This post idea has been on my “post ideas” list for a long time now. I was planning on writing it around the beginning of Blogtober but kept putting it off and putting it off for some completely unknown reason. I don’t know whether I was worried that what I was going to say might anger people (even though that’s a ridiculous notion) or whether I wasn’t as outspoken enough to write a post like this but I figured to hell with those thoughts and wanted to write it anyway. Education is great – I loved school, truly loved it. But it’s no secret that schools, all schools, seriously lack certain elements of education that really, really need to be addresses. And if they are already addressed, chances are, students are still left in a haze of bewilderment because the teacher has scratched the surface of the topic and sent them on their way.
Let me tell you a story about my own experience of mental health in school (more specifically, sixth form). I was of sound mental health back then. Nothing bothered me, literally nothing. But I remember one of my classmates having a panic attack in the common room one lunchtime and I had absolutely no idea what was happening. I was naïve and to be honest, quite selfish in that I just dismissed what was happening to her because I didn’t understand it. Now, this story doesn’t paint me in a very good light, I know and now, experiencing mental health worries myself, I’m quite ashamed of how I used to react to it when it happened to someone else illustrates my point that it should be taught in schools. I don’t remember any subject or any teacher ever mentioning mental health. Ever. But I believe it should be thoroughly taught to all students, whether they battle with mental health problems themselves or not. For those that do, it could be a lifesaver to know that their condition is being talked about and recognised. For those that don’t, it’s a good lesson to learn what it and what it looks like on others and how to react and help someone you know suffering.
Taxes, National Insurance – Grown up stuff basically!
I am currently self-employed. I have been for a little over 2 years now and whilst I’m doing the basics of what you need to do in order to be self-employed and not be doing anything you know, illegally, like noting down all the money I receive, filling out my tax returns and paying my national insurance, on a whole – I know bollock all about any of this. I’m winging it, basically. Or asking my mum for advice. Even she doesn’t really know what she’s doing! People have been self-employed for how long and there are thousands of people considering it now without really knowing what they’re supposed to be doing or whether it’s right for them. You might just call us lazy and tell us to research it but I think it would be much more beneficial to have this knowledge in your head way before the time comes to even consider it.
Now, you’ve heard this one before I bet? My sex education in secondary school consisted of condom and banana. And that’s about it. Despite the fact I went to an all girls school so that takes the embarrassment element out of these lessons completely. Thinking back at it now, I find it outrageous that a school full of girls was not taught more extensive sex education. I can think of so many instances where I was completely wrong or over-reacted because I didn’t have the knowledge I needed for these situations. I absolutely loved this post over on Cattitude & Co which goes into much more detail the things we need to include and be taught within sex education in school – aside from the basics.
Men & Women’s Health
Symptoms, prevention techniques – anything that will prevent young girls and boys having to Google the information and scaring themselves senseless. When I started checking my boobs (albeit 5 years after when I probably should have) I didn’t know whether what I was feeling was normal. I Googled and Googled and terrified myself to the point of tears every day because I was scared something was wrong with me. I didn’t know how to check boobs properly either. Again, something I wasn’t taught in school. Again, an all girls school. Same sex school or not, I think health is important. Obviously. We should be taught gender specific health conditions so we know what to look out for and obviously gender neutral conditions too. It’s all good sending girls in for their cervical cancer jab at the age of 15 but we need to know what else to look out for. Nobody knows our bodies better than us and the younger we’re taught all of this, the better.