School teaches students how to solve math problems, experiment with sciences, adopt new languages and see the world through arts and literature. But because achievement is prioritized within these topics, students fail to learn real-world skills that will help them in the future, like understanding tax returns or preparing a meal.
A survey conducted by H&R Block shows only 37% of what a student learned in high school is used in daily life. 57% of these individuals would have found money management and budgeting a helpful skill to learn, and 44% believe the same for how to properly do taxes.
Some colleges are now incorporating these lessons into their curriculums. One example being Berkley, where there is an adulting class so students can learn about everyday things adults need to do, but high schools still are not. This raises a problem because highschoolers do not feel prepared for college and should be learning about these tasks before the college level.
If students are taught how to deal with ordinary things an adult has to go through at a younger age, it could lead to more financially successful and less stressed out young adults. Another survey by the Adecco Group showed that 74% of college students feel unprepared to take on the real world, and only 45% of high schoolers feel ready for a career or college; both are scary statistics. Another aspect of what students need help on is managing to work in a real-life workplace, which involves things like social skills, writing, and public speaking.
Young adults need to be confident in how to do basic tasks and have the necessary skills an employer for a real job would look for. Courses that should be involved would be financial management, home economics, sustainable living, and social skills. These were the most requested classes to integrate into the curriculum by students who have already gone through the process and would be the most beneficial in terms of educating the youth.
The topics that are studied in school right now are helpful in certain areas of life, but to what degree would learn the Pythagorean theorem help kids more than learning time management skills. Now more than ever, I hear the phrase “When will I need to know this?” and as a result, students become less engaged. The Youth Truth survey reported that only 60% of high school students feel engaged, which could have to do with what they are learning. If students felt like what learned would help them more, maybe they would be overall more engaged and interested in school.
Things that SPA could do would be trying to create more student’s jobs for high schoolers. Jobs give students more experience with average tasks and would be a very effective way of helping. Students can get more involved with the topic themselves, too, experience and practice these skills on their own or with adult’s help. Another good idea would be to join or start a club about these issues and learn more about them with a group of students who are also curious.
If adolescents were more well rounded in these areas, younger people would be more successful in society, and it would end up benefiting us all because if the younger generations are better taught, then the better chance for more advances for the whole community. Younger people are the hope for the world, and it is harder to succeed if you have never been taught how to file taxes properly.