5 Useful Life Skills We should Learn in School (but Don’t)

University: the epicenter of all knowledge and learning. The go-to place when we wish to expand our horizons, supplement our skill sets and basically become better at this adult-ing thing.


Or at least that’s the goal, right?

Schools and universities are meant to teach us everything we need to survive in the ‘real’ world, and they really do teach us so many different things about any and all subjects under the sun, but they still don’t teach you everything you need to know to survive as an adult. For instance, they really don’t teach us:

1) How to fold a fitted sheet

I don’t think I know a single person my age who knows how to properly fold a fitted sheet, which either says something about the mental aptitude of my friends and I, or folding those fitted sheets is really hard!

2) How to clean a glass top stove

They may look nice and sleek and all, but have you ever tried cleaning off burnt on food from these suckers without scratching them? It’s about as easy as putting a sweater on a feral cat without getting scratched.

3) How to make (and stick to) a proper budget


And not financial statements or corporate budgets, I mean normal household budgets that let you get stuff like groceries, petrol, rent, pizza and other necessities every month without amassing cartoonish amounts of debt.

Because what’s life without pizza?
4) How to get the smell of puke out of a mattress 

Trust me when I tell you that when you have kids, someone will most definitely be puking on your bed every couple of weeks, so knowing how to get rid of the steel is a skill not to be scoffed at.

5) How to snake your drain, fix a leaky faucet or make other minor repairs around the house without having to pay an arm and a leg to whoever you find on Angie’s List

I’m pretty sure if this was an elective, no one would take a course about leaky faucets but trust me, you’ll use what you learn a lot more often than the stuff you learned in that elective interpretive dance class you took that last semester of High School.

pictured: fun but not useful when your faucet springs a leak at 3am and threatens to flood the house (source)
What would you add to this list? What other important life skills should schools be teaching? Do you know a way to fold a fitted sheet that involves something other than rolling it up into a ball?


20 thoughts on “5 Useful Life Skills We should Learn in School (but Don’t)

  1. ACK – the fitted sheet. Years ago my MIL, who has always considered herself the world’s best housekeeper (see my post from today for my take on that claim to fame) went out of her way to correct my slovenly fitted sheet folding skills. I consider it an act of self-approval that I don’t care what my fitted sheets look like when they’re sitting on the closet. Every time I put away a set of clean sheets I congratulate myself on defying my MIL and wadding the fitted sheet up in a pillowcase! Perhaps I should grow up…


  2. I fold them into very approximate thirds (or fifths if it’s a double) longwise so it’s between 8″ and 12″ wide, then roll them up into a cylinder (rather than a ball) and pull the last bit of edge over the lump. That way they don’t unravel in the cupboard πŸ™‚
    I would suggest classes in filling in legal/tax/otherwise important forms without needing an interpreter and shares in biros and papermills πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m with you on four of your five skills. However I”m pretty sure that folding a fitted sheet is totally optional and if I hadn’t seen my Granny’s sheets I’d think it was impossible as well. I’d add being able to cook one meal. Not everyone needs to be an everyday every meal sort of cook. But everyone needs to have the skills to cook something!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. People need to learn how to balance their checkbooks. You would NOT believe the amount of people my age (and far older! I’m 35, for the record), who don’t know how to balance a friggin’ checkbook. It’s staggering. But, looking back, we absolutely were not taught it in high school. It would have clearly gotten in the way of such high-quality uses of our time like, you know, those mandatory phys ed credits.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m 30 and I’m not all that great at balancing checkbooks either πŸ˜“ Back in the day when I was in school in Pakistan we had this elective home economics course where you got graded on how well you set the dinner table πŸ˜‚ I kid you not, there were multiple tables, everyone got assigned one and they had to set it properly and than the teacher went around grading them! Very 1920s finishing school

      Liked by 4 people

      1. The tablesetting classes sound pretty weird… but it’s probably not a bad thing, especially nIw, when people eat on the sofa so often…
        I don’t think it’s the weirdest though. My mother was taught how to run a bath properly at her school… (and it was part of a compulsory course)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I learned how to fold fitted sheets when I worked at the school “laundromat” to help pay my tuition. So basically, you fold your sheet in half, placing each corner into the opposite corner “pocket” and then fold your sheet in half again. Make sure that your corners are in the inside fold, and continue folding until you have a nice flat square. Kind of hard to explain. Maybe I’ll put together a post with pics?

    Liked by 1 person

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