Updated: Nov 3, 2022
(originally published November 15, 2015 on oxygen.com)
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 of us encountered more hurdles than expected on our way to becoming uber successful graphic design artists with flexible work attaire, but that doesn’t excuse millennials for still living at home. According to data from the Census Bureauhttp://www.census.gov/censusexplorer/censusexplorer-youngadults.html 30.3 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds are living with a parent. Sure, its tough out there, and, yeah, maybe you’re going to cry a bunch while you’re still getting used to scary things like the fact that snacks aren’t always waiting for you when you want them, but believe me, it’s totally worth it.
2. 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.
3. Bragging about Being a “Workaholic” is Pretentious, Pointless and Annoying
I get it. You work too hard! But no one likes a show off who turns in a thousand coloring pages when one would do just fine, thank you very much. Do work that makes you happy and you will be happy to do your work, but 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. Shut up about how long it’s been since you took a vacation. What kind of idiot brags about skipping recess? 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.
4. Go Ahead And Lie Down on the Floor Every Once In A While. Trust.
Curling up on a carpet square is good for the body no matter how old. Lying fully flat on your back http://urbanwomenfitness.com/5-awesome-benefits-of-sleeping-on-the-floor/ on a hard surface allows the body to re-align while sleeping on a cushy bed allows the body get in all sorts of weird positions and can end up being a (literal) pain in the neck. Shoot for 20-30 minutes a day to start out so your body doesn’t ache from the sudden adjustment. And if you don’t already know that everyone should take a 15 minute nap or at least a 15 minute eyes closed physically and mentally relax session then you haven’t been reading science for the last three hundred years. 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.
5. You’re Going to Forget Most of What You Learn So Focus On Being A Good Person
Most of the facts we learn in elementary, middle, high 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. Quick! What’s 7x8!? 56. You probably learned that a billion times without its ever really sticking in your brain. So what’s the point? Well, the point is learning how to learn and learning how to be a good person. Assume the human brain is unable to store an infinite amount of knowledge over time, but it is always, 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 since she’s also learned how to get along with others by being in positive, supervised social environments for most of her formative years, she’ll most likely have friends and loved ones with whom to share the fish.