Teaching life skills

College is more than getting a formal education. It can be the first time young adults live away from their parents, who are often the people who feed us, clothe us, and give us life direction. Far from home, many university students get their first taste of taking care of themselves and they may realize they lack the skills and knowledge to live an independent, productive life.

Several players of Imagine Beach 2030 have played cards expressing a desire for more life skills to be taught at schools. Player Zion Smith notes that this should be required curriculum even.

Zion Smith says "I would like to see 'practical life skills' as required curriculum. This can include financial literacy, interpersonal skills, coping skills, ethical decision making, conflict management, civic responsibility, etc. Skills employers desire and skills they need to flourish beyond CSULB."

It’s good to see CSULB gives its students an opportunity to meet with a peer nutrition counselor as a free health resource. Similar types of counseling and learning opportunities could be expanded at various educational institutions to satisfy the vocal demand for more practical education.

Player Walter Martinez Marconi suggests that “A new required class for ALL freshman will include topics such as personal finances, growing your own food and how to stay healthy both physically and mentally.”

Walter Martinez Marconi says "A new required class for ALL freshman will include topics such as personal finances, growing your own food and how to stay healthy both physical and mental. #GeneralEducation"

But as we prepare for 2030, we’ll need to make sure students are equipped to handle not just traditional everyday life skills, but also the emergent skills everyone is still mastering. Institute for the Future’s¬†Future Skills¬†highlights five performance zones that people will need to master in order to successfully transition from a education setting into making a living.

Player Mark suggested one way to bridge this gap between skills, experiences, and learning that might help us ensure that all people have the needed life skills for lifetime success. “How about credit for life experience?”

Mark says "How about credit for life experiences?"

This interesting idea could create a reward structure different from that which gives points and grades to academic achievement, and could place value on life achievement. What sorts of life experiences will be valued in the future? For example, as political and environmental uncertainty rises, could the act of lobbying one’s local representative to vote on a bill that favors renewable energy policy be awarded with school credit?

As students look to universities and other educational institutions as places to learn the skills and knowledge necessary for succeeding in life, teaching more life skills such as handling personal finances, having a healthy marriage, coping with mental health, or even how to think about the future could be added to student curriculum.