In my final year of high school, I have had the opportunity to look back on my education. While gazing back at those years, and then turning to look forward, I canâ€™t help but see a fewâ€¦holes in my education. Practical holes. Things I feel that would have been beneficial to learn in school.
As I embarked on my first internship out in the world, skills I had never thought of as necessary were suddenly crucial to my success. In fact, before I even secured my internship my lack of ability was highlighted. Three things stood out to me as important pieces of information my education failed to address with me. Maybe these things should be taught everywhere, maybe I am unique in being without these skills, either way: here they go!
Crucial Lesson #1: Writing Professional Emails.
Email seems to be the primary method of communication in the professional world; especially it seems in education.Â When I began to address my superiors via email, my overzealous exclamation marks and wide-eyed smiley faces were politely shot down.
Punctuation was not my only problem when writing professional emails. I often found myself unsure of what was too casual and what was too formal. I did not want my emails to sound unwelcoming, but I also did not want to sound like a clueless intern. Opening and closing emails was the worst, especially when I began to develop familiarity with my superiors. Something just didnâ€™t feel right about addressing my boss by her first name! (I quickly got over that though.) I found myself in a mushy gray area.
While I was swimming around helplessly in the gray mush of professional email writing, I thought to myself, they really should have taught me this in school.
Crucial Lesson #2: Ironing.
Yes, ironing. As in my laundry. Specifically, as in my dress pants for an interview. For whatever reason, my dress pants were conveniently wrinkled and I had a big interview for Rice University quickly approaching.Â I figured ironing wouldnâ€™t be a big deal, and I had seen my Granny iron all my life. Once, I had even seen an iron in my house. I knew it was stored above the washing machine in a cabinet.
I fumbled around with the clunky, hot, metal iron for a good while before I realized I was only succeeding in making more uniformed wrinkles. Not at least the long wrinkles stood in line next to each other instead of crisscrossing manically over each other. It almost looked like my pants were pleated.
Thankfully, my mother came to my rescue and salvaged my newly pleated pants. Again though, I couldnâ€™t help but feel ironing, along with sock darning, was a lost art that maybe should be reintegrated into the high school classroom.
Crucial Lesson #3: Changing A Tire.
The automobile industry has been called a pillar of the American economy. â€¦Or maybe I made that up. Regardless, for most people living in Texas a car is an essential and primary mean of transportation. I personally traveled an hour both ways to my internship, and for Houston commuters this is a relatively short time.
While I have never had a flat tire, I once had to help my Granny change a flat on her car. I live in constant fear of going flat on the freeway and being left at the mercy of other busy commuters because I cannot change my tire myself.Â Arguably, this is not an essential that has a place in public education. Still, I would feel more comfortable and equipped if I was able to correctly change a tire myself.
That concludes my list of crucial lessons I wish I had learned in school. I am pleased to report that I am now able to write professional emails! My ironing could still use work though, and a flat tire is just not an option. Do you ever think that your education left something out? Please drop a comment below and share your missing crucial lessons from school.