Even after all my years in the education system, I still don’t really understand algebra. I have no idea what ‘x’ equals; at least, not in the sense I’m probably supposed to.
Looking back, I really wish that somewhere alongside all the algebra, my teachers had also taught about essential life skills.
I’m honestly not criticising the above mentioned education system available to all of us, because it really is wonderful. I’m also not saying that algebra isn’t important. Because it is important, of course. I simply believe that teaching life skills is just as important, and that teaching finances, emotions and entrepreneurship would far better equip young people for their future.
Allow me to explain.
20 per cent APR + X = debt
It’s scary that as a young adult of eighteen, you are able to receive credit. So early into adulthood, this purely translates to money in your back pocket!
Credit and APR are scary-sounding terms that mean nothing at all when you’re eighteen, particularly if you’ve never heard of them before. In fact, I wonder how many much older adults really understand these terms themselves?
I believe that young people should be taught about interest rates, store credit, APR and overdrafts – not to mention savings, pensions and investments. This would mean that by the time they reached the age of credit, they would have at least a basic understanding of the world of finance. This often complex world is a compulsory part of most people’s everyday lives, so why is learning about it not mandatory?
Label emotions, not people
Mental health issues are on the rise, and the simple fact is that we’re not talking about this important subject as much as we should be.
The World Health Organisation tell us that one in four people around the world are affected by depression or panic attacks, but we don’t seem to spend even four minutes a day considering our own mental health, or trying to improve it as a lot of us do our bodies.
Social media has helped the conversation along, particularly during specific events such as Mental Health Awareness Week, or when a celebrity shares their personal story, both of which are amazing things to participate in and read about.
However, personally I feel that this is not enough, and I fear that mental health is starting to be seen as yet another social media ‘fad’.
It’s not normal to discuss emotions at any age. Why is this? Just imagine how this worrying situation could be turned around, if children were taught to talk honestly about emotions from a young age.
After all, every human being experiences a whole range of emotions every second of the day, from anger to happiness, anxiety to excitement, fear to joy, and stress to sadness.
I believe the reason why adults struggle with seeking help for emotional issues is because they don’t know what to ask for help with. It’s so difficult to label something you don’t know anything about, so let’s start by actually labelling emotions and talking clearly about how they affect us all.
Maybe then, we will start to shift the unfair stigma that so often comes with mental health.
Being an entrepreneur means business!
Is entrepreneurship innate? Is it in your DNA?
There any many scholars that will say it either is or isn’t. However, the rapid rise of so many successful entrepreneurs has created a false simplicity towards entrepreneurship. This, coupled with an overwhelming attitude of ‘positive thinking’ your way to success, has created a truly unrealistic formula that often results in failure.
I believe children and young adults should be taught about what any journey to achievement really looks like; what kind of investment it requires and what both success and failure look like.
Of course, teaching entrepreneurship will not eliminate failure, but I do believe the process will allow young adults to make better informed decisions, regardless of their upbringing.
Life is all about making choices, after all, and the more informed we are, the better decisions we are able to make. Honest information about life as it is really lived empowers every individual to properly decide what they want to make of their own lives and futures.