The 23 Things We Learned In Kindergarten That We Still Use At 23

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Treat Others the Way You Want to be Treated

This particular lesson is often nicknamed, “The Golden Rule.” It’s not always the easiest mantra to follow but it certainly rings true throughout life. When you’re 5, you’re not really sure how you want to be treated–you just hope people will be “nice.” As you get older you come to discover what you’ll tolerate and what you won’t. You begin to create a foundation for yourself that dictates the relationships in your life. You may be willing to put up with tardiness but not laziness, you may forgive a liar but never a thief. You figure out what you don’t like in others and try not to act that way yourself. This tends to become a very subjective lesson and is a clear example of something we learn as children and spend the entirety of our lives trying to perfect–it’s anyone’s guess as to whether we ever really get this right.

Snack Time

As the new term “hangry” (angry + hungry) has come to light, it’s important to remember to stay nourished throughout the day. In kindergarten, our teachers kindly reminded us that it was time to eat our cookies and drink our juice boxes. Nowadays we have to remember for ourselves and I can guarantee you that most of us are pretty pissed when we forget to pack a granola bar (wishful healthy thinking) when we leave the house.

Nap Time

Nobody tells you when you’re a child that “nap time” won’t be around forever. As an adult you start to long for the days of cuddling up for a siesta when that mid-day slump starts to hit. Of course, we aren’t allowed to take naps at work (unless you work at Google and have a nap-pod) so that’s what the weekends are for. There’s nothing better than curling up on the couch and passing out for a few hours before heading out for the night.

Sharing is Caring

Nobody liked the boy or girl who refused to their toys and that definitely translates into adulthood. Nobody expects you to simply giveaway your well-deserved earnings but sharing is a sign of compassion and selflessness. Sharing is also a positive attribute in the work place–sharing ideas can lead to discovery in nearly any field and can offer opportunity for advancement in your career.

Always Use the Bathroom Before Going Anywhere

Anyone who lives in New York City will tell you that trying to go to the bathroom once you’ve left your apartment is nearly impossible and will come with either the cost of buying something to be able to use the toilet or waiting on an impossibly long line. Using the bathroom before leaving the house is drilled into our brains at a pretty young age and it’s quite possibly the most practical lesson we learn as children.

Never Mix Black and Yellow Ink

There was no bigger buzz kill then ruining your brand new yellow Crayola marker by mixing it with black ink. This sucked in Kindergarten, and continues to suck in college, grad-school, and the work place. Wait for ink to dry before hi-lighting. You’ve been warned.

“30 Days Past September–April, June, and November–All The Rest Have 31 (except February)”

I can’t tell you how many times I have to hum this catchy little adage to remember how many days are in each month. This comes in handy when you’re trying to plan a vacation or figure out how many awful days are left in a semester.

Don’t Speak Out of Turn

This lesson has varying levels of importance. It’s okay to shout over someone at a bar but not so much in a board meeting. Much like it was okay to butt into a conversation during recess but not during library time. This lesson will always have relevance.

Grown Ups Are Always Right

Oddly enough, we’re considered grownups now–but I’m referring to real grownups like professors and bosses.  Of course parents are the primary examples throughout our lives and while they aren’t always right statistically, they are certainly more knowledgeable then we are and just like children it’s okay to look to them for guidance–and money.

If A Boy Is Mean To You–It Means He Likes You

This doesn’t change. It’s unlikely that it will ever change. Boys will be boys–who turn into men–who act like boys.

Don’t Be A Tattle Tale

This one is fairly synonymous with “mind your own business.” If something doesn’t concern you, then it’s best to just keep out of it. As you get older, you’ll find that it’s not worth the trouble. If someone gets to work 20 minutes late, why talk about it? That could very well be you the next day.

Story Time Is The Best Time

Story time has evolved somewhat since Kindergarten but it’s still enjoyable nonetheless. What used to be a time for Dr. Seuss is now a time for gossip. There’s nothing more cathartic then escaping the confines of your own life but talking about someone else’s.

Coloring is Therapeutic

Next time you see a coloring book-buy it. Coloring was always a great way to calm down as a child and that still holds true in your 20’s. It’s not too complicated and it allows for creativity, most notably it won’t rot your brain like watching reality television.

Playing House is More Fun Than The Real Thing

Playing house was definitely a favorite childhood pastime among me and my girlfriends–but it somehow always ended in conflict. No one could agree on anything, the bills never got paid, the children (which were generally played by stuffed animals) were forgotten, and someone always forgot to turn the Easy Bake Oven off. Real life looks great on paper–it’s slightly more involved in actuality.

If You Don’t Know What it is, Don’t Put it in Your Mouth

This is pretty self-explanatory. Food, beverages, drugs, people–don’t put it in your mouth unless you know what it is and where it’s been.

Looks Aren’t Everything

A lot of people fail to realize that vanity is a learned attribute. It’s safe to say that you weren’t too focused on appearances in your Kindergarten classroom. As you approach puberty, looks become everything and they generally start to take over your life. However, somewhere in your 20’s you start to accept that fact that “this is what I look like”–and it’s a great feeling. You grow into yourself and in turn, grow to understand that there’s more important things to look for in a partner than appearances. Listen, ANYONE can be attractive–it’s not that difficult. Qualities like humor, compassion, intelligence–those are much harder to come by.

Getting Older is a Celebration

Remember when your birthday was the best day of the year? Well, it still should be! We learn as children that getting older is a rite of passage. It is a time to gain knowledge, maturity, responsibility and respect. There are some birthdays where we forget the joy and just tend to think “holy shit, I’m getting old.” By 23, it’s important to remember that you’ve survived the dreaded 22 (commonly referred to as 21’s ugly step sister) and that you’re entering your mid 20’s–a time of self-discovery, independence, and growth as a real a adult.

Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees

To be clear, this expression is kind of incorrect. Money is made of paper which coincidentally comes from trees, but that’s not really the point. The point is that from a young age we’re taught that money isn’t something you can just take with ease–it must be earned. This lesson is becomes brutally apparent after college.

Always Use Your Imagination

The best part about children is their out-of-the-box thinking. They haven’t been jaded enough by reality yet to have their thoughts clouded by politics and twitter and all of the other nonsensical shit that takes up the average 20 something’s head space. Harness your inner-child and you’ll come to notice that using your imagination makes for a much more interesting day–and coincidentally will make your tweets more interesting to read.

Don’t Talk To Strangers

While this lesson has become increasingly more difficult due to the internet, it should still be valued. When you’re little you don’t have a clear grasp on reading character and it’s hard to determine what someone’s intentions may be. As you get older (and hopefully wiser) you should tweak this lesson slightly by saying “don’t talk to creepy strangers”–meaning anyone you have a negative gut feeling about.

The Buddy System

Traveling in pairs is not only safer, but generally all-around more entertaining than flying solo. As kids, girls usually go to the bathroom in pairs–sound familiar?

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try, Again

No matter what you lose as you get older–your hair, your sanity, your muscle tone–just remember that you mustn’t lose your child-like inclination to believe that anything is possible. Having goals and ambitions doesn’t make you a dreamer, it makes you someone who views the world as an open door, rather than a shut one. If you fail–you try again until you get it right. All things are attainable if you work hard enough. Don’t believe me? Tying your shoes, learning to read, learning to ride a bike–all examples of things that seemed impossible in kindergarten that now come naturally.

Melissa Copelton | News Cult

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