Things I learned in School That Will Help Me in Life

Besides asking my students how they acquired the skills they needed to be successful, I wanted to know what my Journalism students learned in high school that they valued. What are the most important lessons that are preparing them for their futures?

This list intrigued me as an educator. What skills must they learn in my English class to prepare them for life? Do I expect my students to remember the difference between a subject complement and a direct object after they leave my classroom? Truthfully, yes I do, but most of them won’t. But, do I expect them to transfer that grammar knowledge into knowing the difference between fragments and complete sentences? Yes. They better leave my classroom knowing how to write well. If they gain more than that, then they are on their way to greater things.

The list my journalism students gave me tells me that they are learning how to study, how to be successful, how to manage their time. These valuable skills are just as important as the content in my courses, and the students will retain that learning longer than the specifics of grammar and writing. I’ve always told students and parents that work ethic is 80% of their success; now I can add that developing a work ethic is what they will carry with them after high school.

Another discovery I made from this list is that students learned many positive lessons about socialization. I worry that students are too social in high school, leading to too many painful experiences, but they shared some good lessons from their socialization process.

By far, the best things my students shared with me is what they learned about themselves. I know adults that haven’t learned many of these lessons yet. Their strength of character, as well as the way a few of them honored me, is very encouraging.

Things I Learned in Class That Will Help Me in Life

  • Hard work goes a long way. (x2)
    • If you work hard, you can do anything you set your mind to.
    • You have to work hard; nothing is going to be given to you on a silver platter.
    • Good work ethic is key.
    • Hard work gets you far.
    • There is value in truly trying your hardest to succeed.
  • How to be successful.
  • Basic math skills. (x2)
  • How to write programs on calculators.
  • You will have to read for the rest of your life.
  • How to write a good paper. (x2)
  • The English language… learn it or you will be judged, as you should.
  • It is beneficial to ask questions when you do not understand or do not agree.
  • Get your work done before leisure activities; it will be less stressful.
  • How to deal with a lot of stress. (finals week :/)
  • Time management. (x4)
    • Plan ahead, how you plan to study for the midterm could be just as important as how you plan to make payments for a car.
    • Be punctual with both arriving to class and turning in assignments.
    • Always be on time for everything or else you will get yelled at.
    • Being on time. (x2)
    • Stay on track with long-term projects.
  • Meeting deadlines are important. 😉
  • How to be organized.
  • How to manage school work and extracurricular activities.
  • That procrastinating is not a good idea… (x2)
    • Do not do your homework last minute.
  • Be prepared.
  • How to think outside the box.
  • Critical reading skills.
  • How to be a leader.
  • Learning to follow rules.
  • Get things done.
  • Don’t be stupid.
  • Dress for success.
  • Teamwork skills.
  • When doing a group project, don’t assume that everybody will do their share of the work.

Things I Learned about People That Will Help Me in Life

  • If you take just five minutes to help someone out it could have a major impact on his or her life.
  • Friends are sometimes silly, sometimes weird, but always helpful.
  • How to talk to people easily (good for job interviews).
  • It is possible to be civil towards everyone.
  • Having an open mind is very helpful.
  • The value of true friendship.
  • How to have to deal with people in a good manner.
  • How to meet new people un-awkwardly.
  • Popularity isn’t a big deal.
  • Patience.
  • How to interact with others.
  • How to have fun.
  • How to help others.
  • Being able to get along with others.
  • Not caring what other people think of me.
  • How to have a healthy relationship.
  • How to talk to people I don’t know.
  • That I don’t have to be popular to be cool or successful.
  • Be a friend; someone will be your friend in return.
  • Respect people, and they will respect you.
  • A lot of people appreciate help, but some would rather be left alone.
  • Surround yourself with good people.
  • There will always be people there to help you.
  • How to keep friends close.
  • Respect for those older than me.
  • Be involved as much as possible because you will meet people you may never have met.
  • Have fun; enjoy the environment and the people. Studying may suck but make it fun!
  • I have learned that is important to find out what people believe and why. I learned it is very important to do it kindly so as not to hurt the person. In addition, people like to know more about what you believe when you act kindly.
  • Knowing that sometimes my friends don’t have the best ideas.
  • Girls are mean and judgmental, avoid most of them.
  • Forgive but don’t always forget.
  • How to deal with jerks.
  • Most people who seem like they are smart and important really are not.
  • Knowing when to let something go (fight, argument).
  • How to deal with difficult people.
  • People are weird.

Things I Learned about Myself That Will Help Me in Life

  • Being able to laugh at myself.
  • Knowing when to get out.
  • Being assertive.
  • Learning to enjoy the little things.
  • Life isn’t fair, but you have to make the most of it.
  • Confidence is key.
  • Keep your promises.
  • Ask for help when you need it. (x2)
  • Don’t let life pass you by.
  • I learned that it is valuable to try new things.
  • It is important to know, without a doubt, what I believe.
  • You have to overcome your fears; you cannot hide in your shell for the rest of your life, even if you want to.
  • Always look for constructive criticism; it will help you get better.
  • If you want something, root for it!
  • Your sanity should be a priority, no matter what.
  • I can do it.
  • The earlier you wake up, the more you can get done.
  • I’m growing up.

Mrs. Hawkins is doing something right 🙂

  • Journalism is the greatest class you will ever take 🙂
  • Writing, thanks to Mrs. Hawkins (;
  • Mrs. Hawkins will always be there for me no matter what.
  • Grammar is important, and it is not as horrible as it may have originally seemed. Thank you, Mrs. Hawkins.

What do you think of this list?

2 thoughts on “Things I learned in School That Will Help Me in Life

  1. This brought me back a few years! It is awesome how you are continuing to inspire your students, Mrs. Hawkins. You certainly inspired me a few years ago in high school. I enjoyed these thoughts from your students and think many of them are very wise. I’m continuing to learn many of these things myself.

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