I Graduated High School 8 Years Ago Today. Here's 8 Things I Wish I Knew Then and 8 Things I've Learned Post-High School.
June 11th, 2010. That is the day I graduated high school. Narragansett High School class of 2010. It is also beloved Portuguese harpsichordist Carlos Seixas birthday. In 2010 it was Carlos 306th birthday. Happy Birthday Carlos.
As someone, who like you gets older by the day, I find myself saying with friends and family things like
"Oh my God I can't believe ______________________ was _____ years ago! It feels like it was only ___ years ago!"
That happens almost daily. My life is just me trying to get to a bathroom in time, and saying to my friends that after 26 years of life I still don't understand how the passage of time works.
Today that is the case with high school. 8 years ago I walked across that Ryan Center stage and got my high school diploma. Holy shit. It does not seem that long ago. That's two Presidential terms. Lebron James has been in the NBA Finals every years since I graduated high school, obviously I miss high school.
I'm not a person who is anti-high school. Au Contraire. That shouldn't be shocking considering I have an education degree. I personally had a ton of fun, and loved most of it. So many great memories. Would've been cool to have sex then but whatever I guess teachers were right saying that high school prepares you for the rest of life.
I know that not everybody feels the same. Whatever, that's fine if you didn't like high school. This blog isn't to talk about how popular I was in high school. Nobody cares about that. It doesn't matter that I was on homecoming AND prom court. Nobody cares that I had a shutout in lacrosse. Nobody cares that I invented the Mariner Maniac t-shirts that everybody wore to basketball games during Narragansett High School's 2008-09 Division II runner up campaign. These things don't matter. This isn't to talk about high school.
With today being my class' 8 year anniversary (which is the myspace anniversary) here are the top 8 things I wish I learned in high school and top 8 things I've learned post-high school. There are more things but you know, had to keep with the theme.
8 Things I Wish I Learned In High School
1. How To Do My Taxes/How Taxes Work
I've said for years that high school should have a "life 101" class where somebody shows you how to do things that matter in life post-high school. Taxes would be a whole quarter of the year. I have no idea how they work, how tax brackets are decided, how to get out of paying taxes etc. I know there's programs you can use but I'm a fake adult and don't know who they work or what is the best and I'd really rather not read if I don't need to. I really wish they taught us how to do taxes in school. I could make the same tired ass, "another day has passed where I didn't use the Pythagorean theorem" joke but I won't do that. Instead, I'll say that my dad is doing my taxes whether he wants to or not until the day he dies.
2. How To Tie a Tie
How old I'll be when I successfully tie a tie for the first time
Fuck wearing ties, but I'll admit I should know how to do this. I'm well aware youtube which has existed since 2005 (aka the year before I started high school) and has plenty of tutorials but now I feel like it's just too late. After years of trying I still do not know how to tie a tie. It's like I've never used my hands before. I really think it's too late in my life now. Nobody learns how to tie a tie at 26. My dad is very successful but also cannot really tie a tie so he's no help (sorry dad). I'm sure I'm not the only kid who's dad can't tie a tie or on a darker note didn't have a father. I feel like this could've all been avoided if on day one the principal had an assembly explaining to a room of 9th grade boys how to make a Windsor knot.
3. It's Important To Save Money Early
17 year old Ryan didn't wanna hear that shit. Too busy throwing down $5 towards a blunt every Saturday (nbd) to open up an IRA. Man do I wish I started earlier. Thinking about all the years of missed compound interest makes me so sad. What an evener sadder lame old man sentence.
4. You Don't Have To Go To College
I'm glad I went to college, had a good time, learned some shit, got a piece of paper, but I had literally no idea trades were even a thing in high school. Teachers never even brought them up. Would've been cool to know that back in the day. Just to have the option. It's like when you're RSVPing for a wedding and the options are steak, fish or vegetarian. Obviously you're gonna go steak, but it's nice to know you don't have to if you don't want to. My school made it seem like you were gonna work at McDonald's your whole life if you didn't go to college. Plumbers are out here making 100K driving 60K trucks.
5. How To Interview/Network
Job interviews and dates are basically the same thing. Both things I'm horrible at because I get extremely awkward and have no self confidence. I still really only know what networking is because of the term social networking but still am not 100% sure. I know Schmidt mentions it a lot on New Girl. Guess I should've said "mentioned" :(
Teach me how to talk and be social in front of people I'm not comfortable around. I'm so fucking interesting I just don't know how to get started or read people. Help me get the ball rolling.
I'm just trying to elevate small talk to medium talk.
6. How To Cook/ Do Basic Car/House Stuff
I understand a lot of these also fall onto the parent, but guess what? A lot of kids in high school don't want to be spending any extra time with their parents then they already need to. Also some people's parents don't cook/exist. Schools are cutting budgets with elective classes like home-ec and shop and it's a really bad idea. Those classes teach you things way more valuable than a lot of the content in core classes. I don't need to know how Punnett Squares work, but knowing how to cook to impress a girl/survive wouldn't suck. If I could cook I'd probably weigh 180 with a hot wife instead of getting take out for every meal. Thanks a lot high school.
