Tuesday Ten: Things They Don’t Teach You in School

Tuesday Ten: Things They Don't Teach You in School
While writing, reading and arithmetic are the building blocks of a basic education, I have come to learn that some of the most important lessons will happen outside of the classroom. Some you might have to learn the hard way, and others will come easier, with a little luck. Today I’m going to help guide you in the right direction with 10 of my best life lessons I’ve learned in the real world. Keep these lessons in your back pocket for years to come…

1. The important questions can’t be answered.
If all of life’s most challenging moments had answers, everyone would be going through the motions without actually living. Do not get frustrated when you face a tricky situation that does not have answers. The future is exciting and scary for a reason. So instead of worrying, choose the course you want your life to take, and then work hard to make it happen.

2. Life is a marathon, not a race.
This lesson may sound cliché, but most of us try to sprint through life—whether we realize it or not. There is no “first place” in life. Making comparisons will only leave you feeling unhappy, unappreciative, and unaware of how many blessings you have. To be the happiest you can be, concentrate on fulfilling your own personal goals in the timeline that is right for you. People will get promotions, get engaged, and start families at completely different times. There’s no right or wrong time for any of those things.

3. Stand up for yourself.
There is a graceful yet assertive way to ask for what you want. Learn this and you will have unlocked the key to getting what you want in life without burning bridges along the way.

4. Worrying about things you cannot control is the biggest waste of your time.
Throughout your entire life there will be situations that you want to control but the outcome is 100% out of your hands. This is for a reason. If we could control everything, life would be one pre-written story. It wouldn’t be exciting, and you wouldn’t learn a single thing. You can live a stress-free life if you learn to let go of the things you cannot control. Because when we do try to control situations, we often times look back years later and wonder why we wasted so much time on them.

5. Exercise isn’t about numbers.
Once you realize that treating your body well and being healthy isn’t about being “perfect,” you will free your mind. Exercising is about getting your blood running through your body, pumping oxygen to your brain, strengthening your heart and muscles, and reaping the wonderful benefits of those mood-boosting endorphins. You will find that the more you accept your natural physique and embrace the figure you were given, the more you will fall in love with your body and treat it like a temple.

6. Make your mother proud.
When it comes to deciding right from wrong, ask yourself if your mother (or another mentor) would be proud of you for making the decision at hand. It can be easy to lose sight of where we came from, who brought us into the world, and the sacrifices that our loved ones made to ensure we would be happy. This doesn’t mean you should hold back from taking risks or trying new things—that is what life is about. Just make sure you keep your moral compass in mind. Honor your family by making choices they would approve of and I can guarantee you will look back with fewer regrets.

7. The happiest people have low expectations, few desires, and great appreciation for the little things.
Every so often, we are all guilty of focusing on things we don’t have, things we want, and things that aren’t perfect in our lives. These thoughts will only lead to an ungrateful mentality, and the never-ending search for a “perfect” life that doesn’t exist. It is great to have goals and things to look forward to. Don’t get me wrong—I love saving up for a brand new purse as much as any girl! But I find that I am much happier when I focus on the small blessings and the things I have instead of worrying about what I don’t have. Take a few minutes each day to yourself and think about how grateful you are for your family, your friends, having food on the table, and all the other small pleasures in life that go unnoticed.

8. Helping your community will enrich your life.
It’s easy to get wrapped up with doing something that makes your resume look well rounded. Sure, saying you were involved in a charity might help you look good when you apply to college or go to job interviews. But community service will also add a special touch to your life. You will gain valuable insight, become more grounded, and gain an understanding for people in ways you never thought you could.

9. Never settle.
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received was to never settle in relationships, friendships, your career, or your dreams. Never accept less than what you think you deserve, and aim for bigger and better (because you will probably get it!). You never want to look back and think, “I could have done more.” You can do more…right now. Stop saying “someday.” Start saying “today.”

10. There is no such thing as a perfect life.
The overall goal in many people’s lives seems to be to find the perfect partner, reach the perfect weight, have the perfect job, or wear the perfect wardrobe. The problem is, none of these things exist. Everything has its flaws, and most of those flaws are what makes your life exciting, challenging, and, in fact, pretty perfect if you look at it the right way. Your boyfriend is going to make mistakes, your job will have its down days, and you will have moments where you want nothing more than a full-fledged makeover. Take these moments as positive opportunities to make exciting changes instead of dwelling on the negative aspects. And, enjoy the next chapter that awaits you after these changes do happen.

