School Daze with Talya Lippman


The hope for high school is that it brings in newbie freshmen and releases well-mannered, “ready for the real world” young adults.

These are institutions across the world that we firmly believe in to prepare students for the challenges they will inevitably confront in their life. This is accomplished by encouraging students in their varying classes to apply their analytical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

However, the question remains: Are students truly and correctly being prepared for life after high school, or is there room for improvement in terms of the high school system already in place?

An average high school student will generally offer you a perplexed face when asked if they know how to file taxes and respond, “We were never taught that.”

Now, there is a good chance that the same student can list the matching trigonomic functions with their reciprocal ones or roughly describe the order of the periodic table that they were forced to memorize in sophomore year if you want them to. Although understanding the basis of trigonometry and of the periodic table are essential for passing high school, it is unlikely that a student will need to apply such valuable skills after college.

Nevertheless, these are the skills that take precedence over most that would actually help students get through the real world. The answer as to why high schools choose to do this is somewhat ambiguous. In order to assist the students to get into college, most schools put more of an emphasis on academics, rather than on practical abilities. Since many real-world skills may be learned on one’s own through one’s own experiences, teaching students these crucial skills does not appear to be a pressing matter to schools.

Some schools do allow students to enroll in electives that will teach them a select few skills that will enable them to live independently in the future. But, this should expand further and schools should provide for more than a few mere electives.

These newly required classes must cover all the important skills including how to handle and pay off student loans, manage family income, and read and file taxes. This should be a required class for all students, as college and beyond is daunting for most and right around the corner. Students should leave high school not only knowing math and chemistry, but discovering that they now know more than ever about the actual world and how their life will soon change.

Fundamentally, I believe that students will benefit from learning non-traditional “academic talents” such as life skills to guide them towards their bright futures.


Lippman is a student contributor for the Bellmore & Merrick Heralds.