Also knowing how to fix things saves you soooo much money. My dad has tried to teach me over the years and only in like the last 4 have I actually given a shit since now I realize how expensive life is. It's just more stuff my parents tried to teach me growing up that I just didn't care about because I was young and stupid. Even though I really only cared about grades so my parents would leave me alone so I put in about 80% effort, hence the 85's on my report card. Had I been forced to know basic car stuff and how to fix things around the house in school in order to pass classes who knows how handy I could be today?
7. How Insurance Works
This one isn't as important because I just know I need to pay it and that's I guess where it ends. I know that you pay people as Chris Rock says "in case shit" happens. That's really where my knowledge on the subject ends. What is universal healthcare and why do people want it so badly? What are premiums? Insurance companies have insurance policies on themselves so how the fuck does that work?
8. How To Deal With Adversity
Yeah heartbreaking losses throughout high school sports helped, but I mean real adversity. How do I handle real life issues?
What do you do when you lose a loved one? What happens when you lose your net worth on a sports bet? What do you do when your hook up with your best friend's girlfriend? How do last in Nashville for more than 7 weeks before quitting your job and coming home/ How do you not let your emotions get the best of you and binge eat 5000 calories a day? How do you pass a class when you get a zero on a paper that you actually handed in? Why did Bush knock down the towers? Just some sort of class that teaches you how to make smart decisions in tough situations would be way more beneficial for students than another year of a foreign language that they'll forget every word of immediately after the final or geometry imo.
8 Things I've Learned Since High School.
1. Nobody Cares About Your Fantasy Football Team
We all play, it's a lot of fun with your buddies but I promise you nobody outside of your body gives a shit that you drafted Julian Edelman in the 13th round in 2013.
2. Ryan Dunn Is Dead
Class mix up. Summer 2011 never forget. #prayinghandsemoji
3. Facebook is the Best Social Media
I'm far more active on twitter and IG but facebook is hands down the best social media. You don't have to be active to appreciate it. When I graduated HS it was really just facebook and twitter was starting to just take off but make no mistake facebook is the best. Facebook is where you likely have the most friends/followers and where you can see all the shit the people you went to high school with are up to. I don't follow the random weirdo from two years ahead of me, but you best believe I'm friends with him on facebook and saw that horrible tattoo AND name choice for his daughter. The breakdowns, the fights, all the juicy good shit is on f book. Sure you can see scantaly clad co-eds on insta but there's this thing on your phone called an internet browser. For social media give me f book. It makes for the best screenshots to your friends asking if they've seen this shit?
4. Being Alive is Expensive AF
I used to think $50,000 was soooo much money hahahahahha. Now I understand how pro athletes go broke. When you have bills and also want to enjoy life you realize how much money it costs to not be dead. Bright side when you die you get to leave about 10 thousand bucks to your family just to deal with the disposal of your body!
5. Friends Come And Go
A little serious note. Over years people drift apart and you lose contact. You'd think with all the technology that wouldn't happen, but a lot of the times it's v intentional although than are a handful of people that I've lost touch with who I'd totally be friends with again. I feel like you lose about a friend a year. You realize you were only "friends" with someone because you saw them 180 days a year. The older you get your circle gets tighter as you get busier and there's less time for the people you don't truly connect with. I guuuess some people do make friends after high school!???! I wouldn't really know.
6. People Age Differently
This means a multitude of things, sure some people age more gracefully than others, and as a man with well documented weight struggles I'm not about to start shitting on anybody. What I'm talking about here is like aging from adolescents to true adulthood. To me true adulthood is being on your own, completely independent financially. I have friends who are my age making close to minimum wage. I'm 26 and still don't feel like a real adult. I'm a temp live in apartment with my mom. Not exactly crushing it. One of my best friends is getting married in like 3 weeks. Everybody is different.
I used to (and still do) compare myself to others and get down and be like man look at where I am rn. But it's a marathon not a sprint. You might've taken 7 years to get a bachelor's degree, but that doesn't mean you can't be more successful than the girl who graduated early. Just cause you haven't found love yet doesn't mean you're gonna die alone (although the clock is ticking). We all blossom at our own pace. Obviously you don't wanna fall too far behind, but man we (hopefully) have a lot of time left. A lot can change, stop worrying about others so much and worry about you. I really should take my own advice.
7. Tom Brady is the Greatest Football Player of All Time
In 2010 there was still some serious debate. Peyton Manning had just won the AFC and was league MVP. Tom Brady suffered his first career home playoff loss. How things have changed! Now we all know Brady is the goat. Since I graduated HS in 2010 the Patriots have had a first round bye every season, appeared in four Super Bowls and won two. Not bad.
8. Memes Will Take Over Your Life
Look through who I follow on insta. It's 20 random hot chicks, a few friends, some bands I like, then 900 meme accounts. I wish this was a joke. These aren't even good memes. I just typed in meme on instagram (much worse non-phone format) and clicked on random memes from accounts I follow with the word meme in their name. I am memes.