Guys Shares His Top 5 Useless Things We Learn in School, From Trigonometry to PE — Is He Right?


Sep. 8 2023, Published 2:08 p.m. ET

A theory floating around the internet suggests that 98 percent of what you learn in school is a waste of time. As a former educator, I’d say that’s a bit of a stretch; however, it’s obvious most curriculums are stuffed with information you probably won’t need later in life.

I mean, all the time and effort I put into learning about certain historical figures or finding the slope of a line has done literally nothing for my intellectual abilities (or my financial stability).

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While I’m sure most of us can recall tons of useless information we learned in school, TikToker @jacobmhoff thinks he’s found the top five things, and I’m pretty sure you’d agree with at least one of the subjects he listed.

‘How many [expletive] triangles do you see out here? None!’ TikToker says trigonometry is a useless subject.

In Jacob Hoff’s hilarious yet insightful TikTok video, he jumps right into his list of useless subjects taught in school. He reserves the No. 5 spot for trigonometry because “how many f------- triangles do you see out here? None,” according to Jacob.

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While architects, surveyors, and astronauts might disagree with the content creator, he believes being taught trigonometry was wasted time in the classroom.

Coming in at No. 4 on Jacob’s list is ancient history. “If it’s ancient history, why are we wasting our f------- time with it, don’t we all have enough going on today?" He adds, “Why don’t we do future class where we worry about our f------- futures?”

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Good idea, Jacob. Perhaps with better guidance and knowledge, the large percentage of millennials who are now turning to tiny houses in order to fulfill their dreams of becoming homebuyers would actually be able to afford real-sized homes (myself included!).

Holding the No. 3 spot on Jacob’s list is algebra because he has “never, ever had to use y=mx+b, ever!” Given how futile algebra has proven to be to Jacob, he now questions why he wasted so many years learning the subject.

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While I too have yet to put y=mx+b to use outside the classroom, I’d bet air traffic controllers and carpenters would disagree with Jacob as these two types of jobs are listed on Indeed as those that use that particular area of mathematics.

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The TikToker says PE is useless and was only good for giving him a “headache.”

Back view of PE teacher and group of elementary students exercising.
Source: Getty Images

Up until this point, I’d have to say I agree with everything Jacob is saying. But, he may want to dial back on PE, although his commentary on the subject is absolutely comical! Jacob says PE earns the No. 2 spot on his list because “they didn’t teach me jack s--- in there.”

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Personally, I didn’t appreciate being nearly forced to play Duck, Duck, Goose (the alternative would have been to take an F for the day) but that aside, PE wasn't all that bad.

He continues, “They just made me p----- off." Then, switching his tone as if he is directing his attention toward his PE teacher, Jacob says “You know what, you didn’t train me, you gave me a f------- headache.”

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While plenty of viewers agreed with Jacob, a commenter chimed in, “Is he actually serious with PE? That's the most useful one.” And I’d have to agree. While I wouldn’t exactly say PE is the most useful subject (I guess it depends on the school you attended), most PE classes do teach kids how to get in shape and make healthier choices (the rest is left up to their parents). PE also tends to be kids’ favorite part of the day.

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Moving on to the final subject sitting atop Jacob’s list is, yes, you guessed it, another mathematical subject. “Finally, number one I'm giving to the devil himself, calculus.”

If you ever had the pleasure of taking calculus, then you know it’s no walk in the park. But even I can attest that all of the mind-boggling equations and functions I was forced to learn and memorize have served no purpose in my life thus far. But, then again, I didn’t land a career in chemical engineering nor did I pursue one in mathematics, so it would make sense why.

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