Does School Really Prepare You for Life?
Updated: Nov 13, 2019
Across the American curriculum and American schools in general, most students do not typically have access to courses that teach them about real-world situations. This problem is setting up students for failure in the real world. Graduating students progress into the world without enough basic knowledge of how to live independently and succeed beyond high school. As a result, this may lead to problematic issues, such as confusion with budgeting, as teens struggle with being prepared for real-world issues in the workplace and beyond.
A similar concept to this is being taught in Indiana. The Indiana Department of Education includes optional courses students can take such as Consumer Economics, Biochemistry of Foods, Education Professions, Fashion and Textiles Careers, Interpersonal Relationships and Personal Financial Responsibility. A class similar to this in the all around the American educational system can provide students with more options and a better understanding of the real-world.
I do appreciate that schools provide beneficial knowledge like the basics of mathematics, sentence structure and socialization through group work. However, a life skills class would have students work with different situations like having a job and having to purchase everyday needs while also managing their earned money. Students will be able to experience this learning process in school through class work so that they get an idea of how these concepts work and can use hands-on approaches to learn how to handle them. For example, students would have a better understanding of these concepts if they were to be assigned jobs and taught how to progress from there as a type of classwork. The class will give students a head start on life with the guidance they need to succeed.
I feel that this type and variety of information is neglected. For example, if a student graduates and only has a job of $12 an hour, minimum wage, they are not exactly taught how to progress from there and manage their earnings. Many students agree that there is a value and importance in such a class. “I think that a class on life skills is important because we don’t learn things like how to do taxes, set up a bank account, self defense, etc,” said Daphne Perlich, sophomore.
Without a class or program that teaches necessary life skills, students will not understand concepts that would help them later in life. Eventually, this problem might become hard to amend. A teen can easily fall behind if they were not taught about their personal credit or taxes and other similar things. Teens can struggle with these everyday issues simply because they were not taught how to resolve or avoid them in school.
At this point, students must rely on their parents to teach them these basics, but some parents may have not been taught very well themselves. In some cases, parents may also be struggling to deal with these situations and will have trouble teaching their children these concepts. Another possible reason is that parents may be busy and teens may not ask questions about these topics. Because of this, teenagers have to strongly rely on themselves to ask questions and find out this information on their own. Students having to do this on their own can interfere with school and cause stress in students.
Of course, adding a mandatory class such as this will affect each school’s educational system because they might want to have different courses for these concepts and new teachers providing this information to students. I feel strongly about this because students are not receiving the education and support they need to know to live a successful life without the worries of falling behind financially.
This problem has been happening for decades; the lack of education on basic life skills causes students to fall behind in their life and not fully understand what they need to do to succeed. Poverty is an issue for struggling families and can become a large problem for future generations. According to the official measure, 39.7 million Americans lived in poverty in the year 2017 and 22.4 percent did as well in 1959. Poverty can be caused by many things including poor education. If students are taught in school how to avoid issues similar to this and how to deal with them, it will be beneficial to them in their future.
Since we have an exponentially increasing population, average costs are rising and our generation is not learning how to adapt. Skills like managing a bank account and how to remain financially stable would be helpful to students if taught this in class. “As kids leave high school to start a new chapter in their life, many do not know the basic skills that are vital to adulthood. Some kids do not know how to pay taxes, get a job, write a resume or pay bills. Without the learning of life skills, kids can struggle when it comes to basic real-world responsibilities,” said Hannah Young, the writer of the article, “High school should be teaching life skills,” from Fenton InPrint.
“I plan on having my parents help me learn how to do taxes, pay bills and other adulting things. Even with help I think I'll have to learn most of it by myself which is super stressful. I think having a class that teaches financial management is so important,” said Ava Staub, freshman.
Without the extra help of a class or program to support students and educate them on the necessary life skills, these missing skills can create stress and possibly future problems in that student’s life. Most students are in need of the extra help because they may not be able to get any information outside of their school due to busy family members. Teaching students life skills is crucial for future generations and implementing a class in schools to help support strong adults for the future will be beneficial to many people.