I may have grown up looking at life through hazy, Disney delusions but Never-Never Land I could do without. That place petrified me! To a child who couldn’t wait to ‘grow up’, the idea of a place that froze the age of its population was horrifying. Young Frannie couldn’t wait for adulthood, imagining days full of sipping on coffees while hanging out with adult friends doing adult stuff not having to worry about school assignments – what could be better?
^ Me being an adult ^
The thing I didn’t know was that adults actually spend time worrying about money and superannuation and whether they should use their savings for a house deposit or for travel. They worry about getting a license, keeping within the rules of the road and owning & maintaining a car. Adults have health insurance or back-up plans for medical emergencies and they always know what to do in those situations. Adults know when the right time to start a family is, how much children cost and how to properly hold a baby. Adults know how to cook healthy meals, how to look after their mental health, how to budget for bills and groceries and how to balance a work and social life while always allowing time for themselves to exercise or relax. Right? Well I’m 25 and I can honestly say I have none of this figured out. I assumed it would just come to me as I got older but it turns out these are all life lessons and generally we learn them from experience or the dreaded hindsight.
So now I’m forced to wonder whether those hours I spent in maths class learning about algebra and navigation were worth it? I would much rather have taken an elective called ‘adulthood’ or ‘real life’ where I was taught about all of the above. It seems that it would be more beneficial for me to know how much money is needed for a house deposit and how best to save said dollars rather than how to calculate the distance between a lighthouse and a boat based on the position of a star.
I spent the first two and a half years out of school studying to be a teacher, so please don’t misunderstand this as a dig at conventional schooling (especially as my school at least taught me the basics of resume writing and job interview skills) or at our wonderful and oftentimes undervalued teachers. More than anything it is just a thought. A thought that perhaps I would know exactly how to manage my superannuation fund and may have had a license by 18 instead of 21 if more time was taken to teach me road rules and how to parallel park a car instead of how to dissect a toad in science. Maybe it’s an assumed job of parents to share this knowledge with their kids, but between figuring it all out as they go themselves, when would they have the time?
Marie and I have had this conversation a couple of times… have you ever had similar thoughts? Or maybe you have ideas worth sharing of how you’ll teach your kids these ‘real life’ lessons?