Everyday Skills Should Be Taught in High School


Photo courtesy of Bloomberg

Many students leave high school not knowing how to complete important tasks like taxes.

I am a strong believer in starting out young, whether that be when learning a language, playing an instrument, or developing essential life skills. Studies show that when these skills are ingrained in the mind from a young age, they are more likely to persist and are often easier to learn. According to BBC, in a study done by University of Oxford scientists, adults usually have a harder time remembering things. Because of this, many people go through life not knowing how to sew or how to cook themselves a proper meal. It is important to know these basics so we are able to provide for ourselves and aren’t forced to rely on others. 

Often times I hear my classmates ask the teacher how a certain concept is relevant to life outside of the classroom. It’s a valid question, and one that I have often wondered about in the past. Usually, there is the classic “you will need it for college” response. But beyond that, is it truly relevant? There have been times where the teachers themselves have struggled to come up with an answer. The current array of courses available to students nowadays gives us a wonderful liberal arts background, widens our horizons and interests, and lays a solid foundation for the future.

But it’s just not enough. We lack education in many basic tools and skills that will benefit us later in life. That is why every single high school should offer lifestyle or life skills classes designed to better prepare us for the real world. If schools brought back life skills education, students would benefit greatly and would undoubtedly have more confidence in themselves. It would also encourage and support students who won’t be attending college, and instead are going directly into the workforce. Basic skills like understanding credit and student loans, communication, practicing healthy cooking, managing emotions, and self-defense are necessary to successfully function after high school. These are skills that will be utilized every single day of our lives.

The sad truth of the matter is that countless students don’t have the option to just “learn the skills at home” contrary to popular opinion. Many kids don’t have the resources necessary to learn how to cook, sew, and practice survival skills. School is the perfect setting for life skills education because everyone is already there and ready to learn. It is much more convenient than depending on parents or other family members to pass these skills on to us when they may be too busy, or might not know how to. 

As a senior with college right around the corner, I know that having these basic skills would help everyone else my age feel better equipped for life. The transition to adulthood would be a much smoother one. Even if making these classes a part of the required curriculum isn’t an option at the moment, introducing clubs or electives that offer the same kind of help would only be beneficial to students and the greater community.