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You can only learn so much in college

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Students leave high school without life skills

College is a wonderful thing. Each one promises its students the opportunity to discuss and think critically, creatively, and objectively, and the world’s greatest professors are readily available to answer any and all questions, regardless of their merit. Complex intellectual and moral dilemmas can be answered, or at least analyzed in college, and most importantly, students are presented with the opportunity to pave paths to prosperity. However, these prestigious universities often overlook a few major details.


Students can’t cook a meal, they can’t fill out checks, and many of them can’t seem to wrap their heads around the concept of doing laundry. When it comes down to the bare necessities, Melville and Faulkner provide little feedback.


Now I’m not blaming the colleges. They do their job, which is to prepare students for the workforce, and feed them with a life’s worth of focused learning. That doesn’t entail chef class, so the blame falls on us, but our negligence to master life’s essential concepts of survival don’t stem from apathy.


We have been trained to work in specialized areas. Our parents would probably be able to refrain from nagging if we abandoned the spatula and cooking hat and directed our attention to civil engineering. Our society is geared toward educating youth for what they need to know in the future, and allowing them to figure what they need to know in the present.


For example, in first grade, drawing an elephant with a gray crayon is about as sophisticated as it gets. This ultimately serves no greater purpose than increasing the child’s affection, and interest towards school. Clearly a lesson on how to make macaroni and cheese would be more beneficial in the short term, but schools insist on instilling values into these children, which theoretically, could be the difference between a student dropping out of high school or going to college.


What this means is we have to figure out the mac and cheese recipe for ourselves. The activities that we’ve deemed “old people stuff” up to this point are quickly becoming essential to our success. But this is no need to panic, it’s just another checkpoint.


We’ve had hundreds of them. In kindergarten, our decaying, young teeth were a clear sign of maturation, and as we get older, the signs become more abstract, but they’re never hidden.


In middle school, and even into high school, we experienced the most momentous physical changes in our lifetimes, but it never seemed hectic, or too strange to continue living on. We acted the way we had always acted, and we accommodated when necessary. It’s those accommodations that make us who we are, because they became part of our natural persona, and they only change when they are re-accommodated.


So ultimately, our key to survival, and success is predicated off of one of the few traits that all life forms have in common: Adaption. Most of the time it happens naturally, but every once in while we have to get off the couch, and force ourselves to pull out the crisp, freshly laminated cookbook and wear it in a little.


This is just the next step of a staircase that has no final block. The next step that, as history tells us, will force us to adapt to new circumstances, and become more responsible and knowledgeable human beings. This shouldn’t cause us too much stress if we understand that our time to prepare is limited. For most of us, this won’t be an issue, but for those who haven’t given it a second thought, or could really care less about living independently, it’s time to start cooking

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