College is supposed to be an institution that gives us the skills to thrive in the real world. We go to classes, study to prepare for tests, and do our best do achieve a high GPA, the “ultimate measure of success”. Once we have taken enough classes, we are supposedly ready to enter the job market and the “real world”. Oftentimes, however, many young adults realize that perhaps some, if not most, of the things they’ve “learned” aren’t actually relevant once they get out info the field. Here are some classes that I think would be beneficial to prepare students for life after college:
1. Career Aptitude 101 – I believe that every student should spend time actually figuring out where their talents lie. Most of us think we know what we’re good at, and most of the time we are wrong. A class in which you take personality and strengths test would help narrow down a career path much earlier and would deter the “musical chairs” methodology of picking a major course study, which happens often. Many students pick their chosen field somewhat arbitrarily, and soon realize that what they went to school for doesn’t align with their talents or who they are as a person. Imagine a school where all of the students had a firm idea of their career goals early on and refined those skills for four years.
2. Leadership 101 – This class would help students develop confidence. It would require weekly readings from authors like Tony Robbins, Stephen Covey, and John Maxwell. The course would be focused on learning about the things that make people successful and how to implement them in one’s own life. We live in a social world, and the intangible skills are just as important as the tangible ones. This class would give students the tools to become more impactful in their organizations or businesses.
3. Financial literacy 300 – This may be the one that’s needed most. The entire class would be focused on how not to get into a ton of debt and live life as a rat running in a wheel. It would delve into the details of lending practices and teach students how to properly view an amortization schedule so that they can make informed decision when procuring loans. This class would stress the realities people face when they get into credit card debt. It would also talk about ways to invest and emphasize the importance of saving money early on. Many graduates carry student loan debt; tack on some credit cards and a car note and later on, a mortgage, and all of the sudden it becomes a losing battle for the rest of their lives. They simply live to work and pay bills. This class would help to avoid the perils that are common to young adults.
4. Mindfulness and Meditation 212 – The world is a stressful place, and stress can lead to physical deterioration and unhealthiness. The mind and body are very much intertwined, and your mental state can affect your physical one. Meditation can reduce stress and it also teaches you to be more mindful of your surroundings. Mindfulness can lead to more disciplined behavior and increase willpower. With all of the obligations we have pulling at us constantly, meditation gives us a chance to let go of it all, if only briefly.
5. Relationships and intimacy 420 – This class would help students learn about themselves and about others so that they can form solid and stable relationships. The human brain is preoccupied with social interaction more than anything else. Some scientists suggest the reason our brains are so large is because they evolved to help us form complex social bonds as a way to increase survival. Colleges don’t have a class where students can openly talk about their feelings and work out their problems, and I say why not? This class would include some reading from different psychologists ranging in various areas of social interaction from friends, to dating, and even business partners. Additional it would be an open-ended discussion type of class where students can talk to each other in a safe environment and explore their relationships with one another. It may sound cheesy but I do feel that people in general lack the ability to identify and work through issues in their social relationships. This class would help us to deal with the 7 billion people this world has to offer.