Life Skills Classes

Alex Kim, Staff Writer

Transitioning into college life can be tricky, not only because it’s a whole new environment with different people and difficult classes, but also because it is the first time that many students will be living away from their families. Although I know that there is still some time before I leave, just knowing that this new life is slowly approaching gives me considerable anxiety.

For one, I’ve begun to notice all of the little things that I still do not know despite being a legal adult. As I got ready for a college interview, I wondered to myself, “How am I supposed to dress? How do I present myself well, and do I accept if they offer to buy me a drink?” I had never learned about how people normally conduct interviews or how to act, and this led me to wonder about what else I didn’t know. What exactly are taxes, and how do I do them? Will I be able to eat every month, because cell phone plans cost how much?! Does this shirt go in the delicate wash, because it’s kind of expensive, and I don’t want to ruin it?

Adults often talk about these questions as “things I wish I learned in high school,” and even with the Internet as a powerful resource, there are just some things that cannot be learned with a simple Google search. Thus, I feel that schools should consider having life skill classes surrounding topics such as law (legal rights), navigating healthcare, managing money (credit and budgeting), finding and applying to good jobs and opportunities, and student loans. This would help save time, money, and confusion for students working through the real world for the first time. Even some basic practical things, including cooking (something other than instant food) and essential repairs (such as changing a car tire), could make a student’s life much easier in the future since it’s better to know before a problem occurs rather than panic after. Additionally, I feel that more emphasis could be placed on time management skills, coping with stress and failure, and mental health in general.

Some people may argue that it isn’t the school’s responsibility to teach students these essential life skills, but considering the amount of time that we spend in class and also the fact that some students do not have the privilege of learning these things at home, it may be a good idea to start emphasizing the importance of these lessons. Even if they are not in the form of traditional classes, after school or lunch workshops would be quite welcome. After all, although students may be able to work through these challenges in college, it would relieve some anxiety from an already difficult transition and could save students from considerable financial and social trouble in the future.