As students make their way through high school, they are constantly reminded of its primary purpose: “to prepare students for college and beyond”. Beyond, meaning adulthood, and all the freedom and responsibility it comes with. Emerging adult skills relate to the emotional, academic, and daily functioning skills that adulthood requires. These include skills such as how to cope with stress, how to stay organized, how to deal with something you don’t like, how to handle social interactions, and more. In the New York Times article “Preparing ‘Emerging Adults’ for College and Beyond” by Alina Tugend, it is discussed how students with a lack of one or more of these skills are often encouraged to work on those skills little by little during high school, because issues can become more apparent in college and lead to students’ lives unraveling. The article also gives examples of ways some skills can be worked on in real life. For example, if a student doesn’t like to speak in front of his/her class because they are afraid of messing up, they should work on getting over that by ordering at a restaurant and then changing their order. Perfectionists should turn in imperfect assignments to understand that nothing catastrophic will occur.
I personally believe that high school is very, very important, not just for academic reasons such as getting into college, but also for building skills such as the ones mentioned above. I believe that Memorial helps students build emerging adult skills not only through classes, but also through the clubs, sports, and other activities it has to offer. There are several ways to work on these skills, but I think one of the best ways to do so is to just get involved! The skills you develop in a short 50 minute class period are great, but often not enough to help you fully build some of these skills. Since it’s September, and most activities are open to new members, I recommend that you find something you enjoy and get involved. Clubs and activities can help students work on multiple emerging adult skills at once, since they all encourage collaboration, some independence, and provide support. It’s sometimes helpful to join clubs where you only know a few people, but don’t know most. That way, you’ll have to interact and work with students you don’t usually speak to, which will help you make new friends. Make the best of high school and remember to have fun!
– Shruti Sathish
Categories: JMM Opinions