A survey conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) found that only 55 percent of students attending high school feel prepared to enter the real world. This is concerning since high-schools do teach pupils how to think critically, respect deadlines, be part of a team, be punctual, or study properly. Most students are not aware that they will apply the skills accumulated in their high-school years later in life, which is why we felt the need to come up with this article. So, again, this is how high-school prepares students to enter adulthood.

1. You Start to Think Critically

As a high-schooler, you (will) have many questions about history, art, music, philosophy, geography, so on and so forth. Finding the answers will teach you how to think critically – you will analyze facts and draw conclusions based on real data, which is exactly what you must do later in life.

If you want to improve your critical thinking skills, you need to start asking basic questions about the world, know what answers you are looking for, question the standard assumptions that are given to you, become aware and conscious of your mental process, and remember to always think for yourself.

2. You Learn to Respect Deadlines

High-school makes you more responsible and helps you understand how important deadlines are. It’s so unjust that your English teacher hands out a homework due on the same day as your most important Math test, while your Science educator assigns a big project due on the same date as the previous two tasks!

When you’ll be in college, your Biology professor will assign you three projects due on the same day and have you study for an exam due on the next day.  In the end, your high-school years are nothing but a trial of how your college life will look like, so respecting deadlines in high-school will teach you how to be responsible later in life.

Here are some tips that might help you respect deadlines easier if this is what you are struggling with:

* Stay organized – write down every task you must hand in and its due date. Write down the teacher’s expectations as well.

* Stay away from procrastination – if you get your job done in time, you’ll be able to release that stress and have more fun!

* Learn how to delegate – you will rarely have time to finish a task or project, which is why learning how to delegate smaller tasks is a great thing. Experts at Edu Birdie believe that you should definitely take advantage of every person who wants to help you out!

3. You Learn What Teamwork Is

Group projects are the worst! There’s always that one person who slacks off and then gets credit for your hardwork. There’s always that other person who never answers texts or phone calls. And there’s always you – trying to make the best of what you’ve got.

However you look at this situation, one thing is for sure – teamwork resembles life, and this is why teachers assign group projects in the first place. They want to prepare students for what’s to come. In life, you don’t get to pick which colleague you want to work with and which one you don’t want to see. If circumstances arise, you must learn how to work together – and if, for example, one person slacks off, you must learn how to tell them the truth. Group projects might not be the best, but they’re an important part of learning how to work in a team.

4. You Learn to Be Punctual

In high-school, you can’t be late if you don’t want lunch detention. By practicing the art of punctuality and attendance and transforming them into a routine, you’ll learn important life lessons. For instance, showing up late for an interview is a terrible thing to do; but instead of learning this as an adult – and missing a super-important job position, for example – you are prepared to be responsible since adolescence.

5. You Learn How to Study

So what’s the point of doing your homework? Homework is important because it teaches you how to study. Later in college and life, you will have to hand in various tasks by certain deadlines, as I explained above. If you don’t do your homework while in high-school, you are not able to be as productive as you’d want in college or… in life. College resembles high-school and work-life resembles college. If you want to become successful, you must start small and build upon that.


So, does school prepare you for adulthood? Taking in consideration the above reasons, it definitely does. However, be aware of this: don’t spend too much time trying to ace your exams or be the perfect student. Be punctual, be responsible, but take things as they are, not as you’d want them to be; if there are times when you need a break, take it, and come back to your work later. Don’t forget to be playful, happy, and jolly only because you are in high-school. Your life has just begun! Enjoy it fully!


Alvin Franklin is a world-traveler, writer, and music composer. His books have helped hundreds of students feel more connected to the work that they do. At the moment, Alvin teaches English as a second language in Peru, striving to make the world a better place.