9 Important Things that you can’t learn in School

I have learned a lot from my schools. After spending 15 years of my life in school, I had great memories with my schoolmates. To me, the school was my second home and a place where I can meet people my age.  But It wasn’t all fun and games. It had also cause me great anxiety due to the hierarchy of being the best. I was so absorb into getting to the top that I forgot to realize my true goal. I believed that doing good in school guarantees life success. Every “A+” I get was an investment for me. The harsh truth is, I was not being trained to be prepared for adult life and that A+ has no monetary value or a guarantee to fill up my bank account in the future. Instead I was being taught to pick a predestined path becoming a paid professional called an employee or self employee.

Never once I’ve heard the unconventional option to become an entrepreneur who manages his own business, invest money in trust, mutual funds, or the stocks.

And become one of the renowned tycoons in the Philippines like Henry Sy. Basically, School is underestimating our potential in achieving such goals because of that all we get are employees in the future.

That time I was still immature and the only thing that matters to me is that I get good grades not wondering if the education I am getting was right.

Filipino parents usually tell their child. “Study hard so you can work abroad” instead of “Study hard so someday you can run your own business and be the boss”.

Despite the years I have spent in school. There are 9 important things that the School should have taught the young minds of my time. Okay if you happen to learn one of the 9, you should be grateful to your mentor for providing value added service to you. It shows how much that teacher cares for you as a second parent. I want everyone to understand that I have nothing against teacher. They’re just simply doing their job to educate. This blog is not intended to make our beloved teachers look bad and readers should not make this as an excuse to make bad grades in school. I am simply stating what School is lacking.

1. Budgeting

Budgeting – is one of the basic fundamentals of personal finance. It is probably one of the most neglected topic in school. I only learned how to properly budget by the time I graduated and got my first job. Budgeting is not easy especially if you are inexperienced. Budgeting a P12,000.00 monthly salary is quite a challenge but not impossible.

The only budgeting I learned in school is budgeting for a project, or business startup. But the budgeting for business start up that I had learned in school is far from reality. You know! ever had those business planning projects in school where you pretend you have a budget and it is enough to cover all expenses for business startup. I can’t blame my teachers if they cannot teach it effectively. I mean they are teachers, not businessmen. Invite a successful entrepreneur or registered financial planner like Fitz Villafuerte to school now we are talking about the real thing.

Budgeting is important because it will help you track unnecessary expenses you made, deadlines of bills to be paid, easily set aside money to save, and answer the most important question: Where did my money go?

2. Stock market

When I was just a little boy. I was a very curious mind. I was serious about my future. I wanted to be rich. I wanted to eat good food, a bigger house, and a shiny car. I was thinking how can I get that. Usually the first thing that come to your mind during that age is to get a high paying profession in the future or work abroad. But I was not that simple and I want a profession that I am willing to do even if it’s for free. I did some research and asked a lot of rich people. Majority of truly rich people says their secret is stock market and other investment that relies on the stock market like trust funds, mutual funds, and bonds. That time I finally knew the secret of the rich but I didn’t know how stock market works. Even school don’t know what stock market is. I had no choice but to stick to my studies and accept everything the school has to offer me. There was a time, I had a professor/lawyer teaching Macro economy, who encourage us to invest in the stock market. I asked him “How do I start?”. His answer was quite vague or too advanced for me to understand. He said something like go to PSE and find a broker. Buy low and sell high. Bear and bullish market. I was like “Sir, that Jargon is too much for me to understand.” Well, at least, he told me a little about stock market. He told me a short story about his regret of becoming a lawyer. The very reason why he wanted to become a lawyer is to get rich quick, but that is far from the truth. After graduating from law school you won’t be getting that 1 million deals on your first case. You still have to claw your way to the top. And the legal market is very competitive. The moral of the story is if you want to become rich you need to learn how to invest, not find a high paying profession.

3. Business and Entrepreneurship

Got an MBA? That’s great but Do you have business experience? Have you ever tried doing risk in business? Did you ever manage a business that requires less supervision? Did your so-called well-thought of plan ever succeed in a real business? Did you ever experience failure? Even if you did, Did you fail forward? Do you even know what failing forward means? If you can’t answer these questions. It shows that graduate school hasn’t taught you the elements needed for real life business. This is not a simulation where you play monopoly, baking mama, and roller coaster tycoon games. The world we live in is unforgiving place where baby-faced amateurs won’t treated as babies. Prepare to get devoured by competitors or learn how to live among them. Business is like a food chain. Food chain in business sense and Food chain in the animal world. The only difference is it is a food chain is ruled by social animals known as Humans.

