How to "Adult"
There are so many critical life skills that I never learned in high school or college. For instance, learning how to file my taxes has had much more impact on my life than knowing the Period Table of Elements.
Knowing how to apologize, or how to ask for help, would also have been much more important to me than studying the Canterbury Tales for hours.
1. How to Rent and Maintain an Apartment
How to find a good place that is good value, how to budget for an apartment, all the paperwork that you should be ready to fill out, how to maintain it: clean it, get electricity, utilities, water, know what days to take out trash, where to park, how to laundry, best practices for living with roommates or partners, etc
I find that I still have a hard time with all of these but I definitely was incapable of any of the above until I was much older.
Also most of this applies to BUYING a home but then you also have to know about mortgages and debt and the lack of liquidity, etc.
It was partly because of this that I lived in Airbnbs for several years and when I first moved to NYC I lived in The Chelsea Hotel.
When I moved into the Chelsea Hotel I had a bag of $17,500 cash, the first real money I ever made in my life (I was making websites on the site and this diamond dealer wanted to pay cash), and I just gave it to Stanley Bard and asked him to find a room I can live for a year on that money.
2. How to Say No
Someone invites you to a destination wedding in Hawaii on July 4 weekend and you really don't want to go. Often it's hard for people to say "no".
Why is it hard?
- you don't want to hurt the other person's feelings.
- you want the other person to like you and you are afraid they won't like you anymore.
- you don't to seem aggressive or selfish.
Understanding the myths of "no" and ways to say it would have saved me a lot of grief. Heck, it will would.
Sometimes instead of saying "no" I often ignore people. This has been a very bad habit of mine. I need to be honest and say "No" more than I do.
3. How to End a Relationship
People are always looking for the right relationship. But "right" or "wrong" it seems easier to get into a relationship than end it.
It takes a few days to get into a relationship but sometimes I needed therapy for months to get the courage to end a relationship. I'm just too afraid to hurt someone's feelings and then there's all the logistics of dividing things and moving out and finding another apartment, etc.
You don't need to know calculus, algebra, geometry, but you do need to know Probability in order to make good decisions. Thinking in terms of probablilities.
For instance, if you get two job offers: one is $100,000 and one is $110,000. Which one do you take. Your goal is to maximize happiness.
Well, you have to assess, given the limited info you know about each place, what is the probability each place will make you happy. And also what probability the extra $10,000 (or not) will make you happy or unhappy.
Then you have to add it all up to see which job offer to decide on. Probability is used in every major decision in life. Or should be.
5. Small Talk
6. Paying Taxes
7. Etiquette for parties, dinners, office, etc.
8. How to give Constructive Criticism (and take it)
9. The benefits of being honest and keeping promises
10. Basic writing skills
In today's social media world, there are lots of people who write, but very few writers. Writing well, in a world of text, is one of the basic skills of being a good adult.
11. How to find sources
Rather than getting our opinions from the media, learning how to steel-man an opinion and get as accurate sources as possible on both sides.