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8 Things all High School Students Should Know

With schools back in full swing across the country, I wanted to share some thoughts I’ve had over the years having taught high school. These are for students and their parents, too. This is a bit lengthy, I know, so apologies in advance.

  1. Your teacher is not out to get you. While there may be the few that you don't see eye-to-eye with, none of your teachers decided to teach because they knew one day you would be in their class, and they could make your life a pain! Most, yes most, teachers are in the school system because they enjoy what they do and genuinely want to help students. If they didn’t, they’d be long gone by now. These are the people who spend their Sunday afternoons preparing for the week grading papers or creating lesson plans. They spend many late weeknights catching up on the things missed over the weekend, getting projects ready to go, and tons of other paperwork you never see. Any teacher - yes, any teacher - can get a job making more money than they do teaching.

  2. That's really not what you're going to do when you 'grow up’.

    All through your life, as long as you can remember, you were going to be an architect, or a lawyer, or a doctor. Except you probably won't. Now there are those out there that could prove me wrong - and I have friends who have done so, but the majority of us changed career paths - even during the summer after high school or college graduation. Things happen. You get a part-time job and realize you don’t like it. You find out you have to go to school for 7 years instead of 4. You start doing something else and find out how much you love it - and you don't care about the money anymore, or even better… you make more money than you otherwise would.

    When you get to college, you'll probably change your degree a time or two or three. And that's OK! Many of us who have gone before you have done just that. When you finally do graduate, statistics also show you'll probably end up doing something that has nothing to do with what you went to school for anyway. Which is also OK! And again, take your own poll with your own friends and family and see for yourself.

  3. No, they probably aren’t “the one.”

    Whoever you think you 'love' and is 'the one' after you've dated for a week now, probably isn't. Two of my best friends growing up both started dating their girlfriends early on - one in Jr. High and the other as a freshman in high school. Both couples are happily married, and dated all through high school and college and both have kids. It's very possible and does happen. But it's very rare and does more damage in the long run if it doesn't happen.

    High school and college are a great time to spend with friends (of both sexes) and a great time to meet people you may not normally meet otherwise. So make as many friends as you can and focus on schoolwork first. Because you can’t be your best self for your future spouse without having first focused on your education to set yourself and your family up for success. Most successful marriages work out because both partners were friends first. Be selfish while you can.

  4. YES, you will use this one day and your teacher can't always tell you how, when, where or why.

    At the risk of upsetting any of my teacher friends, I’ll upset them all instead. Arguably, at least half of the class in the following subjects — hatttteeeee — going to class: English, Math, Science, and History. However, each subject plays a vital role in your well-roundedness as a successful member of society.

    In order to be taken as a professional in the workplace, you need to be able to spell and construct a sentence properly, whether written or verbal. Be honest, how many of you laugh, roll your eyes, or correct someone online for their misuse of they're/their/there. Don't be that statistic.

    To quote my pastor, "If your out-go is more than your income, your up-keep will be your downfall." When you get a job and start making money, you need to be able to know if you're making enough to pay the bills. Budgeting isn’t taught as much as it should be, but if you don’t know the basics, you’ll be living paycheck to paycheck. Chances are you either a saver or a spender. I'll let you guess which one has no debt when finished with college. This doesn't mean you can't spend money and have a life; you just need to be frugal sometimes. Also, I’ve used Pythagorean’s Theorem way more times than I can count. So, some of those formulas actually do come into play. Not to mention, they start the process of making you a critical thinker.

    History repeats itself if we’re not careful. And you want to know what’s going on when your co-workers are talking around the water cooler about some political issue going on and you don't know the law, nor how it was passed.

    I'll quote my good buddy Sheldon Cooper, PhD when making small talk about science, "Topic one. Faster-than-light particles at CERN, paradigm-shifting discovery or another Swiss export as full of holes as their cheese?"

  5. We know and understand more than you give us credit for.

    Again, teachers have a bachelor's degree at minimum - not necessarily an easy task. It doesn't mean we know everything, but I promise we know more than you probably think we do. Another reason you should take high school (and college if you go) more serious - it helps make you well-rounded.

