NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

High school students say they would welcome life skills classes

It’s that time of year again when soon-to-be high school graduates eagerly send in their college applications and wait patiently for their dream schools to send back an acceptance letter.

In times like these, parents lay solemn as they realize their kids will be off to school in just a few short months, leaving high school with jam-packed knowledge they learned from textbooks. But recently it has come into question as to what knowledge both high school and college students should be learning, versus what they are being taught, and how much of it they’ll take with them in the long run.

A life skills class, which would teach students basic tasks such as balancing a checkbook, doing taxes, buying a home, or putting a spare tire on a car, are all situation’ students will face at one point in their lives. The incorporation of a class like this could prepare students for life after high school, and possibly lessen the nerves and burden becoming an adult.

“Financial Math taught me about many things that will matter in my future, such as paying for college, taxes, credit scores, and insurance,” said Olivia Hansen, a NECC student, who spoke about a previous class she took in high school.  “Prior to this class, I knew hardly anything about these important topics that I would utilize as I entered the “real world.” The course made me feel more ready and less stressed about becoming more independent and armed me with more information to prepare myself for the future.”

Over at Methuen High School, senior Jordyn Graves spoke about the importance a class like this would have for fellow students: “It would educate people more on saving their money correctly and budgeting better. Since people lose track of their finances so easily, it could help them become more organized.”

Though a class like this would be beneficial to students in nearly every state, the process of introducing a new class to curriculums is no easy task. There are hurdles involved, such as hiring another teacher to teach this class, which adds yet another salary to the schools’ payroll. Schools are already underfunded enough, so schools would most likely prioritize purchasing new technology or textbooks before introducing a new class.

“When I send my students off to the next grade every June, I encourage to them to remember how important school is. I encourage them to keep striving to be their best. From what I’ve seen, not every student has the resources to learn skills they’ll need for the future, so I truly believe a life skills class would be so rich in teaching students such important life benefits. A class like that could really be structured towards any age group too,” says parent Michelle Graves, who has been teaching in Methuen and surrounding areas since 2008.

When its time to graduate, and students come to find their niche in life and what their major will be, whether it be the Pythagorean Theorem or the Pyramids of Giza, some may say most of the information they have learned in school has no real benefit towards their future lives or teachings.

But fundamental skills that students may have the opportunity to take home with them if a life skills class is incorporated into curriculum could bring quite the joy to any parents’ face.