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The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

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LFHS Should Require a Life Skills Class

Graphic+courtesy+of+Wikimedia+Commons+%28edited+by+Reagan+Collins%29
Graphic courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (edited by Reagan Collins)

Imagine you just turned 18. It’s a great day. It is your birthday and everything seems great for you. 

You come home from school expecting a warm welcome home and a ‘happy birthday.’ To your surprise, you get kicked out of the house. After all, you are an adult now. As of now, are you properly prepared? 

Roughly 93% of graduating students turn 18 in high school. This means that 93% of students become legal adults before they graduate –  but what percent of students are actually prepared? Only 14% of new adults believe they can survive on their own given how much they have been taught or how much they have been guided by their parents. 

To prepare graduating seniors for adult life, the school should implement a new required class for all senior students called “Life Skills.” The class would span a full school year and would teach students skills that are critical to understand before one enters adulthood. Such skills are not typically taught in high school curriculum. 

The Forest Scout asked 80 seniors about their thoughts on this new class. Among topics that seniors want to gain more knowledge on, the top five were financial skills, cooking, cleaning/organization, communication, and time management.

Although some of these skills are taught indirectly at LFHS – the majority of these are optional, barely touch the surface of the skill, or are not remembered by students by the time they graduate. 

Even though skill such as cooking and organization may seem out of the ordinary to teach in schools, there are many necessary life skills that many adolescents don’t necessarily learn before they graduate due to lack of knowledge or a lack of a parental figure. 

Only seven out of 80 seniors interviewed said they felt they would be able to survive on their won if they were to be kicked out of their house today. This is about nine percent, which is slightly lower than the national average data taken from professionals. These same people are the future of our country, and as such, schools certainly need to prepare them for their adult lives. A class designed specifically to teach necessary life skills will come a long way in improving the productivity of future generations.

Every student interviewed by The Forest Scout agreed that the “Life Skills” class should teach students how to pay taxes. LFHS does offer classes to teach taxes or basic financials, however, these classes are not required and are fairly unknown to most students. The odds of the students learning how to do taxes efficiently – nonetheless remembering how to do it in the future – is low when the topic isn’t a main focus of the class. 

Only 12% of American high schools teach students about taxes. Taxes are a very confusing topic, yet a necessary life skill. Getting students to understand how taxes work and how to properly file and pay them will further prepare them for their futures

“Students can be better prepared for the future if we teach them the basics of money. Thinking about it now, coming out of high school I would have no idea how taxes work. If I don’t have parental help, I would be very lost and I feel as if a  class can fix this,” said junior Marty Hippel. 

Students also agreed that cooking should be taught in “Life Skills.” 

“Coming out of high school, I would have no idea how taxes work.”

— Marty Hippel

Students across the country should have to take culinary classes or learn from their parents in order to learn the basics of cooking. Deer Path Middle School, which feeds into LFHS, teaches culinary skills in one of its classes, even though LFHS does not. Cooking is a necessary skill individuals use every day to meet specific health needs and receive nutrition, however many students are unaware of cooking basics. 

“I think understanding the basics of cookings would be helpful as students would understand how to make meals to survive on their own. Teaching financial information would be important too, but everyone has a different background so it may be difficult to teach compared to cooking, which everyone uses,” said senior Jonathan Richmond. 

Students also mentioned they want to learn communication skills including how to apply for a job, how to maintain credit score, and how to set up a banking account. These skills are necessary for students who are going to be living alone after graduation, and teaching students these life skills can improve the future of our generation.

Schools can increase the success of graduating seniors entering the adult world by implementing a class focusing on taxes, cooking, and other basic financial skills, both here and across the nation. Schools can easily make this difference, so why hasn’t it been implemented as a requirement already?

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About the Contributor
Reagan Collins, Staff Writer
This is Reagan Collins. He plays volleyball for the high school and club volleyball for Illinois Juniors. Although volleyball is his main interest, he loves listening to music, hanging out with friends, and going to Hawaii every spring for tradition. Besides that, he loves his family, especially his dog Bowser, who is named after Mario of course. 
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