The "Most Useless" Things People Learned In School

school classroom

Continuing my "education" blog theme:  we all said it in school: "I am NEVER gonna use this stuff in real life!"

I am VERY guilty of this.  I know in sixth grade that I wanted to be a rock 'n' roll DJ (I NEVER knew I'd be a politician!), so I lost interest in the things that I deemed unnecessary to learn for my career (ahem, Algebra!).  My grades suffered as a result.

Now that I am an adult, I can look back and REALLY discern what classes were useless.

A survey by H&R Block finds that 84% of Americans say there are things they learned in school that they’ve never had to use in real life. What’s more, almost half of people say they learned their current job skills at work, rather than in the classroom.

So, what useless stuff did people learn? Well, when asked to pick the most useless thing they learned in school, 48% of people said it was the Pythagorean theorem, followed by 40% who said it was that Pi is 3.14. Other useless things they learned in school include: 

  • Periodic table (40%)
  • The types of rocks (37%)
  • The difference between protons, neutrons, and electrons (37%(
  • Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell (35%)
  • Naming the presidents in order (35%)
  • Osmosis (32%)
  • How to make paper snowflakes (30%)
  • Photosynthesis (30%)

As for what they would have rather learned in school, 57% of people chose money management and budgeting, followed by how to properly do taxes (44%). Other lessons folks would have rather learned include:

  • How to manage emotional/mental wellbeing (42%)
  • Understanding credit and student loans (39%)
  • How to negotiate (39%)
  • Time management (35%)
  • Household repairs (34%)
  • How to make conversation/personal relationship skills (33%)
  • Car repair and maintenance (31%)
  • How to find a job (30%)

The class that I THOUGHT was useless at the time but turned out to be invaluable was typing.  Yes, it was on an old-fashioned typewriter -  but I didn't know at the time that most Americans would be spending many an hour at a keyboard during their adult life.

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