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An education is so important in today’s world. We go to school our whole lives and learn biology and English, but schools fail to teach us life skills that we will need to carry with us after college.

A lot of the life skills we fail to learn in college are necessary to successfully navigate through relationships, hardship and careers.

College teaches very valuable skills, but the academic curriculum fail to teach us things we need to effectively thrive in the “real world,” such as handing financial responsibilities, investments, taxes and other aspects we find out about in our college years.

One of the important topics college fails to pay attention to is the importance of handling money responsibly. It’s obvious that money is valuable in this world. Many college courses teach students how to handle money in the career world. While college classes such as accounting, finance and business teach accounting procedures, that’s not the end of the equation when it comes to all things money-related. These classes, while useful in the academic and business sense, fail to teach how to handle personal finances, saving or investing.

Schools should also teach students how to build their own brand from the ground up. Self-employment is a great idea, but many people fail to know how to begin their own business. As a result, schools should teach students how to pay taxes, manage finances and focus on the company’s structure for it to thrive.

Credit and debit cards are big nowadays. Everyone is swiping their cards instead of carrying cash. Learning how to establish and maintain a good credit card is crucial for when it’s time to get a loan or buy house. We all start with no credit, which is perfectly normal, but when it’s time to start establishing a credit score, school’s do not give much information on how to do so.

Courses that focus on credit should be taught in school because it is such a big part of adult life. Many students get to college and don’t understand the importance of paying off credit cards on time, and that can cause a lot of issues in the future when it’s time to make big purchases such as homes and cars.

With all the news about health care, it is important for students to know the importance of having health insurance. The health care system is always changing, but it is something people should have basic knowledge on how to get it and how to maintain it. Although everyone’s situation is different, the general facts about the various kinds of healthcare, health care providers, individual and group plans are all important aspects of adulthood that should be taught in schools so students can be prepared for that time in their life.

Finally, one of the most important lessons schools should bring back is cooking. As humans, we need food. More importantly, our bodies need food that is healthy and nutritious, and while it’s easy to go out to a restaurant and stop by a drive-thru for dinner, knowing how to cook is very beneficial. Cooking at home saves money and your pockets will thank you later. Many of our parents or grandparents remember when Home Economics was a required course in their high school, and it’s a course that should return, even if it’s just to teach the basics of cooking, safety and hygiene.

It’s no doubt that what we learn in school is very important, but there’s a lot that can be added to the curriculum that will teach students to survive every day. Geometry and biology are great, but learning about paying bills and cooking healthy meals are aspects in life that will always be needed.

KAMARA TURNER is a mass media major and a columnist for The Vidette. Any questions or comments regarding her column can be sent to katurne3@ilstu.edu. Follow her on Twitter @kvmara

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