I hope these lessons helped you all to learn something about yourself today. And remember that a classroom education is of course invaluable as well. You need lessons inside and outside the classroom to truly understand how you want to live your life.

Have you learned any valuable lessons outside the classroom?

List yours off below. I would love to read them!

XO Lauren

Photo: Carrie Beth Taylor
Categories: Grow, Lauren Conrad, Tuesday Ten
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  • heather Archer

    I love the way you put things, you make everything relatable. I haven’t been on school for years and have two daughters and I still got something out of this article. I have also read your books and this is from a girl who barely has time to brush her hair and put on something other than pajamas! So you really makes things easy to read. Great job! Love your clothes line at Kohl’s too! We are from the south and don’t have a ton of cute clothes places other than the stereotypical mall stores. Every time one of my friends has something really cute and original surprise surprise it’s yours! Keep you the great work girl!!

  • Shivana28

    Hi Lauren. I love this article! I however need to comment on the grammatical errors which you made in paragraphs 2 and 3. I’m guessing this was not picked up when re-reading, so just wanted to let you know, so you can fix it.

  • Kelby Peachey

    I love this list and I think it’s a good reminder to all. :)


  • Ashley Rizzardo

    This is a very good list. #4 is a big one for me since I am pretty much a chronic worrier.


  • B_elyse

    #5 has a typo LC- “”Once your REALIZE”” not Realizing 😉

  • Katy Allaire

    This is excellent advice! Focusing on yourself and your personal goals and accomplishments is the ideal way to lead a more fulfilling life and a happier “”you.””


  • Mac

    These are incredible! I’ve been in the real world for over a year now and I have been fortunate enough to have learned quite a few of these early on in my experience. It’s such a challenge but well worth it. Great advice, and always great reminders to keep our lives in check!

  • Djam

    School will teach you how to handle and deal with different personalities of the real world; from the mean to the honest people.

  • suzanne

    All ten lessons are so true!! Great advice Lauren :)
    Suzanne from http://www.writtenbysuzanne.com

  • Megan Bailey

    I completely agree with #2. I don’t put an age limit on when I’ll get engaged or starting a family. It will happen when the time is right.

  • Dani marie

    Thank you so much for this truly uplifting segment! I really enjoyed reading all the positive aspects to some not-so-positive outcomes we may face in life. I have always been a firm believer in taking a step back and looking at all the beauty and wealth I have around me that others may not have. For instance, a stable job, clothes and shoes, food on our table, a healthy and happy family, and may not be the most stylish but a vehicle to get us where we need to go. The “”things”” in our lives do not make us who we are. Its our character and the people we share it with.

    Dani Marie

  • LaurenConrad.com

    #4 can be one of the hardest things to overcome. Glad you enjoyed reading!

  • LaurenConrad.com

    Such a great way to look at things, Dani :)

  • Megan R.

    I think the best lesson I have learned is that if you aren’t happy about something in your life then YOU have to change it. You can’t wait for things just to “”work out”” you have to create your own opportunities and when that door or window opens a crack stick your foot in it and pry it open.


  • daisykatherine

    Thank you so much for this post, Lauren! I’m at a time in my life where I’m just beginning to figure things out and I often feel like I need for things to happen right this second and that everything needs to be perfect. I’m starting to realize that life isn’t going to be perfect, and it shouldn’t be. This advice is exactly what I needed right now.

    I have recently started a blog about my Subscription Box obsession, please check it out for reviews about different monthly subscription boxes! http://subscriptionboxjunkie.com


  • Madison B

    I think this is my favorite blog post yet. I have learned most of these topics from my mom, but reading it again just made me realize how special and beautiful we all are, and how amazing life really is. If people would just stop worrying about all the negative in life we would have a much happier world.

