Educational system fails to teach adult age responsibilities

By Efrain Valdez, Social Media Editor

I’ve appreciated what the American educational system has given me. It is a flawed system, but there are options to how children can use what is available to be productive.

We are taught arithmetic, science, languages and communication skills.

But we are never taught about how to do taxes, develop a good credit score or how to put yourself in a position to get a mortgage on a house.

This creates a disadvantage for young college graduates who are trying to establish their adult lives.

Kindergarten through middle school, I attended public schools in the Richmond/San Pablo area.

In high school I was lucky enough to attend a private Catholic school, for a minimal price, making it very affordable for my family.

I believe I received a well-rounded education that gave me a well-rounded point of view.

Now that I am in college, I’m glad that I learned those basic subjects in school and I understand that K-12 is meant to prepare you for college. However, the educational system forgets that college is not a requirement after high school.

During those high school years of education, students are not being prepared for any real life situations.

I didn’t think about this until the unexpected death of my mother who was the sole breadwinner of my household.

As an only child, at 20 years old, I inherited everything she owned, including a mortgage.

Yes, I understand that as soon as a person turns 18 and as long as they are working they are required to file taxes. I also understand that people my age also get credit cards and should have a basic understanding of it.

Still, people my age do not realize that it gets much more complicated than that.

What I want to tell my peers is that the educational system has failed in preparing us for the real world.

I want to warn my peers that we have not been prepared to handle the basic adult responsibilities of being productive members of this society.

Eventually they will have to know the ins and outs of a mortgage, or what kind of life insurance best fits the needs of their family. For the most part, we are uninformed and it is difficult to think about something like that while attending college.

In the most important years of our youth, we are forced to worry about getting the grades that will earn us a diploma so we can earn enough money for a better life — which is OK.

It is OK because that feeling of anxiety is imposed on us by our failing educational system.

Don’t feel guilty or get mad at yourselves — the system has failed us in this aspect.

After a college graduate is at a job for a few years and is established in their career field, these people will eventually have to learn about mortgages and life insurance. Managing these kinds of things usually takes a few failed attempts to become well informed.

Having to do this in real life situations can really bite you in the ass at times.

School should’ve taught us how to do these things because it is something that is almost a custom in this country.

It is embarrassing that our educational system has set us up for failure in the real world.

It would have been helpful, for me, if the educational system could have provided me a blueprint on how to manage these responsibilities. I would have handled the loads of paperwork and information thrown my much more efficiently.

It would have prevented the mad scramble I had looking for answers from older adults who have done these things before.