9 (Non-Academic) Things You Need to Know Before Graduating High School

During high school you'll learn everything from foreign languages to advanced mathematics, but there are plenty of things you need to learn that your teachers won't necessarily teach you.

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Certain life skills don't exactly fit into the syllabus of your World History or American Literature classes. Check out these lessons that you'll definitely need to know before graduating high school and entering the "real world."

1. Don't Take Your Friendships for Granted

Look, we're totally spoiled by being able to see our friends every single day. We forget that this is something to appreciate because we've spent our entire lives seeing our friends every day at school. But after graduation, most of your friend group will disperse to different colleges and different towns, maybe even different states. Don't take this luxury for granted because you'll be missing the days you saw their sleepy faces bright and early each morning.


2. How to Do Your Laundry

I swear your parents didn't bribe me to include this lesson! Before entering the real world, you'll definitely want to know how to do your own laundry. Accidentally dyeing an entire load of whites and shrinking your favorite new sweater are completely real possibilities. Plus, you don't want to be dialing up your parent from the laundry room at your prestigious university.

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3. Not All Relationships Last a Lifetime

It's okay to let go of friendships or relationships that just aren't working anymore. If your S.O is leaving for college a year before you graduate, don't feel the need to hold on to this relationship which is about to get very complicated. Likewise with friendships, if you aren't feeling supported by your friends, remember that there is an entire world of people out there waiting to meet you. You'll want to learn this lesson before finding out the hard way in college.


4. Time and Money Management

You may feel totally suffocated by the structure your parents are forcing on you in high school. But try and learn a little something from their rules. The independence of college is amazing, but making big decisions for yourself can also be intimidating. You'll be wishing your mom was there to enforce homework time when you've let yourself get drastically behind in your classes.

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5. How to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

From the safety of our home town it's easy to stick to the things that make you comfortable. Whether it's taking classes with all of your friends or continuing the same hobby you've done since childhood, these comfort zones only shelter us from trying something new. In college you won't necessarily have your life-long friends around. Experiment with new activities and friendships in high school before the change comes as a shock later.


6.  When and How to Service Your Car

We don't really think about how many responsibilities our parents help us with in high school. When you're far away from home you'll need some basic skills to keep things, like your car, from falling apart. Learn what your service lights mean and how to get them fixed. That little tin man looking can means you need an oil change!


7. Having an S.O. Isn't That Important

Movies about high school like to lead us to believe that snagging a significant other is the answer to happiness and popularity. But high school is just the beginning of crushes and break ups. Spend your time hanging with your friends rather than obsessing over who like-likes you.

Four best girl friends smiling and holding hands

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8. How to Say "No" to FOMO

This lesson goes back to No. 4 and time management. But aside from simply mapping out a homework schedule, you'll also need to learn how to accept the hangouts you missed. Just remember, there will be countless times in the future that you get to make memories with your besties. Don't focus too much on the things you missed out on, because, sadly, there will be many a missed hangout in your future.


9. Spend Less Time Stressing

Teachers and parents love to paint high school as the most important stepping stone before…dun dun DUN…college. But the truth is, you can have so much more fun in high school than you're currently having if you don't spend all of your time studying and stressing about college. Do your work but set your academic limits. Don't lose sleep over that one bad grade—colleges aren't even looking at these mini mishaps, anyway.


Now that you've learned these important life lessons, get some relief with THESE high school struggles that won't matter in 10 years.