Books, crayons, letter blocks, and an apple all sitting on a wooden desk.
Unsplash | Element5 Digital

These Are The Things We're Told In School That Are Completely Wrong

School's important because it's where we learn most of the things we know in our early years. But sometimes, our teachers don't have all the answers. Sometimes, what they tell us might not even be the whole truth.

People on Reddit had some pretty interesting answers when they were asked the question: "What did you learn in Elementary school that turned out to be false/ a lie when you reached adulthood?"

"If you touch a baby duck its mother will reject it." - murphy_girl

A mother duck walking along wet pavement, with several babies in tow.
Unsplash | Vlad Tchompalov

As a kid, I believed this and never tried to touch a baby duck ever. As an adult... I'm pretty sure this is just something we were told as kids so we wouldn't touch baby ducks ever.

Which is probably for the best.

"If someone is picking on you that means they like you..." - archibauldis99

One girl standing to the left, her head facing left and her hand outstretched to the right. A second girl is on the right, facing the screen with an angry look on her face.
Unsplash | Obie Fernandez

What I learned is that this isn't always true. Sometimes, kids are mean to you because they're mean. Plus, even if they do like you, bullying shouldn't be normalized in that way.

Also, it's kind of messed up that some teachers' reactions to kids being mean to us was to just write it off as playful teasing, huh.

"'That doesn't/won't slide in high school.'" - BIGBOT6142

Man in black beanie looking around and then sarcastically saying, "okay."
Giphy |

Elementary school teachers are always telling you about how you're going to have to do XYZ in high school, and then you show up first day and no one cares nearly as much.

And if you go to college, it just gets worse (or better, depending on how you look at it).

"That cracking your fingers gives you arthritis." - Taylorcurley

Woman in red shirt stretching her arms toward the camera while cracking her fingers.
Giphy | SoulPancake

I actually believed this until... last year, when I learned that it isn't true. I feel so cheated out of having such a cool habit, but what can you do. I guess I'll just have to have other annoying tics.

"That I can’t use my notes in life." - Kanden_27

A notebook full of lined paper underneath a pen and next to a pair of glasses. The word "notes" is written on an open page.
Unsplash | David Travis

I can and will take notes everywhere I go. And then, like, use them.

Not everything in life needs to be as hard as one of those Scantron tests.

"We had a teacher tell us that we only had so many uses before our vocal cords stopped working so wasting it small talking during class would cause us to go mute in our 30s." - level 1H20fearsme

Ariel from The Little Mermaid having her voice taken by Ursula.
Giphy |

This is... for sure just something that teacher said to shut the class up. As a kid, I totally would've believed it.

As an adult, I think it's hilarious.

"That I should never stand up to a bully. I should stop reacting so they would get bored and leave me alone." - LuckyCandle

A row of men in white shirts pointing and laughing at a row of me in suit jackets.
Unsplash | Jerry Zhang

Ever notice how a lot of the time, it ends up being up to the bullied kids to do something to get their bullies off their backs? Instead of, like, authority figures getting the bullies in trouble?

What's up with that?

"That all my high school teachers and my professors once I got to college would require cursive." - machina99

A calligraphy pen in the midst of being used to write indecipherable cursive words.
Unsplash | Aaron Burden

I'm not gonna lie, I kind of hate that no one actually cares about cursive writing anymore. Sure, it's basically impossible to read quickly, but it's pretty! And it's fun to write in cursive!

"'This will go down on your permanent record.'" - Marionberry-Superb

Arnold from Hey Arnold being shown his permanent record.
Giphy | Hey Arnold

I swear, this was more something that TV shows drilled into my mind than anything else. And I don't know about everywhere in the world, but in my neck of the woods, they weren't a thing. No one cared that much.

"That blood is blue before it touches air." - W0rm_G1rl

An anatomy figure with visible veins, arteries, and blood vessels.
Unsplash | Girl with red hat

This is such a weird thing to tell kids, rather than, like actually teaching them why veins look blue. I bet you anything, the teachers who told their students this lie were also told the lie as kids, and never learned any different.

"Tastebud zones." - GrilledStuffedDragon

The Pokemon Squirtle sticking its tongue out.
Giphy |

I honestly haven't thought about this in years, but yeah, that was a really weird thing. As if we could only taste certain flavors on certain parts of our tongue.

Funny how most of us never questioned this.

"Apparently bears just nap a lot in the winter and don’t take a 3 month mega nap." - IMNOTBOBFOSSE

A sleeping bear, laying among gravel.
Unsplash | Daniele Levis Pelusi

It actually took me a long time to figure this out, and I feel like most adults I know either didn't know this, or learned it pretty late in life.

Bears den, they don't hibernate. Apparently, mother bears can, like, straight up give birth while denning, too.

"We were taught that platypus (platypi?) were extinct. Not endangered, not almost extinct. Just extinct. Imagine my surprise when I discover the internet." - kjaark

Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb touching his hat.
Giphy |

As somebody who's been to a zoo before, I can confirm that platypuses are, in fact, not extinct.

Also, yes, it's "platypuses."

"Nobody has offered me drugs yet. D.A.R.E made it seem like I'd have to be running away from people in vans offering me drugs every time I went on a walk." - Minmach-123

Forrest Gump running down a rural road.
Giphy |

It really does feel like we had so many people in our lives acting like everyone we met was going to try and offer us drugs. I made it out of elementary and high school without even being offered alcohol.

"There's no such thing as a stupid question." - _Balrog_of_Morgoth_

A woman looking around and then saying "Well..." in a slightly sarcastic way.
Giphy | Lifetime

Look, I think that it's great when kids ask questions. But some of them... well... you'd think they'd have a little more common sense. You know what I mean.

Adults too.

"My sixth grade teacher taught us that a quarter past 4 was 4:25. She wasn't joking." - invalid_uses_of

Three clocks, one each of red, yellow and blue, spinning at different speeds.
Giphy | Randstad Nederland

I have mad respect for anyone who goes into teaching as a profession. But man, there are some people out there who really weren't meant to be teachers.

"'You won’t always have a calculator in your pocket.'" - silence_infidel

Three people in pink looking at a pink phone and laughing.
Pexels | Anna Shvets

"Not even that long ago. Smart phones were already a thing."

As I'm sure is the case for most of you out there, I grew up before smart phones. But even then, I didn't get why people couldn't just, like, have calculators around in case they needed one. Or even earlier, slide rules.

"If you don’t go to University, you will end up on the street." - quadruple_negative87

Squidward sitting in a box on the street asking for change.
Giphy | SpongeBob SquarePants

University education is a wonderful thing. But you don't need a degree to be successful in life. It bugs me that there was so much pressure on us as kids to go to university, especially when it's so expensive.

"I before E except after C." - vintagchk

Rosanna Pansino shaking her head and saying, "No that's not right."
Giphy | Rosanna Pansino

What a weird rule to teach kids, especially when there are so many examples where that isn't the case. Do you think science teachers would teach their students to seize such a foreign concept?

English is such a strange language.

"That Wikipedia wasn’t a reliable source for accurate information." - idkwthtotypehere

Henry Cavill surprised while saying "Wikipedia?!"
Giphy |

Sure, there are some inaccuracies on Wikipedia. But you can find a lot of facts that are 100% true. It may not be as reliable as, like, a textbook, but not by that much.

As long as the Wikipedia entry you're looking at has proper citations, it's probably fine.