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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Should colleges require students to take “real life” courses in order to graduate?

Point by: Kaitlin Suda

In 10 years from now, will it really matter whether or not you can find the domain or range of a function? Will you have a leg up from other candidates at a job interview if you’re able to find the conjugate of a complex number? Probably not.

These algebraic techniques are among the basics needed to complete and succeed in any math course. These math courses will be used as transfer credits towards your degree and to “better your future.” However, none of these terms will help you in real life scenarios, no matter how many times your math professor tries to convince you otherwise.

According to a survey done by the Federal Reserve System, students owe an average of $25,750 in student loans. No amount of cosine or tangent is going to make that disappear.

What would really help is to focus our energy more on developmental classes that would prepare our generation for the debt they may face and how to manage their money in a way that actually benefited our futures.

Colleges across the country should make more of an effort to provide classes that will prepare students for economical struggles that they may face. Courses on things like how to balance a checkbook or prepare taxes should be among the requirements needed to obtain a degree.

Aside from simple financial courses being required, colleges should make classes like marriage, family and child development available. Actually, with the divorce rate at 50 percent in the country, these classes should be required.

It’s no secret that students come from all different types of upbringings and many need guidance on how to make a marriage last and how to uphold a strong family foundation.

These classes should not be biased or force any specific beliefs on marriage standards. They should provide resources and textbooks from professionals that can offer advice in real life family problems or conflicts that someone may have come up in their own future.

It would not be anything but beneficial for more adults to know how to handle a conflict with a loved one or help deal with issues with their own children.

Communication is the key in all relationships and if more colleges focused on how to communicate person to person rather than just in a business like setting, it would decrease confrontation, not only at home but also in the workplace.

Take chemistry for example, no one really remembers where all those elements sit on the Periodic Table. You take a test out of memory and as soon as the semester is over, it’s all forgotten.

What we need are classes like nutrition, which offer healthy alternatives to take care of our bodies. Biology is not what I had in mind either, it’s far too complicated.

Students need to learn how their body works and theirs alone.

More than one-third of people in the U.S. is overweight. If students had access to these classes, or better yet if they were a requirement to graduate, it could decrease that number and even save lives.

On graduation day, everyone is the same. Everyone is dressed the exact same.

What really sets us apart from the person sitting next to us is how we handle real life after school. Getting the opportunity to take “real life” classes that are not just offered but are required to graduate could look better on a transcript or a resume.

Sure, being “book smart” is important and necessary to succeed in a major or at a job but without common knowledge of checkbook balancing or diet and exercise, it’s setting our generation up to fail.


Counterpoint by: Luke Wilson

No, I don’t think that colleges should require “real life” classes.

Life is about learning from your own experiences. Colleges should be available to teach us the things that we can’t learn on our own. The things that allow us to specialize in certain fields and make a career for ourselves. The beauty and shortcoming of most college classes is that they are based on unquestionable facts.

Classes based on love and child development insinuate that whoever wrote the textbook or that whoever is teaching the class is bestowed with knowledge that would allow you to not have to think for yourself, nor discover what brings you the most happiness.

Life classes should absolutely be available to those who need or ask for it, but for it to be required is to say that college students aren’t prepared to handle the trials and tribulations of a love life, raising a child nor handling money. Is that not what our parents or guardians taught and are teaching us in life? Isn’t a first love always the sweetest because it excites us for the future and what we might be able to find after learning from a few poor mistakes?

Imagine that you have a great relationship running steady, however your college requires you to take a class on “marriage and love.” After hearing what a textbook says love is, it would be impossible to not begin comparing your love life. Now imagine that your relationship is nothing like the textbook says a marriage should be. Does that mean you and your significant other are wrong? No, because there is no wrong way to be married as long as both of you are happy.

If that class was available by a counselor for someone who had erred in the ways of love, of course it might be a good idea for them but the happy couple and the self-titled swinger shouldn’t be required to sit through a class illustrating a conformist idea to what life should be.

Sexual education has been required in high schools for many years in many states and still we see staggering statistics about the sexual nature of America’s youth.

According to the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, more than 750,000 women each year aged 15-19 become pregnant, with more than 80 percent of those pregnancies being unplanned. Clearly what we are doing is not working or breaking through to high school students.

Should we expect that requiring similar classes would flip those stats among college students? Of course the basic knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases and safe sex is extremely important for anyone who might not know, but for the vast majority being taught in high schools, we can’t expect more required classes to beat any new breakthroughs into that dead horse.

Bottom line, classes and counseling should be available to anyone for close to anything that they have questions about, but requiring the knowledgeable majority of college students to relearn basic life facts is completely unnecessary, unwanted and unaffordable by college budgets.

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