4. Taxation

Okay, School has taught you how to compute your taxes like VAT, deduction on your payroll, night differential, overtime payments, etc. but they never explained that businessman/rich people pays less taxes than employee on a payroll. You might be asking how unjust is this. The reason behind it is because entrepreneurs play a vital role in society. They help build infrastructure, solve people’s problem with their products and services, make quality jobs, risk their own money to run a business, and other things they help the government with. It is like a tax incentive for them. An employee is obliged to pay taxes because they get guaranteed pay from their employer even without achieving anything. We can tax rich people but they will move to another country with their money and that’s bad for the economy.

5. Emotional Intelligence

I only learned about 8 types of intelligence in school and that’s the following; 

Naturalist (for individual sensitive to living things and the environment), Musical Intelligence, Logical-Mathematical, Existential-Philosophical, Interpersonal, Body-Kinesthetics, Linguistic, and Spatial Intelligence (for Artist).

I no longer need to explain these if you are attentive in School, you probably learned about it. Last but not the least is Emotional Intelligence also known as Intrapersonal intelligence. This is the type of intelligence which has been missing out of its deserve credits for the past few years. It was just recently that this type of Intelligence was rediscovered. Some famous authors even wrote a book about it. Before that it was known as Intrapersonal Intelligence – the ability to better understand oneself and individuals who possesses it are very aware of their own feelings and self-motivated. Emotional intelligence is like an upgrade for this term. Out of all types of intelligence, this is the most powerful type, possessing this type of intelligence can make you succeed in any field of expertise. This is perfect for entrepreneurs and investors. Owning your emotion is vital to cope up with the vicissitudes and constant changes in your life. Emotion can affect decision, impulse buying, behavior, mentality, interaction with people, motivation, and drive. Emotion can cause both negative and positive impact on yourself. Unless you can control it. For example: Using your anger and frustration as a fuel for energy to work hard or motivation to save money.

6.  Experiential learning

The teaching method they practice at school are purely based on theories and is lacking in application. Most of my learning experience in school comes from reading boring textbooks that talks like a robot in my head, lectures that is lacking in live examples, and lots and lots of memorizing of senseless data. What a snoozefest?

Looking back it now, I was the best when it comes to memorization but I’m not quite proud of that today because my smartphone can do the same thing.

Kolb’s research of experiential learning shows mastering expertise is a continuous process of experience, reflection, conceptualisation and experimentation.

The school practice more experiential learning in their curriculum. It is not only effective but it gives students real life experience. Plus, it’s fun and interactive for both the teacher and the students.

Games are better teacher than Teachers.

-Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad

7. There is more than one answer to a question

The school has taught me indirectly that there is only one answer to a question but I say 2+2 = 5 when it comes to teamwork.

Sigh… I wished I had the courage to say that back in my school days. The school system is made to have no room for errors so you can never have a chance to reflect on your mistake before moving on to the next topic. I don’t believe that being a slow learner is bad. Slow learners focuses more on quality and some people are suffering from lack of attention span due to distraction of modern living.

8. Innovation

School is the slowest when it comes to innovation next to the government. Even some school administration are still paper-driven, instead of using computer for workflow, transaction, and gathering of data and information. It was just recently that we were able to access our transcript of record online, but it is still lacking in terms of security and privacy.

I don’t know what is slowing school down when it comes to innovation. Are they protecting our culture identity by going old fashioned. But Japan manage to harness the power of innovation and the might of tradition in all aspect. Another thing, school is lacking in promotion of innovation.

9. Love for Books

I know what you are thinking. School is already full of books. But what the school offers are those boring information densed library books. When I was a student I always hated books. Because the books I read in school are those monotonous textbooks that talks like a robot in my head when I’m reading. I always try my best not to fall asleep in class when my teacher reads these books. My love for books has returned the time I started working. I discovered interesting books like Awaken the Giant within, Total Money Makeover, 21 Irrefutable laws of Leadership, and Failing Forward. These books are not only informative. It is also based on real life experience. What I like about these books is that they are more engaging and it stimulate the mind instead of forcing you to cram information in you head.

10. Financial Education

This is the most important topic that should be discussed in School. Budgeting, Saving, and Investing. These are the 3 subjects that is important to your adult life that School never bothered to teach us. Be it the technique on how to budget, Where to park our money while saving for that large purchase like your dream home or travel, or How to use good debt. There is a lot that we have missed in not studying Financial Education.

I have only realized this at the start of my career life. That School is really lacking in Financial Education and Education doesn’t end in School. Even at the end of your school life, you should always strive for continuous learning but do what you love the most. Make a living out of it. In order to stay current in this modern era we must keep on learning new things. I choose to study personal finance for the sake of helping others and giving value to other people’s live through Financial Education.

How about you? How can you change people’s live.

Francis Noel Nocete

Blogger | Intrapreneur = Entrepreneur + Employee | Investor | Book Enthusiast |

3 thoughts on “9 Important Things that you can’t learn in School

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