Your Guide To The Life Skills We Never Learned About

Does anyone else feel like they missed a Life Skills 101 course? Don’t get me wrong, I love the education that I got in college, and even high school, but there are things I wish we learned about that would have prepared me more for real life. You know what they are, taxes, insurance, car maintenance, etc. 

If you also need a crash course in “adulting” you are not alone! Think of this post as that crash course. I’ll give you all the resources and tips that we all wish we got a few years ago. Get your notebooks out, class is in session.

Your Guide To The Life Skills We Never Learned About

Life Skill #1: Finances

Let’s get the biggest category out there first. Honestly this could be a post all on its own, but I’ll sum it up as best I can for you. From taxes, to budgeting, retirement and more, there are so many topics that we should have learned.

I believe that finances was the most important thing we needed to know on this list because it affects other items on the list as well. There are several questions that I’m sure we have all asked at one point in our twenties. Questions like:

  • How do I file my taxes correctly?
  • What is the best way to budget?
  • How early should I start saving for retirement?
  • How do I even start saving for retirement?
  • How do I ask for a raise at work?

Can you think of any questions that I missed? Next I’ll share a few resources that will help you get a better understanding about the different topics that fall under finances. Then there will be a little “homework” so that you can take action today.


Homework/Action Step

Review the different ways to make a budget and start trying one of them today. Then after a few weeks try another one. Repeat this process until you have determined which budget style is right for you.

Photo by on Unsplash

Life Skill #2: Insurance

Insurance is another topic that is important to know, but is never taught. There are many types of insurances we need and reasons why we need them. Insurance agents can definitely feel intimidating when selling you insurance, especially when you aren’t familiar with buying insurance.

With so many different plans and terms it’s easy to feel lost. We could have definitely benefited from a lesson or two about this subject. Luckily you don’t have to feel in the dark about insurance for long, here are some resources to help you better understand it.


Homework/Action Step

Check out a few guides to different insurance companies, like this one. Then make a pro/con list of each one compared to your needs to determine which company is right for you.

Photo by Vlad Deep on Unsplash

Life Skill #3: Car Maintenance

While this may not be the most exciting subject for some people, it’s a necessary one. I feel like this could have been a part of Drivers Education in high school.

Keeping your car in great condition is just as important as learning how to drive in my opinion. Not knowing how to drive can put you, your passenger(s), and other drivers in danger, so can faulty equipment in your car.

I think that we all could have benefited from knowing how to do tasks like changing a flat tire and checking the oil at least. Other tasks would have been helpful as well. It’s never too late to learn about car maintenance though, so here are some resources to help you out.


Homework/Action Step

To make sure you’re prepared in the event something happens when you are driving, or you just need to do a routine oil check. I want you to make a car maintenance cheat sheet.

List out the most common car repairs that you can do,and maybe signs that your car gives you when something more serious happens. Put it in the glovebox of your car so that you always have it when you need it.

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Life Skill #4: Renting/Buying A House

Another life skill that we never learned was how renting or buying a house works. It’s not as simple as just buying or renting a house, condo, apartment, etc. at the list price and calling it a day.

There are contracts, fees, and more that have to be included in the process as well. Whether or not you are ready to sign the lease on your first apartment, or move from a renter to a buyer, these resources will help you for that big change.


Homework/Action Step

Whatever stage of the renting or buying process you are in, I want you to make a to-do list. Take some time to list out all that needs to be discussed, done, signed, etc. so that you feel more prepared throughout the rest of the process.

Life Skill #5: Self-Defense

This is an important skill to have, especially for women. I see this as a unit in Physical Education class (PE) or an elective for college freshmen. It could cover physical self-defense, but also how to defend yourself online against things like identity theft, catfishing, bullying, etc.

There are so many different ways to go about a class like this. A self-defense class could literally save lives, so why weren’t we taught this? Here are a few resources to check out if you aren’t clear on how to defend yourself physically or digitally.


Homework/Action Steps

Let’s start with physical self-defense. Check online or maybe a local gym to see if there are any self-defense classes in your area. If there are, sign-up for one.

Life Skill #6: Mental Health Awareness

Why didn’t health class have a mental health component? It would do a world of good if we were taught about mental health in school. It would help not only us, but those around us understand what we are going through.

It could also help stop the stigma of mental health. These resources will help you learn more about mental health.


What is mental health

The UnF*ck Your Brain Podcast

Homework/Action Steps

This one is simple. I just want you to check out the resources above to increase your knowledge about mental health. Knowledge is power. It’s never too late to either know when to ask for help or know how to be there for others.

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

Life Skill #7: Communication

We started with a broad topic and we are going to end on one as well. You may think that communication isn’t something that you need a course on, or maybe you think that public speaking classes would fulfill this.

The truth is that there are many other things to learn when it comes to communication. Networking and setting boundaries are two that come to mind. Like the rest of the life skills we’ve covered so far, I’m leaving you with resources that will help you learn more about these topics.


Check out this podcast

How to set boundaries


Take stock of your relationships, all of them in your life. What are some ways you can better communicate with them? Do you need to set boundaries with your co-workers and/or boss for optimal work/life balance?

Do you need to patch up some relationships that went south? Take what you learn from these resources and apply them to your relationships.

This was definitely a crash course of information. I’d recommend saving this post so that you can reference it anytime you need it.

About the Author

Kelly Clark

Kelly graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Journalism. Even though it took her a little while to find her career path, she was always meant to be in Communications. She remembers writing poems and songs when she was a little girl and pitching to my parents the reasons why I should have a cell phone when I was a teenager. She currently has a blog ( where she talks about her weight-loss journey, mental health and personal development. Her hope is to encourage and inspire readers and let them know they are not alone. Reading blog posts like that are what helped her in tough times and she wants to pay it forward. She loves dance fitness, listening to music, and creating layouts in her bullet journal. She’s a big fan of planning, especially when cute notebooks and pens are involved.
Her dream job has changed so much over the years; right now she’d love to co-own a dance studio.