Real Worries for the Real World

How Prepared Do Students Feel For the Future?


Jaylin Paschal

Senior Emily Menker expresses confusion while looking over an Ohio voter registration form.

Jaylin Paschal, Editor-in-Chief

School undoubtedly introduces valuable skill sets. At school, we develop social, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. We learn to work with other people, to be resourceful, and to manage time.

“I feel like the most preparation has come from interacting with students and recognizing how to deal or get along with people,” said senior John Bates. “So when life hits in the ‘real world,’ I might actually be able to deal with the people who give the punches.”

Although these learned skills will prove to be assets in the future, many students still question how prepared they are for adult life and the professional world, especially seniors.

“I don’t understand how anyone even becomes an adult,” said senior Emma Bernardi.

As graduation approaches, students come to a scary realization: they don’t know how to fill out college applications. And soon after this has been realized, the list of unknowns seems to grow dauntingly longer. The majority of students do not know how to balance checkbooks, write resumes, change tires, file taxes, or even register to vote.

“I feel like there are some teachers that really focus on preparation and helping with college applications,” said Bates. “But most of the teachers, and even the counselors, just barely brush on the topic of what happens after high school.”

Many students believe in class, hands-on lessons in finance, professionalism, and other “real world” aspects would be beneficial.

“I don’t think people can be prepared for something they’ve never experienced themselves,” said senior Aubri Pritchett.

Many argue these skills are better learned at home, and it is the job of the parent or guardian to provide their children with this knowledge. However, learning these skills in schools not only ensures that information being taught is current and accurate, but the idea also perfectly aligns with the mission of high school: to prepare students for the next step in life.

Unfortunately, that mission does not always pair with state-distributed regulations and responsibilities. Teachers are required to teach certain things that may not seem particularly important to students.

“It’s difficult for teachers to relate state standards to real life, so it’s even harder for students to understand how it’s going to affect them later in life,” said senior Whitney Fiedler.

While the Pythagorean Theorem and the analysis of Hamlet will benefit us as far as critical thinking, cultural literacy, and the maintenance of grade point averages go, many students would prefer to learn about topics that will have a more obvious and prominent presence in their everyday lives.

“Sometimes I’m working on things and think ‘I’m never going to use this ever again in my life,'” said Bernardi. “I think about that everyday.”

Regardless of your opinion on what should be taught in school, there’s no denying that valuable lessons are learned here. All that’s up for debate is the longevity of this value. Students often find themselves wondering if learning targets will be significant once they’ve passed their finals.