  • stellalove

    Reading this made my shoulders relax. I don’t believe I’m your average reader, as I’m pushing 34(!), married with a 2-year-old daughter, rarely have time/money to shop for awesome statement necklaces/etc. (full-time work/school/kid), and almost never push my comfort zone of wearing jeans. But I’m very impressed with your website and all the tips; and since I’ve started reading your blogs last spring, you and your team have inspired me to try new things (actually wore shorts to Napa), think more positively, exercise more regularly, and I have lemon water every morning lol. So I just want to say I think you’re doing a great thing with your celebrity, because I think you and your team really do help others to enrich their lives and grow their confidence, and that flows to the people in their lives as well. I have a little more stress than the average bear, and your website has given me tools to lighten the load a bit. Thanks.

  • Tanja

    This post is so true. Thank you Lauren – especial for remembering me to never settle 😉

  • Leyla Adan

    Your soooo right! We stress ourselves out if things don’t go according to plan, but life is a journey. It’s unpredictable and that’s why it’s exciting. I’ve learned that regret isn’t an option, every mess up is a lesson and looking forward is the only way to improve oneself. Aim for the best! :)

  • megan

    I love this article so much. It makes you look at your life in a different prospective and realise your life is perfect even with its imperfections.

  • Harmony

    Standing up for ourselves is so important Its how you stand in your truth of who you are and show respect for yourself. This is a great post!

  • Jacqueline

    Love this post! Thank you so much for this.

  • Zahra

    Thanks for this post. I found it really helpful :)

  • Ashley

    These are great life lessons.. even though none of it is new, it’s always great to be reminded of these things, so thank you! :)


  • Renuka

    this is an incredible list! and a perfect reminder on those less-than-stellar days.

    something I would add: make an effort to keep in touch with those that matter. don’t wait for life to ‘settle down’; don’t wait for a ‘better’ time before you do. create the time no matter how chaotic your schedule may be. you’ll be grateful that you did when you had the chance.


  • LaurenConrad.com

    What a perfect addition to this list. :)

  • Rachel Trampel

    I really needed this today, thank you :) So true. Every single one! Although sometimes I put too much pressure on myself to make my family proud. I want to make them proud right NOW which goes back to life is not a race. They have given me so much I feel like I can barely give back and they haven’t always approved of my decisions even if they were what made me happiest! So I think that it is good to keep them in mind, but you are right, not let that hinder you from taking risks!


  • Baleigh

    To add onto the ‘aim for the reachable best’…. Dress for the job you want not for the job you have. ;D

  • Maddieknockonwood

    Good things do not come to those who wait, they come to those who work their butts off for it. Also Courage is Confidence under pressure.

  • Rachel Northrup

    I absolutely love this post. I’m sure I will refer to it again when I feel like I need motivation.

  • OpheliaEvern

    Great post!
    Danielle xo || Lilyofthevalley

  • kalamityray

    I feel like #7 is particularly important these days! We are all so wrapped up in the newest, shiniest gadgets, and we let our lives slip by while we’re trying to get more thing http://makeyourhairgrowfaster.net/

  • maria vargas

    When family obtsructs happiness search for influences around the world and itll help make you a better person overall and enlighten you.

  • Katie

    Thanks, I needed this today. I was about to just give up on myself and reading this made me feel like I can do something with my life.

  • Gabrielle

    Outside the classroom, I have learned that it’s important to be yourself and do what you want. For years I felt that I could do certain things in certain ways only. I’m 21 years old today, and just realizing that I need to do what I want and be what I want. Before, I would always think to myself, “”well if I do this, what is this person going to say? Will he/she be mad or hurt?”” I’ve learned that you can’t please everyone and you can’t let people run your life. Your personal life is your own business. The hardest thing to accept is that sometimes you have to stand up to the people you love, the people that are closest to you in order to live your dream or your life. It’s really really tough, but it takes a pound if not more..of stress of my back.

  • oceangirl25

    These are great tips Lauren! You should do more posts like these :) I personally learned a lot of lessons from the book: A New Earth, which was written by Eckhart Tolle :) Basically, he tells us that it is great to stay in The Now, because, there is usually nothing wrong in the present moment. It is our mind’s thoughts about the future and past that make us unhappy…

  • Emily Howe

    I’ve made a mistake recently and this has really helped me realise that although i can’t change what the mistake I know that I now have the strength not to make it again! Thankyou

  • nicole Smith

    This totally helped me in what I’m dealing with right now.

