Things I Wish I’d Learnt In High School Bc Who Needs Algebra In This Economy?
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I’m not going to tell you when I graduated high school, but let’s just say it wasn’t yesterday. Since entering the big wide world post-school, I’ve come to realise that my public education didn’t prep me nearly as much as I would’ve liked. And while nothing can compare to life experience, here’s a list of things I wish I learnt more of in high school so you don’t make the same mistakes as moi.

How To Survive Small Talk

If you’re one of the poor buggers who ended their high school years during the cursed COVID-19 pandemic then firstly, I really feel for you. But secondly, you have most likely missed out on some pretty important socialising. While you may feel you need a class on introducing yourself and tips on how to fill awkward silences, all’s not lost.

University is a great time to meet new people (who probably have similar interests to you) and to enjoy social events now that things have stabilised a fraction.

Still feeling like you need a moment before you see people in person again? No stress. Swinburne has created Swintopia; a virtual university experience (and socially anxious person’s dream) that’s tailored to your university preferences. You can explore the Hawthorn campus via a cute robot avatar from the comfort of your closest device. Complete quests and enter the draw to win a $20k travel voucher as well as monthly prizes that will help make your transition to uni-esque socialising (online or in-person) a bit easier.

Another way to make friends and figure out the whole small talk thing is by heading to university open days IRL. Whether you have an idea of what you want to study post-high school or don’t know at all, open days like the one at Swinburne University of Technology are a chance to explore your options and ask questions (yes, even awkwardly). 

Go forth and socialise, pals.

Things I Wish I’d Learnt In High School Bc Who Needs Algebra In This Economy?

How To Do Taxes

You know what they say about only two things being guaranteed in life; death and taxes. Despite this anecdote, the education I received barely touched on the tax system. Sure, there were approximately three maths classes on how much of your wage will be handed to the tax office in adulthood, but not enough for anything to stick.

If you have the opportunity, head to a finance or business elective in uni because those skills are actually pretty important. In Swintopia’s Study Zone, you’re able to explore courses such as business so you can decide whether you want to figure out the tax system plus be the most financially literate of your friends. Finance courses don’t interest you? Then resign yourself to getting an accountant like I’m about to do. Life’s too short to feel stressed every tax time.

Things I Wish I’d Learnt In High School Bc Who Needs Algebra In This Economy?

How The Political System Works

Okay, I’ll bite. What the hell is a House of Representatives? Don’t even get me started on preferential voting. Every time an election is called or something blows up in Canberra, I feel like everyone else in the room just ~knows~ what the jargon is. 

IMO, more focus should’ve been placed on our political systems in school because otherwise you get to your mid-20s and you’re listening to podcasts to figure out what an MP actually does. One way to learn more post-high school? Join student politics at uni. I did have a stint of this when I was 20 and it was fascinating to be ‘on the inside’ and surrounded by smart, switched-on political people. I may not have known the intricacies of the system but still – it was fun.

If you’re thinking of heading to university, Swintopia has a whole host of student clubs for you to virtually peruse (including student politics of course). Just find Swinburne’s mascot Razor in the After Hours Hub to see what other clubs you can get involved in.

Things I Wish I’d Learnt In High School Bc Who Needs Algebra In This Economy?

How To Plan A Trip

You know what would’ve been useful in high school? How to actually plan a trip. Sure, you live and you learn and apparently school had more important things to teach us like syntax and algebra, BUT a class on the importance of travel insurance and how long it takes for a passport to arrive? Genius. 

Now that travel is slowly back, having a class on hacks, tips, and ways to budget for your dream holiday would go down a treat.

Don’t forget that the team at Swinburne want to give you the gift of travel ($20K worth!) through Swintopia. There’s also those monthly prizes to be won such as a smart speaker, a solar backpack so you can power your laptop and phone with clean energy, and even a memo-book-shaped bottle invented by one of Swinburne’s own students. These prizes are also great small talk starters as well to help with those first year social nerves.

Things I Wish I’d Learnt In High School Bc Who Needs Algebra In This Economy?
The prizes come to an end in October so you have heaps of time between classes or work to enter. Alright, I’m off to send this to the Department of Education.

Swintopia’s T&Cs can be found here.