UCCS should offer life skills lessons in GPS classes

April 10, 2018

Avi Petrucci

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Last week, I spent the better part of my weekend researching terms related to taxes that I initially thought were part of ancient dialect.

   Tax Day is just around the corner. On April 17, every tax-paying American will have to file.

   While this is typically a stressful time for most people, it is particularly stressful for college students, mainly because most of us have never been taught how to do our taxes.

    Actually, many college students haven’t been taught how to do most “adult things” — doing laundry, changing a car tire, cooking a healthy meal, paying bills — things that are essential to becoming independent.

     According to Independent Journal Review, 30 percent of college students can’t boil an egg, while 52 percent of American teenagers don’t know how to change a tire

    This lack of knowledge can lead to college students spending money they don’t have for services they aren’t educated on.

     UCCS should offer life skill lessons for freshman in the Gateway Seminar Program to circumvent this issue. This way, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed students can explore the world with the maturity required to fully rely on themselves.

     As a second-semester freshman who’s had to adapt to living independently, these skills would have helped my transition to college life.

    During my time as a high school student, I attended two schools and toured three others across the country. None of them offered classes that focused on life skills or even had small lessons incorporated in their classes.

    This lack of accessibility and education in high school explains why so many young adults enter college without knowing how to pay their bills, do their laundry or properly clean their bathrooms.

    GPS courses can benefit freshmen by teaching them how to use library resources on campus, write their first official college paper, craft professional documents and even help them figure out if their prospective major is right for them.

    Some classes, like Be Your Own Boss, Me.com and Farm to Kitchen Bootcamp, do implement some life skill lessons that include learning how to grow and cook your own food, marketing yourself as a professional and learning business skills in entrepreneurism.

   GPS courses are the most beneficial place for these life skills lessons, like learning how to cook simple meals, understanding taxes and how to save money, because of their purpose: introducing new students to college life. Part of college life is learning how to be an adult.

     More focused classes to address those issues of not knowing how to do simple “adulting” tasks would take away the learning curve of adapting to the adult world.

    There isn’t an easy way to implement life skill lessons in a college class, but that doesn’t mean the current solution should be to move on without education.

    If you’re unsure of how to complete a task, whether it be washing your car or understanding your credit card, look for a tutorial on YouTube and take advantage of your community resources. Ask your parents, ask your friends, attend classes at local community centers or use school resources.

    Even though these skills should be incorporated within classes, it doesn’t hurt to teach yourself how to be more resourceful.