High-School Sets Us Up For Failure | Teen Ink

High-School Sets Us Up For Failure

June 6, 2022
By RebeccaLaroche BRONZE, Manchester, Connecticut
RebeccaLaroche BRONZE, Manchester, Connecticut
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Looking at the schedules I have received throughout my time in high school, none of them matched my personal interests at the time. While discovering my future career, I registered for several classes that interested me and matched the career I wanted, but I was put into irrelevant courses.

Nutrition Fitness instead of Psychology, Animal Behavior instead of medical classes. I could have dropped those classes, except my guidance counselor told me I needed a specific amount of credits to move to the next grade. So involuntarily, I stayed, even though I learned nothing that can help me in my future. None of these peaked my interest, so I was not very personally interested in completing the work.

Not only was there fault in assigning the classes, but there was also a lack of diversity in options as well. There are the basics, of course, like cooking, specific language directed classes, and carpentry, but what about the people who want to start a business? Who wants to be a real estate agent? Who wants to write films and tv shows, like me? All of these are jobs that do not require going to college, but due to not learning about them in high school, college is my only option.

I was left to fend for myself in finding exposure for screenwriting, wishing there were creative writing– or specifically, screenwriting– classes that I would have happily taken and learned from. Now that I am going to college in the fall, my parents will be paying unnecessary money for the same education I could have received in a public high school. 

Schools do not teach us what we want to learn, like how to buy a house, pay taxes, or even the reality of social issues like racism and homophobia, but stress the importance of y=mx+b. Then they push us toward applying for college, not considering that it is the same education for a much higher price. They do not consider that college is unaffordable for most or the simple fact that it is not for everyone.

When we do go off to college, we still might be confused about a career choice with the knowledge that time spent there is literal money. My sister wanted to become a nurse going into college, but during her sophomore year at SCSU, she switched majors, making all the credits she previously earned null and the money she paid pointless and non-refundable. According to Frank Financial Aid, about 80 percent of college students switch their college majors.  So when kids are undecided or choose to switch their majors, they pay several thousands of dollars for nothing, and it will never be gifted back to them.

A realistic future for an education like such is working in a cubicle from 9-5, answering phone calls, and talking to strangers about their internet issues. That is my biggest fear in life; not being able to live the life I envision due to a lack of education and exposure.

If students were given the opportunity to explore classes while in high school, without being dead set on them for a credit requirement, we would be better off, and more confident in a career choice. But due to the lack of exposure, we are stuck either paying thousands of dollars for the equivalent of a high school education, paying empty money to college courses we dropped, or simply being stuck. 

Without a large variety of courses to choose from, subjects that may appeal to all, or student questionnaires that allow us to raise the quality of our education, how does society expect us to be successful in our futures? Unless we encourage the board of education’s outdated curriculum, the future generations will suffer the same tragedy we have, having little to no voice, learning nothing useful throughout high school, and being shoved toward college to learn the same things all over again.


Work Cited

Hough, Lory. “What's Worth Learning in School? | Harvard Graduate School of Education.” Harvard Graduate School of Education, gse.harvard.edu/news/ed/15/01/whats-worth-learning-school. Accessed 19 April 2022.

“What Percentage of Students Change Majors?” Frank Financial Aid, 30 March 2022, withfrank.org/how-to-pay-for-college/how-does-college-work/transfer/what-percentage-of-students-change-majors/. Accessed 22 April 2022.

The author's comments:

This piece really sticks out to me because it's something I'm currently experiencing right now, and it's a bit stressful to handle. College is out of my parent's budget, but I have to go to get the information I lacked during high school.

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