Quadratic formula. Connotations of the colour blue. Formation of shield volcanoes. It’s all useful information… but is there more?

Learning about taxes. How to apply for a loan. How to start a business. Again, all useful skills… but is that it?


There are many things one can learn in life. This can range from academics to the most important life skills, which we don’t often find school teaching us. Then there are extra skills, like being street smart and public speaking in general.


With technological developments like smartphones at our fingertips, a wealth of knowledge awaits us from various sources worldwide. Stuff school doesn’t teach you can be easily learnt with TED Talks, online courses, educational websites, podcasts, ebooks – the list goes on and on.


This also allows interaction with people on social forums. Feeling too shy to talk in real life? Look no further – we have forum sites like The Student Room, social media like Discord and more, where you can learn the bare basics on how to talk with others, expand your horizons and expose yourself to various different perspectives. Hopefully, you get the courage to engage with people face to face!


Tech aside (or maybe not – it’s up to you): try to engage in projects of your own. Take a pen in your hand and do a bit of creative writing, or get your hands dirty and do some painting. If something doesn’t suit you, that’s perfectly fine – try something else! There are a multitude of possibilities for time killing, and finding the right one for you is something that will take time. I’ve found my own – gaming. Chilling with friends, hopping onto Discord to develop strategies on the spot with random people. It’s really fun, and it’s enhanced my social skills quite a bit!


Let’s take a stab at the seemingly more boring options. Yeah, yeah, I know you find work boring, but give mentoring or an apprenticeship a shot.  You’ll be directly exposed to invaluable experience and an atmosphere that may seem daunting at first, but will become one you’ll slowly fit into. It’ll make you more adaptable and flexible – you’ll eventually be able to fit into any opportunity life throws at you relatively quickly. Adaptability isn’t a skill easily learnt at school, considering how you’re prepared for virtually everything in advance.


Then there’s the zen option: self-reflection. Contemplating your past successes and failures can help you develop as a human being through learning from your achievements and mistakes.

E.g.: What did I do well in that test? I studied using flashcards. Great! I’ll use this strategy for my weaker subject. What do I need to work on in that? Quotations – alright, I’ll get some flashcards with quotations on them.

Simple, no?


Overall, it’s up to you. School won’t teach you everything, so you have to take matters into your own hands. Find your own way to develop social and practical skills, which will help you stride, rather than step, towards any goals of yours.