California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

First-Years Need to Learn Actual Life Skills

Students pursue higher education to learn new skills, grow as individuals and receive a degree that will get them their dream jobs. However, many students do not know certain life skills that would benefit them in college and for the rest of their lives. I think California Lutheran University should support their students beyond academia and provide incoming first-year students with life skill classes.

Freshmen seminar would be the best place to insert class sessions to teach young students skills that would serve them for life including handling car and renterโ€™s insurance, applying for and managing credit cards, and filing taxes.

Cal Lutheran sophomore Nicki McCarty said the seminar was helpful when it came to registration, scheduling degree requirements and club information.

Jenelle Carlin, an English and legal studies major, said she learned about time management and study skills. However, the seminar did not cover skills to succeed outside of the classroom.

โ€œI think that the idea of the class is really good, and they did a really good job of trying to implement study habits and different skills for students who didnโ€™t learn that before. But once that had already kind of been established, it felt like we didnโ€™t need to be in the class anymore,โ€ Carlin said.

In a 2016 study conducted by LendEDU, which offers resources to teach students about finances, 455 undergraduate and graduate students were asked about managing money and personal finance.

The study found that, โ€œ43 percent of students surveyed could not name one major difference between a credit and debit cardโ€ and โ€œ23 percent of students surveyed could not name one major difference between a checking account and a savings account.โ€

Results also showed that almost 70 percent of the students did not understand the purpose of a 401(k) plan or individual retirement account.

โ€œI mean everyone has to do that at some point and itโ€™s not really taught anywhere specifically, so if they had that offered here I think I would definitely utilize that. I think it could definitely be helpful,โ€ McCarty said.

McCarty and Carlin said they most often ask friends and parents for help regarding taxes and credit cards since they did not learn those skills in high school.

However, not all students can rely on friends and family to teach them.

โ€œEveryone is busy, so itโ€™s probably not their first priority to come and talk to you about it, and theyโ€™re usually rushed and busy trying to do something else,โ€ McCarty said.

Carlin described an experience her friend had with an insurance company after a car accident.

โ€œShe didnโ€™t know what she was doing and there was no one to help her,โ€ Carlin said. โ€œAnd so if we learned about that stuff, I think it would be more beneficial.โ€

Dave Rathmanner, vice president of content at LendEDU, said in an article about financial literacy for LendEDU that it is essential for students to learn about personal finance in college. He said we often associate our time in college with having fun and new experiences, but saving money and being frugal to combat debt from student loans is another part of this time in a studentโ€™s lives.

I believe that colleges should take on the responsibility of implementing these types of sessions. Lessons about paying taxes and health insurance can help more students succeed in life. No matter what field students go into, no matter where they live, these skills stay with them and serve their best interests throughout their life.

Cal Lutheran should take this step and add life skill classes to freshmen seminar. It would be an easy change that wouldnโ€™t take much extra planning on the part of the university.

โ€œInstead of using time fillers, like talking about study abroad that we could find out on our own and that wasnโ€™t critical to our development, they could have maybe incorporated more useful skills and other things that we could use later on in college and life,โ€ Carlin said.

College is supposed to prepare us for our life ahead. Students deserve to have access to information about essential life skills on a college campus.

Sophie Zepf

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