Things I Wish Life Orientation Had Taught Me

I’m pretty awesome at a lot of things, like creating deadline-filled calendars for my team, battling baby cockroaches and baking cheesecake, but there are a lot of things I wish I knew how to do. I’m pretty sure that it’s a failure on the part of the eduction system. Life Orientation, Life Skills, whatevs you want to call it, should surely have taught me something, well, useful? Sure, it taught how to Make Friends With Anyone, Be Self-Confident and Ace Those Tests, but seriously, I came out of school seriously lacking in skills to get me through life without dying poor.

1. Money-Dollar-Bills-Rands

What would have been awesome would have been some basic financial training. How do you create a budget? What about setting up savings or investments, how does that shit work? And tax! Don’t get me started on SARS and the yearly confusion. Would have really (really) helped to have known how to deal all the IRP-something forms.

2. Car Skillz

Ok, so maybe this could have been of the Learning to Drive experience. But shit like changing a tyre, knowing how to check my own oil and water, what’s a radiator and why does it overheat and make that funny burning smell like I’m about to die in a ball of fire – those are the things I could really do with knowing. And yes, I still can’t change my own tyres (hi AA, I love you).

3. Rental-Landlord-Matters

Apart from a few well-off/lucky individuals, 99% of people I know are renting a flat or a room. Learning about my rights as a tenant would have been awesome. Instead I’ve been edumacating myself via the interwebs over the past few years. Just basics like, how does a deposit work, can your landlord kick you out if they sell the flat, how much of your life are you wasting paying rent and how to kill Satan Neighbours (or dispatch Demon Babies).


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