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Let’s face it: the subjects we actually need for real-life are taught in elementary school. High school courses waste a considerable amount of time teaching topics that will forever remain useless. Sure, high school has taught us about hard work, but it also taught me about unnecessary stress and nothing about surviving in the real world! There are many ways to improve these issues and better prepare our current and future generations.       

Elective Improvements  

At least in college, I’ll choose my courses based on what I genuinely want to learn for my career path; only, it seems no one knows what they want to do after high school going into college, no sense on what school, career-path, activities, or any aspect of what they want for a forever-good-paying job. Students do have time in college to figure these things out, but why wait till your second year in college when you could have a good sense of what you’d like to major in while in high school. This is another issue that revolves around high schools’ lack of necessary educational principles. An improvement to help this issue is schools’ providing a more in-depth explanation of electives and clubs. 

When deciding your electives for the next year, there are a significant amount of unknown electives we have to pick from. This does damage students’ chances of finding passions for a career path. Most electives give students a sense of their interests, which encourages career paths. This helps students to look into future college options and to be more prepared for tuition and sudden environmental change. Knowing what each elective involves would help this problem along with lightening students’ workload; students’ can explore these options more through school instead of needing to rely on exploring them through extracurriculars. 

Money Management 

Money management classes are helpful for 15-year-olds starting their new jobs and learning how to use bank accounts for the first time. Having a bank account, or even multiple ones, help set aside money for more important things and reasons. 

An example is, learning how to take money from your paycheck into a bank account for college savings. Keeping money for important things at the moment is okay, but lots of paycheck money is wasted on useless purchases because teenagers are just happy to treat themselves. Being taught to create a proper budgeting technique, how to handle money correctly for the present, and tips to help with saving little by little would help substantially for more important big purchases or investments for the future.

Improved Consumer Education 

Once a student is junior or senior, they should be required to take courses on more important real-world subjects. 

The Illinois curriculum teaches Consumers Education, this class is a semester-long class (taken by seniors only) that covers consumers in the marketplace and economy, budgeting, saving, investing, financial services, consumer credit and services, taxes, insurance, housing, food, transportation, clothing, health care, recreation, home furnishing/ equipment, and educational resources. 

Consumer Education is a valuable resource, but this class should start the junior year and continue senior year. The same topics should be taught but for longer and earlier in the year. This class is helpful but with the earlier and longer sessions, more can be taught. Additional topics could include building credit, how to buy a house or invest, planning for the future, resources to build college applications, etc. 

Why this should be important to the School Board 

It is helpful to get the opinions of someone who has already been through the process and has the knowledge to share. The youngest siblings in a family have their older siblings, but not everyone has siblings. Even with relatives, they can not be by your side for everything; the extra school support would go a long way. 

Some may believe that this is a parent’s job to teach this and not a school responsibility, but I have to disagree. A parent does a lot for their child; why must they teach them how to survive in the real world when high schools go on about how “well prepared” they’re making us for the real world? High school should be providing useful information a student can use and needs outside of high school. 

While I do not disagree with all of the schools’ tactics and learning angles, some remain useless. If you’re seeking a hard career path, you are going to almost always need a college degree. Going to college teaches students about work that helps us become successful. High school should help students set up a clear debt-free plan for students to pursue their dreams and live successful lives along with teaching useful and necessary life skills every adult will need to know. 

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My name is Raelyn Alvarez, and I am a Junior at OHS. This is my second year doing Digital Journalism and my first year being an Opinions Editor. I play travel softball and also play for the high school. I'm not judgmental; I'm just opinionated!

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