What they don't teach you

So I've come to the conclusion that there need to be some required courses in high school or college to teach you how to be an adult. (In no particular order)

  • House Keeping - Not like Home Ec, wherein I was required to sew a sweatshirt and learn to make cookies, but stuff like reading laundry labels, how to not burn microwave popcorn, and basic cooking skills (like, don't turn the heat up really high on most things, or how to cook pasta without overcooking it.) Throw in a little bit about cleaning things and you've got a winner.
  • Maintenance - How do you check the oil in your car? How do you unclog a drain or toilet? Want to hang a picture in your first apartment? Make sure that chimney is clear before you light the first fire. Yes, you REALLY need to change the batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year, or risk the annoying beep that you can never place for a couple of weeks before you remember it's been a year since you changed batteries. 
  • Realistic Budgeting - How do you balance an account? How do you figure out how to make your "paid once a month" income last the whole month? How much should you REALLY budget for things like groceries and gas (not based on percentages necessarily, but on actual cost) or how to adjust when you need to make tough decisions.
  • Work Etiquette - there are some universal rules for the workplace that transcend all boundaries. Don't heat up fish in the microwave. Don't burn your popcorn. Don't take someone else's stuff in the fridge, even if you mean to replace it soon. Make sure if you take candy from the dish that you're reciprocating every now and then. Be nice. Don't be nosy. 
  • Shared Space Etiquette - Don't have long and loud personal conversations in the restroom or hallway. If you're sitting on stairs and someone comes up to use the stairs, don't be unpleasant when you get up. Walk on the right side, but if someone isn't moving, that doesn't mean you get to play chicken. 

Never mind things like what really happens when you become involved in a relationship with someone, or become a parent, or find yourself on a committee or board and have to be responsible to other people. That's a post for another day.

I just find myself thinking that I wish I had paid a lot closer attention way back when my mom tried teaching me some of this stuff, and wishing I wasn't a mom myself before I figured some of this out. Trust me, kids. Just do that hard, unpleasant thing that you think you don't want to do right now. Don't wait until you're 37 and STILL trying to figure out how to budget the right way. Dave Ramsey can only do so much.