Early education contains many of the (literal) building blocks of society, but being able to correctly identify that the cow says, “moo” pales in comparison to many of the social lessons we pick up along the way. Voila, proof.
1.. Everyone Has To Leave His or Her Parents’ House Eventually
I get it. We had a pretty rough recession a couple of years ago and most of us encountered more hurdles than expected on our way to becoming uber successful graphic design artists with flexible work attire. According to data from the Census Bureau 30.3 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds are living with a parent. Sure, it's tough out there, and, yeah, it sucks when snacks aren’t always waiting for you when you want them, but believe me, it’s totally worth leaving as soon as you're able so you can get a head start on real life.
2. . Don't Work So Freaking Hard.
Sometimes it seems like you have to turn in 12 extra credit assignments when one would do just fine. Do work that makes you happy and you will be happy to do your work. If you don’t separate yourself from what you do, no one will want to play with you, and being part of a healthy social fabric is the number one predictor of overall individual happiness. The human mind works best with breaks, so if your thing is that you never take any, you’re only impressing yourself. The human brain works significantly better if it gets a chance to reboot, both by taking extended breaks—à la weekends—and by letting your brain relax completely for at least a couple of hours every day—à la recess or playing with your dog or having a conversation with a friend or dancing around your apartment to Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off.
3. . Nap Often. Do It. Trust.
Everyone should take a 15-minute nap, or at least a 15-minute eyes-closed mental relax session. Naps are bomb. Rebooting your brain is the same as rebooting a computer: sometimes a hard reset is the only way to get out of spinny-color-wheel-hell. Heck, you don't even need a bed, do it on a hard floor! Curling up on a carpet square is good for the body no matter how old. Lying fully flat on your back on a hard surface allows the body to realign. Shoot for 20-30 minutes a day to start out so your body doesn’t ache from the sudden adjustment.
4. . You’re Going to Forget Most of What You Learn, So Focus On The Stuff You Care About
Most of the facts we learn in elementary, middle, high school and even college go right out the window as soon as we don’t need them any more. Cramming for a test is fairly useless outside of passing the actual test, but concepts that are reinforced over time don’t tend to do much better. So what’s the point? Besides getting a degree, the point is to learn how to learn. Learn from the people around you, learn from the lessons you actually enjoy, and learn how to be a good person. The human brain may not be able to store infinite knowledge, but it's almost always able to learn. In other words: if you give a girl a bunch of fish at once, she can still only eat so many of them, and a lot of those fish are going to go bad. Teach a girl how to use the internet, fire up the GPS and balance a check book, and she’ll always be able to look up and get to a supermarket and pay for whatever kind of fish she wants. And if she’s also learning how to get along with others by staying in positive, supportive environments, she is so much the wiser.
5. . All Of Us Are Mortal, And One Day Everyone Will Die
Remember the class pet? A hamster? Perhaps a small bird or a couple of unexceptional fish swimming listlessly in a bubble-less tank? At some point, all of them are going to die, and so are you, so start living life to the fullest now. You can be that hamster in a cage, or you can break free and do your best roam around the room. Even if it’s in a plastic bubble thing.