The Smoke Signal

Knowledge is power

Aiko DeArth

Aiko DeArth

Aiko DeArth

Aiko DeArth, Journalist

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Many high schools offer a variety of courses and electives, some mandatory, some not, that allow students to study the subjects in life that each find interesting to their own. However, of all the mandatory courses that students have to take like health, mathematics, sciences, English, foreign language, art, etc, there is no course made mandatory or even offered in the majority of high schools in the nation that teaches comprehensive economic skills.


By life skills, I refer to such things that are involved in becoming an adult and taking care of the responsibilities that are put on our shoulders. This encompasses how to interview, get a job, insurance, things in relation to financing like doing taxes, learning about retirement, saving, pensions, buying or renting a house, buying a car, etc.

At Ripon High, the only course that teaches any portion of these things is the leadership course, which is application based and exclusive to a group of 30 – 50 students. In the country, few schools offer a broad skills class that teaches a little of each subject. Even fewer require students to do so.

The class should be a two-semester course that involves seminars on spending money wisely, job interviews, relationships and respect, nutrition, raising children, and basic financial education.

To many adults who have already made it through the portion of their lives where they learned such things, it may not come across as such a foremost topic, however, for many teenagers, these things are what make moving on from high school and becoming adults so daunting.

Having a course at least offered at all high schools that communicated these main points would be extremely beneficial to the next generations of adults and leaders in our world. It may be as simple of an issue as being uneducated in those areas of skill that results in so many students not going to college and overall not knowing where to turn after high school, perhaps even after college.

Learning these fundamentals at an early age would likely make a significant impact. Even such a thing as learning to interview which may seem like a given could be extremely beneficial for students who are not prepared, and in all honesty, who is?

Although the main focus in high school is to prepare students academically for college, getting there is pointless if you have no one to teach you how to live on your own. If students aren’t equipped with strong foundations of social, practical, and financial skills, the likeness of each succeeding may not be as high as possible. Furthermore, even with stable jobs after college, these skills stand most important in making a life.

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Knowledge is power