I never before realized how much pressure is put on my parents as my biggest teachers. The school system teaches everything from algebra to chemistry and four years of English, but who is it that teaches us skills like communication, time management, and coping with stress? I think a lot of students are left to figure it out for themselves, and it can be detrimental to their health, especially with significant sleep loss. I'm thankful for my parents who are always there during and after school hours to help me with life's biggest challenges -- challenges you can't solve with the quadratic formula.
Being a high school students can be tough at times. I would say that I'm a student who strives for straight A's and studies, but I've been wondering, will any amount of studying prepare me for the "real world"? The answer is no. I think this article from the Huffington Post really captures the majority of things high school students are lacking knowledge of. For example, I have no idea how to pay taxes. Nonetheless how to file a tax return. Some of the things on the list I have learned from previous experience, like how to avoid unnecessary drama perhaps. But, I wish high school would teach us more life skills, instead of the quadratic equation (which I will probably never use again after college). I'm worried about the "real world." And I know I'm not the only one.
I know that there are some things in life that can be taught and other life 'lessons' that can only be avoided for so long. Schools, however, should be teaching students some skills that are in fact necessary for later life (like how to save a comment before you click preview because it will otherwise be deleted and you'll have to retype all of it, like I'm doing right now); and others that students are bound to realize once they get their first tax form and say, "crap". I don't want to the kid that looks confused as they stand in line with the plethora of other people waiting to file their taxes, but I know for a fact it will one day be me. Reading the article from Huffington Post, I saw a few on the list that I have learned, and a few that I feel like should be taught to high schoolers. For example, 2: How to balance school work, extracurriculars, social life, family time, time to yourself and sleep without burning yourself out. This one is probably my biggest cheerleader in life. For me, its all a balancing act of priorities of which homework is the most points to do first, then calculating exactly how much sleep I will need in order to score an A on my math test. These skills take time to learn, and its more of an individual achievement, rather than a group goal. Now 10: How to pay taxes (including when and how to file a tax return), is the one that schools need to teach, because otherwise students will have a rude awakening once they get to the 'real world'. On the other hand, my mom told me the other day that she took driving school as a class. 41: How to change a tire. Simple--if you know how to change a tire. If students took Driver's Education at school, students would save a ton of money ($543 to be exact). This would also teach students how to change a tire. Life skill? CHECK. I definitely don't want to be sitting on the side of the road at college because my tire broke down and i'll have to call someone to change it. Even better, teach us '42: There is a difference between gas and diesel'. That would be nice, considering this is another thing we should know, but aren't taught. It's not about if you can do all the skills, it's about gaining them so that when you're out in the world, you can actually be prepared if something bad happens, or you're really really frustrated about something and don't remember which way is right or left. Most of the ones on the list occur over time, but seriously, let's try going Old-School and bring back Driver's Ed. Even if we don't, I'll figure it all out eventually, right?
I think that some of these lessons are actually refuted by school- case and point: mental health and stress issues. One big problem that I have seen people close to me face is how to decide when school is more important than themselves. I see people getting about an hour of sleep every night because of a combination of school, work, and homework. Teachers in school don't really take into consideration the different situations kids may be in. We all live in Mason, and that insinuates a certain entitlement, but not every kid can just hang out at home and do their homework. Some have to work eight hours a day along with going to school. Kids have to find a middleground between life and school, and teachers don't encourage that. They expect their homework to be done whatever the situation.I know some people who have had serious mental issues because of the insane amount of stress put on us by school. They have to take time off, stay at home, or simply fail in school in order to maintain their own sanity. My main point is: school doesn't only not teach you important lessons about stress management and mental health, it can often worsen the problems by putting too much pressure on students. This article does a great job of bringing up the gaping holes in our school system. We should also be thinking about the negatives that come from that.
I think this article is a little misleading. When I think of "things I should have been taught in high school" I think being taught in the classroom. But a lot of these, I believe, should be taught by parents. A parent is supposed to teach you how to get through life, and a lot of these things are just that. It's also important to remember that every 18 year old is in the same boat when voting. For a lot of the stuff on the list, young people don't know anymore than young person. And that's okay. I think we sometimes forget that it's okay to live and learn (maybe not for taxes, but with relationships it is). So maybe we will never be "formally taught" these things. Other people haven't either. And you know what? They turned out alright.
Numbers 3 and 47 resonated the strongest with me. Like Gina said, there's a lot of pressure put on parents and we normally don't realize or appreciate it. It's become an expectation, not a privilege to have our parents help us and support us. I know that some parents aren't as supportive as others, or as mine, but I have learned that through experience of watching my friends struggle with interactions with parents -- not through learning about how to interact with parents or how fortunate I am to have supportive ones. As a teenager and as a human, I get frustrated with my parents from time to time. I've never been taught how to deal with that, because in general, I've been taught not to talk back, that "momma knows best" and to follow their rules. As I get older and develop my own opinions, I've been taught that it's valuable to challenge other ideas and engage in good discussion. But in interacting with parents and others, I haven't been taught how to go about confronting and challenging opinions -- a valuable lesson that schools should teach to prepare students for life.