  • Stefie

    hmm I really need to work on that ”stress-free life” thing! 😛

  • LaurenConrad.com

    Happy birthday! Thank you for sharing this great advice!

  • thehealthycollective.com

    Nothing is more true than #4

  • Raven Locks

    You know…I really wish they WOULD teach you this stuff at school. Thanks for sharing these <3

    xo Azu


  • louli

    thank you !! these advises really helped me alot xoxo

  • Lesha

    Lauren,you’re such a beautiful person.Keep on inspiring please :)

  • Kimberly Scofield

    I absolutely love this. Puts everything in prospective!

  • alicia reyes

    words of wisdom

  • Delaney carroll

    the best things that I have learned are 1.) if you want something you have to be willing to work for it, if you have a goal dream or ambition you have to work and fight for it, its not just going to be handed to you. 2.) you have to pick and choose your battles in life, in the end if you spend more time being happy and living in the moment rather then regretting or holding on to anger or grudges the more time your wasting, when you could be happy and just let it go

  • Miriam

    It looks like we’ve learned a lot of the same lessons over the past ten years we have been out of high school and yet, I would not be able to put it down so eloquently. I wholeheartedly agree!

  • kolpaque

    That’s really impressive!! Touched on all the main points, really great article.

    http://www.ProteinBakes.com (healthy quick protein recipes)

  • Jasmine Baldwin

    Glad you posted this, it was right on time. :)

  • nawal mouqtadir

    You are absolutely right thank you very much you are amazing <3 xoxo

  • Anna

    Awesome article, I needed to hear this today.

  • Dominique Owen

    I feel as though we are always learning in life, and that what we learn is always important, even if it isn’t knowledge we learn to make us more intelligent with school!:) I love these ten things, I’m only 16 and there are things which I have recently learnt which wod be so useful for my 13/14 year old self!:)xx

  • Ana Sofia

    Amazing post :) There are things that everyone should know and where are a few.


  • sophie marie <3

    Awesome, honest, and pretty inspiring :) xxx

  • Mandee bengel

    I definitely needed this today. My aunt used to tell me all the time that
    “”we’re all broken, but we’re learning.”” Life is just a learning process. These are definitely some rules that everyone should remember. Thank you for taking the time to share :)

  • Deanne Castro

    Great post! It really inspired me!

    For more on fashion and beauty check out my blog: http://myfashavenue.com/

    Today’s blog post: Save your hair shade!

    Follow me on Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram: @MyFashAvenue


  • Andrea pena

    What a wonderful post! I found all of your tips to be right on! I would like to share the best advise that I ever received, and that is becareful of the words you choose. They have power and some words can never be taken back.

  • Ashley at Sincerely Miss Ash

    Very inspiring! Such a cute post..


  • Katelin Absher

    Yes!! Tons of things. Its amazing at the stuff they don’t teach you but definitely should make it into the curriculum like real world situations!


  • Janet

    I like all ten things they don’t teach you in school. One of my favorite is Stand up for yourself.

  • Jamie Cain

    One thing I’ve learned is to not lose yourself. Learning to balance doing things for others and for yourself is really important. Sacrificing for people you love is inevitable, but you need to make yourself happy too.

  • trisha

    one thing ive learned and that i like is to never give up on no matter what yeah some things are hard to accomplish in life but u can never give up i did and it sucks but those thing u gave up on u have to keep trying and trying practice makes perfect right? and lauren u are an amazing person <3

  • Carrie Perham

    oh yes! by the way AWESOME advice lauren! Your inspiring! But a lot of what i have learned in life comes from God and the church i go to. It has made me so much happier as a person and I encourage everyone to try it!:)

  • Marta

    You are such a beautiful person inside and out, a truly inspiration. Thank you for these wonderful advices, thank you so much!

