National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Young students who hated math questioned why they had to learn something that would never be applied in real life.

They learned quickly how important the role numbers played outside of school and that many forms of math are found in almost many areas of professions.

But there are certain subjects students through high school eventually discovered were nothing but a waste of time that could've been spent on other areas of interest like, say, dating.

Curious to hear about these subjects from former students, Redditor highnrgy asked:

"What's the most useless thing they teach in school?"

At least these subjects can be great conversation starters.

Questionable Diagram

"The tongue/taste map. Not only useless, but incorrect."


"Oh sh*t I totally forgot about this. I remember having to fill out a diagram of a tongue with the tastes on different parts of it."


What The Calculator Killed

"Well, I'm old so take my answer in context."

"How to use an abacus."


"When I was younger I learned the abacus enough in asian math school that I was able to do abacus calculations using 'muscle memory' so essentially an invisible abacus, which allowed me to do double digit multiplication in my head pretty pretty helpful if you can do that lol."


Curious Competition

"They taught competitive cup stacking in my elementary school. Still have no idea why."

"Edit: This was in central Canada, but clearly it was widespread across a lot of North America. Please stop asking me if I went to your school, I probably didn't."


These Redditors thought the way the following history lessons were taught were better left in the past.

Selective Historical Moments

"Not useless, just poorly taught: History."

"It was just a collection of dates, names, and numbers. Memorize this stuff, we'll have a test."

"The significance of so many historical events was never taught or discussed. WW2 was the only one that was somewhat approached at scale, but even then it boiled down to Germany was pissed off about WW1 and Hitler hated the Jews."

"This was at a good high school too, the whole class was in advanced classes (IB / AP)."


The Contested Theory

"I was taught that Columbus knew that the world was round, but everyone else thought it was flat. So, yeah. . . That."


The Pride Of The School

"The entire life of my school founder, the worst of all is that they teach us the same thing all the years."


These lessons would have better benefited students matriculating a performing arts school.


"We did it too... in Australia. Bunch of uncoordinated kids stomping around to Achey Breakey Heart. What a waste of my damn time."


Questionable Athletic Skill

"I graduated in 1991 for context and, while living in Phoenix, they taught us square dancing in gym class. I must say though that the most useful skill that I was taught at that school that I use every single day is typing."


The Necessary Steps

"In order to graduate middle school you were required to complete the Cupid shuffle, cotton eyed joe, and electric slide in front of your class. I guess this taught us the concept of pure embarrassment."


Tackling Sports

"I didnt understand how to throw a baseball or a basketball untill I was 15 and a fellow classmate showed me that the way I move my fingers and release with my wrist made incredible differences."

"The teach just kept saying 'use your wrist' without explaining what I was doing wrong."

"I hated sports as a kid. I really wanted to be on teams and LEARN how to play but i just git benched because I didnt understand the rules or how to throw."

"On every single level, public school failed me. The only thing I learned was how to take a test."


My experience with driver's education was completely useless. I do think it's a good requirement, but I happened to have an instructor who did not teach me the basics of how to drive. At all.

When I got behind the wheel for the first time for the class, I didn't realize that my fellow students in the car had already gotten a general idea of how to operate a vehicle because they learned it from their parents, a luxury I didn't have available to me at the time.

I didn't know at the time that once I shifted out of park, the car would move forward without me hitting the gas. When that happened, I panicked and slammed the brakes.

Everyone in the car screamed, including the instructor. Maybe he should have explained to me the process of starting a car without assuming I already knew how.

For the record, I'm now an excellent driver, if I may say so, myself.

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