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As a senior I often think about life after high school. I constantly think about what I want to do with my life: I consider college, a good job, somewhere to live. These thoughts can be overwhelming and I wish I felt more prepared. Unfortunately, schools are not teaching students what we need to know to be successful adults. There is only guidance for going into college, but for those of us here at Washington that are not going to college, what do we do after high school?
Bianca Dacanay, a current senior at WHS says that, “Teachers usually teach us about stuff that is not useful. I wish we had more classes that taught us how to be independent because I don’t know how to go through life.” These life skills include how to apply for a job, interview practice, cooking classes, how to do taxes, and how to manage your finances. Schools teach us some of the skills we might need in future jobs but they skip the important steps that happen before a job. Some may say that these are things that parents should be in charge of teaching their children, but not all students have the support they need in their households. Students spend most of their day at school, then go home, and do homework. There is no room for learning other skills besides academics. Students are overworked and expected to know more than is taught to them.
People assume that once a child turns 18 they should have everything figured out and be ready to provide for themselves, but that is not the case. A lot of young adults go through years of being lost and confused after high school because no one is telling them what is next. Students have a hard time thinking for themselves since someone always makes decisions for them. From the day we are born until we are eighteen years old, all the important decisions are made for us. Then, when students turn eighteen we are expected to make all these important decisions on our own. But some students here at Washington don’t even know how to do their laundry or cook simple meals for themselves. The expectations for seniors go from zero to one hundred after high school. Seniors aren’t the only ones who feel anxious. Junior Lia Sete says, “I have eight siblings so I’ve never lived on my own before. I feel like I would be lonely. I depend a lot on my family and friends.”
Schools should put more effort into helping students learn simple yet important life skills. These skills should come before Algebra and Trig. Why don’t schools require classes like Finance and Culinary Arts? Why do we require Chemistry and Geometry when most students will never use those skills again after high school? Classes that will make a lifetime impact should be first priority in educating the future.
Sonya Garcia is a current senior at Washington High School. She was born in Walnut Creek and raised in Fremont. This is Sonya’s first year on the paper. She is interested in writing about sports and events that take place at Washington High School or our Community. Her hobbies include waitressing at her job, doing make-up and shopping. She hopes to go out for Track and Field Throwing again this year. After high school, Sonya wants to continue waitressing while she studies business in community college. She hopes to one day open a small business of her own.