Why ‘Living on Your Own’ should be a graduation requirement

Filing taxes, applying for loans, interviewing for a job, investments. Sounds overwhelming, right? The majority of high school students don’t know how to complete these basic life skills on top of others that are imperative for independence. 

Here at P-CEP, the course “Living on Your Own” is a semester-long elective offered for 10-12 graders, meaning it is a self-selected class, not a graduation requirement. 

The class provides and teaches vital abilities for adulthood. Therefore, “Living on Your Own” and similar classes should be required at the Park and in high schools throughout America. 

At the Park, the description provided in the digital course catalog for the class is as follows: “Regardless of your plans after graduation, the skills you acquire in this class will help make the transition easier and will help you be more successful. Students use hands-on and practical projects to explore career pathways, write a resume and interview for a job, and financial literacy. After that first paycheck, where does all the money go? Learn how to develop a budget, pay taxes, and still save for the future! This class will look at the cost of credit, insurance, buying a car, and finding a place to live.”

The pragmatic and logical course provides an in-depth explanation and hands-on experience to improve students’ real-world survival skills, no matter how they decide to live following high school. 

If someone were to forgo attending college to be an entrepreneur and start his or her own business, budgeting and insurance would be vital toward success. If someone is attending college out of state, student loans, a topic in the class, will generally be utilized, as over 60% of students graduate from college with student debt, according to U.S. News.

Realistically, the majority of students will never use the Pythagorean theorem again in their life after Algebra I. However, filing taxes is a skill that will be used regularly throughout adulthood.

Furthermore, many high schools don’t provide sufficient education regarding these life skills, despite the desire to. According to a study by the company Charles Schwab in 2011, 86% of teenagers said they wanted to learn more about financial education in school before they had to do so in real life. 

Some students argue that they don’t have enough room in their schedule to take “Living on Your Own.” However, the P-CCS district provides various summer school and test out opportunities for multiple courses, making more time for desired or required classes and electives in the actual school year. 

Overall, “Living on Your Own” should be a graduation requirement as it is highly demanded by students and relays information that will be utilized in all future paths.