Cincinnati Campus

General view of the campus of the University of Cincinnati circa 2011.

It seems like during high school, you’re doing the best in your classes to get into the best college. You’re encouraged to participate in activities to boost your resume. Your schedule consists largely of school and homework. All of it is done for the purpose of entering that college that you and or your family wants. However, despite that all preparation, are graduates really ready for college?

According to the Balance, 30% of all first-year students drop out after their first year.

So why is that?

In my opinion, I believe society has done a great disservice to this generation.

According to the Washington Post, 63% of millennials don’t know what a butter knife is, 60% don’t know how to make salad dressing and carve a turkey, and 25% are incapable of preparing a birthday cake from a boxed mix. Surface to say, cooking is a struggle for millennials. For whatever reason, preparing for college didn’t include how to cook.

We have students drenched in school work, while boosting this generation is “the best educated” it’s becoming clear that this generation is ill-prepared.

Society has done a poor job preparing students for college. Knowing what a plant cell is and how to solve problems using the Pythagorean theorem is great and all, but the knowledge is honestly useless if you aren’t going for a career in a math or science field. What would be great in prepping for college and isn’t confined to a career path is learning life skills.

Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of studying calculus, you could instead learn cooking? Or instead of taking chemistry, you learn how basic economics and taxes work. Instead of taking another biology course, what about a course in American politics? The number of people who don’t vote and don’t know how the government works is staggering. If you don’t want to learn calculus or chemistry, shouldn’t it be optional? Though chemistry and calculus are necessary for a career in science or math, is it necessary for a career in the arts, writing or history?

However, these potential solutions don’t necessarily answer the question of how we should solve the problem of the lack of life skills in our generation.

So far, other than “just leave it be” or a situation that absolves college students of any responsibility, there isn’t a clear answer. A shakeup of our educational system is in order to better prepare those who are in high school. 

College isn’t for everyone because society and the educational system has ill-prepared them, and it’s a darn shame.

Opinion Editor

Schell-Olsen has been with The News Record since Aug. 2018. He frequently writes about politics, society and elections.