What We Should Have Learned in High School

After graduating from high school, a lot of us are able to write long research papers and solve math problems. But how many of us know how to do taxes or understand the importance of having good credit after high school?

I went to a great high school; I had classes and teachers who taught me extremely valuable life lessons whether it was part of the curriculum or not. So, I am not writing this article to attack my teachers or my school.

However, I did find that coming out of high school, I was lacking a lot of information to be able to build my life properly. As I get older, I’m finding that I am uneducated on many subjects, and honestly, it scares me.


1. Building your credit

Let’s say one day you’re interested in making a big purchase which requires a loan from the bank. A lot of us have credit cards, but are we paying attention to our credit? Are we aware of the consequences that come with having a bad credit? Not only can a bad credit restrict you from getting a loan, but it can restrict you from many other things as well:

  • Getting approved for an apartment

  • Getting a cell phone contract

  • Getting employed (depending on jobs—some may check credit history)

  • Starting your own business

  • Purchasing a car

These are just a few things that can be restricted by having a bad credit and things I never learned in high school! I think that had I learned these things in school, I would have been more prepared. Also, I think I would have started building my credit at an earlier age!


2. Taxes

I think only a handful of people know how to do their taxes. Most of the time we just pay someone else to do them for us. It’s okay to have someone else do your taxes for you, but what isn’t okay is not understanding your taxes and what you’re paying for. I am still uneducated on how to do my taxes, and I think learning how to do them in school could be beneficial to everyone. Knowing where your money goes is something we should all know. After doing a little bit of research, I have noticed that it is very hard to find a source that will clearly explain to you what your taxes are paying for. On our paychecks we can see a list under taxes:

  • QPP: Quebec Pension Plan

This is a mandatory insurance plan for people who are 18+ and make more than $3,500/year. It contributes to those who have worked in Quebec along with their families some basic financial protection in the case of retirement, death, or disability.

  • EI: Employee Insurance

For health benefits, maternity/paternity benefits, regular benefits (people who lose their job when it isn’t their fault) etc.

  • QPIP: Quebec Parental Insurance Plan

Maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, parental leave, etc.

  • Federal income tax (Canada)

Money collected by the government to pay for the upkeep and growth of the country.

  • Quebec income tax


Honestly, no one ever taught me what those abbreviations stood for; I had to learn them on my own. You will notice there may be more on your paycheck, and it will show you the amount you pay for in each category per paycheck and how much you’ve paid since you began working. Personally, I want to know where my money goes, and what I am supporting.

Ultimately, I think it is important that schools teach their students things like this so that it doesn’t come to us as a surprise. There are so many other subjects that should be taught to students in high school, the list most definitely doesn’t stop at these two subjects.