Does High School Prepare Students For Life?

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High school is intended to be the years when you develop into an adult. Once you graduate high school, continued schooling is an option. As graduation rolls around, students are under the impression that their life’s course should be to attend college, get a job, move out of their parents house, buy their own car, or other life-changing choices.

Unfortunately, high school does not always prepare or teach us how to do some of those things. Many teenagers, regardless of how active they were in high school, leave their graduation ceremony perplexed or disoriented about what they’ll do for the rest of their lives.

Life skills, like budgeting money, are a major problem that young adults face. Yet, these skills aren’t a mandatory lesson taught in high school. Numerous high schools do include classes intended to help teach them these life lessons, but they’re offered as an extracurricular class instead of a core class.

According to Slate, only eight percent of recent graduates have taken a “foundational set of courses they’d need to be both college and career-ready.” Many important classes that prepare teenagers for adult life are not mandatory, are no longer available, or simply never existed at all. Classes that teach what you need to know before signing a lease, budgeting for home costs and property taxes, home safety and health, resources for those with low income, navigating the divorce process, how to prepare for pregnancy, handling money and banking with a partner, retirement income planning, homeowners and renters insurance, and voting are not taught during the most important four years of our lives.

High school also doesn’t teach us simple life skills that would help prevent depression, stress-trauma, anxiety, and more. Time magazine states that “The common source of stress involved money, with 69% of participants citing financial problems and conflicts as the primary cause of their anxiety, while 65% [cited] work, 61% noted the economy and 56% pointed to relationship angst.”

They also stated that “The most concerning trend emerging from the data, however, is the fact that most Americans don’t feel they are managing their stress well and that the health care system isn’t there to help them cope.” If there are concerns that the health care system is not helping young adults cope with their stress, high school curriculum writers should make it their responsibility to also help teach teenagers how to cope with the stress that they might experience once they graduate and start adult life.

Students are forced to spend innumerable hours learning how rocks are formed, why a smell travels outwards, or why a leaf is green. These hours could be go- ing to something actually useful for life, classes that would help maintain a healthy stress-free life without financial crisis. Students should also be able to start taking classes based off their future career choices, rather than some- thing they have no interest in. Teenagers in high school should not be forced to have their time wasted with classes that are not preparing them for their future college and career goals.

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