  • Emily Joyce

    Thanks for the advice, Lauren! I constantly feel like I should be perfect, which obviously won’t happen, but I can’t stop myself from putting myself down for the things that I am not. I am not really athletic, and I feel I should get involved because everyone at my school is trying out for school sports but I have no experience in anything! I feel like I should’ve started doing sports earlier. However, this article taught me to be proud of what I am and not focus on things I am not. I should instead focus on improving myself in areas in where I want to be better (like a better athlete) physically, emotionally, and mentally! Thanks for this inspiring and truly positive article. I will focus on all 10 things every day and remind myself of how much potential I have, and that being imperfect is okay and that I can learn a lot and improve myself because I’m am really imperfect! I really want to save this article for reference later, thanks again!

  • malmal2585

    Amazing advice, thank you so much Lauren! :) I always feel like I am constantly waiting for the better things in life, thank you for making me realize that I must take a step back and enjoy the beauty in the present instead of the future!

  • stephaniesstyle

    no 4 and 10 are good things to know when your young.
    xx Stephanie (www.stephaniesstyleblog.blogspot.com)

  • Taanjaa

    The last advice is the best, everyone want the perfect life, but it doesn’t exists. Thanks for all the advice, they were all great!


  • Lindsey Gerstlauer

    Really enjoyed this! Thanks!

  • Harmony

    Yes I learned that you cannot trust anyone but your parents. People lie and they will always let you down. I also learn that one big important lesson that Mom taught me, Do everything yourself, never expect anyone to help you. These are great lessons. Very responsible posting well done Lauren!

  • Sally

    Wow, LOVE this! #5 really spoke to me.. I feel like all of my friends are SO in shape and I always say no to going running with them because I know I am just not as in shape as them! I really need to just lace up my shoes and hit the road because exercise is just so good for you and always makes me feel so accomplished. Thanks for this post!! xoxo.

    Also, I just did a “”Life Lessons From My Puppy”” post on my blog. Check it out if ya get the chance!! :)


  • Tea Jae

    #3, #4 and #7 just what I needed to read today they were on point

  • Lena Ameri

    I love this! Every single one of these!

    You might also like: Secrets Happy People Know: http://www.liveitmag.com/10-secrets-happy-people-know/

  • http://whatsonthelist.net/ Joanne T Ferguson

    G’day and GREAT post today! I am glad I did not miss, true!
    My mum used to say never do anything you would not want to read on the front page of the local or international newspaper and have always remembered that too!
    Cheers! Joanne

  • http://www.lululocket.blogspot.com Lucy O

    I loved reading these! Thank you! :) Sometimes these things seems obvious but we are often guilty of forgetting to stop and pause and remember them and truly live by them! Thank you for the reminder! :) xx

  • http://ashleymichelledaily.blogspot.com Ashley Michelle

    My entire blog is the product of my experience in learning lessons that law school wasn’t able to teach me. Stay focused on what you love and what matters most to you, no matter the cost. Check out my post on how I knew I could never learn to love and be myself by sitting in a classroom.

    Ashley Michelle http://ashleymichelledaily.blogspot.com/2014/04/i-think-i-first-realized-i-was-in-wrong.html

  • Sall E

    For some people doesn’t have a mother or family.. That whole part is somehow not that useful for some people. Don’t you think?
    Some family is so messed up that you cannot even trust your family, member.
    They lie and use you untill you have not a single bit of trust for anyone else. Because your own family can’t be trusted. But hey unless Everyone had PERFECT family like you…

    • http://www.lgabler.wordpress.com Lindsay Gabler

      I think she means to make someone you look up to or someone who has sacrificed for you proud. Everything in a blog post can be looked at in a different perspective if it doesn’t apply to you how it is written. I like how you thought so deeply into this post, though!

  • Sall E

    BUT yes I wasn’t thought in school that family can be the one who betray and use you the most.

  • Nicollete Izakovichova

    Great advice!

  • Charli

    #4 is one I wish I worked on in my younger years but am working on now! Mine would be life doesn’t just get harder, life gets more beautiful with every conquered challenge :)

  • michelle

    I am a teacher and I teach number 3 to my class. All these things are taught in some way you’re just too young during school to realise you’re learning these things.

  • Louise

    I love number 2 and 4! She is SO right when she talks about how everyone has their own special time for marriage, careers, families, etc. And just because it may be the right time for someone else doesn’t mean it’s the right time for you. Often times I feel bad because I see people off living their dreams and I’m still struggling to get there but it gives me inspiration to know that there is a time and place for everything and one day it will be right for me.

