they are going to perfect through-out their life.


Mental health awareness 


Although this is a subject that must be approached with caution, and might not be suitable to being taught to primary school children, this is something that should be rolled out in secondary schools without a doubt! Suicide rates are disturbingly high, and helping bring awareness about what to do if you have those thoughts, who to turn to, how to combat it, could all be something that schools could help to highlight! Nobody is in this life alone and children need to remember that.


Laura Rennie is currently a fifth year Diploma in Legal Practice student at the University of Aberdeen. After four years studying in the Granite City she couldn't quite drag herself away from it so decided to stick around for one more year. Previously a features writer and secretary of Her Campus Aberdeen when it was founded, she is now very excited to be captaining the little pink ship this year. She loves cups of tea, fairy lights, musicals, trashy TV and is a blogger and member of Her Campus Blogger Network in her spare time.