Jan 23, 2020

All the things we don’t know

I stood outside The Collegian office motionless, watching 20 something year olds rush past with music streaming from their iPhones through their headsets to their ears.

The only sound traveling through my phone, however, was that of my mother’s voice — W-2 this, 1098 T that. It was anything but music to my ears — it was tax season.

It was obvious today that this story was not just my own. And like the iPhone, this generations lack of practical knowledge connects us.

One out of 1,824 courses offered at Fresno State provides students with basic life skills. That course — FIN 30 Personal Financial Planning, a management course for lifelong decision making.

It is one of 20 general education course options under Breadth Area E1. Students are required to take one course under Area E1. And let us please get real, only a business major would willingly enroll in financial planning. Courses such as FIN 30, to some, could appear pointless. However, to most, are necessary.

So I say to you today, my fellow scholars, that in spite of our stupidity, that one day this generation will be able to file our own taxes without the help of our parents.

That one day gentlemen, the woman sitting next to you in class will successfully negotiate a salary from her employer. And ladies, that man looking at you in class will not only wash and dry his clothes regularly but fold and put them away promptly.

That one day, students will live in a dorm where they will not be judged by the unraveling seams on their cardinal red and blue Bulldog sweater, but by the ease of their backstitch.

And I propose that one day soon, Fresno State will offer more courses that will teach students how to administer first aid, balance a checkbook, change our oil, determine the four cardinal directions, do the laundry, establish good credit, fill out financial aid forms, fix a dead outlet, invest our money, iron a shirt, jump start a car, make an insurance claim, mow the lawn, perform CPR, put air in our tires, prepare for a disaster, read a balance sheet, register a car, remove carpet stains, sew a button, successfully pay back our student loans, tie a tie, wash the dishes and work the main electrical panel, circuit breakers and subpanels in our home. And the list goes on and on and on.

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