The Lack of life Skills in Our Education System

School; an environment that is apparently preparing students for life, but is it really? If the purpose of so many years in school is to make us into good members of society, why are we taught so much useless information? Although there’s some things we are taught that are extremely important, there is a lack of practical life skills that should be mandatory. Nobody should graduate without them. 

I am an Education major and as I am close to finishing my studies, I have reflected on the issue and evaluated everything I have learned in the past 18 years and came to one conclusion: I lack a lot of basic life skills needed in order to be a successful adult. For some reason, I thought many of these things I would’ve learned in college, but I was wrong. I am an adult now and should be able to figure stuff out on my own, but it's hard; there are things we just can’t learn by ourselves. 

Which is why I believe; public and private schools should start teaching more life skills and less theory. Our educational system does teach us important things like language, grammar, basic math and social studies. But it is missing lessons that will create “good” members of society. When I say “life skills” I mean: financial intelligence, organization, stress management, resumé building, nutrition and many other things;  these are what I consider should be a priority. 

Now you might be asking yourself, why these life skills? Well, let’s start with financial intelligence. As adults, we will need to face budgeting, taxes, smart spending, and how to work our credit. Most of these topics we learn them when it’s time to deal with them. For organization, I am not talking about keeping a clean room; I mean having the ability to balance and organize school, work and our personal lives. During high school, we do not worry too much about this because it was always the same routine. Resumé building is something a lot of us struggle with once we are trying to find a job. In high school, students need to be taught how to build one and what information to update every year. It took me a lot of asking around and telling people to show me theirs to figure out how to build mine. This could be prevented if schools would teach students how to do this. 

I believe stress management, should be taught with an emotional intelligence class or workshop. This is something all college students struggle with. Mostly because mental health seems to be a taboo topic, when it should be a priority in schools instead. Come on, what’s more important? A mentally healthy and stable student or the date a guy murdered another guy? Prioritizing people’s mental health, stress management and giving them a space to look for help and talk when needed is so important. Another thing that is extremely affected when we transition from high school to college is our nutrition. Is it so hard to be healthy and manage to focus on school? Even more if you are living on that college student budget. Once students are close to graduating, they should receive a class or workshop that gives them advice on staying healthy and even meal prepping when in college. 

 The only positive aspect of me struggling with not having these life skills is that, as a future teacher, I can somehow incorporate the topic in my classes.  I would hate to see our future generation be as lost, confused, stressed and overwhelmed by being an adult as I am. However, as our world changes and progresses, maybe in the future these topics will be taught in schools not only in Puerto Rico, but all over the world.