Why students leave high school feeling unprepared

Many students, after leaving high school, find themselves unprepared to fend for themselves in the real world. The average student in high school takes up to 10 AP classes throughout high school. A fascinating aspect of the school system is the fact that, even with a variety of complex college courses, most students leave high school without the basic knowledge of how to balance a checkbook or fill out tax forms.

Why aren’t schools teaching students skills they will need to use in their adulthood? It could be that, with it becoming harder and harder for students to get into top colleges, Fulton County and others are attempting to make their students’ transcripts stand out. However, harder classes do not always benefit the student body. While schools use to feature classes such as home economics, now schools have decided it is more important for students to learn complex trigonometric identities today.

North Springs students are just as frustrated as their teachers concerning this important issue. Senior Maddie Dorfman says, “I’m in economics this year and it just makes no sense that they designate months to learning about the determinants of demand and only a week to learning about stuff I’ll actually use in life, like how to build a good credit.”

This makes almost no sense. While it is true that valuable other skills can be acquired throughout high school, students should be given the chance to learn other, more applicable lessons. If a student’s parents never teach them how to do their taxes, they may never learn. This is because the school system is more determined to fulfill federal and state-level requirements than actually prepare its students for what comes after they leave the school building on their last day of Senior year.
What effect does not teaching such valuable life skills have on the students themselves? They are forced to enter the workforce with almost no idea how to even apply for a job. The school should at least teach students how to make a resume. While students are prepared to enter college with a superior transcript, many find it frustrating to complete non-academic tasks with no background knowledge. “I just wish at some point a teacher had sat me down and said, this is how you apply for a loan. Going to college without the faintest idea of how student loans work became a really big problem for me,” says 2016 North Springs Graduate Amber Liu.

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