  • Gary

    #2: a marathon is a race…

    • Sabrina

      Yes, but in a marathon people finish at all different times. The goal typically isn’t to be the very first person to finish, but to just finish in a marathon.

  • viannasaw

    These are wonderful and I am going to pass them on to my grandchildren! They are young enough that they can start living them now! I wish I had had them when I was younger ! I did raise my children this way ! God Bless you !

  • Twenties Chic

    Love this! Especially Numbers 2 and 4. There’s such a pressure to have it all by 30–the perfect husband, job, children–that so many of us forget to just enjoy being young and carefree. It only comes around once! And I always say worrying is like a rocking chair–gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere :)
    Thanks for sharing Lauren!

  • Gill Stivey

    True love is wanting the greatest good for someone else, no matter what your history with them. This is the love the world doesn’t understand or know :)

  • Helene

    Thanks for this post, it’s very interesting. For me every lessons are appropriate for my life. I’m turning 31 and worry about so much things although enjoying the best phase of my life. I have written the ten lesson and every day I will read it, and it will help me beeing positive and prout of me. I wish I have this lessons earlier in my life, but it’s like that and now it will be better! And I share that with all of my friends and family to bring positiveness and joy around me.

  • Lyanne Nieto

    Never expect muich from others… could be another one! Focus on your own way on doing things

  • Katherine Penney

    I love this post, definitely learnt a lot in the 5 mins I spent reading this :) xx

  • Janelle Manrique

    Loved this post, definitely going to keep these in mind on a daily basis!!

  • Konstantina Bourtzou

    AMAZING post! My favorite one was no9, and no2, and no6, and just… every single one of them actually! 😉


  • Lorinda Smith

    I have. I have learned to listen & take action on words of wisdom when they are freely given to you! Thank you Miss Conrad for showing women & girls everywhere that a positive outlook & a kind image is possible and should be something to aspire to!

  • http://www.beautybubblesk.blogspot.sk Nikola Holková

    Lauren your personality means so much to me. :)

  • Althea

    Where did she get that fashion drawing from?

  • http://www.style-of-living.com Nicole Walker

    These are so spot on!


  • http://Thestyleweaver.blogspot.com The Style Weaver

    I have learned that there is an art to patience knowing the right times to wait and the right time to apply pressure to situations.

  • Ecclesia

    Thank you so much for this inspirational piece. I’ve been struggling for a while worrying about the pace my life is going and it has caused me to not enjoy the blessings that I’ve been giving during this time. As you said, life isn’t a sprint, and I’m happy that I am now able to appreciate the things I do have instead of feeling unaccomplished.

  • AubreyP

    As a current high schooler, I am not yet a wizened old sage. However, my classroom and hallway experiences have given me perspective, and I comment with this: It is NEVER worth it to follow the crowd. Being your own person is ALWAYS worth withstanding peer pressure.

  • sigh

    You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, don’t assume the grass is greener.

  • sigh

    If you get a job in education you never have to be accountable to anyone, unlike the real world…..

  • sigh

    A learning disability is the ability to learn outside of the enforced structure of the school system aka cookie cutter.

  • Cortnie

    If you can’t love yourself, how are you suppose to love someone else? Being one of the lessons I learned early on, having it be about love and happiness was a huge asset to shaping me to who I currently am and as well as into the woman I want to be. As I’ve aged (which I might add I am only 16), I come to use this as a inspirational motto to help me shape my life and my emotions. I use it to help me further allow myself to see that I must be happy and love myself before I should expect someone else to, and before I can love them. Still being young, I appreciate my grandmother for teaching me this life lesson that I know I can take with me for the rest of my life, and pass it down to my future generations. :)

    P.S. Thank you Lauren for being another huge inspiration in my life. I look up to you and value your advice. I love everything you do, and I want to be able to grow up and say that I am as strong and confident as you.

  • Angel

    #4 NEVER SETTLE! aim for bigger and better because you will probably get it! thank you for this advice this motivates me to aim bigger! :)

  • Sarah

    #7 you advise – The happiest people have low expectations. Then #9 –
    Never settle, reach high??. I see a contradiction here. ?


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