Teach me something practical, UCCS: What millennials need to know

Mar. 14, 2016

Alexander Nedd
anedd@uccs.edu

I’ve been in school for 18 years. Two years of preschool, grades K-12 and five years of college have all tallied to legal adult status in the U.S.

I trust our school system to be one of the best in the world. It is, and I’m grateful for the education I received that people are denied in other countries.

Learning how to balance an equation in math or learn a chemical compound in science is what I believed adults would do every day.

But I have not needed the Pythagorean Theorem since learning about it in eighth grade, nor have I been asked to analyze a poem written by Hemingway.

What I have needed are the skills used to change a tire, become familiar with a city’s bus system and stretch a set income to cover a specific span of time.

None of that is taught at UCCS.

We pride ourselves on higher learning and achievement but the basic building blocks of adulthood are left out of our college career.

That is a huge problem. There is an expectation that adults should magically know basic responsibilities such as cooking, taxes and even relationships.

But no one teaches us. We go out on our own, and when we fail, we are criticized for asking for help, or worse, receive none.

One task I’m grappling with is handling my finances and doing my own taxes. I can do TurboTax, but how do I know if I’m truly doing it right?

My taxes shouldn’t come down to my best calculated guess and smartphone tips.

It’s the same for credit cards. Now more than ever, students need to take the proactive approach to establishing credit.

I’m 22 years old and have no idea what the difference is between the credit and debit option on my U.S. Bank visa card.

Do you know what your credit card score is? Do you know what a credit card score is? If you answered no, you are a part of the majority.

As a senior transitioning into the work world, this is of high importance. We all have financial insights and can check our balance, but when it comes to lending and applying for options such as your own apartment and car, a conversation about credit should have happened a long time ago.

I would love to take classes on basic car repair and life hacks at home. Not only does this prepare us for adulthood, it gives us confidence to move forward as we approach graduation.

I am an adult. I want to be able to learn these functions on my own, but not when it’s too late. Colleges need to take note of this lack of development for students going into the workforce.

If we market college as the final transition into adulthood, we need to put more emphasis on the daily tasks of being an adult.

Give me the skills I need to make the most of my time at UCCS. Don’t just take my money and hand me a diploma.

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