    We also went through high school ourselves and have a pretty good idea of what goes on. Times change, technology has sure changed things, but it's all the same stuff rolled up in a different package. We invented half of the tricks you try to pull and that’s why we have rules for everything. A little secret… we intentionally don’t have rules for a few specific things because that would tip you off on how to do something we don’t want you to do.

  6. Stop wasting your money.

    Those clothes that you can't wear to school. Those vehicle or accessories that won’t be worth anything in six months (sound systems, rims/tires, etc.). EVERY new item in your hobby. Having a hobby is great, and I would suggest everyone have at least one. However, you don't have to buy every new thing that comes out. Again, we know these things because we were once you. And I did all of the above…

  7. Spend as much time with your family as you can.

    Not being able to go to that party because you went to visit your grandmother with your parents will be a memory you’ll cherish. When you do get married, move away, or someone passes - you'll wish you spent more time than you’re able to now. The only people whose opinions who will matter in 10 years are your close friends, and they'll let it slide.

  8. There's only one of three things you will do when you finish high school.

    Or a combination of them:

    1. Go to College

    2. Join the military

    3. Get a job

    You have to make money somehow. Getting an education or a job helps with that. College isn't for everyone - I know that. That's fine. Moving along…

    The military isn't for everyone - and we thank those who join and appreciate their willingness to serve. With that in mind, if you do decide to join the military, you can also use it to get a college degree or two. Take advantage of that.

    Having a job IS for everyone. Your job could be education. It could be the military. If not, find a career. Learn a new skill. Be a productive citizen of society. Especially with technology today, you can find many jobs you can do from your house. Regardless. Do something! You can't complain about society if you're not doing anything to better it.

ICYMI: Tesla, Waymo, and LiDAR

Tesla announced a major update to their Model 3 EV less than a couple of weeks after stating their “Full Self Driving” feature will be mostly AI and no longer in beta. These updates include exterior and interior updates, as well as more range efficiency. This announcement was also followed by a price drop of their Model S and X EVs by nearly 20%.

While autonomous vehicles are making waves across the US in most major manufactures, protesters stopped a Waymo vehicle by placing a traffic cone on the hood of the vehicle, while researchers find cameras may work better than LiDAR. Over the years, we’ve seen each show their pros and cons, but utilizing both on the same vehicle comes at a much higher cost for hardware, and a much larger problem when trying to solve the discrepancies with software.

ICYMI: Amazon Remote Workers and Shipping Price Hikes

It’s been reported that Amazon is pushing their workers back in the office for 3 days a week and “employees can leave if they don’t want to comply.” This may also be followed by a voluntary resignation after multiple layoffs over the years. It seems like remote jobs are becoming less and less available across the tech sector as even the king of remote work - Zoom - is pushing employees back in the office. As Amazon tried to figure out how to pay for office space not being used as much, the price for free shipping has been raised back to $35. This is only a concern if you are not a prime subscriber, and this price has changed multiple times over the years.

ICYMI: WordPress Offers a Lifetime Plan

I’ve talked about AppSumo in the past in my newsletter and in a podcast - a website that offers lifetime deals on all sorts of software. I have used them many times over the years and use software purchased from them to run weeklywheaties.com, run garrettwheat.com and even help with my pick this week. I also purchased four other softwares I use on a daily or weekly basis: Linguix.com, Nichesss.com, Breeze.pm, and Getscreen.me.

That said, Wordpress.com is the KING on the web. Literally about half of the websites you visit probably run on Wordpress. They act as the backend coding for sites and have a friendly and powerful editing suite that allows users to want to use them. They recently offered a 100-year deal. Essentially, for $38,000 you can have a website for life that may even be transferable to your family or someone else. They stress the importance of investing in your future, but it seems as if hosting and storage prices are dropping, not rising. By their own pricing structure, the same plan appears to cost $300/year (or $30,000/100 years). I don’t think this is a good deal no matter how much money you have. But in case you were planning on buying this - don’t.

Note: This ICYMI is not included in the audio version.

POTW: Giving Docs Estate Planning

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