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Kumar: Ready or not? Most likely not…

High schools should make more of an effort to better prepare incoming freshman for non-academic success

Josh+Dakken%3B+a+Health+and+Human+Physiology+Major%2C+demonstrates+how+to+cook+a+One-Pot+Chicken+and+Vegetable+Skillet+as+part+of+the+Cooking+at+College+class+on+October+24%2C+2016+at+the+CRCW.+%28The+Daily+Iowan%2FOsama+Khalid%29
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Kumar: Ready or not? Most likely not…

Josh Dakken; a Health and Human Physiology Major, demonstrates how to cook a One-Pot Chicken and Vegetable Skillet as part of the Cooking at College class on October 24, 2016 at the CRCW. (The Daily Iowan/Osama Khalid)

Josh Dakken; a Health and Human Physiology Major, demonstrates how to cook a One-Pot Chicken and Vegetable Skillet as part of the Cooking at College class on October 24, 2016 at the CRCW. (The Daily Iowan/Osama Khalid)

Josh Dakken; a Health and Human Physiology Major, demonstrates how to cook a One-Pot Chicken and Vegetable Skillet as part of the Cooking at College class on October 24, 2016 at the CRCW. (The Daily Iowan/Osama Khalid)

Josh Dakken; a Health and Human Physiology Major, demonstrates how to cook a One-Pot Chicken and Vegetable Skillet as part of the Cooking at College class on October 24, 2016 at the CRCW. (The Daily Iowan/Osama Khalid)

Michelle Kumar, Opinions Columnist

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It’s fair to say that no matter how hard you try as a high-school senior, you will never be “college ready.” There are so many things you can’t anticipate, and the push to get you “college ready” mainly consists of useless academic work or buying things for your dorm. Those two options leave a big gap in preparedness. While home economics may have gone about it the wrong way, the skills the class offered are invaluable regardless of gender, and learning those skills should be an option for high-schoolers.

In a typical home-ec class, you would have learned about cooking, budgeting and economics, health and hygiene, and home management. At the time home ec was popular, it was largely for women leaving the class with a lasting brand that has been hard to get rid of.

Life skills shouldn’t have to be gendered because everyone needs them. It could be said you won’t have to worry about budgeting or cooking your freshman year or that your parents could do these things for you. However, you’re not going to be a freshman living in the dorms forever, and not everyone is privileged enough to have involved parents.

It could be said you won’t have to worry about anything your freshman year or that your parents could do these things for you. However, you’re not going to be a freshman living in the dorms forever, and not everyone is privileged enough to have involved parents.”

In my experience, I found that there was only one thing I did in high school that could have prepared me for what college was really like. My senior year I took a class called “adult living.” I learned how to cook in my dorm, how to deal with all the free time I’d have between classes, take care of my mental and physical health, how to budget for college and life, go grocery shopping, understand how to read the forms I’d have to sign for student loans, and even got to do mock job interviews. This one class did more in making me “college ready” than anything else I did in high school, including my academic classes. 

The lack of preparedness transitioning from high school is felt especially by incoming college students who are trying figure everything out. Freshman Josh Samuel said, “I don’t feel like I was well-prepared for adult life at all. While I think I was pretty independent in high school, being independent in college is much more overwhelming. It’s a little daunting to be the only one responsible for my own health and well-being. Being underprepared for that definitely added to the stress and difficulty of the college transition, and I think taking a course like that in high school would definitely benefit high-schoolers who are unaware of how much more different college is.” 

RELATED: Students aid counselors with college information 

YouthTruth, a national education nonprofit, surveyed high-school students in 2017 and found that only 45 percent of students felt they were ready for college and their career afterwards. A lot of that stems from understanding just what college will be like and the process surrounding it.

Many people might say that this responsibility shouldn’t fall to schools, but by design, high schools are built to prepare students for college and life beyond. If they’re not gaining the skills needed to succeed there, then where else can they? Parents and guardians already have their hands full.

This is not to say that a course like adult living should be mandatory, but the option should at the very least be there, and in most schools it’s not. Being successful in college and life goes beyond academics, and it’s clear students aren’t ready.

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About the Writer
Michelle Kumar, Opinion Columnist

Email: [email protected]

Michelle Kumar is an opinion columnist at The Daily Iowan. She is a junior at the UI majoring in international studies...

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