Does high school really prepare students for college?  

By: Abisola Dosunmu

High school is a time for learning, a time where you learn to develop your social skills, a time for new extracurricular activities, loads of homework, new responsibilities, and also new experiences. The last compulsory education in America. Students spend on average 30 hours each week in class, proceeding from one class to the next. 

But does all that really prepare highschoolers for college?

After graduating, young adults are expected to know what to do next. The next step forward differs for everyone, but some decide to join the military, some decide to study abroad, some decide to take a gap year, some go to college, and some start working.  The data shows that the students that graduated in 2019 report that 66.2 percent of graduates decided to continue their post secondary education.

For many of the students that continue on to college, college is usually a major transition. Students go from small classes, structured time periods, and little to no actual expenses to classes ranging around 100+ students, all of a sudden you can take classes in the evening, and this scary thing called student loans is looming up at you in the distance.

High school ideally will have prepared students for these new changes and challenges, but is that what’s really happening? 

Are students really learning anything in high school? While In school, students are taught basic science, history, language arts and math, but are they teaching students the skills they need to succeed in real world situations? Students are taught how to memorize information, not really saying anything about absorbing it. At least, not absorbing it enough to be able to remember and apply to real world situations. Are most of us really going to remember, use and apply, the use of simultaneous equations we learned in 8th grade? No, I don’t think so. I’m not saying that what they’re teaching us isn’t important, because it is, but educators need to realize it’s not the only life skill students need. 

Students should be taught how to manage their time, learn how to do taxes, develop conversation skills, and writing skills, which, yes, is taught in English, but teachers need to devote more time to teach students how to write resumes and college essays (whether or not they decide to pursue higher education), and how to handle money.

Classes like home ec. should be offered in more schools to teach basic skills like how to cook, how to fix things, how to be more responsible about safety, basically how to manage a household for people who don’t plan on living with their parents forever. Even if it’s just an apartment, students need to learn how to take care of their living space and the rent.

Students should be taught more life skills devoid of the usual math, science and English classes. We need to learn about life outside of school, because that’s basically what going to school is for. To prepare kids for adulthood. 

All of this cycles back to my question. Are students really prepared for college or life? I honestly think educators could do a better job of preparing students for real life, not just hammering algebraic expressions into our heads or making us reread and re-examine “The Lottery” in English. Educators need to start thinking about things that would actually benefit students in the future besides the usual classes. Skills that will not only be beneficial in college, but in life as well. 

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