High school wasn’t as bad as we like to claim

Life was pretty good when we were in grade school, so why did we complain?

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More stories from Ryan Huling

Photo by Savannah Jo Reeves

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If you’ve talked to many college students, you’ve probably heard many give heavy criticism of high school. They may talk about the curriculum, with the idea of getting rid of math and replacing it with classes like “how to do taxes” or “finance.” College students also seem to resent high school, as if they wish it would have never happened.

I wonder if high school was really that bad.

When I was in high school, personal finance was a class offered and taken by many students. It taught students about taxes, managing a checkbook and other money-related topics. My school also offered business classes and career emergence classes, allowing students to be in the “real working world” before college started.

If you Google finance classes in high school, you will see a plethora of articles saying schools are lacking in personal finance. Maybe they are.

If I’m being honest, I couldn’t find a number on how many schools have finance classes. If students want them, they need to ask for them. A student at my school might not have known there were finance classes at my school if they didn’t ask.

The want for finance classes, however, does not eliminate the need for math classes. Math is the building block of finance. The classes improve problem-solving and science skills and help students understand its importance in history.

Writing numerous articles on this subject isn’t going to change the curriculum. If someone wants this to change, which it seems many people do, they should go to their local school district and start a conversation. Nothing gets done by subtweeting school districts and claiming finance classes importance in an article which many won’t see.

Furthermore, many graduated adults complain about high school. They complain that everything was just awful, say they are so happy in college, etc. But how bad was it really?

In high school, students probably lived in a house they didn’t have to pay for. Meals were probably made for them. They probably weren’t paying thousands of dollars to attend school.

More than likely, students disliked the hold their parents had on them. They were eager to do things they may not have been ready for and their parents held them back.

Living under a roof with people who will care about you, going to school in exchange for taxes and receiving opportunities you may not be given ever again doesn’t seem like such a bad deal. Yet so many people treat it as such, and I want to know why.

Now, maybe I was lucky enough to have a great high school experience. I’m going to school to be an educator and maybe I look at the past with those rose colored glasses. But, looking at it as nothing but negative isn’t any better than acting ignorant to some of the bad that happened.

If high school isn’t doing its job, let’s work to fix it. But, if you ask me, it’s doing a good job at what it’s supposed to do. Students are pushing themselves to do the best they can.

Everyone goes through high school, let’s not profile it as the worst place ever. Let’s be a little positive.

But that’s just my two cents.

Huling can be reached at [email protected]

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