School systems today seem more focused on test scores and college credits rather than teaching resume building or taking out a loan. Due to this, many students leave high school lacking basic and necessary life skills. This has left several young adults at higher risk for weight gain, financial instability, and the incompetence to properly communicate. In order to maintain a more stable and sufficient society, high schools should require students to take life skills courses, making life skills courses a mandatory part of the curriculum.
Kids who do not know how to cook tend to eat out more. Most food that is affordable today is packed with excessive levels of preservatives, sugars, sodium, and many other unhealthy substances. I have seen this lead to weight gain and negative long-term health effects, such as gluten intolerance. In today’s society, fast food is a major cause of American obesity, and fast food is a typical go-to source of fuel for young adults who are uneducated on how to cook. My good friend Sullivan, who recently left for college, was incapable of cooking a proper meal. He ended up going out to the closest fast food chain by his dorm room every day for three weeks, causing him to gain 15 pounds before he realized he needed to learn to cook. Gaining that much weight in such a short period of time is bad for both physical and emotional health. Eating out can get expensive and, on average, is more expensive than cooking at home. This pattern of eating out could potentially lead to financial issues as well.
In today’s society, teenagers are not taught how to manage their money and balance their checkbooks. Most of my fellow peers do not even know what a checkbook is. Young adults are expected to know how to do all of these small yet significant things by the time they graduate and move off on their own, but when did they have time and whose responsibility was it to teach them? A close friend of mine’s parents were not taught how to manage their money at a young age and now live paycheck-to-paycheck working multiple occupations just to put food on the table. Financial instability occurs frequently amongst society, when adolescents are not taught at a reasonable age how to oversee their finances, they can suffer long-term anxiety and hardships. If financial skills were a part of the mandatory curriculum, this family would have had a more relaxed life, not stressing the high risk of bankruptcy.
Another problem with the academic teachings in school systems are the focus of mandatory requirements instead of enhancing the importance of social interactions. Even when life skills classes are offered as electives, most students cannot fit them into their schedules. I take mostly college classes. I feel pressure to take these high-level courses because in today’s society, if I choose to take a more relaxed schedule, I will fall behind. In high school, students are pressured into scoring well on standardized proctored exams in order to advance. But, does teaching about the square root of pi truly promote a majority of student’s functionality in the real world? Educational systems focus more on a GPA and a class rank than they do on the basic knowledge of social skills. Being able to communicate verbally is an extremely vital part of today’s growing communities. Students today spend more time cramming for exams and mindlessly reading textbooks than they do absorbing and engaging in everyday conversations. To fully succeed in life, you must know how to properly communicate, how to solve problems in efficient ways, and how to make logical decisions.
On the contrary, many people feel strongly that schools are only meant to prepare their students for college, while the responsibility of teaching life skills should fall to parents or legal guardians. The states and public school systems are resource constraint and cannot be expected to do everything for their students. Schools were designed as academic institutions and are therefore serving their purpose. Parenthood, as believed by many, involves attempting to prepare your child to become functioning and independent members of society.
However, with busy work schedules, parents are not always available to be teaching their children these imperative life skills. The majority of students are at school longer than they are at home. As a result, students would benefit from learning life skills during school hours.
In this world, school systems focus more on the content that will help students pass exams rather than what will actually help their students succeed in life. Students are taught so much academia in such little time, but end up forgetting it all because it has no importance in their day-to-day lives. Implementing basic life skills with teachings could create a more understanding, stable and proficient society. Knowing basic life skills can help an individual find balance, succeed and become capable of taking on additional new and challenging tasks.
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