A “life skills” requirement

These days, many students attend college so they can find a job that pays a sufficient amount of money to support their desired lifestyle. It used to be, though, that people took on the task of earning a college degree to gain knowledge and learn more about the world, as well as about themselves.

This shift is due to the vastly different world and culture that we now live in, one that puts money before knowledge. As a result, students today are much less equipped to deal with everyday life than in the past, despite an educationâÄôs potential to land them a high-paying job. Institutions of higher education must recognize this and start encouraging, if not requiring, students to take life-skills classes as a part of their general education.

Perhaps one of the most important classes under this umbrella would be a financial management class, teaching students how to manage money, credit and investments. This is especially important now that students leave the University of Minnesota thousands of dollars in debt.

Other classes could teach interpersonal relationships skills or stress management skills. Another skill that many students lack is how to grocery shop, cook and maintain a healthy lifestyle on a budget.  Filling this requirement would not necessarily benefit a studentâÄôs professional or academic aspirations, but would help him or her develop skills for everyday life, something students often neglect to do in the course of getting a higher education.