Schools aren’t preparing students for the real world.

Cameron Smale, Copy Editor

One of the most memorable events in a person’s life is when they graduate high school and eventually college. After spending over a decade taking standardized tests and following directions from superiors, you are finally dumped out into the real world. But then what? Where do you even start?

The first step in acquiring a career is the interview. School was too focused on teaching students the Pythagorean Theorem to coach us on how to do a proper interview. Unless a student has an elective that does mock interviews, many have to learn the hard way of what being interviewed is like. This should be a required field in high school because of the usefulness it gives people who want to earn money in any given scenario.

After acquiring a stable job with fair enough income, congratulations; you’ve made it to tax season. Taxes can be either a saving grace or your worst nightmare; if a person knows how to do their taxes, they might make back a couple hundred dollars and maybe a couple thousand. Or you might owe money. In that case, you better watch your back because the IRS is now on your tail. If only those twelve plus years worth of education taught you how to survive tax season.

A few years into the real world, you will eventually start a family. Let’s be honest; was baking cookies in life skills class really enough preparation for raising and affording a family all while trying to figure out how to pay off your student loans? It can be rough getting thrown into the real world with no prior knowledge on how to balance out how to spend that hard earned money. The United States Department of Education seems to think learning long division is higher on the priority list than learning how to be a parent.

Take a car from the 1940s and compare it with one from the modern day; There’s a huge difference. If you look at a classroom from the 1940s and compare it with one from today, you’ll find that not much has changed, well besides the white board that malfunctions every couple of class periods. The car adapted to the modern world to fit our needs; schools need to do the same. Now I’m not going to be the person to ‘call for total school reform’ partially because it wouldn’t lead to anything, but mostly because the American education system has been due for some change for the past one hundred years or so. I’m pretty sure that school was originally intended for factory workers. Think about it, students are required to sit in a classroom, be quiet unless told to speak and follow direct orders from an assigned authority figure.

A student should be able to take classes that he or she will be interested in. If they aren’t interested then what’s their purpose in paying any attention? Why not just blow through the class? They’ll never learn the value of a class if they’re not interested in it. Students will take time to understand classes that interest them.

Pullquote Photo

“If only those twelve plus years worth of education taught you how to survive tax season.””

— Cameron Smale

Students should be heavily encouraged to take the classes that will relate to whatever career path they want to follow. For example, if a student wants to do something related to the medical field, that student’s school should substitute a history class with a medical class. It would not cost any money and the student would only benefit from this.

The point I’m trying to make is that we all have to learn certain skills in life whether we learn them the easy way or the hard way. If schools took time to teach us about the unfortunate hardships in the world of work, we might have a better chance at succeeding in the future. Being in school for over twelve years should have been enough to know how the world works. But hey, at least we know the quadratic formula.