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Are you smarter than a fifth grader?

It seems the older I get, the more apparent it becomes that some people –myself included– somehow missed basic facts or skills that the rest of the universe seems to have learned eons ago.

As it turns out, it’s easy to go through huge chunks of life without realizing you're missing seemingly basic knowledge. That is, until it pops up one day at work or amongst friends, and to your embarrassment, you're speechless!

Most of us think we have our basics down. Afterall, we know how to make ourselves food, clean up, get to work, be efficient at work, go home, and maybe even take part in some cool hobby or sport.

But you may be surprised by how many seemingly fundamental things you’ve never actually picked up on.

5 things you should probably know:

1. The number of days in each month of the year

Some of you are probably already singing the tune your teachers (or parents) taught you years ago to help this important piece of information stick. Or perhaps, you’ve got your hands in fists, counting each knuckle as you murmur months under your breath. Another portion of you may have simply forgotten.

Not all of us though, some of us don’t know and we never did.

If you’re part of this party, there’s no need to fret. There are lots of quick tricks to fill this knowledge gap, and if worse comes to worst, there’s always a calendar to reference in our tech driven society.

2. How to not get duped

<who> Photo Credit: Canva

Some of us grew up learning the rules of society, and taking them at face value. Others, found joy in questioning those rules and bending them to their advantage instead. It seems the world is chalk full of opportunities and offers that, upon closer examination, deceptively benefit someone else.

So, if you never learned how to raise your fist to "the man", this is your chance:

  • You don’t need to wait for a free trial to expire before canceling.

How many times have you accidentally paid for a year-long subscription to a service you intended to use for a single day?

Save yourself the anguish and just cancel it when you’re done. If for some reason you forget, always contact customer service with a sob sorry. I can’t guarantee it’ll always work, but I’ve managed to get out of some pretty pricey accidental subscriptions with a solid sob story.

  • When the grocery store says buy three get two dollars off, you don’t actually have to buy three.

I will admit that this is not the case for all grocery stores, and they’re increasingly catching on. But, if there’s anything my parents taught me that actually did stick, it was this.

  • You should pay off your credit card in full every month.

I know this isn't always an option, depending on your income and expenses, but it’s important that you know carrying a balance on your credit card is never a good idea.

Not only can it lead to nasty interest payments and decrease your credit score, but it can also create the illusion that you should continue spending outside of your means, which usually ends up costing you even more in the long run. If you don’t want to take it from me, take a look at what Chase Bank and Bank of America have to say!

3. You can’t breathe and swallow at the same time

<who> Photo Credit: Canva

I think this goes without saying, but incase you didn't know, now you know.

Speaking of breathing, you should probably know that air isn’t mostly oxygen. It’s actually mainly made up of nitrogen!

4. Water doesn’t mix with oil

<who> Photo Credit: Canva

Some of us may have been too busy daydreaming during our chemistry courses and missed a pretty important fact of life: water and oil don’t mix!

I won’t go into the chemistry of why this is – we have google for that – but I will point out that this is why soap cleans oil off your skin, and why you should always avoid putting out a grease fire with water. Trust me, the result isn’t pretty.

5. How things work

<who> Photo Credit: Canva

I know what you’re thinking, “I use stuff all the time, I know how things work.” Before you roll your eyes, ask yourself this: If you had to take apart your coffee machine, bike, car, toilet, or phone, would you be able to put it back together? Odds are the answer is no.

Now, I’m not saying this is basic knowledge, but maybe it should be? Shouldn’t you know how things you use on a daily basis function?

The more you know

<who> Photo Credit: Canva

Did you discover a gap in your knowledge today? Can you think of any common ones I’ve missed? Let us know what you think!

Send your comments, news tips, typos, letter to the editor, photos and videos to [email protected].

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