The Class that Teaches You to Be a Functioning Human Being: Why it Should Be Offered

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Often times, you’ll hear and see college students complaining, eating ramen noodles every day, not knowing when to stop buying those $20 poke bowls every weekend. Frantically searching for money, credit cards being canceled on top of missing 5 lectures in a row because they’re not getting enough sleep.

Although this might not be the case for each college student, it may be a reality for some, no matter how responsible you might think you are. How come students aren’t prepared for real life? The answer is simple: they’re not being taught these essential life skills.

If you are not prepared for the future, how are you supposed to manage life without guidance? That’s why high schools used to offer home economics, or home ec, classes, where you were required to learn about nutrition, how to handle your finances, and housekeeping skills. By offering a class where you have to learn how to function in life independently, you have the ability to carry on these skills beyond your high school and college years and better manage financially, socially, mentally, and physically.

Home ec classes teach you how to manage your money via budgeting, the differences between a savings account and a checking account as well as that of a credit card versus a debit card.

They teach you how to handle environments at the workplace, how to prepare for a job interview, how to handle certain social situations. In the 21st century when obesity rates are skyrocketing, people don’t know how to manage their own health, and everyone’s spending so much money eating out when they could be saving it, they teach you essential nutritional information, how to cook simple and quick recipes, how to save money at the grocery store and avoiding falling into the whole of buying unhealthy, ready-made packaged foods.

As you plan for your retirement, you might suddenly remember all the financial options discussed by your teacher all those years ago. As you’re strolling through the grocery store, you might remember that easy 5 ingredient recipe that you cooked in senior year. In the middle of a mental breakdown because you might fail your midterm, you might remember those coping mechanisms and stress relief taught to you.

Although people would definitely benefit from having this class offered, there are still some drawbacks that might cause them to hesitate. For example, to be able to have a culinary aspect of home ec, there would need to be a kitchen of some sort. This could be solved by using gas stoves in a classroom equipped with sinks, however, this could propose some safety concerns. But what difference is this from conducting certain experiments with chemicals and heat?

Also, the fact that this would occupy a class period would mean conflicts with schedule and competition between other electives at school. If it was required, it might cause some anger due to taking up a course slot that could be allocated to something else. To help subside some of this, offering credits that would fulfill some sort of requirement for graduation/the A-G requirements for a UC/CSU would persuade more students to take this class. Having interesting and hands-on activities instead of sitting around in class, taking notes, would be more intriguing as well.

Although there will still be struggles that, even learning about it in school wouldn’t help, by being better prepared for life without parents and with independence, students will be more successful and smarter in the future in all aspects of their lives.