Is high school really preparing us for not only college,
but managing our finances and obtaining careers?
By Kira Brockman (student reporter)
Once students wander from the sheltered confines of the PRHS halls, there are often considerable complications. Financial problems seem to pour from the sky because they were never taught how to balance between the need for food, clothes, and over expensive textbooks. Although students are aware of this problem–about 62% that responded to a short survey saying that they don’t think they are prepared for college, vocational, or financial life–there’s nothing they can do to change it besides push for the school to offer classes that provide them these skills. Most students are aware of the problem, but don’t have much say in what is considered important in the eyes of the school system. An unnamed senior states, “I don’t have any classes that are in my face about their relation to life skills, but I think I’ve acquired a few things from almost every class. […] not enough to live on my own for sure.” Considering that there are a dramatically lower amount of classes that offer life skills that virtually every student will use in their lifetime, it’s trivial that we expect students to live on their own and magically acquire adult skills. Even teachers are aware of the problem with the school system that deprives students of learning the necessities of life. An algebra teacher, Mrs. Mitchell, states, “I think a lot of the things I teach are really super important, but […] teaching my kids how to do taxes and withhold their finances would be a good use of my time […] I get a certain curriculum and I have to follow it and teach my students what it asks […] I think that learning to be successful and healthy is a little more important than just learning to memorize stuff.” The problem doesn’t lie with a certain school, but with the curriculum that teachers are required to teach and the misplaced priorities. The concepts taught in required classes are often only useful if you intend to pertain a certain job that requires those skills, otherwise, in most instances, they are unavailing without knowledge of other life skills. This then poses the question: How will students know what job path they want to pursue if they aren’t forced to learn a certain amount about every subject? Concluding a short survey consisting of upperclassmen, 75% of students expressed that even through taking these required courses they don’t feel prepared for obtaining a steady career. Therefore, although the required curriculum is essential to the academical minds of students, it can be inferred that they may need a slight change in class basis. In opposition, by taking time away from the classes already provided it’s possible that the students would be deprived of crucial primitive skills taught within these classes. Accordingly, the school system should enact a way to integrate these skills within the already approved curriculum. In light of the low amount of students that feel prepared the school system needs to seriously consider whether what they’re teaching is enough.